Friday, May 17, 2019

Grain Farmers looking for DON forecasting ability

Grain Farmers of Ontario, backed with funding from the federal and provincial agriculture departments, is looking for a way to forecast the likelihood of DON in corn crops.
The money comes via the Canadian Agricultural Partnership program.

The aim is to enable farmers “to make early, informed decisions about their crops and the use of fungicide or other treatments that reduce the risk of DON,” Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada said.

“This will also help reduce DON-related challenges faced throughout the corn value-chain and is similar to a forecasting tool for wheat,” it said.

It took the opportunity to review measures it took to address high levels of DON in last fall’s harvest:

·     Creating a tiered corn salvage benefit in support of requests from farmers who dealt with DON in their corn crop last year. The benefit will more accurately reflect the additional costs associated with harvesting and handling corn affected by DON and help farmers trying to find a market for it. 
·     Establishing another partnership with the Grain Farmers of Ontario to develop best management practices for in-season mitigation of DON and for effectively managing the storage of high-DON corn. 
·     The provincial government extending its Commodity Loan Guarantee Program loan repayment deadline, giving farmers affected by DON additional time to market their corn. The Ontario government also increased the maximum guaranteed loan limit, on a pilot basis, from $120 million to $200 million for the 2019 and 2020 program years. 
·     Launching a cost-share program through the Partnership to provide special assistance to farmers experiencing revenue loss over testing for DON in corn. 
·     Hosting two roundtable sessions with industry representatives to work on connecting farmers with mental health supports and to provide solutions to help the sector find alternate markets for corn with high levels of DON.”