Ontario Agriculture

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CFFO Blog's Blog (97)

The CFFO Commentary: Helping Out In The Rebuilding of An Agricultural Sector

By John Clement

June 3, 2011

 

The University of Guelph and Njala University in Sierra Leone have entered into a unique arrangement to strengthen the African institution’s ability to help in the rebuilding and development of agriculture and community service. As part of that arrangement, a delegation from the Sierra Leone university recently toured Ontario to gain a sense of how our province has put together a strong working relationship between farmers, producer groups,…

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Added by CFFO Blog on June 3, 2011 at 2:16am — No Comments

The CFFO Commentary: Charting the Unknown Territory of Source Water Protection

By Nathan Stevens

May 27, 2011

 

Ontario is taking steps to protect our source water. However, we really don’t know what sort of impact this protection will have on farmers and their livelihoods. The requirements farmers may face, and the manner in which this process develops, will greatly impact agriculture’s support for the Clean Water Act.

 

There are a variety of options that source water committees are able to use to improve water quality. These range from…
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Added by CFFO Blog on May 27, 2011 at 2:07am — 1 Comment

The CFFO Commentary: Key Questions for a Changing Agriculture

By John Clement

May 20, 2011

 

Farming is changing. And it’s not just changing in the scale of operations we now have, or the increasingly diverse markets we now supply. It’s also changing in how we view the vocation of farming and how it connects to rural communities and our fellow farmers. Simply put, our emphasis on the business of farming now often overshadows other dimensions to farming that we used to take for granted.

 

At the core of this change is predominately the… Continue

Added by CFFO Blog on May 20, 2011 at 3:15am — No Comments

The CFFO Commentary: Social Change Creates Evolving Standards for Farmers

By Nathan Stevens

May 13, 2011

 

There are times when a series of events come together and force change within an otherwise stable industry, game, or community. The status quo can change over time as new knowledge or societal expectations emerge. A perfect example is the shift in attitude towards head-shots in hockey. The question arises – are there uncomfortable areas within agriculture that are not being dealt with because the pressure to change isn’t great enough…
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Added by CFFO Blog on May 13, 2011 at 4:39am — No Comments

The CFFO Commentary: Promise of Federal Farming and Food Strategy Needs to Deliver

By John Clement

May 6, 2011

 

Now that the election signs are being gathered up and put away for another four years, it’s time to consider some of the implications of a majority Conservative government for Canadian agriculture. And nothing may be a greater opportunity for farmers than a commitment by the newly-elected Conservative government to create a new national farm and food strategy to guide and support agriculture over the…
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Added by CFFO Blog on May 7, 2011 at 7:56am — No Comments

The CFFO Commentary: Growing Forward 2 needs a Family Farm Focus

By Nathan Stevens

April 29, 2011

 

The CFFO brought forward a number of key messages during a recent dialogue between farmers and the federal government on Growing Forward 2, Canada’s next agriculture policy framework. Many of these important messages lie outside the limited scope the federal government wants to look at, but they are issues that need to be addressed for the good of Ontario farmers.

 

The current directions outlined in Growing Forward 2 fail… Continue

Added by CFFO Blog on April 29, 2011 at 4:49am — No Comments

The CFFO Commentary: Renewal in Public Policy and Whispers of Encouragement

By John Clement

April 22, 2011

 

Public policy development and advocacy is slow and steady work. It can take years for a good idea to move from conception to adoption on a wide scale, if it happens at all. Those who work for groups advocating proactive options realize that public policy development is more like a marathon than a sprint.

 

There are no shortages of challenges within agriculture. Developing and maintaining an agricultural system that offers optimum amounts of… Continue

Added by CFFO Blog on April 27, 2011 at 3:47pm — No Comments

The CFFO Commentary: Agricultural and Rural Issues Loom Large for Federal Election

By Nathan Stevens

April 15, 2011

 

Another federal election is upon us. While some question the need for an election so soon, it is our democratic opportunity to make our individual voices heard. There are serious issues for farmers and rural Ontario as voters head to the ballot box on election-day.

