New ag minister’s neonicotinoid restriction announcement catches Grain Farmers off guard

© AgMedia Inc.

‘We had to read it in the paper ourselves,’ says grain growing group’s chairman


Just looking for confirmation from the practial farmers members that bees are livestock as there spokes person claims.
SURE it must be in the minutes voted on passed and a count of # in attendance for motion to pass
If so there is a livestock act I beleive
AS A GOOD neighbour fences some times need fixing
Think there might even be a fence line act too say who is resposible for what
Point is when neighbour livestock is on my side of the fence trespasing as in owner has not asked and does not have permission to enter and reapitly lets his/ hers livestock trespass
How am I resposible for suppling food and water for a neighboures livestock
i will point out that the practical farmer chair? President? opened this can of worms along with a lot of name calling and negative comments in other posts for a, long time
IS THIS THE POSTION OF PRACTICAL farmers and there members and does Sean McGriven speak for all there members? On the posts he signs as practical farmer?
Larry Lynn
A Huron county Grain Farmer who is some what tired of the expert 2000 ac farmer who is expert on all things in his own mind

How can you possibly compare livestock crossing a neighbors fence, which are beneficial in the case of bees, to another livestock crossing a fence which are not? Raube Beuerman

I take it that is being tossed my way Raube ?
1 I asked Sean about bees as livestock
2 It seems u concider bees as livestock by your comments
3 To be clear to me livestock means I am resposible for looking after them, livestock does not mean a pet or wild life and with taking care comes responsibilty
4 Yes I have raised more than one type of livestock in the past for food
certainaly did not always made money but concidered it my resposibilty to look after them not for some one else to look after there needs for water and food
Please note thats my reason for asking if bees being concidered livestock is were Sean and practical farmers are at ?
5 Not my words but yours Raube as to some livestock having more impotance and being more benifical than others on this I guess we disagree
I think if you read other Posts from Sean re neonicks , he is talking about morals ,values etc big timer farmers etc
Guess I need a defination of big time crop farmer as I am no were near 2000 acres or do I intentionly look to impose on my neighbours and am not saying bee keepers do
You certainaly have the right to disagree with me and thats fine we can agree to disagree
BUT certainaly I should also be allowed to disagree with you and others
AT least so far I have not taken to insults, name calling , threats or changing the subjects as some others like to do if any one dares to disagree with them or does not see see things in excatly the same way
By the way I do raise food, be it livestock feed or IPsoys,wheat and white beans for humans to eat as well
Larry Lynn
Interesting Both you and Steve Thompson have taken time to try and show me the errors of my ways how I need to dress, and how wrong and cranky ,making a lousy comparsons that I am doing But so far nothing from Sean who I asked the ? to in the first place and was only looking for clarification
TO be very clear I take offence at any one suggisting I am delerbitialy trying to kill bees
Guess all the $$ spent on planter modificationsand research by growers means nothing

I totally agree with Larry..
PFO = only Sean McG
what happened to his campaigns against CFO/EFO/Organic Certifiers/GFO/Pork Board etc?
Lots of talk not much action

Stan Holmes

If Stan would take some time to check out the PFO's web site he would quickly see that the PFO has a full slate of elected directors from across Ontario and that it is a member based organization with an annual meeting and ongoing work each month.
The PFO is unique in the sense that it has no hidden agenda and because of this people often feel the need to try and attack us because they can't actually find any fault with the issue we are working on behalf of our members.

This Fall we will host a large event at UofG and the feature speaker will be Joel Salatin, from Polyface farms in West Virginia, he will focus his lecture on how it is still possible to have a viable family farm if we would only just think outside the box.

Sean McGivern

I have read an article on Mr.Salatin before but what he does is not radical or innovative.He is just farming like most of our Grandfathers farmed years ago and like a lot of Amish still do.
The hard part about that way of farming these days is you have to convince your customers that your way of farming is better than the big guy down the road and therefore worth the escalated prices.

