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Funding for grain and oilseed farming research programs

Lloyd Crowe, farm owner; MP Neil Ellis; Markus Haerle, Chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario; and Barry Senft, CEO of Grain Farmers of Ontario

Bay of Quinte MP Neil Ellis announced $355,710 in federal funds for two research projects to help soy and grain farmers.

Ellis, on behalf of Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister, Lawrence MacAulay, announced the funding Wednesday at Reynolds Brothers Farm in Picton.

It supports two projects funded through AgriRisk Initiatives under the Growing Forward 2 agreement. The investment includes up to $197,400 to Soy Canada to develop a profile of the soybean industry, including the current and potential risks producers face, both short and long-term.

In another project, up to $158,310 was provided to the Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO) for a feasibility study concerning revenue declines not currently covered under the current suite of business risk management programs.

“I am pleased that we continue to support grain and oilseed farmers in Ontario and across the country develop the tools they need to remain strong and resilient against the risks they face,” said Ellis. “Effective risk management helps farmers grow their businesses and stay competitive.”

The announcement is part of the Minister MacAulay’s cross country ‘Growing Canadian Agriculture’ tour which started in Quebec last week and ends in B.C. on July 17.

“Canada’s grain and oilseeds industry is a competitive and efficient sector, known around the world for producing high-quality, safe and sustainable foods,” said MacAulay in a statement. “Providing our farmers with the tools they need to mitigate risk helps strengthen farm businesses, creating jobs, helping to drive our economy.”

“Although soybean production in Canada increased by 131 per cent during the past decade, and now ranks third in terms of farm cash receipts, the continued success of the sector is directly contingent upon overcoming a series of significant challenges,” said Ron Davidson, executive director at Soy Canada. “The Agri-Risk Assessment and Mitigation Report not only identified and catalogued 11 notable threats, the clear ranking of the potential magnitude of each risk provides a solid benchmark for determining the future allocation of sector resources. Soy Canada is already prioritizing its resources on addressing the top two risks that were identified by the assessment: market access and protein content.”

Markus Haerle, chair, Grain Farmers of Ontario said the current risk management suite of programs is due for a refresh.

“There is need to improve agriculture policy and programs to enhance the economic, environmental, and social contributions of farming in Canada. The revenue risk management project funded by AAFC is an important step to help define, not only the issues of modern farming, but to start to explore updated and new programs that will work for today’s grain and oilseeds farmers in the same way Crop Insurance works.”

Soy Canada is a national organization that represents every group involved in the development, production, handling, processing and transport of soybeans. Soybeans contribute $5.6 billion to Canada’s Gross Domestic Product.

The Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO) is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 barley, corn, oat, soybean, and wheat farmers. The crops cover six million acres of farm land across the province, generate more than $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts and create over 40,000 jobs in the province.

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