NEW MINISTER FOR OMAFRA
Lisa Thompson, Member of Provincial Parliament for Huron-Bruce, was appointed as the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs during a cabinet shuffle in June. Thompson has continuously advocated for agriculture in her various roles in the provincial government and understands the need of rural communities and farmers. •
DONATION PLEDGED TO RIDGETOWN CAMPUS
Grain Farmers of Ontario has pledged $200,000 to the University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus for its new Crop Research and Innovation Centre.
The Crop Research and Innovation Centre will be a key resource for future research innovations in crop production, management, and sustainability. Investment in research and innovation that helps farmers improve crop yield and quality and reduce environmental impact is imperative for the growth of the province’s economy.
The new facility will house several scientific labs equipped with the latest technology to allow scientists to raise the bar on the types of crop research projects they will be able to complete. The new facility will also provide engaging training opportunities for agri-food students and other industry stakeholders to learn important practical skills they can apply on their farms and agribusinesses. •
PESTICIDE SAFETY CERTIFICATION EXTENDED
Ontario farmers require pesticide safety certification to purchase and use Class B and C pesticides on their farms. For farmers whose certification expired on or after January 1, 2020 and who were unable to renew their certification during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks has extended their certificates until December 31, 2021.
This extension will accommodate those who continue to be unable to renew their certificates either online or in-person, and allow Ontario’s farmers to continue to purchase and use the products they need for the 2021 growing season. Farmers who are eligible for this extension should have received an email from the ministry. If you did not get this email — you can obtain a copy of the letter on the Ontario Pesticide Education Program website, and use as evidence of the extension.•
INFORMATION NEEDED FROM ONTARIO GRAIN DRYER OWNERS
If you own one or more grain dryers, researchers at the University of Guelph want to hear from you. Dryers are essential to Ontario grain production, but there is very limited information available on the numbers and types of dryers in Ontario, how they are used, or the experience and concerns of dryer operators. Understanding dryer usage in Ontario is also a first step in assessing ways to reduce dryer energy use or develop methods to reduce potential noise or dust impacts on neighbors. Dryer owners are asked to complete a short survey (10 minutes or less) to help address this lack of information. Individual results are anonymous, and no identifying business or personal information is requested. Aggregated survey results will be shared with the drying community after the study is complete. Respondents can choose to be entered into a draw for one of several $25 Tim Horton’s gift cards. www.uoguelph.ca/ engineering/dryer-survey. •
2021 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
All farmer-members are invited to attend the 2021 Annual General Meeting (AGM) being held online via Zoom on Tuesday, September 14. The AGM will provide an update on recent activities of the organization and a review of the audited financial statements for the fiscal year. For more information and to register, go to www.gfo.ca. •
ONTARIO WHEAT HARVEST QUALITY
The Ontario Wheat Harvest Quality program is underway. Go to https://gfo.ca/market-development/ exporters/ontario-wheat-quality/ to find results from winter and spring wheat classes as they are posted in the coming weeks. GrainFarmers of Ontario partnered with SGS Canada, Inc. on the development of the Grains Analytical Testing Laboratory.
The lab conducted this year’s wheat harvest survey program. The program analyzes samples from across the province to create a picture of the quality of each year’s harvest. The results are shared with millers and bakers as an initiative of the Market Development department to promote the increased usage of Ontario wheat. •
YOUNG LEADERS WANTED
Applications are now being accepted for the 2022 American Soybean Association (ASA) Corteva Agriscience Young Leader Program. The Young Leader program provides training for couples or individuals who are passionate about the possibilities and future of agriculture.
Phase one of the program will take place at Corteva Global Business Center in Johnson, Iowa November 30 – December 3, 2021. The second half of the program will be held in conjunction with the Commodity Classic in New Orleans, Louisiana from March 8 – 12, 2022.
ASA has 26 state affiliates, including Grain Farmers of Ontario. One actively farming couple from Ontario is selected to attend the program each year. Participants in the program engage in leadership training that helps them with their farm business and other organizations they serve, gain tools to better enable them to tell their own farming story, and connect with soybean farmers from across the U.S.
For more information, contact Mel Reekie, manager of member relations for Grain Farmers of Ontario, at firstname.lastname@example.org. To apply, go to www.SoyGrowers.com. The deadline for applications is September 1, 2021. Participation in the program is subject to the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions on cross-border travel. •
BILL C-206 WITH SENATE
Grain Farmers of Ontario congratulates Canadian Members of Parliament for passing Bill C-206: An Act to amend the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act (qualifying farming fuel). The Bill exempts on-farm grain drying from the federal carbon pricing system. Grain Farmers of Ontario especially congratulates MP Philip Lawrence, who introduced the Bill as a private members Bill in February 2020.
After passing Third Reading in the House of Commons, the Bill moved to the senate in June. It received First Reading there before the Senate adjourned for the summer. The Senate resumes business in September, but if a federal election is called, the proposed legislation will not move forward. •
The Government of Ontario has announced a provincial enhancement to AgriStability. Ontario supported the federal government proposal put forward in November 2020 to remove the Reference Margin Limit (RML) and increase the compensation rate from 70 per cent to 80 per cent. In March, federal, provincial, and territorial ministers agreed to the RML removal but have not reached agreement on the compensation rate. The province has made the decision to move ahead with providing the provincial portion of the compensation rate increase, retroactive to the 2020 growing season. •
by Philip Shaw
It is a critical time for grain markets as we move into corn pollination mid-July. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released (not available at press time) planted corn and soybean acres on June 30, setting the table for market action into July. In the June USDA report, USDA was holding firm at 14.99 billion acres of corn and 4.45 billion bushels of soybeans. This will have changed on the June 30 report. As we continue, crop weather will be instrumental in determining the true potential of this big American crop.
The Canadian dollar has staggered lately currently fluttering near .8134 USD on June 25. It had breached the 83-cent level on June 1 only to retreat on U.S. dollar strength. As it is, it will continue to be a stimulus to Ontario cash prices setting up good prices for Ontario wheat which will be harvested in July. •