OMAFRA Ag Business Update – Issue 143 – April 2018

OMAFRA Ag Business Update – Issue 143 – April 2018

on April 28 | 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

Local Food Investment Fund Open Now In Accepting New Grant Applications

The Local Food Investment Fund has three streams providing financial support to local food leaders across Ontario (funding opportunity is not limited to the Greenbelt), with the common goal to increase the amount of local food consumed in the province.

Updated Grant Application Guidelines for each of our grant streams are now available.

Inquiries will be reviewed case by case, on a first come, first reviewed basis. It is strongly suggested that applications be submitted as early as possible to be considered.

Successful applicants that are awarded funding will be notified by the end of June 2018.

The suggested project duration is six months with a start date of July 1 and project end date of December 31, 2018.



NOW AVAILABLE: Starting a Craft Brewery in Ontario Guide

The craft beer industry is thriving in Ontario – whether new to the industry and starting a business, or expanding an existing operation, find information to help succeed in the new Starting a Craft Brewery in Ontario guide. It includes expert advice and links to programs, services, industry contacts and resources in Ontario.

Get the Guide online


The Economic Consequences of Farmland Policy

The Economic Consequences of Farmland Policy on Farmland Values in Saskatchewan: In this podcast Prof. Chad Lawley – Department of Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics at the University of Manitoba discusses his recent paper examining the consequences of the 2003 Farmland Security Act Amendment in Saskatchewan. He finds evidence that the amendment favourably increased farmland prices. Hence, previous restrictions disallowing a non-Saskatchewan resident from pursuing farmland depressed farmland values. However, it remains unclear whether lower farmland prices achieved some of the goals of the 1974 Farmland Security Act: e.g., maintaining rural populations and supporting young farmers.



AMI combines New and Existing Programming in 2018.

Request for Proposals released on four exciting projects!

The Agri-Food Management Institute (AMI) will be delivering a mixture of established programming and new projects under the newly launched Canadian Agricultural Partnership.
The focus will be on business management, productivity enhancement and local production opportunities for both farm businesses and food processors.


AMI has released four (4) Request for Proposals (RFP’s) for exciting projects that may interest you!
They can be found at:


2018-19 OMAFRA New Directions Research Program Call for Proposals


This program offers funding for research that stimulates the sustainable growth and competitiveness of Ontario’s agri-food, agri-business and rural sectors.

Submission deadline:  Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. EST

Research Priority Areas

  • Innovation for Ontario’s Agricultural Systems and Soils to Reduce Phosphorus Loss
  • Sustainable Livestock Production Using Precision Technologies to Support Compliance and Assurance Systems
  • Disruptive Technologies

For more details, visit the  New Directions Research Program webpage


Human Resources

Agribusiness Human Resources Review

The Agribusiness HR Review documents a range of human resource best practices and emerging trends from agribusinesses across North America over the last twelve months.

Canadian 2017-2018 Agribusiness HR Review>>


Free online agri-food courses

The Agriculture and Food Education Online Learning System provides free online courses for producers, processors and agri-food businesses wanting to gain skills and knowledge in the areas of food safety, traceability and farm business practices. More than 10 courses provide foundational information on:

* reducing business and customer risks

* improving efficiency

* industry best practices

* developing a competitive edge and accessing new markets

* growing a business

Register at or contact the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus at or 519-674-1500 ext. 63295.

Recruit Talent, Recruit Guelph!

Get a head start on hiring a U of G co-op student for the summer! Students are 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. 52323, or visit



New Guide Launched to Help Ontario Food Start-Ups

The Agri-Food Management Institute (AMI) launched ‘A Food Entrepreneur’s Journey’ to help budding food manufacturers with practical step-by-step advice on how to build a thriving business from idea to commercialization.

Get your copy of the journey here: The Food Entrepreneurs Journey



Production Management

U.S. Farmers Expect to Plant More Soybean Acreage than Corn Acreage

Planting Intentions Expected to be Down Slightly from Historic 2017 Record Year, USDA Reports

Producers surveyed across the United States intend to plant an estimated 89.0 million acres of soybeans in 2018, down 1 percent from last year, according to the Prospective Plantings report released by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).



United States Hog Inventory Up 3 Percent

As of March 1, there were 72.9 million hogs and pigs on U.S. farms, up 3 percent from March 2017, but down 1 percent from December 1, 2017, according to the Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report published today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).


Risk Management

New in AgriStability for 2018

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership agreement on agricultural policies and programs comes into effect in April, replacing Growing Forward 2.

Increased potential for AgriStability payments

Do you have low expenses compared to your net income?

One of the changes under the new agreement applies to producers who trigger the reference margin limit (RML). These producers will receive a more equitable level of support by lessening the impact of low expenses, which will increase the potential for payment.

AgriStability payments are made when a producer’s net income falls below 70 per cent of their reference margin, which is set using the average of their net income or expenses – whichever is less. New in 2018, a minimum may be applied to that average. This minimum guarantees that a producer’s reference margin is at least 70 per cent of their average net income – no matter how low their expenses are.


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.


CAP Workshops & Webinars

A variety of excellent workshops and webinars are offered at no cost by OSCIA as part of Canadian Agricultural Partnership to assist Ontario farm businesses in identifying strengths and weaknesses in a variety of areas that influence the farm’s profitability, productivity and sustainability. The workshops and webinars each have a different focus and different goals.


FCC Presents: 2017 Farmland Values

Join J.P. Gervais, FCC Vice President and Chief Agricultural Economist as he shares the results of the 2017 Farmland Values Report and explores how those values compare to 2016. He’ll also give insight on what the results and the current global economic trends could mean for your business.

Wednesday, May 2nd @ 1 p.m. Eastern (Live)
Register for this Agriwebinar®.


Farm Management Update

June 7 Woodstock

Professional development for farm advisors by farm advisors.  Learn more about the top farm business management strategies from leading farm advisors.

More information available at


PROFIT : New-to-Exporting Seminar

Are you interested in exporting to the US?

Exports play an increasingly important role in Ontario’s economy and they could play an important role in the future of your company.

Dates: June 12 – 13, 2018
Locations: Niagara Falls, Ontario
Objective: Provide a working knowledge of exporting food products to the US
Features: Expert speakers during a fast paced, two-day, hands-on seminar
Cost: $350 + HST per person which includes the PROFIT Guide Book, accommodation in Niagara Falls and Buffalo, motor coach transportation to Buffalo, retail store tours and meals.

The seminar, featuring speakers who are experts in their field, is a “hands-on” orientation covering the basic requirements for food and beverage exporters.

Topics discussed include export financing, product labelling, US tax laws, food brokerage, food distribution, food and drug regulations, customs and customs brokerage. Export development services provided by Ontario Food Exports will also be presented.



Farm Management Update

June 19 Ottawa

Professional development for farm advisors by farm advisors.  Learn more about the top farm business management strategies from leading farm advisors.

More information available at


Agricultural Excellence Conference

Winnipeg, MB

November 26-28, 2018

Farm Management Canada (FMC) will host the next Agricultural Excellence Conference (AgEx) in Winnipeg, Manitoba from November 26th – 28th, 2018.

The Agricultural Excellence Conference is a one-of-a-kind event, focusing on bringing diverse industry experts and stakeholders together from across disciplines, regions and commodity sectors to share insights and explore beneficial farm management practices, with leading farm business thinkers.



Thanks for reading the AgBusiness Update.

Questions or Comments: contact the editor, John Molenhuis at


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