There was a great story in the Kitchener-Waterloo Record a few years ago about a area farmer that raised grass-fed beef and charged customers and restaurants a premium price and was doing very well with it,he couldn't understand why others in the beef industry that were losing money didn't do the same thing.He failed to realize that if others in his area did the same thing the result would be the disappearance of the premium price,suddenly your losing money.

Was there not talk of becoming an accredited organization also ?
Wonder what happened to that pipe dream ? Achmed or just plain old reality ?

Stan (me) has taken (wasted) time looking at the PFO website ....still lots of words not much action.
all about Sean .....what happened to the tribunal fight?

stan Holmes

Congrats Stan on getting a responce
Seems we agree on a couple of more things
visting web site sees nothing new
Might just as well take the I out of practial farmer and put in Sean
Tomorrow will be a week for my ask for clarificaton from Sean thats still at the top on bees as livestock and if thats the practical farmers official postion
At least you got a answer and have confirmation he might have read both of us
Larry Lynn Exeter Ont

When it comes to cans of worms, nobody and/or no organization, is handier at dishing it out, and/or trying to have it both ways, than corn farmers and their organization, the Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO) - except, of course, supply managed farmers.

For example, grain farmers see nothing wrong with legislation mandating the use of ethanol which benefits then at the considerable expense of livestock farmers, yet when legislation is proposed which might benefit bee-keepers at the expense of grain farmers, they scream blue murder - this is, of course, a double-standard on the part of grain farmers, and the reason why GFO doesn't have much, if any, credibility.

It's time for grain farmers to put on their "big boy pants" and realize the door swings both ways - if they're going to be allowed to use ethanol legislation to dish it out to livestock farmers, they need to be able to suck it in when it comes to legislation about neonics and bee-keepers.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Never thought about ethanol mandate good-pesticide ban bad,,just like livestock antibiotics that are getting banned without prescription all pesticides,herbicides are going to come under heavy scrutiny . Gov't does not need to pick on farmers as they do a good job themselves of that. Regardless of neo being cause or not it won't affect crop production much and everyone need the bees for pollinators ,lets error a bit here on the side of caution. Any of us could cross the road 99 times without looking and never get hit but maybe the 100 th. time there is a big truck coming. Let's just chill out a bit and try to be the neighbors we would want to have.

SO Steve now u want to add clothing expert and advice to your resume as well as the only expert on econmy
Sorry your advice on what I need to wear was not requested and will be ignored concidering the source
Have no idea why my ? on status of bees as live stock from Practical farmers
would require a reply or comment from u
AS U have told me
I am wrong and cranky '
YOUR words not mine Suggest
FROM here u are wrong , cranky and possibly a few other things I am much to polite to say here
Certainaly you are entiled to your veiw of the world
ITS a 2 way street so want to be very clear your advice is not required here on how I should dress or think
Resepect is earned and not a given and for those who choice to show no respect for others deserve just that no respect
JUST a reminder once again my ? was to Shan Mc on bees as livestock from practial farmers

Had absoulty nothing to do with grain farmers other than the crops I grow [ guess if you want to stech it , Will admit to being a GFO member paying check off but my ? had absoultly nothing to do with ethonal or corn prices to livestock
HOWEVER seeing thats what you want to go on and on about
Here are 2 ? that are either a yes or NO answer
DO u have treated seed used on your farm this year
R u going to give your land renter a break on rent as you certaianaly have run the # know what todays price is going to do to your land renters bottom line
IF u concider this none of my bussines thats fine
ANY of your comments or snide remarks thrown my way are also not appreciated or respected or any of your bussines
I can agree to disagree
Thats fine by me
The ball is in your court going foward as to how and under what rules u want to play by
Hopefully this is clear enough ! that your higher education and degrees u are so proud and constantly reminding everone of will allow you to understand
Larry Lynn Exeter ONT
A Huron farmer, a grower of corn wheat and soys and specaiatly beans
with a electrian licence and graduate of the school of hard times and high interest rates in the farming industry
YES my spelling is not good or my writing skills
But have enough street smarts and experince to call a spade a spade or possibly a cat with a white stripe on its back for what it really is
That would be a cat with a white stripe up its back ;-)

I don't like the double-standard coming from corn growers when it comes to being in favour of legislation mandating ethanol and against proposed legislation restricting neonics.

