OMAFRA Ag Business Update – Issue 141

OMAFRA Ag Business Update – Issue 141

on February 17 | 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

Northern Ontario Agri-Food Strategy Released

Ontario is helping to diversify and strengthen the northern economy by growing the agriculture, aquaculture and food processing sector in the region.

Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development and Mines, on behalf of Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, announced the release of the Northern Ontario Agri-Food Strategy at the Northern Ontario Farm Innovation Alliance Research Symposium in Thunder Bay.

The Northern Ontario Agri-Food Strategy encourages businesses and communities to work together with the province to drive the growth and development of its agri-food sector and help increase local food consumption in Northern Ontario.

Developed with the input of agri-food businesses and organizations, as well as local and Indigenous communities, the strategy identifies government commitments to help grow the sector. These commitments support:

  • research and growth of the food, beverage and aquaculture industries
  • expanding livestock farming; and,
  • soil mapping in the region.


Global competitiveness: Farmers in northeast China look for profitable alternatives to corn

Agribenchmark Cash Crop Network

China has laid out plans to reduce its stocks and simultaneously its corn acreage. Instead, the government is encouraging farmers to plant other feed crops such as corn silage, sorghum, and soybeans to supply a growing domestic meat and dairy sector and lessen dependency on feed imports.


Human Resources

Green Farms Stream internships

The Green Farms Stream funds internships for youth 30 years old or younger, including high school students to work on farms to support environmentally beneficial management activities. These internships can last up to 12 months and must be completed by March 31, 2019.

You could receive up to a maximum of $10,000 per intern under the Green Farms Stream.

Applications will be accepted until all funds have been allocated and approved on a first-come, first-served basis. Preference may be given to Indigenous applicants in support of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Government of Canada’s priority of supporting Indigenous economic development and advancing reconciliation.



Starting a Farm in Northern Ontario Course

Starting a Farm in Northern Ontario is a NEW free online course for those interested in starting their own farm in the north. The course has eight modules and is intended to take the user through the steps that require consideration prior to starting a farm. The course was developed by the collaborative partnership of Beef Farmers of Ontario, College Boreal and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.  A supporting information bundle has been developed as an extra resource to help the user do more reading on a topic of interest.

Also available is Starting a Farm in Ontario, a concise guide to help you make a decision on whether or not to start a farm and take the first steps. It provides insight on things to consider before investing in a property. It also contains an overview of common farm practices and useful information and resources to help with your farm business.

Free Agri-food Courses to Grow Your Business


Are you interested in developing a strong business and growing your success? Sign up for free agri-food online courses and – for a limited time – free in-person workshops.


Take advantage of the courses to sharpen your competitive edge by gaining skills and knowledge in farm business practices, food safety and traceability. These courses will provide you with foundational information to:


  • reduce risks to your business and customers;
  • improve efficiencies; and
  • access new markets.


You can explore the options that best suit your schedule and learning style.


In-person workshops and webinars

These courses for producers are offered by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA)

  • Environmental Farm Plan (workshops)
  • Growing Your Farm Profits (workshops)
  • Biosecurity (workshops)
  • Food Safety (workshops and webinars)
  • Traceability (workshops)

To sign up, go to In-person workshops will wrap up during March.

Online courses

E-learning courses are available on Agriculture and Food Education website.

For producers:

  • Water Use
  • Worker Practices
  • Maximizing Your Traceability Investment
  • Growing Your Farm Profits
  • The Basics of Traceability
  • Food Safety Foundations

For processors:

  • Sanitation
  • Recall
  • Personnel
  • Profiting from Traceability
  • The Basics of Traceability
  • Food Safety Foundations

To sign up, go to


Recruit Talent, Recruit Guelph!

Get a head start on hiring a U of G co-op student for the summer! Students available for 4, 8 or 12 months! Not sure you have the budget to hire a co-op student this summer? Contact the office to learn about various hiring incentives at 519-824-4120 ext. or visit



Meet the Ontario Food Exports Team

Did you know that Ontario Food Exports (OFEX) provides end-to-end export marketing services for Ontario suppliers who are new to exporting or already experienced exporters? As part of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, OFEX can help suppliers identify export opportunities for their products and develop strategies that address the unique challenges of exporting food, beverage and agriculture products internationally. Interested in learning more?

Contact OFEX today


Production Management

Maps show yields are better than expected

After a year of uncertainty, warmer, drier fall weather allowed many crops to reach maturity and led to better-than-expected yields.

The provincial average yield for soybeans was 44 bushels per acre, in line with the ten-year average. Corn yields were higher than average, at 184 bushels per acre. See corn and soybean yields by county on the maps below.


Ontario Wildlife Damage Compensation Program

The Ontario Wildlife Damage Compensation Program (OWDCP) provides financial assistance to producers whose livestock, poultry or honey bees have been damaged or killed by wildlife.

Standardized Valuation Tables, Ontario Wildlife Damage Compensation Program: 2018-A (Effective January 1, 2018)


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.


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:


Eastern Ontario Farm Management Update

Canadian Association of Farm Advisors

A day of professional development and in-person business building for farm advisors. With updates on farm tax, farm law with a farm family succession story and more.

  • Making Dollars and Sense: Helping farmers create a recipe for farm management success
  • If the unexpected happens, is your client’s farm protected?
  • What is a partnership?
  • Tax considerations for today’s farmer
  • Ontario’s new labour laws: are your clients ready?
  • Family law, how your clients can protect their farm
  • How to successfully introduce and maintain succession discussions within the farm family
  • Retirement planning and farm succession
  • Succession within the family farm: The Beking’s poultry farm

March 8, 2018

Infinity Convention Centre, Ottawa



Farm Management Canada 2018 AgriWebinar Series 

An Introduction to the Canadian Total Excellence in Agricultural Management (CTEAM) Strategy

March 12 2018 @ Noon EST

Part 2: A Trusted Framework for Developing Strategy and Strategic Planning on Canada’s Farms
This webinar presents the framework used in the Canadian Total Excellence in Agricultural Management (CTEAM) program to help find the strategic focus that makes a farm successful. The combination of the CTEAM framework and the innovative approach to financial performance measures (from Part 1 of the series) will be used to demonstrate how participating farmers set the right goals for their own farms and implement management practices to achieve them.

March 26 2018 @ Noon EST

Part 3: Overcoming Greed and Fear in Commodity Markets
Many farmers have trouble selling during price rallies because they fear that they may sell too soon. Unfortunately, this often results in a lower price once the rally ends. This webinar will introduce potential trading guidelines, through the use of futures, forward contracts and options, as tools for financial discipline and success.



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

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