By John Clement November 4, 2011 Ontario is a great place for those in the farming and food business. In addition to world class farmers, processors and marketers, there’s also an established infrastructure that undergirds the industry. But while that’s all positive, it doesn’t mean that more can’t be done to ensure that continued investment takes place to secure future opportunities. The Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers is a case in point. The organization represents 224 greenhouse vegetable growers in Ontario who are responsible for almost 2,000 acres of production and approximately $641 million in farm gate value. The group estimates that another 450 acres of production can be added in the next five years in the Essex region alone, equating to $450 million in capital investment, 840 new jobs and at least $158 million per year in production. That’s good news and something to applaud. But there are barriers to continued investment in greenhouse production. The greenhouse group points out that “red tape” has created a number of frustrations and concerns. The group says that a number of its growers have “indicated frustrations and concerns relating to the time and resources required by the complex web of approvals necessary to operate their existing greenhouses and particularly to obtain building permits for their new greenhouses.” Their biggest concern is the multiple authorities involved in these processes and the wasteful duplication requirements forced upon growers, resulting in significant, unnecessary delays in obtaining permits and approvals. Another area of concern is access to energy and electricity, particularly in the Essex region. According to the greenhouse group, larger acreages of greenhouse construction cannot proceed without immediate infrastructure investment for electricity and natural gas distribution. In addition, there is not always support for combined heat and power generation in the greenhouse sector, creating further disincentives. Ontario’s greenhouse growers have done a great job of building and serving markets across North America. However, they point out that they need to continue to ramp up production to build and hold their spot in the marketplace. To do that requires a continued investment in infrastructure at municipal and provincial levels and a commitment to cut back on “red tape.” The Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario, plus other farm groups, continues to point out that regulations and infrastructure need to be supportive of agricultural investment in Ontario and not create unnecessary burdens or disincentives. The experience of the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers provides a good example of the barriers we need to continually work towards eliminating.
John Clement is the General Manager of the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario. The CFFO Commentary represents the opinions of the writer and does not necessarily represent CFFO policy. The CFFO Commentary is heard weekly on CFCO Chatham, CKNX Wingham, and UCB Canada radio stations in Chatham, Belleville, Bancroft, Brockville and Kingston. It is also archived on the CFFO website:www.christianfarmers.org. CFFO is supported by 4,200 family farmers across Ontario.
Saskatchewan Pulse Growers (SPG) has invested over $5 million into pulse research projects to improve productivity and reduce threats to pulse crop production. Under the recently announced Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) AgriScience Program Clusters Component, SPG will leverage grower levy dollar investment with over $21 million of Government and other industry partner funding for the Pulse Cluster. A complete list of projects, including researchers, and SPG’s investment can be seen below. Selection of Early Maturing Dry Bean Germplasm and Cultivars for Sustainability and Improved Productivity Under Irrigation, Dr. Parthiba Balasubramanian, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) – $50,417 Breed for Top-Performing Field Pea Varieties and Develop SNP-based Markers for Marker-Assisted Selection for Grain and Protein Yield Maturity, Standability, and Seed Size, Dr. Dengjin Bing, AAFC – $166,000 Large Root Systems in Pulses for Drought Tolerance, Carbon Sequestra
Agriculture Canada is forecasting heavier barley stocks at the end of the 2023-24 crop year, but lighter inventories of wheat and oats. In its latest monthly supply-demand estimates on Friday, Ag Canada pegged barley ending stocks for the current marketing year at 1 million tonnes, up 250,000 from the January estimate and above the previous year’s 709,000 tonnes. If accurate, it would be the heaviest barley ending stocks since 2017-18 at 1.24 million tonnes. All the increase in the ending stocks estimate is due to a reduction in feed, waste, and dockage, which fell to 5.34 million tonnes from 5.59 million for both January and 2022-23. Ag Canada’s February supply-demand update reflects the Statistics Canada grain stocks report released earlier this month, which pegged national barley stocks as of Dec. 31, 2023 at 5.5 million tonnes, up 6% from a year earlier and 10% above the average, despite a smaller 2023-24 supply. The stocks report implied total domestic use of barley in the
The recent decision to reduce the interest-free portion of the Advance Payment Program (APP) from $350,000 to $100,000 has reverberated throughout the agricultural community, causing widespread apprehension among farmers and ranchers across Canada. The Advance Payment Program, a federal loan guarantee initiative, has long been a crucial lifeline for agricultural producers, offering them reliable access to low-cost cash advances to manage cash flow and navigate the uncertainties inherent in agriculture. However, the drastic reduction in the interest-free portion has heightened the financial concerns and uncertainty among farmers.Ian Boxall, president of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS), voiced concern over the decision. “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. The program needs to reflect the current realiti
Vaccines are an important tool to help minimize preweaning calf illness and death early in life, reduce the risk of reproductive failure in the breeding herd and help improve colostrum’s ability to protect next year’s calf crop when it hits the ground. Vaccine technology, programs and practices are constantly evolving. All the options can be confusing, but more options can also make it easier to customize and combine those options in a way that optimally protect your herd against the diseases that are most important to you. Dr. Cheryl Waldner and coworkers at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine studied vaccination practices from coast-to-coast in 2020 (“Vaccine use in Canadian cow-calf herds and opportunities for improvement”; DOI 10.3389/fvets.2023.1235942). What They Did Cow-calf producers from BC (6), Alberta (38), Saskatchewan (27), Manitoba (18), Ontario (20), New Brunswick (2) and Nova Scotia (2) were surveyed about which vaccines they used and when they were using them