OMAFRA Ag Business Update – November 2016

OMAFRA Ag Business Update – November 2016

on November 20 | in OMAFRA Resources | by | with No Comments

ISSUE # 127 – November 2016       

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
Farmland Health Incentive Program

The Farmland Health Incentive Program (FHIP) The Farmland Health Incentive Program (FHIP) has returned for producers in the Great Lakes Agricultural Stewardship Initiative (GLASI) eligible area.

Application forms will be available here on November 15, 2016.

Applications can be submitted between November 22, 2016 (beginning at 12:00 NOON) and December 13, 2016 (ending at 12:00 NOON).

Financial Management
Ontario Farm Input Monitoring Project

October 5, 2016 results, Ridgetown College – University of Guelph

The Ontario Farm Input Monitoring Project is a survey of farm supply stores to collect cash retail prices that commercial farmers pay, when purchasing bulk fuels, fertilizers, and pesticides.



Short term energy outlook

US Energy Information Administration (EIA)

  • Forecast Brent crude oil prices average $43/b in 2016 and $51/b in 2017. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices are forecast to average about $1/b less than Brent prices in 2017.
  • Gasoline prices are forecast to be 6.6% higher in 2017 than 2016
  • Diesel prices are forecast to be 15.9% higher in 2017 than 2016
  • Natural gas prices are forecast to be 6.9% higher in 2017 than 2016


Human Resources
Outstanding Young Farmers Program (OYF)

Do you know an outstanding young farmer or couple who deserve recognition for a job well done?  Nominations are now open for the title of Ontario’s Outstanding Young Farmer.
The Outstanding Young Farmers Program (OYF) is a unique program designed to recognize farmers and farm couples who exemplify excellence in their profession. Any organization or any person can nominate a young farmer or couple for the regional recognition award.
Nominations for the 2017 award are now being accepted by the Regional Coordinator, Dianna Forth email:   More information and nomination forms can be found on the website.; Nominations close on January 15, 2017.


2016 Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence

Ontario Celebrates Agri-Food Innovators

Ontario is recognizing the work of local agri-food innovators whose ideas and passion strengthen their businesses, grow the province’s agri-food sector, boost the economy and create jobs.

Toronto and York Region>>

Durham Region and Kawartha Lakes>>

Eastern Ontario>>

Waterloo Region and Wellington County>>

Agri-tourism, marketing plans, & direct farm marketing

Looking for information on agri-tourism, marketing plans, or direct farm marketing? Three updatedfactsheets are now available on OMAFRA’s Business Management page:

Developing an Agri-Tourism Operation in Ontario

Are you interested in opening your farm to the public? Does your farm have the potential to integrate agri-tourism into the business? This factsheet discusses what it takes to run an agri-tourism operation, how to define your target market, and the first steps in marketing your business.

Developing a Marketing Plan

If you are looking for information on how to develop a marketing plan or have ever wondered if a marketing plan is necessary, the newly updated Developing a Marketing Plan factsheet is a must-read.

Direct Farm Marketing in Ontario- A Primer

Have you ever wanted to shift gears and become a price maker, not a price taker? Does direct farm marketing appeal to you? Similar to agri-tourism, there are many different considerations to take into account when entering the direct farm marketing business.



Increasing Traffic to Your Website with Search Engine Optimization

Wondering how to get to the top of Google? There are almost 5 billion searches per day on Google. If you are not online, or easy to find, your business is missing out on huge potential.  Many businesses rely on their website and social media profiles for their advertising and marketing- for some their online presence is their only form of advertising. So how do you improve the effectiveness of your website and make sure that customers can easily find you?

Search engine optimization (SEO) involves creating a website in a way that will help draw traffic to your site from search engines.



National Household Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey (FoodAPS)

USDA’s National Household Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey (FoodAPS) is the first nationally representative survey of American households to collect unique and comprehensive data about household food purchases and acquisitions. Detailed information was collected about foods purchased or otherwise acquired for consumption at home and away from home, including foods acquired through food and nutrition assistance programs.


Production Management
50 Million Tree Program

The Ontario government has committed to planting 50 million trees by 2025.

Are you eligible?

