OMAFRA Ag Business Update – December 2016

OMAFRA Ag Business Update – December 2016

on December 20 | in OMAFRA Resources | by | with No Comments

ISSUE # 128 – December 2016       

This update is designed to provide you with concise, up to date agricultural business information with links to where you can find the details.

This Issue:

Business Strategy / Business Planning
Developing a Business Advisory Board: Best Practices – Factsheet

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry

A business advisory board is a body that provides non-binding strategic advice to the management. The informal nature of an advisory board gives greater flexibility in structure and management when compared to a Board of Directors.


Financial Management
2017-2018 Advance Payments Program

The Advance Payments Program (APP) is a federal loan guarantee program that helps crop, livestock, greenhouse and nursery landscape producers meet their financial obligations and benefit from the best market conditions by improving their cash flow throughout the year.

Advance Rates: Product & Rate List
For a complete list of available agricultural products, advance rates and available advance dates see ‘Product and Rate List’ below:

2017-2018 Product and Rate List.pdf



Commodity Loan Program

The Commodity Loan Program (CLP) assists farmers in financing their crop planting, cultivating, and harvesting expenses in Ontario.

2017 application and loan rates now available


Human Resources
Survey gives employers a voice

A community-wide business survey to be conducted January 1-31 in Brant and Haldimand will help address any skills, training, education and labour gaps identified by employers.

EmployerONE is a collaborative survey supported by 30 organizations, including business, employment, education, workforce and economic development groups. The Grand Erie Workforce Planning Board will carry out the survey, analyze the results and share the findings back to businesses and the community.

The survey is open to all employers with paid staff, from small to large in employee size, and across all sectors of the local economy, including non-profit and community organizations.

Employers only have to fill EmployerONE in once, even if they receive it from more than one organization.

For more information, contact the Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie or visit its website:   519-756-1116 


Five Eco-Scholars will be chosen for the 2017 Guelph Organic Conference

Each Eco-Scholar receives:

  • A $500 Honorarium
  • An Organic Food & Wine Dinner Ticket
  • A Keynote Forum Ticket
  • Workshop Passes for Saturday & Sunday
  •  Incredible networking experiences with fellow Eco-Scholars, the Eco-Scholar coordinator, sponsors and others.

The deadline for applications is December 23, 2016.
Additional information and the link to the application form are available at


Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council HR Tools

AgriHR Toolkit

The AgriHR Toolkit is designed to address the unique needs of the agriculture industry. Based on years of research and field testing conducted in Canada and internationally, this toolkit offers everything you need to improve your people-management skills and develop key resources to help you find, retain, and support your employees.



The pathways will help farm workers make informed choices on the types of skills and knowledge to acquire, and will also be useful to students and foreign trained workers who are exploring their potential entry into the on-farm sector.


This unique directory is updated regularly and links people to Canadian educational institutions and training providers that offer learning opportunities in agriculture.



Agrileadership is a self-assessment tool designed specifically for agricultural producers, that identifies areas of leadership strength as well as areas which may require development.



Agriculture Leadership Certificate Program – Open for Registration

Understanding the economic importance of agriculture in Ontario is crucial. With a growing population, it is vital that we invest in educating and informing individuals about the economic importance of agriculture and the agri-food business in Ontario’s economy.

That’s why the University of Ontario Institute of Technology is offering its Agriculture Leadership Program for a second year.



Nominations open for Ontario’s Outstanding Young Farmer 

The Outstanding Young Farmers Program (OYF) is a unique program designed to recognize farmers and farm couples who exemplify excellence in their profession. Any organization or any person can nominate a young farmer or couple for the regional recognition award as long as the nominee meets the following program eligibility requirements:

*    Must be between the ages of 18 and 39
*    Be farm operators
*    Derive a minimum of two-thirds of their income from farming

Nominations for the 2017 Award are now open. The nomination form is here. Forms are due no later than January 15, 2017.


Dalhousie researcher finds that almost a quarter of Canadians worry about food costs

A new study suggests nearly one-quarter of Canadians are worried about how to pay for groceries, with more than 50 per cent shifting their shopping habits amid fluctuating food prices.


Production Management
Nutrient Application: Timing Matters

There’s a right time for everything.

Every year, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) receives calls about winter spreading. Long, cold winters that come after a wet fall and/or late harvest tend to make winter spreading more common. However, spreading on frozen or snow covered ground, on saturated soil or before major rain events is not a good practice, even if storages are full.



Revised Canadian Organic Standards

The revised Canadian Organic Standards, which were published on 25 November 2015 enter into force 25 November 2016. However, a number of clauses of the revised COS are currently under an amendment process, and so are not immediately applicable.

Last spring, the organic sector initiated an amendment process in order to clarify the scope of some clauses, or to make clauses compatible with industry practices. Contrary to what was planned, the amendment process is not yet completed. The publication of the amendments is, therefore, delayed until 2017. Hence the clauses currently in the amendment process are not enforceable November 25.



Consultation on Imidacloprid, Proposed Re-evaluation Decision PRVD2016-20

The Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) invites the public to submit written comments on the proposed re-evaluation decision for imidacloprid. Proposed Re-evaluation Decision PRVD2016-20 is a consultation document that summarizes the science evaluation for imidacloprid and presents the reasons for the proposed decision. The PMRA will consider any the comments received. A science-based approach will be applied in making a final decision on imidacloprid.


Social Responsibility
Agroforestry offers climate and sustainability benefits

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations(FAO) conference explores opportunities to revive age-old land-use systems that mix trees with crops and livestock

Agroforestry has a key role to play in helping the world adopt sustainable agriculture and contrast climate change, according to a high-level conference hosted by FAO.


Conferences, Workshops and Seminars
AMI Event and Speaker Funding is open for 2016-2017

The Ontario agri-food industry is encouraged to apply to the AMI’s Business Management Speaker and Event Funding.  Any registered organization, agency, association, community group, institution, university, college, group located in Ontario may apply for a maximum of $2,500 to cover the costs associated with organizing or bringing a business management speaker to an Ontario event.  This funding is open to agrifood and agriproducts businesses including a focus on farm businesses.



OMAFRA Dateline:

OMAFRA Dateline is an online resource for use by interested individuals and organizations across Ontario. Events may be hosted by OMAFRA or other groups. The events posted on this site are aimed at sharing information of interest to agriculture and regional economic development clients. Please check the calendar regularly for upcoming events, workshops, conferences and meetings.


Growing Forward 2 Educational Workshops

Register on-line for Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) and Growing Your Farm Profits (GYFP) workshops by clicking on the link below to find dates and locations that suit you.



FarmSmart 2017

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Rozanski Hall, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON

To register>>


Eastern Ontario Crop Conference

February 14, 2017




Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Conference

Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Thursday, February 23, 2017

Scotiabank Convention Centre, Niagara Falls



21st International Farm Management Congress

July 2nd to 7th 2017

Edinburgh, Scotland

Join 50+ member countries in Edinburgh to explore the UK’s agricultural industry like never before. The Congress includes plenary sessions, paper and poster session and of course, farm visits! Join the Congress pre- and post-tours to spend a little extra time touring the UK’s rich agricultural landscape and history.


June 25 – July 1 Pre-Congress Tour: Windsor to Edinburgh

July 2 – July 7 IFMA21 Congress in Edinburgh, Scotland

July 8 – July 14 Post-Congress Tour: Highlands & Islands of Scotland

For more information, visit

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