Thursday, December 8, 2022

School lunch policy open for comment


The federal minister of families, children and social development, Karina Gould, is leading the consultation on how healthy food could be provided at schools.

It is likely to touch off a frenzy of lobbying by commodity organizations such as the poultry and dairy marketing boards and associations that speak for grain, beef, pork, fruit and vegetable producers.

It will be far more vigorous than lobbying over the Canada's Food Guide.

It might even trigger a lobby from organizations representing organic food producers.

That’s what happens in the United States. 

Gould said one in five children across Canada are at risk of going to school hungry and school meal programs can improve access to nutritious food that helps children grow and learn.

The government said a national policy should consider the diverse realities of children, families and schools and build on any existing programs. It says nothing about what food will be provided.

It is also hosting roundtable discussions with stakeholders such as the Breakfast Club of Canada, schools and children to help build the policy. Farmers are not mentioned.



Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Pork Congress planning for 50th anniversary

Kirk McLean, the new president of the Ontario Pork Congress, hopes it will come roaring back bigger and better after a two-year hiatus because of the COVId-19 pandemic.

 Before that pandemic, the Congress was growing and expanding, he said. All but nine booths were sold well before the deadline in 2019, he said in justifying his optimism.

The event on June 21 and 23 in Stratford will mark the 50th anniversary.

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

National Farmers Union comments on Ontario strategy

Before you dismiss it out of hand because it comes from the National Farmers Union, try reacting as if the response was presented by the Ontario Federation of Agriculture or the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario. You might find a few things to agree with.


The NFU agrees with some of what Ontario Agriculture Minister Lisa Thompson outlined in the Grow Ontario Strategy, but “we are concerned that by prioritizing supports for large-scale producers and retailers, increasing agri-food exports, and incentivizing technological advancements . . . . it fails to strengthen short supply chains, sustainable and climate-friendly production systems, or agri-food sector labour standards.

The NFU-O supports efforts to increase consumption and production of Ontario grown food by 30 per cent, especially where this increased consumption reduces Ontario’s reliance on agri-food imports, it said in its response to Thompson’s policy announcement.

“It is disappointing to learn that the measures Ontario plans to implement will primarily benefit large-scale producers and retailers. 

“Localized food production and distribution needs to be prioritized to make our food system more sustainable and reliable,” it said.

It calls for more direct-from-farms marketing, small-scale food processing and on-farm value-adding initiatives as opposes to “emissions-heavy and unreliable long supply chains.”

It said “where we need the most innovation is in supporting farmers in the transition to climate-friendly production systems. 

“What would be truly innovative would be the establishment of an OMAFRA Organic Agriculture Extension Service or Research Branch that provides independent research and financial support programs to help farmers measure and monitor soil carbon and adopt practices to mitigate the climate crisis.

“Equally innovative would be the hiring of a dedicated OMAFRA Organic Agriculture staff specialist. An investment in the transition to organic agriculture, and understanding the biology rather than the chemistry or technology, are key to realizing increased crop yields and plant health in a climate-stressed future,” it said.

As for labour, it said “if the goal is to increase employment by 10 per cent in the sector, we will need to improve the labour conditions of agricultural workers.

“It is time that Ontario labour laws, including minimum wage laws, the right to form a union, and other key labour protections are extended to all farm workers.

Monday, December 5, 2022

Jenn Pfenning is NFU’s new president

Jenn Pfenning of Baden is the new president of the National Farmers Union.

She is director of human resources, marketing and operations for Pfenning’s Organic Farm between Baden and New Hamburg.

She was also a councillor for Wilmot Township until she lost the recent election for mayor.

The Pennings developed the organic farm from humble beginnings to a major operation employing a number of local residents and temporary foreign workers.

She has a passion for healthy living, food justice and strong community.

She is the past President of the Ontario chapter of the NFU, has served on the board of directors for Foodshare Toronto for seven years and is past president of the Organic Council of Ontario.

She also served on the Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable and participated in a successful lobby against a Toronto developer’s proposal to build a large housing development next to their home farm by using a controversial Municipal Zoning Order.

Chenenne Sundance of Toronto was elected the Ontario chapter’s president, Kumari Guusamy of Ottawa women’s NFU vice president and Maia De Graff of Toronto youth vice-president.

