OMAFRA Ag Business Update – Issue 140 – January 2018

OMAFRA Ag Business Update – Issue 140 – January 2018

on January 26 | 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

13 Southern Ontario Agri-Tech Firms Receive Grants to Commercialize Innovative Research

Grants Awarded to Accelerate Industry Adoption of Solutions to Problems in Agriculture and Agri-Food Sectors.

Bioenterprise Corporation has announced thirteen (13) recipients of innovation grants that support research-based technologies coming out of Ontario. The grants aim to advance commercialization of innovations, enhance competitiveness, and strengthen the leadership position of Ontario in the agriculture and agri-food sectors.



Canada’s Food Price Report 2018

This is the 8th edition of Canada’s Food Price Report, published by both Dalhousie University and the University of Guelph.

In 2018, food prices in Canada are expected to rise 1% -3%. This is a slightly lower estimate than last year’s forecast, but still higher than what we have experienced to date in 2017. Annual food expenditure for a family of 4 is expected to rise by $348 to a total of $11,948 in 2018.



Food Policy for Canada

Report of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food
December 2017 42nd PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION


UK Food Strategy 2030

Food 2030, the Government’s new food strategy, is the first of its kind in over 50 years.  In it we set out our vision of what we want the food system to look like in 2030, and how we can get there.


Develop your own business plan

Center for Farm Financial Management – University of Minnesota

AgPlan is powerful website developed to help rural businesses develop a business plan. AgPlan is free of charge for anyone to use individually or in educational programs.




AgPal is a web-based discovery tool developed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to help farmers and others in the agriculture and agri-business sector find the federal, provincial, and territorial programs and services that specifically apply to them.



Pledge to Plan

According to an Ipsos Agriculture and Animal Health study called Dollars and Sense conducted in 2015, only 26 per cent of Canada’s farmers have a business plan. The study also shows that farmers who have a written business plan they review annually get five times higher return on assets than those who don’t.

Establishing a clear business plan pays … It provides a strong sense of direction and a platform for communication with your team, not to mention much better financial returns.

So take the plunge and pledge to get started on your plan.



Financial Management

Farm Business Registration

It’s time for producers to register their farm business and pay the annual Farm Business Registration (FBR) fee. Ontario producers that gross $7,000 or more annually are required by law to register their farm business. FBR invoices will be mailed to producers in January.

2018 updates

The new year brings a change to the FBR program. Ontario’s accredited farm organizations (AFOs) asked the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) to increase the annual FBR fee amount, and as a result, a fee increase will be phased in over a four-year period. Effective January 1, 2018, the FBR fee will increase $30 to $225 plus HST. Each year producers direct their FBR fee to one of the AFOs and apply for membership in that organization. For more information, visit the FBR section on


Human Resources

Free Online E-learning Courses

Are you looking for a convenient option for gaining skills and knowledge in the areas of food safety, traceability and farm business practices?

A series of free online courses is now available for producers, processors and agri-food businesses. These courses will provide foundational information to help you:

  • Reduce risks to your businesses and customers
  • Improve efficiencies
  • Learn more about industry best practices
  • Develop a more competitive edge and access new markets
  • Grow your business

Available courses:

  • Producer: Food Safety Foundations
  • Producer: Worker Practices
  • Producer: Water Use
  • Processor: Food Safety Foundations
  • Processor: Recall
  • Processor: Personnel
  • Processor: Sanitation
  • The Basics of Traceability
  • Producer: Maximizing Your Traceability Investment
  • Processor: Profiting From Traceability
  • Producer: Growing Your Farm Profits

Producers and processors have found the following benefits when taking these online courses:

  • The convenience of doing it on their own time and schedule
  • Interactive exercises, helpful templates and relevant examples
  • Ability to print or refer back to the content again later

How Do I Get Started?

Register for your FREE account today at Then simply log in and begin learning – wherever and whenever it is convenient for you. Accessible versions of the courses are available. For more information, contact the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus at or 519-674-1500 ext. 63295. Available online courses are listed in the chart below.

This project was funded in part through Growing Forward 2 (GF2), a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.



