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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 February 7, 2018

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Grain Farmers of Ontario farmer-members are invited to attend two full-day marketing seminars on grain marketing: Intro to Futures & Options, as well as the more advanced Options & Technical Analysis.

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Commodity Period Price Weekly Movement
Corn CBOT March 3.61 ↑ 05 cents
Soybeans CBOT March 9.96 ↑ 04 cents
Wheat CBOT March 4.51 ↑ 18 cents
Wheat Minn. March 6.07 ↑ 01 cents
Wheat Kansas March 4.67 ↑ 35 cents
Chicago Oats March 2.65 ↓ 10 cents
Canadian $ March 0.8130 ↑ 0.23 points

Notice: The commentary for all commodities was written at 10 a.m. on February 8 before the release of the February United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) report.

Cash Grain prices as of the close, February 7, are as follows: SWW @ $210.13 ($5.72/bu), HRW @ $207.82/MT ($5.66/bu), HRS @ $233.89/MT ($6.37/bu), SRW @ $205.52/MT ($5.59/bu).

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Market Trends Report for February-March 2018

Monday, February 12, 2018

The winter season in North America is often one of hopes and dreams. With the January 2018 USDA report a month old the scope of the 2017 crop is now becoming a memory. Farmers have turned the page and will soon be planting corn in places like Texas. However, in the southern hemisphere corn and soybean crops are growing in the field and affecting prices every day. While the northern hemisphere freezes under the snow, weather in Argentina and Brazil has been defining the initial grain fundamentals for 2018.

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On February 8th, the USDA released its latest World Supply and Demand Estimates. (WASDE) The USDA lowered US corn ending stocks to 2.352 billion bushels down 125 million bushels from last month. This was totally related to an increase in US corn exports by the same amount. This was attributed to a weakened US dollar and reduction in both Argentinian and Ukrainian corn exports. Hot weather in Argentina had USDA lowering their corn production 2.8 MMT to 39 MMT. USDA maintained Brazil corn production of 95 MMT.

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