I also don't like the scurrilous ad-hominum attacks on Mr. McGivern orchestrated by the proponents of neonics - let's put it this way, the double-standards on the part of his, with the notable exception of Mr. Lynn, usually anonymous attackers, far-outweighs any real, or imagined, double-standards on his part.

Furthermore, if Mr. Lynn feels the need to wrap himself in the flag of the school of hard knocks and portray himself to be a semi-literate martyr in order to avoid taking responsibility for advocating double-standards, then his arguments can easily be seen to be far-shallower, and far-less believable, than what might otherwise be observed.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Whoops Steve seems some one is cranky this Morning
Finally something to agree on
I am not realy happy with the double standard you use
Won't use the big words you like to use MR Thompson
Please bring the proof of my involment with any orchestrated attacks on Mr MC Givern
I have only personaly pointed out some of the things said By him on this fourm
AS far as me being involled in any anonymous attacks here
bring the proof
Guess we could now go on to all those anonymous letters of support for u but whoops
You have been very clear more than once what you think of those not willing to
sign there name
AS far as wrapping myself in the flag no more so than you as a teacher ,econmist etc
Think your shot about being shallow less beleivable I personaly feel apply to u as well in spades
So now that all the deflection , redirection is underway
Could We please get Back to my orginal
UNSCRIPTED serious ? of Sean Mc Givern about Practiacal farmers and bees as livestock please
Possibly my fence line comment in some peoples eyes was not the right way to point out my reason for the Question
but did bring out at least one interesting responce on importance and priorty

Merely trying to point out there are rules, regulations for livestock already in place for ,care transportation health etc
Are the bee keepers under these rules or have a set of there own and if so were would one find them ?
Larry Lynn

When corn growers fall all over themselves to claim that ethanol legislation doesn't harm livestock feeders, and then, in almost the same breath, claim that proposed neonics legislation would adversely affect corn growers, and use reductio-ad-absurdum arguments when making both claims, the overall credibility of corn growers on both issues goes, quite-rightly, to zero.

If the best response corn growers can muster to defend their double standard, is to launch ad-hominem attacks against a third party (Mr. McGivern), then it appears quite obvious that corn growers believe the rules, any rules, simply don't apply to them.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Seriously Steve
Scroll down again read Greed and the liberals just got a thumbs up from this fourm, both from Sean McGriven
Your own posts and you are acussing who of what.?
Pretty nice accusations ,care to share your actual proof of the conspircy
If there is a confirmed third party it is you
Cranky i may be, but wrong really who is being the one showing no respect here? Possibly u might just have been surprised that i would dare to disagree or not go away quietly
Just as a reminder i have asked u some.? In case its slipped your mind:-)
Larry Lynn Exeter Ont

Who was it that went after the GFO on this site ? Was it McSnivern or the PFO . There seems to be many posts put up by the same person with not a stitch of a definite devision between speaking for which one . All thoughts are the two are the same . The two have one member . No sense of majority rules which does not happen when you are the only member .

If I remember correctly he wanted a response that was likely in the works but he being a one person board could not wait and more than likely screwed him self out of a response .

Some times fate has a funny way of working !
Steve might also want to see where corn feed beef has boosted the price of beef .
Further it might be time for Steve to put on his big boy pants and step out of his huggies when it comes to claiming from the pulpet all the wrongs of supply management . When will he stand up at an OFA PAC meeting and make his case heard in a forum where it can be changed ? Until then huggies it is for him .

Scurrilous ad-hominem attacks launched from the security of anonymity are the worst kind of cowardice and/or bullying - a pox on all anonymous posters for not having the cojones, or the brains, to express an intelligent idea.

More to the point, since this poster cannot deny that grain farmers, and the Grain Farmers of Ontario, have demonstrated enough hypocrisy about ethanol to scuttle any credibility they have with neonics, all he/she can do is "shoot the messenger".

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

The original poster, whether anonymous or not, simply asked when are you (Stephen) going to stand up at an OFA PAC meeting and bring forth your opinions about Supply management and ethanol? Could you please answer the question? We are all patiently waiting for the answer.

