Category Archives: Agricultural Development

Growing Agriculture with Northern Ontario Community Pastures

There are six community pastures located across northern Ontario. Partnerships between organizations and the provincial government were instrumental in the formation of the pastures. In the early 2000’s the Association of Community Pastures (ACP) was created and they subsequently ownership of some of these pastures. The pastures are available for farmers to rent for the summer, allowing them to increase their herd by providing extra grazing opportunities. Community pastures are also used as sites for research and information workshops.

Economic benefits of community pastures

Since the first community pasture was established in the early 1960’s, they have come to provide a source of economic benefit to the communities where they are located. To see what kind of overall benefit community pastures have for the northern Ontario, data was collected for all six of the pastures in 2016.

Charges for using the pasture is done in one of two ways; either a flat rate per animal/animal pairs for the season, or a per-day rate. Table 1 shows the number of animals at each location and the rental rates charged in 2016.

It is clear that there is consistent positive revenue being generated by the northern community pastures. Overall the pastures benefit communities by providing jobs and allowing farmers an opportunity to increase the livestock they raise and subsequently increase their revenues.

Table 2 highlights the overall financial impact of the community pastures in 2016 (based on the assumption that the sale of Cow/Calf pairs and bulls to be $1200 and sale of yearlings to be $1500), which also generates jobs, and benefits the local economy.

In summary, community pastures demonstrate economic benefits by contributing to local research, and positively impacting the economy though the generation of profit from hosting the cattle on pasture, generating jobs, and increasing a farmers revenue opportunities.

Table 1

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Table 2 

 

 

 

 

 

Authored by Barry Potter and Kaitlyn Schenk

 

 

Intake 2 of the Rural Economic Development Program is Open for Applications

The Rural Economic Development (RED) program helps rural communities remove barriers to community economic development, through support for planning and implementation projects that benefit rural Ontario.

The program is now open and will accept applications until September 29, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. (Eastern).

As part of continuous improvement, several minor changes have been made to the RED program guidelines and application since the closure of the first intake: Continue reading Intake 2 of the Rural Economic Development Program is Open for Applications

Celebrating Direct Marketing this Local Food Week

For the very first time, the 2016 Census of Agriculture asked, “did this operation sell any agricultural products directly to consumers for human consumption?” With this simple question, we now have a glimpse into direct sales of Ontario’s local foods that we’ve never had before!

Ontario leads the country with 7,474 farms reporting direct-to-consumer sales, followed by British Columbia and Quebec with 5,667 and 5,459 farms respectively. Overall, 15.1% of Ontario’s farms are making local foods available for direct purchase by consumers.

At the regional-level, fascinating patterns emerge in the prevalence of direct-to-consumer farm sales.  Click to see maps by the number and percentage of farms reporting direct sales. Continue reading Celebrating Direct Marketing this Local Food Week

Cultivating the Great Claybelt

Interest in developing and expanding agriculture in northern Ontario has increased recently. Industry groups such as Beef Farmers of Ontario have pushed to expand their sectors by utilizing underdeveloped, less expensive land in the north. OMAFRA has been working hard to provide support for this initiative. Municipalities across the district of Cochrane, coalescing under the banner of the North East Community Network recently hosted a two-day conference to focus on the challenges and opportunities in the region known as the great claybelt, as well as across northern Ontario as a whole.

The conference “Cultivating the Great Claybelt” attracted more than 250 attendees to Kapuskasing in late March 2017.

Continue reading Cultivating the Great Claybelt

Updated Programming for Growing Forward 2

New cost-share funding assistance is now available for Ontario producers through Growing Forward 2 (GF2) to make their operations more energy efficient and adopt enhanced environmental agricultural practices. This support will help Ontario farmers continue to combat climate change by boosting energy efficiency on farming operations.

The four new cost-share GF2 project categories will help support environmental stewardship on farms and were announced by the governments of Ontario and Canada on March 10, 2017.

Producers will now have the opportunity to request funding support to help make changes that will deliver energy efficiency or conservation upgrades. Additionally, there is opportunity to access new funding support for approved measures to improve water quality and soil health on farms. Continue reading Updated Programming for Growing Forward 2

Now Accepting Applications for the 2017 Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence Program!

The agri-food sector has always been innovative in running businesses, adapting practices and collaborating to compete in the world economy. To help spur and to celebrate this innovative spirit, the Government of Ontario created the Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence Program.

Have you developed and implemented a unique product or process that helps foster innovation in Ontario’s agriculture and food sector? Apply and you could be eligible to receive one of these awards:

  • Premier’s Award (one award valued at $75,000)
  • Minister’s Award (one award valued at $50,000)
  • Leaders in Innovation Awards (three awards valued at $25,000 each)
  • Provincial Awards (45 awards valued at $5,000 each)

Continue reading Now Accepting Applications for the 2017 Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence Program!

The Premier’s Award For Agri-Food Innovation Excellence Program is Accepting Applications

The Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence program recognizes outstanding agriculture and agri-food related innovators including producers, processors, and agri-food organizations.

The objectives of the Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence Program are to:

  • Recognize and encourage innovators in the agri-food sector
  • Foster farm-level innovation
  • Raise awareness about the importance of agri-food innovation and its impact on the Ontario economy

Submit your application by 11:59 p.m. on April 28, 2017 to be eligible for a chance to receive one of the following awards: Continue reading The Premier’s Award For Agri-Food Innovation Excellence Program is Accepting Applications

Add Value to Your Agricultural Business: Learn How to Turn Your Ideas into Reality

Take the OMAFRA course, Exploring Value Added Opportunities, to learn whether adding value to your products and services is right for your business.  Register today for the March 31 workshop to be held in Sunderland, Ontario! Your registration fee includes resource materials, lunch and refreshments.

Ever wondered about turning your fruit into jam?  Ever dreamed about making gourmet ready-to-eat meals with your produce?

Take the Exploring Value Added Opportunities (EVAO) course to help you increase your profits through the creation of new products and services or value-added opportunities at your farm or food business. Our course can help you: Continue reading Add Value to Your Agricultural Business: Learn How to Turn Your Ideas into Reality

Cost Of Production Calculators Available To Help With Business Planning

In the complex world of production agriculture, determining which crops will make you the most profit can be a daunting task. To help with decision making, several tools are available for downloading from the OMAFRA web site.

One of these tools is the crop budgeting tool.

The crop budgeting tool provides an easy way to enter your costs, yield, and return expectations. From this you can see whether one type of crop will provide value over another. Each producer will have individual costs for items such as seed, fertilizer, and custom work. By entering these costs, one can see the overall cost per acre to grow the crop. The tool also allows for an optimistic, expected, and pessimistic yield, showing the upper end of returns versus what happens if disaster occurs.

This data can be entered on a per acre basis, or on a total acre per field or farm basis.

The tool includes the ability to select the amount of crop insurance coverage a producer would like.

Figure 1 shows the input for the various yield expectations.

crop-tools

The tool also provides a unique “chance of breaking even” based on the data input. Figure 2.

figure-2-chance-of-breaking-evenSome field crops that have budget tools available are: corn, soybeans, canola, barley, oats and wheat.

There is also horticulture crop, fruit tree and livestock budgets available.

Knowing which crops have the potential to provide profit can assist producers with planning and meeting with suppliers and financial institutions. Knowledge is power, and these are powerful tools to provide that knowledge.

To access these tools, please go to:

http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/busdev/bear2000/Budgets/budgettools.htm