From a news release
The governments of Canada and Ontario are helping the province’s corn farmers better manage future occurrences of the plant disease deoxynivalenol (DON) in their crops.
Through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership), Canada and Ontario are supporting the Grain Farmers of Ontario to create a tool to forecast the risk of high concentrations of DON in corn crops. This tool will help both traditional and organic corn farmers to make early, informed decisions about their crops and the use of fungicide or other treatments that reduce the risk of DON. This will also help reduce DON-related challenges faced throughout the corn value-chain and is similar to a forecasting tool for wheat.
This adds to a series of actions taken by Canada and Ontario to support farmers and the sector in connection with weather-caused, high-DON levels experienced in portions of the 2018 Ontario corn crop. DON is a toxic substance caused by a fungus that lowers the market value of affected corn and can render it unmarketable at high levels.
“Through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership our Government is investing in resources to help farmers manage on-farm risk,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “We understand the significant impact the DON issue has presented for Ontario’s grain farmers and the grain value-chain, and we are committed to sustainable solutions that will help farmers and the industry as a whole continue to grow and prosper.”
Ernie Hardeman, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, said: “We are pleased that this investment will help Ontario farmers and others working in our agricultural sector to succeed. We’ll keep up the work to find more ways they can be profitable and get ahead.”
Barry Senft, CEO of Grain Farmers of Ontario, noted that producers are still feeling the repercussions of this year’s high-DON levels in corn. “Farmers would welcome a tool that allows us some forecasting in terms of DON levels and helps us to prepare for any issues and maintain our businesses and the province’s grain corn value chain,” added Senft.