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Ontario Grain Farmer Magazine is the flagship publication of Grain Farmers of Ontario and a source of information for our province’s grain farmers. 

GrainTALK for December 2023 / January 2024


Brendan Byrne, chair,
Grain Farmers of Ontario

What did 2023 mean to you?

This is my final year as chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario, and while the last three years have had their trying moments and times of frustration, I am overwhelmingly positive about the work done on behalf of farmers. The Board is made up of smart, passionate advocates who are dedicated to helping grain farmers in Ontario succeed and grow.

Our work on fertilizer is second to none — it even won awards for crisis response. We saw boats get cleared, some monies returned through industry partners, funds being made available for fertilizer emission reduction practices and projects, and we continue to fight to have the tariff removed and more funds given directly back to farmers.

On the carbon tax file, we were promised — though we have yet to receive — a rebate for at least a small amount of the tax paid on grain drying, which we will remind the government is what is needed to produce viable grains for food and beyond. We pushed for Bill C-234 to give a head start to farmers through an exemption to the carbon tax for on-farm drying, and we continue to push for a full exemption for all grain drying.

I have met with hundreds of politicians, travelled across the globe, and given countless media interviews — to ensure we have the right policies in place and the consumer advocacy we need to keep farming successfully in Ontario. I thank everyone for a wonderful three years. •


Registration is opening soon for the 2024 Great Lakes Yield Enhancement Network (YEN).

The Great Lakes YEN is a ground-breaking, cross-border collaboration that connects farmers with agronomists, academics, extension specialists, agricultural organizations, and more. Participants are asked to submit agronomic and field management data, soil and tissue samples, grain and straw samples, and yield and harvest data. YEN partners will provide data analysis of actual yield, crop inputs and lab results, crop modelling of the yield potential for each participant’s field, and a comparison of the actual yield versus yield potential and benchmarking of all participants.

Participants will receive a detailed report summarizing a field’s performance and how it compares to the top 10 per cent of high-yielding participants, insight into factors contributing to high-yield wheat, and the opportunity to attend multiple networking events throughout the year where participants can meet other wheat farmers, agronomists, and extension staff.

Visit to find out more and to sign up. Registration is open from December 4, 2023, to February 2, 2024. •


Tuesday, March 19 2024
RBC Place London, Ontario

Advancing our strong roots: The future is built on the foundation we give it, and Ontario grain farming has deep, strong roots that feed this country’s people and support the success of the agriculture industry. Farmers constantly show their resiliency, their flexibility, and their innovation. In times of challenge, they persevere. They learn from the past, and they invest in the future. The farmers of tomorrow, the one percent who feed the world, will continue to build on these strong roots and show their strength and resilience every season. Grain Farmers of Ontario is a leader because of its strong roots in a strong board, strong team, and the spirit to push through in challenging times and put in the hard work for success.

Speakers include Shawn Hackett, Weather trends/outlook and commodities expert; Amanda Lang, Canadian business journalist with BNN Bloomberg; Marshall Sewell, mental health advocate and founder of Mind Your Melon.

Find out more at Online registration opens on January 4, 2024. •


Grain Farmers of Ontario’s agronomy team has compiled a number of updated agronomic resources, including in-season field observations, agronomy alerts, fact sheets, a winter wheat staging guide, GrainTALK webinars, and more. Visit to learn more or to contact Grain Farmers of Ontario’s agronomy team with questions or concerns.

To be the first to know about any agronomic updates, be sure to subscribe to the weekly Grain Farmers of Ontario GrainTALK e-newsletter by visiting •


by Philip Shaw

On October 12, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its latest WASDE report. The USDA lowered the corn yield by 0.8 bushels per acre down to 173 bushels per acre, putting total corn production at 15.064 billion bushels. Soybean production was lowered in the United States by 0.5 bushels per acre versus last month to 49.6 bushels per acre. This would total U.S. soybean production at 4.100 billion.

Harvest in Ontario continues to roll along despite uneven rainy weather challenging soybean harvest. Wheat planting has been another challenge especially with the uneven weather conditions. Basis levels have softened as harvest activity has increased. The Canadian dollar fluttering at the 73-cent U.S. level has mitigated the effect on cash prices. •


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