 

The reasons behind voting patterns are naturally diverse. Some voters have a loyalty to a party regardless of minor policy concerns. Some look at local…

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Added by CFFO Blog on April 15, 2011 at 5:39pm — No Comments

The CFFO Commentary: Biotechnology Will Remain an Ongoing Discussion for Farmers

By John Clement

April 8, 2011

 

The Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario has had a number of long, focused conversations about the role of Genetically Modified Organisms in agriculture. It’s a lightning rod of an issue, with most people either being for or against the use of the technology. Few individuals…

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Added by CFFO Blog on April 11, 2011 at 8:53am — No Comments

The CFFO Commentary: Farmers Working Together Brings Results

By Henry Stevens

April 1, 2011



The hard work of the Ontario Agricultural Sustainability Coalition has finally produced positive results. As many people know, the 2011 provincial budget was announced this week and farmers received the eagerly anticipated news that new types of Business Risk Management programming are coming for many Ontario Farmers.

Presenting solutions that will cover the programming gaps found in existing programs like Agri-Stability has been the…

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Added by CFFO Blog on April 3, 2011 at 5:41am — No Comments

The CFFO Commentary: Legislation and Regulations Reflect Underlying Goals and Values

By John Clement

March 25, 2011

 

At a recent provincial meeting of the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario, a guest speaker challenged our members to keep in mind that all public policies are aimed at particular goals and outcomes, based on an understanding of what we value in life. I think it’s an important piece of advice and one that needs to be kept front and centre when we create and debate new laws and regulations for farming.  

In my experience, most…

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Added by CFFO Blog on March 25, 2011 at 11:32am — No Comments

The CFFO Commentary: Wading Through the GMO Debate

by Nathan Stevens

March 18, 2011

 

MP Frank Valeriote recently held a public discussion on Genetically Modified Organisms in Guelph. The panel represented a wide diversity of opinion with many valid points raised by the knowledgeable presenters. The discussion highlighted the potential benefits and threats represented by GM crops.

 

For those supportive of GM crops, the goal is to improve crop productivity in a sustainable way. Genetic modification is…

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Added by CFFO Blog on March 18, 2011 at 3:53pm — No Comments

The CFFO Commentary: Seminar Series to Focus on Improving the Farm Regulatory Process

By John Clement

February 25, 2011



Ontario’s farmers are fed up with the heavily regulated business environment in which they operate their businesses. At the same time, society and government have become overly cautious, trying to out-smart common sense by putting more and more costly rules and regulations in place that are burdening our farming community.



This year’s CFFO Seminar Series is entitled Enough is Enough and examines the case for an improved regulatory process.… Continue

Added by CFFO Blog on February 25, 2011 at 6:59am — No Comments

The CFFO Commentary: Have We Learned Anything From Agricultural History?

By Henry Stevens

February 18, 2011 

I’m a firm believer in paying attention to the lessons of history. With that in mind, I took great interest in some speeches from past CFFO leaders that our staff recently uncovered when searching through the organization’s archives. And it’s led me to ask, “Have we learned anything from history?”

One of the speeches was written by then Vice-President, Sid Sikkema, in 1986. Sikkema had attended a workshop entitled “The Globalization of…

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Added by CFFO Blog on February 20, 2011 at 11:26am — No Comments

The CFFO Commentary: The Pile of Reports on Canada’s Agricultural Potential Grows Higher

Plans for national or provincial food strategies have become hot commodities in recent years. In addition to the CFFO’s Goals for an Ontario Food Strategy, other farm groups and think-tanks have either issued reports or are in the development stages.



A new report from the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute is the latest foray into this marketplace of ideas. Entitled Canada’s Agri-Food Destination, the report highlights growing problems for Canadian agriculture. In addition to… Continue

Added by CFFO Blog on February 11, 2011 at 6:50am — No Comments

The CFFO Commentary: Water, Water Everywhere ... But We Need to be Stewards

By Nathan Stevens

February 4, 2011



A recent Water Innovation Forum focused on the importance of water for agriculture and food. The people of Ontario are blessed with tremendous access to fresh water and this has instilled the belief that we live in an area of water abundance. The reality is that while there is a considerable amount of water available for use, wise stewardship of this resource is needed to ensure that we do not create a “Tragedy of the Commons” with our water… Continue

Added by CFFO Blog on February 4, 2011 at 6:41am — 1 Comment

The CFFO Commentary: Focusing in on Feeding the World

By Nathan Stevens

January 21, 2011



At a recent policy conference on the future of food and farming, Robert Thompson of the University of Illinois painted the big picture for agriculture worldwide over the next 40 years. There are huge factors that are shaping the future of food that have created an array of challenges and opportunities for agriculture.



