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Letter to the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario

January 15, 2016

Dear Dr. Dianne Saxe, Environmental Commissioner,

I am writing you on behalf of the 28,000 grain and oilseed farmers that Grain Farmers of Ontario represents. We would like to request a meeting in the next couple of weeks to provide you with an overview of our industry and information about the commitment to the environment and stewardship practiced by our farmer-members.

We would also like to specifically address the comments we have seen in the media this week from your office. We firmly believe in education and collaboration. It is easy to have misconceptions – the best way to ensure that we understand your priorities for the environment and our business, as well as for you to understand our sector, is to sit down and share ideas and information.

Ontario grain and oilseed farmers grow barley, corn, oats, soybeans, and wheat and the end products made from our crops are used to feed people, provide environmentally sustainable alternatives to products traditionally produced from fossil fuels, and feed animals. The grain farming sector is a major contributor to the Ontario economy and the environment in many very positive ways. Grain farmers are stewards of both their productive and non-productive farmland. There are many wetlands and other environmentally beneficial spaces created by farmers and there are a number of ways that both farmland and farmers contribute to a sustainable Ontario environment.

I have been travelling across the province over the past week and farmers from all regions are alarmed by comments they have read in the media about coloured diesel, coming from your office. Agriculture consumes only three percent of all diesel used in Ontario. The amount of diesel used by grain farmers has steadily declined over the years as the result of improved efficiencies in farming practices (reducing machinery passes on fields) and improved fuel efficiencies in farm vehicles and machinery. The road tax exemption for coloured diesel has been in place for farmers across North America for many years, because farm machinery is not intended for use on roads. It is also important to note that Ontario grain farmers are price takers, as grain is traded on a global market – we compete directly with US farmers in the Great Lakes Basin who have significantly lower production costs.

The road tax exemption is important for Ontario grain farmers, as well as many other sectors of agriculture across the province. I look forward to discussing this, and more, with you in the near future.

Debra Conlon from our office will be in touch to schedule a meeting.

Sincerely,

Mark Brock
Chair, Grain Farmers of Ontario

Also available in .pdf format.

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Grain Market Commentary for August 16, 2017

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Commodity Period Price Weekly Movement
Corn CBOT September 3.52  20 cents
Soybeans CBOT November 9.25  53 cents
Wheat CBOT September 4.20  44 cents
Wheat Minn. September 6.73  60 cents
Wheat Kansas September 4.20  24 cents
Chicago Oats September 2.60  10 cents
Canadian $ September 0.7898  0.15 points

Harvest 2017 prices as of the close, August 16 are as follows:
SWW @ $182.43/MT ($4.96/bu), HRW @ $189.46/MT ($5.16/bu),
HRS @ $254.49/MT ($6.93/bu), SRW @ $187.11/MT ($5.09/bu).

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Market Trends Report for August-September 2017

Monday, August 14, 2017

US and World

It has been an uneven growing season in much of the American corn belt. The Western corn belt has been dry especially in the Dakotas, while the mid south and Eastern corn belt were inundated with heavy rains earlier in the spring. The forecast in late July turned cooler and wetter for all of the American corn belt. This new forecast essentially changed much of the outlook for the American crop, but still many analysts were expecting lower August USDA numbers reflecting some of the earlier tough conditions for US corn and soybeans. Anticipation of the August 10th USDA report was filled with expectations of lower yield projections.

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On August 10th, the USDA lowered their projected corn yield estimate to 169.5 bushels per acre down from their earlier projection of 170.7 bushels per acre and less than last year's 174.6 bushels per acre. At the same time the USDA raised soybean yield expectations to 49.4 bushels per acre up from their 48 bushels per acre earlier estimate. This pegged 2017/18-soybean production at 4.4 billion bushels. Both of these USDA estimates rocked the grain market August 10th, as it was a big surprise. With so much uneven weather affecting this crop in the field a US corn yield of 165-166 bushels per acre was a general trade estimate. Futures prices plummeted on this very bearish report.

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