Ontario Agriculture

The network for agriculture in Ontario, Canada

Today we left the big city lights of Bangkok for the countryside. How refreshing to step out of the bus onto Baan Susan Chamchoen Farm and meet the owner Mr Somsak and his wife. With great passion and enthusiasm he toured us through his mixed fruit farm, combining agro tourism with fruit production and 20 value-added products. The King, a great supporter of agriculture, had advised all farmers to diversify. As such, Mr Somsak has a unique intercropping system combining  banana, coconut and mango trees along with ducks, chickens and goats.

In scenic (and very hot and humid) surroundings, the trees grow on rows of mounded soil separated by a continuous canal system. These canals are used to irrigate and to collect crops while controlling ants and raising fish which links directly to the main 32 km canal leading to the city markets.  

Mr Somsak exemplifies diversification and added value with guest rooms and a restaurant for Thai tourists. The variety of retail products made from his crops include sugar, butter and oil from coconut. He's a third generation farmer having retired from teaching eight years ago. Some of his coconut trees grow to be 100 years old. He was so very excited to show us his farm as AALP Class 16 were the first international tour ever to visit his farm. His innovation, adaptability and resourcefulness was certainly inspiring and all agreed this stop was our Thai highlight.

Mr Somsak insisted that each classmate take a bottle of his coconut oil, posed for pictures in his new Ag More Than Ever Tshirt we gave him and bid us farewell with a left-handed handshake, teaching us that the right hand is used for killing but the left is for peace.  

After a light lunch at a nearby restaurant along one of the main canals, we drove to the Nonthaphum orphanage for children with disabilities. There we were met by a worker and former student who told us how the the 390 residents receive education, vocational training, rehabilitation and social services support. We watched as lunch was served to many of the clients. The school depends on government support and donations to provide fulsome care. The class donated all our excess snacks and, having passed the hat, a $431 US donation to help them carry on their important work. Later we spent time discussing how blessed we are to be healthy and Canadian. We also discussed the act of giving and how it is incumbent upon us all to use our leadership skills and talents to give back to our organizations in our communities. 

Views: 365

Comment

You need to be a member of Ontario Agriculture to add comments!

Join Ontario Agriculture

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

Ontario’s fruit and vegetable growers re-elect board leaders

The Chair and Vice Chair of the Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Growers’ Association have been re-elected to their positions for another one-year term. The elections were held at a board meeting following the organization’s annual general meeting in Niagara Falls this week.

News remains a negative in grain markets

The grain markets are preparing for the upcoming planting season but dealing with a “slug” of negative news, said Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities in Des Moines. Roose said recent USDA reports have been negative, with yields and ending stocks rising, adding more available supply and not much more demand. “We’ve had such a slew of negative news, and weather in South America has turned non-threatening. It’s about how much of this is dialed in (to prices,)” Roose said. “I always tell people that this time of year, you start to look for a low. You get enough producers selling that it gets digested in the market. Funds are at a near-record on corn and a five-year high short on soybeans, so that tells you the direction we’ve been trying to push.” Argentina is projected by some outlets to have a record production year, rebounding from a tough 2022-23 season and several weeks of extreme heat this growing season. Roose said there are still unknowns as to just how well the crop recove

Western Farm Show gathers latest equipment, education

At the Western Farm Show, farmers and ranchers can not only see the latest equipment and technology, they can also talk with people about farm finance, watch a livestock handling demonstration, or attend farmer development sessions on a variety of topics. Show manager Jami Applegate says people can get information about all aspects of agriculture. “You’re going to find everything you need to successfully run a farm or ranch under one roof,” she says. This year’s show, the 62nd Western Farm Show, is Feb. 23-25 at the American Royal Complex, located at 1701 American Royal Ct. in Kansas City, Missouri. Applegate says this year’s show features over 400 exhibitors, including farm equipment, finance, seed and even land-sale businesses. Four drone companies will be at the show. She says show attendees see value in being able to talk with dealers in person and see farm machinery up close. “Once they get there, they’re going to be able to talk to the dealers who are really knowledgeable o

Agriculture groups concerned about reduction in interest-free portion of cash advance program

The recent decision to reduce the interest-free portion of the Advance Payment Program (APP) from $350,000 to $100,000 has caused concern among farmers and ranchers across Canada. The Advance Payment Program, a federal loan guarantee initiative, has provided producers with access to low-cost cash advances to manage cash flow. Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association (SCA) and the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) said the drastic reduction in the interest-free portion has heightened the financial concerns and uncertainty among farmers. APAS President Ian Boxall said the implications of this decision extend far beyond financial strain and will have wide-ranging impacts on farm financial management. “It’s been three years since the APP interest-free portion was at $100,000, and interest rates have skyrocketed, grain prices have dramatically declined, and input prices have remained high,” Boxall said. “The program needs to reflect the current realities of farm and

Livestock receipts expected to push Canadian farm income higher

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) said overall Canadian farm income is expected to reach a new record for 2023. AAFC said while every farm is unique and will have experienced the last year differently, the continued growth of overall farm income shows that despite the uncertainty and volatility of the past year, the sector remains resilient. The largest driver of this expected increase is a forecasted increase in livestock receipts of almost 10 per cent, to $37.3 billion. Cattle receipts saw impressive price-driven growth that, combined with moderate growth in receipts from the supply-managed sector, more than offset an expected decline in hog receipts. Crop receipts are also forecast to have grown 4 per cent to $56.0 billion, as improved grain marketings have largely mitigated the impact of declining prices. Operating expenses are forecast to have increased only 2 per cent to $74.9 billion, well below the 20 per cent increase seen in 2022. For 2023, Net Cash Income (NCI), th

© 2024   Created by Darren Marsland.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service