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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 June/July 2024


Jeff Harrison, Chair, Grain Farmers of Ontario


A Q&A with Jeff Harrison, chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario.

What advice do you have for young people getting their start in farming?

I didn’t realize how fortunate I was as a young man to have always known what I wanted to do in life; it was only after watching my children contemplate different career paths that I realized I always knew. It’s only now that I’m forced to think about it that I wonder why I just always knew.

I grew up on a small farm, and both my parents had off-farm jobs. They worked very hard and made many sacrifices from humble beginnings. My mother is a proud farmer’s daughter who has always spoken so highly of her farmer dad and growing up on a farm. She taught me the love of watching things grow, and that farming is a noble profession; maybe that’s why. My father came home from his off-farm job and worked hard nights and weekends because he loved farming. Maybe I wanted to prove to him I could build my own farm. Maybe it was because we had a small farm and I wanted to show the world I could do it.

I have come to learn that a farmer’s love for agriculture isn’t measured in acres. Dream big and know that anything is possible with hard work. A hungry world needs you.

Farming has never been easy, and I won’t promise you it’s going to get easier; in fact, the challenges will be relentless. But always remember that’s what makes it so great. If farming was easy everyone would do it.

It won’t be easy. But it will be worth it!

Do you have a question for the chair? Email •


Here is our next installment of profiles of your Grain Farmers of Ontario staff to help introduce you to the team.

Jenna Marcone joined the Grain Farmers of Ontario staff in January 2024 as the director of finance. She is a Chartered Professional Accountant with previous experience in audit, financial analysis, treasury, and internal controls.

Marcone grew up on a grain farm just outside of Guelph. Her accounting career has been centred around agriculture, and she is very passionate about the industry. She is thrilled to join Grain Farmers of Ontario, coming back to her original roots and using her financial skillset to benefit the organization.

Marcone, her husband and two daughters live in Guelph. She volunteers as a board member and coach at the local girls’ hockey association. She and her family enjoy an active lifestyle of many sports, including baseball, swimming, and hockey. •


Grain Farmers of Ontario seeks applicants for the American Soybean Association Corteva Young Leader program. This program provides a two-phase training program that engages in leadership training that will enhance your farming operation and your service in other organizations, gives you tools to tell your story better, and provides an opportunity to meet and learn from agriculture industry leaders and other farmers.

One soybean farming couple or individual will be selected as the Ontario representative for the Class of 2025. Training takes place in Iowa in November and in conjunction with the Commodity Classic in March 2025.

Applications will open in early June at www. For more information, read about the experience of Kelsey Banks, the 2024 Ontario Young Leader, at www., or contact Rachel Telford, manager of member relations, at •


Grain Farmers of Ontario has launched the 2024 Legacy Scholarship program. Up to ten scholarships, valued at $5,000, are available to students enrolled in full-time post secondary studies. Up to five scholarships are available for students studying in non-agriculture-specific programs.

More information, including application instructions, is available at or by contacting Rachel Telford, manager of member relations, at Applications close July 21, 2024. •


The Grain Farmers of Ontario’s agronomist, Laura Ferrier, publishes a weekly field observations report on the Ontario Grain Farmer website and in the weekly GrainTALK e-newsletter. Find out more at •


At the AgScape annual general meeting in May, Victoria Berry, Grain Farmers of Ontario’s manager of communications, was elected chair of the board. Grain Farmers of Ontario is a proud supporter of AgScape and its programs, which provide factual, balanced, curriculum-linked food literacy programs and resources to Ontario’s educators and students. •


The 2024 Nuffield Scholarship program is now accepting applications. The program, which has been operating for more than 70 years, offers mid-career professionals and farmers the opportunity to study an agricultural issue in a global context, including a minimum of 10 weeks of international travel. Scholarships are valued at $20,000. More information is available at Applications close June 30.

You can read more about Lauren Benoit, the 2023 Grain Farmers of Ontario Nuffield Scholar in the June/July issue of the magazine. •


The inaugural 2023 Ontario corn hybrid DON screening trial report provides a risk assessment of hybrids entered in the 2023 trials, along with a multi-year assessment on the same hybrids if data were available.

To learn how susceptible a hybrid may be, view the report at Hybrids that have statistically higher DON compared to the susceptible check hybrid, should be managed appropriately through the season. For more information on DON in general, view the Grain Farmers of Ontario visit •


The Canadian Clean Fuel Regulations come into effect this year. These regulations have been put in place to reduce the carbon intensity of fuels produced in Canada, including fuels produced from grains and oilseeds.


  • Documentation will be required for each step in the grain value chain from farmer to fuel producer.
  • Records must be retained for ten years.
  • The documentation can be completed using a stand-alone document that must be signed annually, or it can be incorporated into contracts.
  • There is a requirement for a single GPS coordinate (to five decimal points) for each customer. This can be the GPS for driveway or where grain bins are on farm.

A Grain Farmers of Ontario FAQ factsheet, developed in cooperation with the Ontario Agri Business Association and Western Canadian grain groups, is available at •


There is a great new resource hub for farmers and spray operators with information and best practices to reduce spray drift. Visit for practical tips and test your spray smarts with our quick quiz.

Be Drift Aware was created by Grain Farmers of Ontario, Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and CropLife Canada. •


By Philip Shaw

On April 11, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) dropped corn ending stocks slightly by 50 million bushels to 2.122 billion bushels, the highest in the last five years. USDA estimated the Brazilian corn crop at 124 million metric tonnes (MMT) or 4.88 billion bushels. Argentinian corn production was dropped slightlyby 1 MMT to 55 MMTs or 2.16 billion bushels. On the soybean side, the USDA increased soybean ending stocks to 340 million bushels. The USDA came in with a robust 155 MMTs or 5.69 billion Brazilian bushels in contrast to the Brazilian crop rating agency, CONAB, which estimates 146.5 MMTs.

New crop corn values continue at a premium to old crop reflecting the ample old crop supplies in Ontario as well as the production risk ahead. The Canadian dollar fluttering around the 73-cent U.S. level continues to add stimulus to Ontario cash grain prices. •

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