OMAFRA Ag Business Update – Issue 131 – March 2017

OMAFRA Ag Business Update – Issue 131 – March 2017

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Issue 131 – March 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

microFIT version 4.1 applications now being accepted

TheIndependent Electricity System Operator (IESO) is now accepting applications under version 4.1 of the microFIT Program.


Growing Forward 2 Program – Final Intakes

Remaining intake dates for 2017 are:

Intake Dates

  1.           April 4 – 18, 2017
  2.           May 12 – June 1, 2017


Supporting Environmental Stewardship on Farms

Ontario and Canada Supporting Farmers’ Transition to a Low Carbon Economy.

The provincial and federal governments are supporting Ontario farmers and continuing to combat climate change by boosting energy efficiency on farming operations.

This support will help farmers to modify their equipment and improve efficiency at existing agricultural production facilities, which will help reduce their carbon emissions as well as improve soil health and nutrient management. In addition, Ontario and Canada have added four new project categories under the Growing Forward 2 program that are dedicated to helping farmers transition to a low carbon economy.


GF2 Sharing On-Farm Success

Turning ideas into action
Through cost-share funding opportunities with Growing Forward 2, farmers are tackling projects to help grow their profits, expand their markets and manage risks. To share in their on-farm success, the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association is launching a series of videos of how producers are benefiting under the program.  The first videos – Hugh Simpson, Truly Green Farms, Michael Sloboda and Vicki’s Veggies are now available!


Financial Management

Product and Rate List 2017-2018 Advance Payments Program & 2017 Commodity Loan Program

Now available>>

Human Resources

NEW! Pesticide Safety Manual for Farm Workers

The Ontario Pesticide Education Program has released a new manual for farm workers.

“If you work on a farm where pesticides are used, you need to know how to work safely around pesticides.  The information in this manual explains how farm workers can work safely on a farm that uses pesticides.”


Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence program 

Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence program encourages the development of our rural communities, farms, agri-food processors and agri-food organizations by adding value to existing products, creating jobs and driving economic growth.

Applications will be accepted until 11:59 PM on Friday, April 28, 2017.   Program guidelines and the application form can be found on the Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence website.

CTEAM (Canadian Total Excellence in Agricultural Management)

CTEAM (Canadian Total Excellence in Agricultural Management) is Canada’s only national Executive Management course for farm managers. The program takes place in four sessions over 16 months.

CTEAM is presented by Agrifood Management Excellence, Inc (AME) and proudly supported by Farm Management Canada.

The next course will start in December 2017 in Abbottsford BC.  More information will be available soon on the AME website


2016 Agri-Food Trade Statistics

The 2016 Agri-food trade is already available. The 2016 Agri-food trade summaries can be accessed on the statistics section of the OMAFRA website

In 2016, Ontario Agri-food exports reached $14.8 billion a 5% increase since 2015Ontario is the top agri-food exporting Canadian province, followed by Saskatchewan. The highest value of monthly exports was recorded in November ($1.6 billion).

Ontario top exports in 2016 are:

Ontario’s top imports in 2016 are:

In 2016, Ontario’s major export partner is US (76%) followed by Asia (excl. Japan) (10%) and EU (7%).

Ontario’s 2016 top exports to the US are:

  • grain products ($3.3 billion),
  • vegetables fresh and processed ($1.3 billion)
  • sugar and confectionary ($1billion).

Ontario top exports to Asia are oilseeds ($0.6 billion) and other animal products ($0.3 billion).

In 2016, Ontario exported 1.3 million of live pigs, a 10% decline from 1.5 million in 2015. Live cattle exports declined by 5% since 2015 to 134,900 in 2016.

In 2016, Ontario exported 144,100 tonnes of fresh and frozen pork, a 1% increase from 143,100 tonnes in 2015. Exports of beef increased by 15% from 58,000 tonnes in 2015 to 56,800 thousand tonnes in 2016.

The US is the main destination of Ontario live cattle exports (99.9%). Cows for slaughter and heifers for slaughter represent 48% and 24% respectively ofcattle exports to the US.

Majority of Ontario live hog exports are designated for US markets (99.8%). The top exports are pigs under 7kg (635,400), pigs over 50kg for slaughter (397,300) and pigs under 23 kg (185,700).

In 2016, the largest gains in Ontario Agri-food exports since 2015 were reported in grain products ($231 million increase), oilseeds ($174 million increase), grains ($172 million increase) and vegetables fresh and processed ($138 million increase). 

Production Management

Agricultural Information Atlas (AIA)

We’re excited to let you know about the latest updates that we made to theAgricultural Information Atlas (AIA).

What is the AIA? It’s OMAFRA’s free, easy-to-use online tool that can help you to:

  • Develop nutrient management strategies and plans
  • Plan tile drainage for your farm
  • Develop a farm sketch for Pest Assessment Reports and Bee Yard Registration and other government programs, including the Great Lakes Agricultural Stewardship Initiative (GLASI)


Risk Management

Assessing coverage for each unique farm business

With application and renewal deadlines approaching for government risk management programs, it’s a good time for producers to assess their coverage and make sure it meets the needs of their farm business. Every farm is unique and every farmer has their own story, with their own risks and plans to manage those risks. This is the story of one such Ontario farming family.


Succession Planning

Bridging the Gap: Step Up to Succession

Farm Management Canada’s newest initiative seeks to help bridge the gap between generations of farmers to provide Canada’s future farmers with the best chance for success.

The program is comprised of a series of Succession & Transition Planning workshops for farm families, coupled with a Successor Development program, exclusively for young farmers*.


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.


Farm Food Forums

The last Thursday of every month, October to April!

Farm Management Canada has partnered with the Quebec Farmers’ Association to bring together industry experts and share insights across Quebec’s Connected Community Learning Centres.

Upcoming Forums:

Thursday April 27 – Farm Business Advisory Services

Begins at 7:30pm – ending at 10:00pm


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

2017 AgEx Conference

AgEx Conference will be held in Ottawa!

Farming For Our Future: Canada’s 150th

November 21-23, 2017!

In addition to expert plenary speakers, AgEx offers a number of unique, interactive features:

*         The Great Debate

*         Bridging the Gap: Young Farmers’ Bear Pit & Young at Heart Forum

*         Discussion Panel: Farmers vs Industry vs Government

*         National Farm Business Management Roundtable

*         Farm Management Initiatives Showcase

*         Concurrent Workshops

More information:

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