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 Elora 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 Website:


LONDON – Excitement was building about the upcoming crop year as Grain Farmers of Ontario launched the 2011 Spring Wheat Challenge and highlighted the 2011 Winter Wheat Challenge at the March Classic.

The two challenges are part of GFO’s suite of production challenges which aim to recognize the elite farmers of Ontario while providing an important venue for discussion of production practices that lead to high yields and good quality crops.

“Ontario has excellent wheat growers and it’s important we celebrate that,” says Don Kenny, chair of GFO.  “They are friendly competitions that all wheat farmers should consider.  Even if you don’t think you’re going to win, it’s a great way to learn about what you’re neighbours and friends are doing to achieve those high yields,” he continues.

The 2011 Spring Wheat Challenge comes on the heels of the successful inaugural year of the competition.  The average yield for last year’s registrants was 71.9 bushels per acre, a whopping 36 percent higher than the provincial average for the year.

2011 is the first year of the Winter Wheat Challenge.  “Many farmers have been thinking about their winning strategies since the fall when the challenge was announced at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show,” says Crosby Devitt, manager of research and market development at GFO.  “But if early scouting is telling you that your crop is in good shape, you should definitely register for the challenge,” he continues.

In both challenges, the first place winner will take home a $1,500 prize with the second highest yield being awarded $750.  The third place winner will receive $500.

The challenges are open to all spring and winter wheat growers in the province and all legal production practices are permitted.  Certified seed must be used and the wheat must be graded at milling quality, either grade 1, 2 or 3.  Both challenges are made possible by generous support from Bayer CropScience, C&M Seeds and Hyland Seeds.  Farmers can collect registration cards from GFO or our industry sponsors. Challenge information including rules and a downloadable registration card is also available at and

The deadline to register for the Spring Wheat Challenge is June 30, 2011 and the deadline to register for the Winter Wheat Challenge is May 2, 2011.


The next GYFP workshop will be held in the Elora OMAFRA meeting room on Friday, June 17th to be completed on Friday, June 24th 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  This workshop is filling up very quickly so don’t delay in signing up since space is limited.

In the workshop you will be supplied with a workbook similar to the EFP workbook where you are able to rate your farm management and come up with an Action Plan to make improvements.  You are then in a position to apply for financial assistance to help carry out your Action Plan.  Such actions as computer training, book keeping instruction, marketing courses, business strategies and succession planning are eligible for financial assistance.  As well, you will be assisted in locating a qualified farm advisor to help you review your present financial situation and explore ways to meet your financial goals. 

This is an opportunity to explore niche marketing.  Also the program provides cost-share opportunities to help new farmers set their business goals, improve their farm related skills and develop farm business skills.  We would gladly forward a brochure about the program and its cost share opportunities.  So, for more information and to sign up, call John at 519-846-3394. 


Several farmers are on the waiting list for the next EFP workshop.  The time and place is yet to be determined.  To qualify for EFP Cost Share in 2012, a completed Environmental Farm Plan is required.  Don’t leave off signing up or you may regret it on application day, Thursday, September 15th, 2011.  To sign up and for help, call John 519-846-3394.


Apr. 19 & 20 – Poultry Industry Conference and Exhibition, Western Fair Centre, London.  For complete details, visit:

Apr. 26 – Wellington County Farm Safety regular meeting at Husky Farm Equipment, Alma at 8:00 p.m. sharp.  For more information, call Walter Grose at 519-846-5329. 

Apr. 27 – Grower Pesticide Safety Course, Elora.  Course starts at 8:45 a.m. and Separate Exam at 2:30 p.m.  To register, call Ontario Pesticide Education Program at 1-800-652-8573.

May 3- Wellington Federation of Agriculture monthly board meeting, at OMAFRA Boardroom, 6484 Cty. Rd #7, Elora.  For information contact secretary, Lisa Hern at 519-848-3774, or email: 

May 5- Waterloo Federation of Agriculture monthly board meeting, at the St. Agatha Community Center.  For information contact secretary, Richard Cressman at 519-662-2790 or email:

 May 13- Grower Pesticide Safety Course, Elora.  Course starts at 8:45 a.m. and Separate Exam at 2:30 p.m.  To register, call Ontario Pesticide Education Program at 1-800-652-8573.