Potential landowners will need…

  • At least one hectare (2.5 acres) of suitable land
  • Land that is open, or mostly open, and has not been defined as a woodland since December 31, 1989, per the Forestry Act.
  • To sign a 15-year management agreement to maintain any trees that have been planted.
  • Practice good forestry management habits.
  • Assume the additional costs associated with the ongoing maintenance of planted trees.

If you meet the above criteria, complete the online landowner registration form. You will be connected with a local planting delivery agent who will work with you directly to determine if your site is eligible, create a site plan for your property, and coordinate planting.

Up to 90 percent of your total costs may be covered through subsidies, and you could even realize a savings on your property taxes if you plant 10 acres of trees or increase the size of your existing forests to more than 10 acres and become eligible to participate in the governments Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program.



Are you waste wise?

Disposing of non-nutrient agricultural waste needs to be a year-round effort.

Burning and burying non-nutrient agricultural waste can pollute the air, contaminate water and can have other potential harmful impacts on the environment, which can harm people and livestock. Consider recycling or reusing your waste instead – recycling and reuse not only lowers your dump costs, it can also help you keep your property waste-free, and protects your soil and local drinking water supplies.

Not sure where to start? See CleanFARMS’ Guide to Recycling Non-Nutrient Agricultural Waste in Ontario for ways to reduce the amount of agricultural waste going to landfill.

There are different programs and resources in Ontario that can help you dispose of your waste responsibly.



Have you thought about planting a windbreak?

Windbreaks are a great way to reduce soil erosion and increase crop growth on your farm.

  • They reduce wind speeds, which can increase growth of crops for a distance of up to 20 times the height of the trees.
  • The taller the trees and the longer the windbreak, the greater the area the windbreak will protect: wind speeds can be reduced upwind for a distance up to five times the height of the trees, and downwind for a distance of up to fifteen times the height of the trees.
  • Combine a windbreak with other conservation best practices, such as conservation tillage, crop residue management and cover crops, and you’ll obtain optimal wind erosion control.

Fall is the perfect time to start planning for a spring planting.

To get started>>


Ontario Wildlife Damage Compensation Program (OWDCP)

New Standardized Compensation Rates Across the Province

The federal and provincial governments are helping Ontario’s livestock, poultry and bee farmers by ensuring more consistent, transparent and timely appeals processes and compensation when their animals are injured or killed by predatory wildlife.

Effective January 1, 2017, standardized compensation rates for animals, bee colonies and hives will be the same for all farmers across the province. It will be based on the average price a farmer would receive in the open market for an animal with similar characteristics, such as age and weight.



Farm Guide: Farm Equipment on the Highway

This guide has been developed by the Ministry of Transportation to provide general information and clarification for the laws that apply to farm equipment and select provisions that apply to farm trucks.



Precision Agriculture Survey

U of G researchers are looking at how current and future connectivity influences the adoption of Precision Agriculture (PA) technologies among crop farmers in South Western Ontario and Niagara. The objective of the work is to analyze and determine the extent to which access to high-speed internet, or lack thereof, serves as an enabler/barrier to the adoption of various PA applications. The research will also consider what impact, if any, expanded broadband coverage would have on the sector.

You can find the Letter of Information/Consent Form and the E-Survey are here:

Farm operators growing field crops in SW Ontario who are currently using, or not yet using, precision agriculture technologies are invited to participate.
If you need further information please contact

Risk Management
Managing Risk in Agriculture

The Canadian Farm Learning Centre (CFLC), in partnership with Farm Management Canada (FMC) launched a new online module modelled after FMC’s Comprehensive Guide to Managing Risk in Agriculture. The Managing Risk in Agriculture module provides farmers with the opportunity to assess risks facing their farm business and develop plans to seize opportunity and mitigate the negative effects of uncertainty. The module includes interactive exercises along with practical analysis and planning tools.


Social Responsibility
Sustainability Benchmarking

The National Beef Sustainability Assessment is a two-year farm to fork study that benchmarks the environmental, social and economic performance of the Canadian beef industry. The assessment informed the development of a sustainability strategy to help the CRSB target its efforts going forward, particularly under its Sustainability Projects pillar of work. It also highlights the areas where industry is doing well and identifies opportunities for improvement.

The CRSB commissioned Deloitte and Canfax Research Services to conduct the assessment. The assessment was reviewed by an external third-party panel of experts, and will be updatedapproximately every five years.


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.


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