Food prices to remain high

High food prices will continue next year, said Sylvain Charlebois when he released the 2023 Food Price Report.

For a family with two teenagers, food will cost about $16,300 which is more than $1,000 more than this year.

And this year the costs went up by 10.1 per cent which was more than Charlebois predicted. He said people criticized his seven per cent estimate released a year ago as way too high.

"We're not expecting prices to drop, but we are expecting the food and inflation rate to to stabilize somewhat" in the second half of next year, he said.

Supply chain bottlenecks are starting to move again, and the price of gasoline has fallen precipitously, which makes it cheaper to ship food across the country. On the other hand, a slowing economy could push down the loonie, which will hit grocery shoppers hard since so much of what Canadians eat comes from outside the country, especially in the winter months.

The Food Report advises shoppers to use food apps to scour for sales, clip coupons to be on the lookout for bargains, and always keep an eye out for price cuts on food that's about to go past its best before date.

"You're going to have to work for your deals," Charlebois said. "You're going to have to work for those discounts."

The Waterloo Region Food Bank said that last year a $1 donation bought three meals and now it will buy only two.

Cattlemen president has died

 Reg Schellenberg, president of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, has died.

“His gentle demeanor and strong character are qualities that many of us in the industry looked up to,” said Nathan Phinney, who will now become president. 

“He will be fondly remembered for being a tireless advocate for cattle producers, taking a particular interest in advancing the priorities related to animal health and care, as well as protecting and preserving our industry for the next generation,” he said.

Schellenberg was first elected as a Cattlemen director in 2010 and became president on March 25, 2022. 

He served as co-chair of the Foreign Trade Committee from 2020 to 2022 and co- chaired the Animal Health and Care Committee with Pat Hayes from 2016 to 2020. 

He also represented CCA on the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA). Prior to the creation of the Animal Health and Care Committee, he chaired the Animal Care Committee. 

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Dairy farmers give $500,000, chicken farmers $10,000

The Dairy Farmers of Ontario marketing board is giving  $500,000 in Christimas donations to hospitals for sick children in Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton and London.

Chicken Farmers of Ontario’s Christmas donation is $10,000 to Daily Bread Food Bank.

Since 2019, the Dairy Farmers of Ontario has donated more than $2 million through its Milk & Cookies holiday campaign.

Inspired by the tradition of leaving milk and cookies out for Santa, this year the Dairy Farmers of Ontario also created special Santa’s Milk-O-Grams for patients who cannot be home for the holidays.

These care packages are full of festive cheer and include a fun activity to prepare for Santa's arrival on December 24 (Christmas Eve)—such as a customizable milk bottle, milk coupons, a holiday card to decorate, and a plush toy.

"Through this donation to SickKids and other Ontario children's hospitals, Ontario dairy farmers are (sic) able to show how important it is to give back and nourish the communities we live and work in," said Cheryl Smith, chief executive officer (CEO) of Dairy Farmers of Ontario.

 "With our new Milk-o-Grams, we hope families who are unable to be home for the holidays can als

“Since 2015, Chicken Farmers of Ontario have been committed to giving back through the CFO Cares: Farmers to Food Banks Program to provide hunger relief across the province,” said Denise Hockaday, CEO of Chicken Farmers of Ontario. 

“We want to ensure every Ontarian can access safe, high-quality protein like chicken. Our farmers donate their fresh chicken year-round, to Ontario communities, proving food banks with a steady supply of fresh, locally grown chicken,” she said.

Meng Wanzhou freed

The United States Department of Justice is asking a judge in New York to drop all the charges it laid against Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

This after the U.S. filed an application to extradite her from British Columbia to face its charges that she sold electronic communications stuff to Iran in contravention of U.S. law.

This after the Chinese government expressed its anger with Canada for engaging the Canadian courts to deal with the extradition request.

This after China banned a number of Canadian companies from selling it pork and canola.

The whole affair has gone on for four years. And now, nothing!

Canada gets no compensation, not even a thank you, from the United States.

Canada’s relations with China have been harmed.    

And this doesn’t even count the trade disruptions that former U.S. President Donald Trump caused with his tariffs on China. And it was the Trump administration that started this whole Meng Wanhou fiasco.

I hope the Canadian politicians in Ottawa will simply ignore any similar extradition requests filed by the United States.

Fat chance of that happening!

