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OMAFRA launching ag task force

OMAFRA launching ag task force

The group will meet regularly to discuss issues affecting the industry

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

The provincial government is taking steps to keep abreast of issues affecting the ag industry.

As part of its Fall Economic Statement, the government asked OMAFRA to create an agricultural task force.

The group “will hear from leaders across the agriculture and agri-food sector,” the economic statement says. It will also “provide the government with an important perspective on key policies from the experts themselves.”

OMAFRA has yet to release details on who will be involved in the discussions and when the first talks will occur. But the Ontario Federation of Agriculture expects to be involved, said Neil Currie, general manager of the OFA.

“I would hope the government would reach out to us,” Currie told Farms.com. “The concept of the group is a great idea. The minister (of agriculture) will be reaching out to get advice from hands-on people from time to time.”

The discussion topics will include trade and changes to the Ontario Food Terminal network, the government says.

Producers also have suggestions about what the ag task force should consider during its meetings.

The group should discuss crop health and prices said Grand McComb, a cash crop producer from Middlesex County, referring to the increased levels of vomitoxin (DON) in Ontario grain corn.

“I’ve seen $2.00 (per bushel) corn,” he told Farms.com. “I haven’t sold corn for that price since the late 1970s. I know a lot of farmers are going to be in trouble, so hopefully this group takes that into account when they meet.”

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