OMAFRA Ag Business Update – Issue 133 – May 2017

OMAFRA Ag Business Update – Issue 133 – May 2017

on May 24 | in OMAFRA Resources | by | with No Comments

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: Program Update

In March 2017 important changes and additions were made to the Growing Forward 2 program.

Four new project categories have been added in addition to the 46 already in place. All changes are listed on the OSCIA web site.

The new categories; A13 to A16, will support 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.

The remaining cost-share application intake period for year 5 is:

  • May 12 to June 1



2016 Agriculture Census

Statistics Canada (STC) will release the 2016 Agriculture Census results at 8:30am on May 10, 2017.  STC will release a few summary overviews of the 2016 results and most of the summary data on its statistical website CANSIM that day.

Ministry Senior Economist Steve Duff and staff will provide the following within a few days of the May 10 release:

Update the portions of the OMAFRA statistics site that present Ag Census data over time:


Farms Forever Discussion Paper

The Ontario government recognizes that our agri-food sector is the foundation of our province – and it seems certain to play a critical role in our future.

In the Premier’s mandate letter to Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs, the ministry was instructed to move forward with Farms Forever. The initiative will help inform future policy development to help support a strong and innovative agri-food sector. This support includes investing in agricultural research and programs to support innovation in the sector.

This discussion paper sets out the basis for a broad engagement on Farms Forever.

The four policy objectives of Farms Forever are the following:

  1. Help preserve the productive capacity of agricultural land close to major urban centres
  2. Support the local sourcing of food
  3. Strengthen Ontario’s agri-food sector
  4. Support young farmers and new entrants


Comments on any aspect of this paper can be provided via email at, or by mail at: Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Attention: Karla Uliana, 2nd Floor, 1 Stone Road West, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 4Y2


2017 OMAFRA New Directions Research Program Call for Proposals

There are currently two active calls for proposals under this program.

  1. Honey Bee Health

The focus of this call for proposals is on the health and productivity of honey bee colonies (stationary or migratory).

Letters of Intent due June 28th, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. (noon) EST

  1. Northern Livestock

The focus of this call for proposals is on the expansion of livestock production in Northern Ontario with a particular focus on the Great Clay Belt, specifically along the Highway 11 North corridor between Cochrane and Hearst.

Submission deadline:  Wednesday, July 12, 2017  at 12:00 p.m. (noon) EST



Canada as an Agri-Food Powerhouse report

Canada as an Agri-Food Powerhouse report, released by the Public Policy Forum (PPF) and the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute (CAPI). The report is a summary of roundtable discussions held in March 2017 with more than 150 agri-food stakeholders across Canada.



Ontario Expanding Agriculture Opportunities in the North

Province Launching Consultations on Northern Livestock Pilot Project

Ontario is working to increase access to local food, create jobs and boost economic growth in the North by establishing a livestock farming pilot project.



Ontario Expanding Agriculture Opportunities in the North

Province Launching Consultations on Northern Livestock Pilot Project

Ontario is working to increase access to local food, create jobs and boost economic growth in the North by establishing a livestock farming pilot project.



Human Resources

Agricultural Youth Green Jobs Initiative

The Agricultural Youth Green Jobs Initiative will be accepting applications starting April 26, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. (EDT). Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply early.

The Agricultural Youth Green Jobs Initiative will help fund internships for post-secondary graduates and high school students working in the agriculture industry. These internships would include activities or projects that benefit the environment. Up to $16,000 is available to farms and agribusinesses through the Green Farms and Green Internships streams.



E-Learning Courses Now Available

Working in collaboration, Food Safety and Traceability Programs Branch (FSTPB), Agricultural Development Branch (ADB) and Environmental Management Branch (EMB) have developed a series of free online courses that provide flexible education and learning opportunities to our clients.

These courses will provide producers, processors and agri-food businesses with information to:

  • Reduce risk to their businesses and their customers
  •  Suggest ways to improve efficiencies
  •  Learn more about industry best practices
  •  Develop a more competitive edge and access new markets
  •  Help their businesses grow

Benefits to learners:

  • All of the courses are delivered online and are self-paced
  • Can be taken any time, from anywhere internet access is available
  • Limited time commitment with some courses designed to take just 20-30 minutes to complete

Courses Currently Available

Processor: Food Safety Foundations

Producer: Food Safety Foundations

The Basics of Traceability

Courses Coming Soon


Water Use

Worker Practices

Maximizing Your Traceability Investment

Growing Your Farm Profits





Profiting From Traceability

For additional information and course registration, visit the Agriculture and Food Education in Ontario ( through the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus.

Online course development was funded through Growing Forward 2 (GF2), a federal-provincial-territorial initiative that encourages innovation, competitiveness and market development in Canada’s agri-food and agri-products sector.


Production Management

Understanding Precision Agriculture: How do you know what works – and what doesn’t?

You’ve crunched the data, identified your management zones and created nutrient and seed population prescription maps. Now, how can you be sure that you’re actually making a measureable, positive impact on your fields? This, according to the applied researchers leading the Precision Agriculture Advancement for Ontario (PAAO) project, is why validation needs to play an important part in any precision…



New, free soil health publications now available to order!

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs is rolling out a total of 21 new soil health publications. These publications provide best management practices to help you preserve and conserve soil while improving soil health and crop production.

Check out these five new titles on our Soil Health in Ontario web page:

  • Adding Organic Amendments
  • Erosion Control Structures
  • Cropland Retirement
  • Soil Health in Ontario
  • Field Windbreaks



Conferences, Workshops and Seminars


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 Management Update 2017

Collaboratively presented by Canadian Association of Farm Advisors and Ontario Institute of Agrologists

  • Economic Outlook for Ontario Agriculture
  • Growing Canadian Agriculture and Seed through International Trade and Partnerships
  • The Future of the Family Farm
  • Temporary Foreign Workers…Are you in Compliance?
  • Building Your Army of Allies: The Evolution of a Profitable Relationships
  • Who will be the next generation of Farm Advisors?
  • Can I Talk to the Woman In Charge?
  • A Consultant’s Family Business Transition: The Inside Story
  • Ransomware, Phishing Scams and the Increasing Cyber Threat for the Professional
  • The Advanced Farm Management Program

Thursday June 8, 2017

9:00am to 4:30pm

Quality Inn and Suites, Woodstock



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:


Thanks for reading the AgBusiness Update.

Questions or Comments: contact the editor, John Molenhuis at

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