Friday, December 2, 2022

Potato Council general manager retiring

David Jones, general manager for the Canadian Potato Council for 11 years, has decided to resign effective in March.

He has also been manager of potato industry coordination for the Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada.

“Being able to conclude my career representing potato growers across Canada has been extremely special to me,” said Jones. 

"Potato growers are hardworking business people and they provide a lot of value to Canadians every day. No amount of adversity slows them down, and it has been incredibly rewarding advocating for them at a national level.”

Fonterra aims for a net zero dairy farm

Fonterra of New Zealand is working with a 270-hectare dairy farm to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by the middle of 2027.

It is partnered with NestlĂ©, the world’s largest food company, on the project.

The five-year project will assess the dairy farm’s total carbon emissions and involves co-partner Dairy Trust Taranaki.

It aims to reduce emissions by 30 per cent by mid-2027 and achieve net zero emissions in 10 years.

The agricultural industry makes up 48 per cent of New Zealand’s overall emissions with methane from cattle and sheep the main source.

Nestle has committed to reducing its emissions by 25 per cent, dairy is a major component in that effort and it is involved in more than100 pilot projects globally, with 20 farms working out their net zero targets. 


Nestle New Zealand chief executive officer Jennifer Chappell said “dairy is our single biggest ingredient, and our vision is that the future for dairy can be net zero… 

“To reduce our Scope 3 emissions, it’s critical we work with dairy farmers and their communities. Working towards a net zero farm means looking at all aspects of the farm, from cow nutrition to sequestering carbon.”

New Zealand has the lowest carbon footprint for milk in the world, mainly because cows are on pasture, yet dairy farming contributes about half of the country’s agricultural livestock 

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Grocery code of conduct still stalled

 Almost two years after work began, the grocery industry still has failed to come to an agreement on a code of conduct.

The federal, provincial and territorial ministers of agriculture set up a committee in 2020 to develop a code after repeated complaints that five large supermarket chains, which account for 80 per cent of Canadian sales, abuse their power.

For example, they once all demanded suppliers discount invoices by one per cent and made the demand retroactive. And in 2020 Loblaws and Walmart increased fees they charge suppliers.

One of the key pieces that is still missing from draft proposals is how disputes will be settled.

“The legal construct and the adjudication process are critical pillars of the overall code,” Michael Graydon, co-chair of the steering committee developing the code and chief executive of Food and Consumer Products of Canada, told the Toronto Globe and Mail. The committee is making progress on plans for a non-profit adjudicator’s office, he said, which would be industry-funded.

Enforcement will be a balancing act, because an adjudicator would need to be given the teeth to ensure compliance, while not being so punitive that companies refuse to participate in what is ultimately a voluntary process.

“This is a $100-billion industry that we’re trying to get under control,” he said. 

“That we’ve got a set of provisions that we’re all comfortable with is remarkable.”

One of the issues is the demands by dominant supermarket chains that they get all of the supply they want. When supplies are short, it means suppliers will short-change weaker and smaller customers so they can retain their big buyers.

“That element of fair allocation is critically important,” Mr. Graydon said.

Another notable element of the draft is a rule establishing guardrails around those compliance fines. It encourages suppliers and retailers to agree in writing when such fines can be charged; otherwise “reasonable notice” and “substantiation” must be provided, with an opportunity to dispute the fine. 

Such a rule would work against current circumstances where fines are deducted from payments, and companies haggle after the fact over whether the deductions should be reversed.

The proposed code provisions are now undergoing industry consultation, and could change based on input, Mr. Graydon said.

On Nov. 18, the Food and Beverage Canada organization pulled out of the discussions, saying there is a major flaw because he proposed code “will be insufficient to address the needs of Canada’s small and mid-sized food manufacturers,” in part because it still relies too heavily on the contracts that suppliers and retailers negotiate with each other, “without actually addressing the underlying imbalance of negotiating power.”



Maple Leaf spurns hacker ransom request

Maple Leaf Foods said it will not pay a ransom demand from cyber criminals who breached its computer systems in early November.

But JBS paid $11 million ransom to hackers in 2021. Two people in Romania were arrested.

The Maple Leaf hackers are threatening to release some company data if they are not paid, but the company told Meatingplace Magazine it won’t pay.

"The illegal acts that compromised our system and potentially put information at risk are intolerable and our company will not pay ransom to criminals," the company told Meatingplace in an email.