The most obvious challenge will be that of ensuring that nine billion people are able to get the food they require to… Continue

Added by CFFO Blog on January 21, 2011 at 6:44am — No Comments

The CFFO Commentary: The Positive and Negative Roles of Farm Debt

By John Clement

January 14, 2011



Farm debt can be a contentious issue in farm circles. Used properly, and with clear sailing on the horizon, debt is a very practical tool for building a business. However, used improperly, or accompanied by stormy economic times, debt can be a millstone that strangles a business and limits future options.



The Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario is currently taking some time to re-examine the role of debt within farming businesses. Many… Continue

Added by CFFO Blog on January 14, 2011 at 6:13am — No Comments

The CFFO Commentary: Helping our Consumers to Choose Ontario Food

By Henry Stevens

January 7, 2011



Canada has some strict rules regarding truth in advertising. Advertisers are expected to tell the truth about their products and refrain from misleading the buying public. There are consequences for failing to do so. That leads to several questions about whether labels, and the information they contain, should qualify as advertisements. I would argue that labels and advertisements should be held to the same standard regarding accuracy and… Continue

Added by CFFO Blog on January 7, 2011 at 5:51am — No Comments

The CFFO Commentary: Prognostications for Farming in 2011

By Nathan Stevens

December 31, 2010



As 2010 draws to a close, a new year in agriculture is about to unfold. The sheer diversity of Ontario agriculture ensures that some farmers will be blessed with great production and good prices while others will face another trying year. Beyond the vagaries of weather and the market there are issues that Ontario farmers may have to face in the year… Continue

Added by CFFO Blog on January 3, 2011 at 4:12am — No Comments

Agriculture Headlines from Farms.com Canada East News - click on title for full story

Saskatchewan Crop Conditions Up from a Year Ago

The first Saskatchewan crop condition ratings for the 2024 growing season are mostly up from a year ago, although the scope of improvement is variable. The weekly provincial crop report on Thursday pegged this year’s spring wheat crop at 87% good to excellent as of Monday, up a relatively modest 6 points from a year earlier, while the oat and barley ratings were 2 and 5 points higher, respectively, at 87% good to excellent for both. At 78% good to excellent, the condition of the canola crop was just a single point above a year ago. On the other hand, the condition of the durum crop was rated 93% good to excellent as of Monday, an increase of 21 points from a year ago, while the lentil crop was 15 points better at 90% and the chickpea crop a major 31 points higher at 95%. Gains for other crops fell somewhere in between. At 91% good to excellent, the condition of the flax crop was up 8 points on the year, with mustard up 14 points to 88%, and peas up 9 points to 91%. The canary cro

New Grading Changes Coming for the 2024-25 Crop Year

The Canadian Grain Commission has announced new grading changes for the upcoming 2024-25 crop year that it says will better meet the needs of the grain sector in Canada and grain buyers around the world. Among the changes are new variety designation lists for food barley, and updates to the assessment of seed coat discolouration in soybeans. According to a CGC release, food barley varieties are unique and different from malting or feed barley varieties due to the distinct quality features desired for food, such as high beta-glucans. And to ensure Canadian producers and the agriculture sector can realize the benefits of developing and growing these varieties, the CGC is creating variety designation lists for Barley, Canada Eastern Food, which will take effect on July 1, 2024, and Barley, Canada Western Food, which will take effect on Aug. 1, 2024. Meanwhile, as part of the CGC grain grading modernization project, the official Grain Grading Guide will be updated to clarify the asse

Alberta Seeding Complete; Crop Emergence on Track with Average

The final push was delayed by rain in some parts of the province last week, but Alberta seeding is virtually now complete.  Friday’s crop showed the planting of Alberta major crops (spring wheat, oats, barley, canola, and peas) at 99.6% complete as of Tuesday, up a few points from a week earlier and in line with the five- and 10-year averages of 99.4% and 98.7%.  The report said final seeding efforts in the Central, North East, and North West regions were slowed by rain that was accompanied by persistent strong winds that led to an overall reduction in surface soil moisture in all areas but the Peace Region.   Regardless, crop growth is off to a good start, with the South Region in need of timely rains while the rest of the province needs warmer temperatures, the report said.  The emergence of major crops across the province is reported at 86%, which matches both the 5- and 10-year averages. Regionally, emergence of major crops is behind the historical average in the South and Nort

Automation, robotics helping farmers strengthen food security

B.C. farmers are accessing new technology through federal and provincial government funding to grow their businesses and increase production to help strengthen food security in the province.

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