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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

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Grain Market Commentary for October 12, 2017

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Commodity Period Price Weekly Movement
Corn CBOT December 3.49  06 cents
Soybeans CBOT November 9.92  34 cents
Wheat CBOT December 4.30  12 cents
Wheat Minn. December 6.12  02 cents
Wheat Kansas December 4.26  10 cents
Chicago Oats December 2.62  16 cents
Canadian $ December 0.8030  0.15 points

Harvest 2017 prices as of the close, October 12 are as follows: SWW @ $183.52/MT ($4.99/bu), HRW @ $192.67/MT ($5.24/bu), HRS @ $238.89/MT ($6.50/bu), SRW @ $188.09/MT ($5.12/bu).

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Market Trends Report for October-November 2017

Monday, October 16, 2017

It is that time of year again when combines are rolling. However, uneven weather in parts of the American corn belt and Ontario has delayed harvest. There is nothing particularly unusual about this as we have it every year. US crops are huge coming off the fields and the market will certainly be making further adjustments. The final determinant on yield will come in the January USDA report. However, the October USDA report released October 12th helped to re-focus the trajectory of grain prices as we head into the end of the 2017.

In the October 12th report USDA increased US national corn yield to 171.8 bushels per acre, an increase of 1.9 bushels per acre over their September estimate. This put 2017/2018-corn production at 14.28 billion bushels on the high-end of pre-report estimates. The USDA also pegged corn-ending stocks at 2.34 billion bushels, which was up 5 million bushels from their September estimate. This number was a bit of a surprise especially with which dry weather throughout the American Midwest the summer.

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USDA estimated soybean production to be at 4.431 billion bushels, which was a decrease from their September estimate. This was based on a .4 bushel/acre cut in US national yield down to 49.5 bushels per acre. However, the US soybean harvested acreage is at a record high of 89.5 million acres, which was up 1% from the USDA September estimate. The US domestic soybean ending stocks were also pegged at 430 million bushels, which was down 45 million bushels from their September estimate. This was generally looked at as bullish on report day and soybeans responded by going up $.26 a bushel. US domestic wheat stocks were set at 960 million bushels, which was 27 million bushels higher than their September estimate.

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