Neither the OFA, nor any of the other general farm organizations, can handle divisiveness, nor could they, even if they wanted to do so.

At, I believe, the 2012 OFA annual meeting in November of that year, an "emergency" resolution to support supply management was brought forward by an OFA director from eastern Ontario - the vote provided nowhere near as resounding an endorsement as supply managed farmers (about 60/40 in favour, if I recall correctly) would have liked, especially since the OFA, and/or its annual meetings, would appear to be disproportionately weighted with supply management supporters. One of these times, depending on how many younger, non-supply managed delegates happen to be voting, this type of resolution won't pass, nor should it. If the OFA was smart, they wouldn't allow resolutions about divisive issues - and it took green energy for them to realize this.

As for ethanol, any resolution about ethanol would split any general farm organization right down the middle - and that would serve no useful purpose espcially since grain farmers have proven to have very-thin skins when it comes to ethanol.

My opinions about ethanol and supply management are both well known to, I suspect, every PAC delegate, and voicing them again at a PAC meeting would serve no useful purpose - more to the point, every PAC member undoubtably has strong opinions about something which would be vigorously opposed by other PAC members, and wisely (in most cases) leaves that "hat" outside the door, as, quite-appropriately, do I.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

I would think the first issue that really brought division was the Green Belt .
Like so many issues you can not expect the whole of the province to understand the issue when they are not affected by it .

Stephen. Quote: “If the OFA was smart, they wouldn't allow resolutions about divisive issues - and it took green energy for them to realize this. Simply put, I don’t believe for one second the OFA Jan. 2012 policy on Wind was either divisive or wrong. Simply ask Google for OFA wind energy policy and voila. See: Jan 2012
Essentially OFA Jan 2012 policy takes the high road and backs up the auditor generals report plus asks for a stay on further contracts from Jan. 2012 forward. Bravo! Unfortunately, OFA failed to "walk the talk" and currently proclaims that they have members on both sides of the issue which simply means those very FEW member farmers who want to make money and several neighbor members and rural residents who have serious concerns as outlined in the auditor generals report. If OFA used the “we have members on both sides of an issue on other issues, most OFA policy development would cease.

So in the interest of full discloure
FOR anyone who hasent figured this out yet and for whatever reason Steve has a bug u know were about my past
I WAS Huron OCPA directer
Then GFO directer from Huron as well, ran for elections and voted in by my peers in Huron
Retired in Jan of 2014 from GFO
So have been out in the big world outside of Huron
GUESS acording to Steve thats my past to wear forever so gee some might also know were I stand
INTERESTING enough I am now a Huron duly elected pac member
I to can park my hat at the door as do I unless Steve wants to say and prove other wise
I do my best to bring foward the concerns of Huron OFA members who have placed there trust in me to be fair and ythoughtfull in making descions and comments
Larry Lynn Exeter ONT
PS hopefully this will not be concidered wrapping my self in a flag any more than Steve claims above :-)


Cop Out Stephen . No big boy pants for you . Huggies it is .
Fence sitting is not an option and will further hurt organizations in the future .

Farmers already have a license in the form of their Grower Pesticide Safety Course . This year there was a section specific to bee safety . The course teacher said next year the bee section would be bigger .
It still amazes me that the Big Guys and the custom applicators spray in winds that I would not even think of being out there spraying in . Some times it is the few bad apples that mess it up for the rest of us .

We were told that the course was mad harder this year because too many people we passing the course and many getting 100% on the test .

I keep bees. They are nestled in a tree row and within roughly 12 to 15 feet on either side there are fields - predominantly in soy and corn rotation. There's a huge drainage ditch in close proximity, running freely with water most of the time. I have not had hive losses from seed treatments.

There needs to be rational dialogue and clarity of thought.

The current actions by the Ontario Gov to farmers who compete in a global economy must mean that the province will be closing its borders to all imports and we will have an Ontario priced grain and oilseed market . I am all for doing the right things but I can't keep being regulated out of the global market by provincial rules in a global market place . I need to have the same tools to use as my biggest trading partner has . If I don't I will need compensation or a closed market .