It said all of its plants continued to operate despite the incident, which caused a system outage. The systems were quickly restored.

Maple Leaf said it has invested significant resources in its security systems, takes the confidentiality and security of the information in its possession seriously, and is taking action to minimize any disruptions.

"We continue to coordinate with our customers, suppliers and other partners, and appreciate their ongoing cooperation and support as our operations return to normal," Maple Leaf said, adding, "We’re sorry  this occurred and apologize for the frustration and challenges it may cause."

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Biochar seen as a climate help

Researchers at the University of California have found that adding biochar to anaerobic manure digesters can reduce methane emissions from dairy farms by 84 per cent and benefit soil.

The dairy industry is one of the main sources of methane in California, making up half of the state’s total, so reducing them is a goal of federal and state governments.

“This is a wonderful example of an untapped climate solution,” said Life and Environmental Sciences Professor Rebecca Ryals . “Biochar reduces pollutant emissions from open burning of biomass and methane emissions from decaying biomass.”

California dairies typically stockpile manure solids, then spread it on fields or burn it.

The study looked at composting the manure with biochar instead of stockpiling it. Biochar also improves the composted manure so that it makes a better fertilizer for farmers to use on other parts of their land, said Mechanical Engineering Professor Gerardo Diaz .

“Composting the solid manure isn’t the common practice, but if we go from stockpiling to composting, now we’ve gone from a carbon source to a carbon sink,” Ryals said.

 “Composting in and of itself is a very climate-beneficial practice. And you can basically double your impact by adding a little bit of biochar into that compost,” he said.

So far only a small percentage of California’s dairy farms process manure through anaerobic digesters, but the federal and state governments plan to have that increase.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

McDonald’s sues pork packers over pricing

McDonald’s Corp. is accusing eight companies of conspiring to fix pork prices over the last 14 years in a lawsuit filed Friday in New York.

The Chicago-based fast food giant claims that the companies “entered into a conspiracy … to fix, raise, maintain and stabilize the price of pork” and associated pork products beginning in 2008 through the present, according to a filing in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of New York. 

McDonald’s alleges that the defendants also worked together to “restrict output and limit production with the express intended purpose of increasing and stabilizing the price of pork” across the country.

The defendants include: Agri Stats Inc., Clemens Food Group (Clemens Family Corp.), Hormel Foods Corp., JBS USA, Seaboard Foods, Smithfield Foods Inc., Triumph Foods, Tyson Foods Inc. (including two specific Tyson units — Prepared Foods and Fresh Meats).

The filing also lists Daily’s Premium Meats. Indiana Packers Corp. and Seaboard Triumph Foods as non-defendant entities that allegedly “combined, conspired or agreed" with the defendants and “committed acts in furtherance of the unlawful conspiracy alleged in the complaint.”

Feds restrict an insecticide

The Pest Management Review Agency has cancelled registration for insecticides containing lamba-cyhalothrin to be used on crops such as lettuce and on those that will be used as livestock feed.

That means the distributers, such as Syngenta and ADAMA Canada,  need to recall insecticides so the labels can be updated to reflect the federal government regulator’s decision.

Syngenta said it “will not be selling lambda-cyhalothrin based products for 2023 in Western Canada. We will continue to sell Matador 120EC product in Eastern Canada for the horticultural markets.”

ADAMA Canada, which markets a lambda-cyhalothrin product called Silencer, has stopped taking new orders.

Brian Slenders, vice-president of the Alberta Alfalfa Seed Commission, said alfalfa growers use Matador on alfalfa weevil, lygus bugs and aphids. On canola, he uses to control diamondback moths and cabbage seed pod weevil.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Avian flu found in Middlesex

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has reported an outbreak of highly-pathogenic avian influenza on a commercial poultry farm in North Middlesex.

There have also been numerous oubreaks reported over the weekend in the Chilliwack-Abbotsford area of the Southern Fraser River valley area in British Columbia.

Country Life in B.C. magazine reports that of the 30 commercial premises that have tested positive over the past two weeks, the majority fall within one of five control zones, which include four in Abbotsford and one in Chilliwack.

The industry remains at its most vigilant red biosecurity alert level, credited with limiting cases at commercial operations, but CFIA staff say farm-to-farm transmission is a risk.

