OMAFRA Ag Business Update – January 2017

OMAFRA Ag Business Update – January 2017

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ISSUE # 129 – January 2017

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
Growing Forward 2 Intake Dates

There will be two more producer funding application intakes under the Growing Forward 2 program:

Intake 1: February 3 – February 23, 2017

Claim Deadline: January 31, 2018*

Intake 2: May 12 – June 1, 2017

Claim Deadline: January 31, 2018*


No multi-year applications are allowed.

*GF2 projects must be completed by December 15, 2017 with all claims (including all required paid invoices and proofs of payment) submitted by January 31, 2018.

More information:


Grassland Stewardship Program Returns for 2017

The Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) and Environment and Climate Change Canada are pleased to announce the return of the Grassland Stewardship Program (GSP) for 2017, with the first application submission window open from January 9 to February 1, 2017. GSP provides funding to implement forage and pasture management Best Management Practices that support the conservation of bobolink and other grassland birds.

Applications for Intake 1 of GSP 2017 can be submitted until February 1, 2017 using the digital application form available from the OSCIA website:
Intake 2 of GSP 2017 is scheduled to open on April 10, 2017 and close May 1, 2017.

Financial Management
FCC expands support for young farmers

Farm Credit Canada is increasing its support for young farmers, doubling the amount of credit available under the FCC Young Farmer Loan.

In addition to doubling the credit limit to $1 million from $500,000, FCC has lowered the possible minimum down payment required for a Young Farmer Loan to 20 per cent from 25 per cent of the value of the loan, which supports the purchase or improvement of farmland and buildings. This potentially makes more working capital available to qualified producers, under age 40, as they look to enter the industry or grow their business.



CRA Meaning of Farming and Farming Business Proposal

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has a proposal out for comment regarding what is farming and a farming business. The comment period ends on February 8, 2017.



Canada Revenue Agency – Recently added forms and publications

Full listing of recently added forms and publications>> 

Human Resources
Labour shortages forecast for red meat industry

The impact of labour shortages on the beef and pork industries have become increasingly critical in recent years. New research indicates that the trend will worsen between now and 2025, resulting in a widening labour gap that threatens to limit the profitability and growth of Canada’s red-meat industry.

The Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) has completed a three-year study of the Canadian red-meat industry and released Labour Market Forecast to 2025 studies for the beef and pork industries – an examination of the workplace trends and realities that will shape these industries between now and 2025. The red-meat industry includes finished cattle and swine, as well as feedlots.


USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Organic Survey/Census Data Released

The organic surveys provide acreage, production, and sales data for a variety of organic crop and livestock commodities as well as organic marketing and agricultural practices.

  • 2014 and 2015 Organic Certifiers Survey
    • The 2014 and 2015 Organic Certifier Survey data is a tabulation of USDA-accredited organic certifiers’ acreage and livestock data received.
  • 2015 Certified Organic Survey
    • In 2015, the United States had 12,818 certified organic farms producing and selling $6.2 billion in organic commodities.


Production Management
FLIR Lending Program

Farm & Food Care is operating a lending program of FLIR (heat sensing) modules to be used as a fire prevention and awareness tool by farmers.

By borrowing and using the FLIR modules it is hoped that farmers will increase their awareness of fire safety, potential risks and prevention. Farm & Food Care assumes no responsibility for what might be found or actions taken by a farmer on their operation. With any review of their electrical system, farmers are encouraged to discuss their concerns with a licenced electrician where appropriate.



Government Releases Proposed Amendments to Regulations on Humane Transportation of Animals

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is seeking public comment on proposed amendments to the Health of Animals Regulations: Part XII which deals with humane transportation.

This is an opportunity for Canadians to share their views on the transportation of animals.

The draft amendments appeared in the Canada Gazette, Part I on December 3, 2016 and the public comment period will run until February 15, 2017.



Prevent Farm Fires

Did you know?

Faulty electrical systems cause approximately 40 per cent of farm building fires with a determined cause, making it one of the leading known causes of farm fires.



Call Before You Cut!

Municipalities are responsible for developing their own by-laws. Your municipality may have passed by-laws that determine if you can remove a tree from your land or woodlot. These by-laws may include conditions that affect how you carry out the work, including the need for a qualified professional and/or a permit to complete the work.


Risk Management
Fruit coverage: Now offering more

Ontario fruit producers will now have more coverage options, a move that recognizes that tree and vine health is vital to a producer’s business.

New plan enhancements include:

  • First-time coverage for tender fruit trees
  • Additional coverage for apple trees and grape vines
  • The ability to insure trees and vines in the year following planting


Social Responsibility
Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Crops (CRSC)

The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Crops (CRSC) was formed in 2013 to facilitate cross-commodity collaboration on sustainable agriculture issues and opportunities facing grains sector participants. Comprised of grower, industry, customer and consumer organizations, the CRSC is a national, industry-led forum engaging value chain stakeholders in assessing and responding to marketplace demands, and showcasing Canada’s performance, in the area of agriculture sustainability.


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.



Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)

Join the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs’ new webinars to learn whatGlobal Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) food safety schemes work best for your business.

Learn first-hand from GFSI representatives and scheme owners about the key aspects of featured schemes.

To register or for more information

Registration is FREE but space is limited

All webinars are from 11am-12pm (Eastern Standard Time – EST)

GFSI Webinar Topics for PRODUCERS:

Registration deadline: January 20, 2017

Register for 1, 2 or all 3 topics

Webinar 1: Introduction and GFSI overview

March 7, 2017

Webinar 2: Canada Gap

March 9, 2017

Webinar 3: Safe Quality Food (SQF) code

March 23, 2017


FarmSmart 2017

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Rozanski Hall, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON

To register>>

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