2018 Marketing Seminars

Grain Farmers of Ontario farmer-members are invited to attend two full-day marketing seminars on grain marketing: Intro to Futures & Options, as well as the more advanced Options & Technical Analysis.


USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) – January 12, 2018

  • 2017/18 Corn production is estimated at 14.604 billion bushels, up 26 million from last month as an increase in yield to a record 176.6 bushels per acre (up from 175.4 bushels in December forecast) is partially offset by a 0.4-millionacre reduction in harvested area.
  •  2017/18 Soybean production is estimated at 4,392 million bushels, down 33 million on lower yields. Harvested area is estimated at 89.5 million acres, up fractionally from the previous forecast. Yield is estimated at 49.1 bushels per acre, down 0.4 bushels from the December forecast.


Measuring sustainability on cattle ranches – Silvopastoral systems

agribenchmark network

Silvopastoral systems (SPS) are agroforestry arrangements that allow the intensification of cattle production based on natural processes. Combining livestock production with rotational grazing using different pastures, forages, fodder shrubs and timber trees as parts of the same system, they are recognized as an integrated approach to sustainable land use.

Silvopastoral systems represent a valid alternative for livestock production, fulfilling most of the current criteria for sustainability. Case studies over a period of ten years – even with different original production systems and from different regions – have shown better results for SPS-farms than for farms with traditional systems (baseline scenarios).



Indicators for a sustainable food system

UK Dept of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The indicators align to each section of Food 2030:

  1. Enabling and encouraging people to eat a healthy, sustainable diet
  2. Ensuring a resilient, profitable and competitive food system
  3. Increasing food production sustainably
  4. Reducing the food system’s greenhouse gas emissions
  5. Reducing, reusing and reprocessing waste
  6. Increasing the impact of skills, knowledge, research and technology



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.


Apple Academy 2.0

Join AMI and Ontario Apples on January 22nd to 24th, 2018 at the Nottawasaga Inn to learn valuable information about your apple operation and network with colleagues from across the province. Topics include Climate Change and Food Production, Finding the Next Generation of Farmers, Growing Great Gala & Ambrosia and many more. For more information and tickets please go to


FCC Presents: Top Economic Trends of 2018

February 7, 2018, 2:00 p.m. Eastern

What does 2018 have in store for Canadian agriculture, food processors and farm input suppliers? Join J.P. Gervais, FCC Vice President and Chief Agricultural Economist for an exclusive webinar on the top economic trends for 2018. Ask questions, gain insights and start strategizing for your year ahead.




Bon Appetit: Food Business Conference

Save the Date! February 8th-10th, 2018 in Colborne Ontario – AMI is partnering with the Ontario Agri-food Venture Centre (OAFVC) for this years annual conference. Join Industry experts, regulators, and leaders as we explore food and beverage entrepreneurship with farmers and foodies. For more information please visit


Investing in Farm Machinery and Equipment Course

The major objective is to give farmers the tools needed to construct and implement the optimum machinery management strategy for their farms, based on sound management decisions.  A machinery management strategy includes how much equipment to have, how to choose the most favorable equipment option, whether it is owned and financed or leased, rented, and for how long it is held.

This program is planned as a hands on workshop.  Participants will receive a spread sheet to support their ongoing investment decisions.


Guelph, ON – March 5-6, 2018

For more information please visit:


Bridging the Gap: Succession & Transition Planning Workshop for Farm Families!


Is your family farm in a state of transition? Are you looking to start the succession conversation?

Yes?! Then Farm Management Canada’s new Bridging the Gap Workshop is for you!

The Bridging the Gap Workshop welcomes farm families to work with renowned farm family coach Elaine Froese and farm management consultant Cedric MacLeod to address some the elephants in the room that are preventing or hindering succession planning back on the farm.

March 19 2018


DoubleTree by Hilton London Ontario

300 King Street, London, ON N6B 1S2

Cost: $150 plus tax (includes breaks and meals)

For more information, visit


Thanks for reading the AgBusiness Update.

Questions or Comments: contact the editor, John Molenhuis at

Subscribe to the Ag Business Update: send an email to  or go to our webpage and click on subscribe.  This will send an email to us and we will add your name to the list.

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