Standing Up for Ontario Farmers
Governments Expand Support to Corn Farmers with Crops Impacted by Plant Disease
TORONTO - The Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario have heard farmers' concerns and are responding with new steps to improve the corn production insurance plan. A new tiered corn salvage benefit will be introduced in support of requests from farmers who dealt with deoxynivalenol (DON) in their corn crop last year due to wet weather.
The new tiered salvage benefit will more accurately reflect the additional costs associated with harvesting and handling corn affected by DON and help producers trying to find a market for it. The support, provided under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, will begin in the 2019 crop year for eligible corn farmers, and the salvage benefit is expanded to include organic corn producers.
"We understand that this continues to be a significant issue for Ontario corn farmers and the sector at-large," said Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. "Through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership we are helping farmers access the tools and support that they need to overcome difficult situations and manage future risk, while also looking towards long-term solutions to ensure the continued growth and prosperity of the agriculture sector."
"Our Government is working for the people of Ontario and strengthening supports for hard-working farmers, producers, and others working in the corn sector who are dealing with considerable challenges because of DON," said Ernie Hardeman, Ontario's Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. "We want to help Ontario farmers and others working in our agricultural sector succeed, and we'll keep working to find ways so they can be profitable and get ahead."
This new corn salvage benefit builds on previous government responses to DON-impacted Ontario farmers, including:
- Establishing a partnership with the Grain Farmers of Ontario on proposed research into such areas as developing 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 producers 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 Canadian Agricultural Partnership to provide special assistance to farmers experiencing revenue loss over testing for DON.
In addition to the supports to help manage the impacts of DON, the Ontario government also hosted 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 high-DON corn.
- Deoxynivalenol (DON) is a toxic substance caused by a fungus that lowers the market value of affected corn and can render it unmarketable at high levels.
- Agricorp administers production insurance programming in Ontario, including the corn salvage benefit initiative.
- The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3 billion commitment by Canada's federal, provincial and territorial governments that supports Canada's agri-food and agri-products sectors.
- The new, three-tiered corn salvage benefit will help eligible corn farmers, including organic corn producers, deal with challenges like those created by DON this year.