“The high concentration of poultry operations in the Fraser Valley does present an increased risk for farm-to-farm spread,” CFIA told Country Life in BC in a statement.

To date, 33 wild birds – primarily eagles, owls, and waterfowl – have tested positive for H5N1 in BC. This is the least of any province in Canada. Three red fox and one skunk have also tested positive, according to the federal government’s avian influenza dashboard.

Climate needs 75 per cent cut in meat

A study from the University of Bonn says people in wealthy countries need to reduce meat consumption by at least 75 per cent to ensure there will be enough food for everybody.

The study also addresses impacts on the environment and climate.

But the study said eating meat in small amounts can be quite sustainable. The results are published in the journal Annual Review of Resource Economics.

Livestock farming damages the climate and the environment., the study said.

For example, ruminants produce methane which accelerates global warming. Animals also convert only a portion of the calories they are fed into meat. 

In order to feed the same number of people, meat therefore requires a much larger land area. This is to the detriment of ecosystems, as less space is left for natural species conservation. Furthermore, those eating too much meat live risky – meat in excess is not healthy and can promote chronic diseases, said the study led by Prof. Matin Qaim of the Center for Development Research at the University of Bonn.

"If all humans consumed as much meat as Europeans or North Americans, we would certainly miss the international climate targets and many ecosystems would collapse," he said.

"We therefore need to significantly reduce our meat consumption, ideally to 20 kilograms or less annually. 

"The war in Ukraine and the resulting shortages in international markets for cereal grains also underline that less grain should be fed to animals in order to support food security,” he said.

How ya goin to keep em down on the farm?

In Quebec it’s a herd of cattle that escaped in the summer and remain on the lam.

In Taber, Alta., it was 20 ostriches that escaped from a farm, but were rounded up by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The cows in Quebec made it into the Canadian Senate where Sen. Julie Miville-Dechene donned a white blouse with black Holstein-honouring spots to recount how the cattle escapades continue.

The climax of her narrative came as nine cowboys — eight on horseback, one with a drone — arrived from the western festival in nearby St-Tite, Que., north of Trois-Rivieres, and nearly nabbed the cows before they fled through a cornfield.

“They are still on the run, hiding in the woods by day and grazing by night,” said Miville-Dechene.

She paid tribute to municipal general manager, Marie-Andree Cadorette, for her “dogged determination,” and the wranglers for stepping up when every government department and police force in Quebec said there was nothing they could do.

Only two changes in OFA executives

Mark Reusser, a turkey farmer from the Waterloo Region, has finished a long term as first vice-president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, opening the way for Crispin Colvin to move into that position and for Drew Spoelstra to become a vice-president.

Paul Vickers was elected an executive member.

Peggy Brekveld was re-elected president for a third one-year term during the annual meeting in London.

Thompson unveils strategy

 Ontario Agriculture Minister Lisa Thompson has unveiled Ontario’ agriculture strategy – a combination of recently-announced initiatives such as updating the Ontario Veterinary Act, investing in supply chains and adding more trained workers.

She said “The Grow Ontario Strategy is our government’s plan to make sure the province’s food supply chain remains safe, strong and stable from farm to fork.

“This plan is a bold vision of pride and trust in the quality and quantity of food produced in Ontario, grown on the foundation of a competitive agri-food industry that serves the needs of Ontarians, Canadians and the world.” 

She re-announced a $10 million fund open to applications for supply chain projects such as updated inventory software, expanded warehousing to allow increased inventory levels or automation equipment to address labour gaps. She also re-announced a $25-million Agri-Food Procesasing Fund.

She said the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario Act is up for review, as is the Ontario Veterinarians Act.

She said he province aims to increase total agri- food sector employment by 10 per cent by 2032, as well as increase awareness of modern, high-tech agri-food careers, opportunities for mentorship and hands-on job training.






Friday, November 25, 2022

Ontario has pork disease map

Hog farmers are being encouraged to sign up to learn about disease threats around their farm.

Swine Health Area and Regional Control — colloquially known as SHARC — tracks and maps disease outbreaks. Participating farmers can see the disease status and hog density around their farm and take action, such as vaccination, choosing a locations for a new barns managing manure and treating diseases.

To participate in SHARC, producers, in conjunction with their herd veterinarian, agree to confidential sharing of herd disease status with other participating producers. Collaboration is key, and the more producers who agree to participate, the more effective the program will be, said Ontario Pork marketing board.

