The Beef Farmers of Ontario board wanted the check-off increase to pay for more marketing and communications to try and bolster the province’s beef industry.  |  File photo

Ont. farmers reject increase to beef checkoff

A bid to increase the checkoff Ontario beef producers pay to Beef Farmers of Ontario failed to get the 66 percent of votes required for approval. Beef Farmers of Ontario dipped into its reserves to pay a 2017 deficit worth nearly $1 million and had planned to do the same in 2018, expecting that the […] Read more

David Epp is one of the Ontario farmers who had to leave tomatoes in the field last year because they weren’t accepted by the Thomas Canning processing company. He said he will have to take steps this year to adjust his fields’ pH levels because he had to plow under so many tomatoes. The crop might be organic matter, but it is highly acidic organic matter.  |  Mary Baxter photo

Ont. company faces legal action on several fronts

The CFIA has charged the tomato processor with mislabelling product and faces lawsuits from farmers for breach of contract

A tomato processor in Ontario’s Essex County facing potential legal action from local farmers for leaving most of last year’s contracted crop in their fields is juggling even more legal woes. And some of the challenges confronting Thomas Canning (Maidstone) Ltd. kindle questions about the complexity of Canada’s labelling system. The canner and its chief […] Read more

Ontario processing growers delivered 500,000 tons of tomatoes to processors in the province last year. They’re under pressure to change the way the crop is contracted.  |  Jeffrey Carter photo

Tomato processors seek changes to Ontario marketing board

Growers argue proposed changes to provincial farm products marketing act could render marketing boards toothless

LONDON, Ont. — Ontario’s marketing board for processing vegetables is under attack, according to its chair. Francis Dobbelaar said Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers has rejected the latest proposal from the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission that would open the door to direct contracts between processors and growers for tomatoes. “Their definition of direct contracts is […] Read more

Walker Environmental’s landfill is to be located just north of the Thames River and a deep kilometre-long lake that was once a quarry. |  Kim Osmond photo

Citizens vow to stop Ontario landfill

Plans call for the dumping of waste from across the province into a limestone quarry in Zorra Township

ZORRA, Ont. — Despite massive opposition and an approval process that could last for years, plans for a 17 million tonne landfill in southwestern Ontario are moving forward. Currently, a limestone quarry of almost 200 acres is the preferred site for Walker Environmental. It is located in Zorra Township, about two kilometers from the township […] Read more

Farmers were told they can expect a payback within three to four years if they invest $200 an acre in the Cellulosic Sugar Producers Co-operative.  |  Jeffrey Carter photo

Plans for Ontario cellulosic plant move forward

Farmers are asked to contribute $200 per acre to supply the processing facility with feedstock to produce dextrose

FOREST, Ont. — Ontario farmers have been told they can expect payback in little more than three years from a $200-per-acre investment in a new co-operative. Proponents of the Cellulosic Sugar Producers Co-operative (CSPC) talked about the opportunity at a Nov. 8 field day here, which also featured equipment demonstrations for corn stover harvesting. “We […] Read more

Brothers Tom and Bob Tyhurst near Dresden, Ont., were among those counting themselves fortunate with a better than expected corn harvest this year.  |  Jeffrey Carter photo

Ont. crops rebound, but climate change weighs on minds

CHATHAM, Ont. — Farmers in the Great Lakes Basin may no longer be able count on stable weather patterns, according to an agronomist with AGRIS Cooperative. “We used to try to predict the future from the past and now our future is looking to be nothing like the past. We’re working on a blank piece […] Read more

Comet Biorefining in Ontario plans to be turning biomass into dextrose for industrial purposes by 2018.  |  File photo

Biomass co-op seeks investment, crop residue commitment

SARNIA, Ont. — Plans are moving forward to build a dextrose plant in Sarnia that would take as much as 75,000 tonnes of corn stover and wheat. According to a joint release from the Cellulosic Sugar Producers Co-operative, Comet Biorefining and Bioindustrial Innovation Canada, crop residues from 55,000 acres of farmland within 100 kilometres of […] Read more

Ontario’s sugar beet production has steadily improved over the last 20 years. The Ontario Sugarbeet Processors’ Cooperative is seeking to increase acreage by 30,000 acres. |  Jeffrey Carter photo

Ontario seeks to expand sugar beet acreage to meet processing plant needs

SARNIA, Ont. — Ontario farmers will need to quadruple the province’s sugar beet acreage if plans for a new processing plant at Sarnia move forward. The chair of the Ontario Sugarbeet Growers’ Association said the newly formed Ontario Sugarbeet Processors’ Cooperative will require new growers as well as expansion from existing growers. “We’re looking to […] Read more

Wine grapes can be successfully grown in Huron County, as evidenced at the county’s first vineyard and winery near Clinton. Two others are in the works and Huron is now home to three breweries.  |  Jeffrey Carter photo

Rural Ontario: the place for food and drink

BLYTH, Ont. — Expect red tape. Access expertise. Take the time to research and plan. Tell your story. Love what you do. These were among the comments from five Ontario business owners who are part of the province’s burgeoning food and drink industry. They spoke at the Rural Talks to Rural Conference held earlier this […] Read more

The Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers marketing board has negotiated contracts between farmers and processors for 70 years. Some growers are baffled by the Farm Products Marketing Commission’s attempt to erode that power.  |  File photo

Ontario’s regulatory body still in hot seat

There are fears that the Farm Products Marketing Commission wants to replace final offer arbitration when growers negotiate with processors

DRESDEN, Ont. — The Farm Products Marketing Commission in Ontario continues to come under fire for its unilateral attempt to remove marketing powers from Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers. According to agricultural economist Larry Martin, the drama that unfolded over the past four months adds substance to concern among Canadian farmers that their political influence is […] Read more