Governments promise help for farmers with DON-infected corn

There are few details yet for the federal-provincial program

The federal and provincial governments have announced steps to help Ontario corn farmers hit by high deoxynivalenol (DON), in their crop through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

Why it matters: Corn farmers in Ontario are continuing to try to get their corn harvested, while dealing with serious quality issues that depending on geography and local buyers, have few easy marketing solutions.

The governments say they will be developing three areas to help farmers including:

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  • Opening an application process aimed at covering a portion of eligible farmers’ expenses from testing for DON levels.
  • Supporting new projects to help address challenges at different points in the grain sector value chain, such as finding ways to best process or market corn impacted by DON.
  • Partnering with the Grain Farmers of Ontario on research and new actions to reduce the frequency and impact of high DON levels, including finding temporary options to store corn to improve grain quality.

Grain Farmers of Ontario chair Markus Haerle said the grain sector is looking for more details behind the government proposals.

“We see this funding announcement as the first step toward finding solutions to the problem, and not just as a band aid to a huge issue. We look forward to working more closely with the provincial and federal governments to define next steps for supporting farmers dealing with this issue,” said Haerle.

GFO says more details are needed and quickly in order for the programs to have an effect for farmers suffering significant harvest losses, including:

  • Funding amounts for assistance programs.
  • Timing for funding and programs.
  • Qualification information for programs.
  • Timing for initiating AgriRecovery programs.

About the author

Editor

John Greig has spent his career in agriculture journalism and communications. He lives on a farm near Ailsa Craig, Ontario. Contact John at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @jgreig

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