A weekly press release prepared by the staff of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.  If you require further information, regarding this press release, please call the Fergus Resource Centre at 519-846-0941.  Office hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  For technical information, call the Agri­cultural Information Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300 or visit the OMAFRA

by John C. Benham, EFP Rep, Wellington County
If you wish to participate in the EFP Cost Share Programs after April 1, 2008 a deemed appropriate Third Edition EFP Workbook will be required.
The next two-day EFP Workshop is planned for Wednesday, March 19 and Wednesday, March 26, 2008 at Husky Farm Equipment in Alma.  Lunch will be provided. 
Now is a good time to get the workshop completed before the busy season begins!  If you have any questions, please call John Benham at 519-846-3394.
Information And Resources Available For Farm Families Managing Financial Pressures:  A farm business can experience financial pressures when market prices decline, a market ceases to exist, a disease reduces production, unexpected cost increases, or business arrangements fall apart. Dealing with these pressures is a challenge! The following resources are available to assist people to assess a farm business, examine alternatives, deal with issues, and make decisions.
Canadian Farm Business Advisory Services (CFBAS):  The CFBAS provides a range of advisory services to help producers set goals for their business and develop plans to meet their goals.
One of these services is a Farm Business Assessment that provides eligible producers with up to five days’ worth of consultation services. This includes a financial assessment and action plan services.  The producer pays a nominal fee of $100.  Tel: 1-866-452-5558; Website:
The Farm Line Support Service – Need Someone to Talk to?  The Farm Line is a confidential telephone emotional support and referral service provided to farmers and farm families in Ontario.
Trained telephone peer support staff talk to the caller, identify local resources and help determine steps to address the caller’s needs. A wide range of topics can be discussed, including financial difficulties, stress, grief, family problems, serious accidents and traumatic events.
Tel: 1-888-451-2903 (Monday to Friday – 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.);  Website:
Farm Debt Mediation Service:  The Farm Debt Mediation Service provides insolvent farmers and their creditors with mediation services, pursuant to the federal Farm Debt Mediation Act and Regulations, to help them arrive at a mutually satisfactory arrangement. The service is a private, confidential and economical alternative to the often costly, public and drawn-out process of resolving insolvency disputes in the courts.
Tel: 1-866-452-5556; Website:
Advance Payments (APP) & Commodity Loan (CLP) Programs:  Both programs are a source of financing administrated by the ACC Farmers’ Financial (ACC). The APP is available for eligible crops and livestock and the CLP is available for eligible crops only.
Tel: 1-888-278-8807; Website:
Canadian Agricultural Skills Service (CASS):  CASS provides eligible farmers and their spouses with opportunities to access skills assessment and training with the goal of improving their farm profitability and net family income.  Tel: 1-877-830-0200; Website:
OMAFRA Factsheets and Computer Tools:

Some of the OMAFRA factsheets available that provide information for farm families managing financial pressures are listed below:
• Programs and Services for Ontario Farmers
• Diagnosing and Managing Cash Flow Problems
• Options for Farmers Dealing with Financial Difficulties
• Taxation on the Sale of Farm Business Assets
• Identifying and Managing Stress: A Business Owner’s Guide
• A Guide to Agricultural Security Agreements
• Resolving Conflict
These are available by contacting the Agricultural Information Contact Centre (1-877-424-1300), on the OMAFRA website (  As well, the AICC is available to answer questions, provide information, and put you in touch with one of the ministry’s provincial specialists.
There are several computer programs available on the OMAFRA website to assist producers with planning and decision making.
• Loan Calculator – Includes: Payment Schedule, Loan Comparisons, Loan Prepayment Schedule, Refinancing Schedule plus other Schedules.
• Ontario Farm Management Analysis Project (OFMAP) Swine Farrow to Finish – Input farm financial and production information to generate accrual income statement, balance sheet, financial ratios, and costs of production for the swine and crop enterprises.
• The Farm Financial Analysis and Planning Workbook – Produce a complete set of financial statements including a cash flow, debt servicing worksheet, and current and projected income statements.
• Crop and Livestock Budgets – The enterprise budgets assess the potential economic impact of production and marketing decisions and risk management factors and strategies.
• Swine Budget – Monthly budgets are available online or in the Pork News & Views in the Better Pork magazine.
The challenge and opportunity is to use the available resources and information best suited for the planning and management of your farm business goals. Recognize the current situation, develop solutions, seek assistance, and keep the communications open with everyone involved.
March 5 Wellington Federation of Agriculture
, monthly board meeting at OMAFRA Boardroom, Wellington Place.  For information, contact Lisa Hern, 519-848-3774 or  
March   5  Waterloo Federation of Agriculture, monthly board meeting at Waterloo Ag. Centre boardroom, OLEX.  For more information, contact Richard Cressman at 519-662-2790 or
March 5 – 7 Western Fair Farm Show, London, ON.  Mark your calendar!
March 14 – 16 Can-Am All Breed Equine Show, Western Fair, London, ON.
March 15 & 16 College Royal 2008, University of Guelph, Guelph.  For more information, phone 519-824-4120 ext. 58366 or
March 19 & 26 Wellington Environmental Farm Plan at Husky Farm Equipment, Alma.  9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  Lunch provided.  Please call John Benham for more information or to register 519-846-3394.
April 2 & 3 27th Annual Drayton Farm Show, PMD Arena, Drayton.  Doors open at 11:00 a.m.  For  
more information, check the website at  
April 5 Elmira Maple Syrup Festival, Elmira.  Call 1-877-969-0094 or