I averaged 48 bushel beans last year and 190 bushel corn using these treatments this was over 1500 acres.My no nic corn was 5 bushel less and my no cruizer beans was 4 bushel less and we had population loss of 10 % at emergence due to no treatment.We did have to also spray it for aphids but only on the untreated.
I farm in the city of Kawartha lakes
With prices dropping I want to maintain our margins

What if you could make more money, by killing a bunch of your neighbors livestock every year, Would you have any moral issue with that ?

Because from your statement you don't seem to have any moral issue with the loss of domestic honey bees that cared for by local bee keepers, who depend on those bees to make honey so that they have a food product to sell.

Bee keepers are farmers to and they deserve to be treated with respect and not looked down on by big time cash croppers.

I base all of my income number off of beans yielding 36bu per acre and corn at 150bu acres, these yields give us a good return
growing NON GMO IP Soys and Corn and we have land rent that ranges from $60 - $150 acre, i am pretty your not paying $150 an acre land rentin Kawartha Lakes.

Sean McGivern
Practical Farmers of Ontario

There you have it . All of you young wanna be " I can't start farming " criers can now see that you can go to Grey and Bruce counties and start renting land from Sean's landlords because he is not paying enough .

Rents here range from $50-$135 .$100 would take in most of the good land.Rents are dropping as prices are falling.To be clear pollinators are very important we have no intention of destroying this important resource ,the reality is we will lose yield and if we have aphids in beans we will have to work with beekeepers when we have to spray them with insecticide. This is not an attack on beekeepers it is a reality they we all may have to face with increased foliar insecticides and lower yields.

Who needs to inform who of where bees are ? If a farmer is spraying where a bee keeper lives and has his bee yard then I believe the farmer is responsible to make sure he tells the bee keeper when he will be spraying . If bee keepers are taking their bees off of their home yard then the responsibility is on the bee keeper and the land owner to inform the surounding farmers that bees are present . If you are going out into some one elses turf/area the responsibility is theirs . Been told too many times now that guys have been spraying and come around a corner to find bee hives sitting . So many times now we have bee keepers sneaking around placing hives all over the place because they don't want other bee keepers to know where their bees are for fear of them being stolen .

Further the Buy Local fluff from the gov has all kinds of people trying to make a living off of a market garden work from home dream that now has bees hives being placed in all kinds of unusual places . If you don't want your bees killed don't put them out where they are exposed to harm .

Even Beekeepers themselves seem to be split on whether insecticides are fully to blame or not.However do a poll within major urban centres and you will find they think farmers insecticides are 100% to blame,science means little to them.

Perception rules in most of these cases and farmers will always be the ones asked to take a step backwards.We can't be surprised by this new Ag-ministers stance when he has the backing of pretty much every urban Liberal constituent and just about every rural riding trying to vote him out of power, are these new restrictions so surprising!

'77 soybeans had whole farm average of 57 + bu. an acre over the elevator scale ,no seed treatment,bin run seed-Hodgonson...hmmmm maybe I can rent your farm if you are interested

If the gov't fails to give us the same pesticides to maintain yields and price protection to remain competitive with our neighbors to the south then they had better be prepared to cover off the difference with upgraded crop insurance as well as price protection insurance to compete with Uncle Sam.

Typical farmer reaction...let's go to the government for help. So why do you suppose many farmers can achieve the same yields without neocides? Do they have a better rotation? Do they have different soil? Do they pay closer attention to detail...or are they just better farmers?

Now its becoming more clear that the only government involvement that you want is a cheque in your mailbox . If farming really was a true free enterprise ,capitalistic business with no safety nets what would farmers say? A ethanol mandate by our elected government is good but rules on pesticides shown too cause damage too pollinators is bad ? I wonder what farmers think of anyone on U.I. or even worse Mothers Allowance .