SHARC is operated by Swine Health Ontario in partnership with Ontario Pork and the Ontario Pork Industry Council.

It has been built based on extensive industry feedback, and offers significant improvements for producers compared to previous disease management programs, the pork board said.


Another meat and cancer study published

A research review done at the University of Washington has concluded that the evidence that cancer is associated with eating unprocessed meat is weak.

Their work has been published in the Nature Medicine journal.

The team "conducted a systematic review and implemented a meta-regression ... to evaluate the relationships between unprocessed red meat consumption and six potential health outcomes” and found "weak evidence” between unprocessed meat consumption and colorectal cancer, breast cancer, type 2 diabetes and ischemic heart disease.

They said there is no evidence of an association between unprocessed red meat and ischemic stroke or hemorrhagic stroke; and that while there is some evidence that eating unprocessed red meat is associated with increased risk of disease incidence and mortality, "it is weak and insufficient to make stronger or more conclusive recommendations."

More rigorous, well-powered research is needed, they concluded, to better understand and quantify the relationship between consumption of unprocessed red meat and chronic disease.

Most of the studies the team reviewed compared the health of one group of people eating a lot of unprocessed meat with another group that ate little meat.



Thursday, November 24, 2022

OFA awards five bursaries


The Ontario Federation of Agriculture has awarded five $2,000 bursaries to young people studying agriculture and this year, and for the first time there is a category for students completing a post-graduate or leadership development program.

The winners are Valerie Higginson of Vankleek Hill who is in her final year of studies to become a veterinarian, Andrew Kuiak who is apprenticing through Fanshawe College in London, Faith Emiry of Massey who is studying resource economics at Guelph, Michael Jones of Midland studying at Queen’s University in Kingston and Lexi Johnston of Listowel who is studying animal science at Guelph.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Health units might demand rabies vaccination

The Ontario government has posted a proposal that would give medical officers of health the power to demand rabies vaccinations, including farm animals.

The government said” Regulation 557 establishes the responsibility for rabies cases. There exists no authority for Medical Officers of Health to order testing of deceased animals under observation, unless there are reasonable grounds to suspect that an animal is rabid.


“Without testing to rule out rabies, bite victims may have to undergo a publicly-funded rabies vaccination as part of the post-exposure protocol. 

Regulation 567 defines conditions for the administration of the rabies vaccine in certain animals. 

"This regulation allows for vaccination by licenced veterinarians within Ontario, animals vaccinated in other provinces, territories, or countries must be revaccinated to meet the regulation."

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is dealing with an outbreak of highly-pathogenic avian influenza in a commercial poultry operation in Adelaide Metcalfe which lies west of Strathroy.

There have been few outbreaks in Ontario, more in Quebec and a lot more in British Columbia and Alberta this fall. 

On Tuesday alone, the CFIA reported four more outbreaks in British Columbia.

Big turnover at Ontario Sheep

There are four new directors, two new vice-presidents and a new general manager at Ontario Sheep Farmers organization.

Gone are Colleen Alloi, first vice-chair, Jay Lewis, second vice-chair and directors Heather Little and Gary Fox.

New are Jay Lennox, Ryan Schill, Karen Davis and Jenna White.

And the new vice-presidents are Art Alblas and Ken Lamb. 

Erin Morgan is the new executive director taking over from Jennifer MacTavish who was praised for her help in developing the National Sheep Roundtable and building good relations within the industry and with the Ontario government.

Two Ontario winners in winter wheat competition

 Andy Timmermans of Stratford and Kelsey Hill from Arnprior were among the winners in a winter-wheat yield competition among farmers around the Great Lakes.

Timmermans won along with Jeffrey Krohn of Elkton, Michigan, and Aaron Stuckey of Archbold, Ohio, in the highest percentage yield category.

Timmermans and Hill were with Krohn for the highest yields.

Paul Hoekstra, vice-president of Grain Farmers of Ontario, said “nderstanding and learning about the potential for winter wheat is incredibly valuable to farmers. The Great Lakes YEN has played a pivotal role in providing us insightful data on yield and beyond.” 

The organizers are Grain Farmers of Ontario, Michigan State University, Michigan Wheat Program, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and the University of Guelph.