As a crop farmer, farming around 2,000 acres in Grey and Bruce Counties, corn and soybeans are important crops in my rotation and i can assure you that each year i pester the coop sales rep well in advance to make sure he has my seed order with out any form of treatment, i want it bare just like it rolls out of the combind only cleaned and inoculated for nitrogen fixing. I have farmed full time since 2000 and have never once had a crop failure, from not using these chemicals. When i talk to other farmers and ask what they have learned from Grain Farmers of Ontario about best management practices for Neonic's they don't know even know what the brand names of the products are and if its on their corn or bean seed, they just know it either has some pink stuff or some blue stuff on it that the sales rep tells them they just have to have.

As a farmer i have to say that Grain Farmers of Ontario, is the most old boy club I've ever seen in Agriculture and if you don't agree with the big boys and the the guys who wish they were big boys that are on the board then your opinion doesn't count.

They are only concerned about GMO crops and corn & soys.

I have seen zero research from them on alternative crops, non gmo crops or organic production. They are stuck in the 1970's and love to be pampered by big Ag.

I would love to see them publish annual report on the amount of money they receive either directly or indirectly from the seed and chemical companies, i am certain if you follow the money you will follow their credibility in a downward spiral....

Sean McGivern
Practical Farmers of Ontario

From the report: "Yearly fluctuations in the rate of losses like these only demonstrate how complicated the whole issue of honey bee heath has become, with factors such as viruses and other pathogens, parasites like varroa mites, problems of nutrition from lack of diversity in pollen sources, and even sublethal effects of pesticides combining to weaken and kill bee colonies"
"There is growing consensus among researchers that one of the largest contributors to poor colony health and colony losses is the varroa mite, an Asian bee parasite first found in the United States in 1987. "

the elected city slickers have no clue how we farm.No insecticides means lower yields in corn and could mean later planting windows.In beans we have been planting earlier and earlier what now .Don't know. More foliar insecticides to control aphids and other insects in beans you can bet on that.

The application of pesticides, to seeds, has never been proven to increase yields, unless of course you read the marketing material supplied by pesticide producers. It also doesn't take a genius to realize that bees are insects and insecticides kill insects.

So corn farmers are more important than making sure we have bees for pollinators ? Most of us in a good crop rotation did not require the seed treatment anyways . Would you have been happier if Minister Leal had just banned air planters that blow the contaminated dust around .

Quote: " Would you have been happier if Minister Leal had just banned air planters that blow the contaminated dust around ." Finger pickup planters work great, with no dust problems so why not move back to a technology that solves the dust issue? Unfortunately, some of the equipment manufactures or livestock guys might not like that solution.

I've missed your point why livestock farmers don't want to use "finger pick up planters". That's all I've used for the last 25 years or so and I don't use the neocides either. The equipment manufacturers will produce what ever sells...or whatever they can brainwash farmers into buying...the brighter and shinier the better eh?

I suspect the point is that for the most part smaller livestock crop growers or cash crop growers tend to use the old slower finger pickup technology with no dust blower problems whereas the larger livestock crop growers or cash crop growers tend to use the newer dust blowers. Bottom line is, if dust blowers are part of the problem, perhaps they are part of the solution.

Grain farmers need to face some simple facts. They have found neonics in dead bees. Bees were not the target when the neonic was applied. That means the stuff drifted. THAT IS NOT THE BEE'S FAULT it is the crop farmers. If they don't want to be responsible and admit they can cause the problem someone will do it for them. Given the lead time required for the seed industry and that seed corn could be bagged and treated for 2015 within 4 months actions had to happen now.

John Gillespie

Neonics are applied at the seed originator to ensure a very precise amount of product is applied to the seed and to ensure applicator health and safety. Very very few, if any, farmer seed salespeople have the equipment. Farm supply outlets have seed treating eqpt but not many have the precision for neonics. Rather than making outrageous, exaggerated, unverifiable claims on bee deaths, the vocal minority within the OBA should start managing their hives as professionals rather than succumbing to the spin doctoring puppet master within its ranks! There, I said it!

Do you not think that the "show of complete ignorance" could easily be on your part for making disparaging comments about the unprofessionalism of those who hold opinions different from yours?

If I was in government, the explosion of vitriol and unsubstantiated allegations, even on this site, subsequent to the making of this announcement would persuade me that, if anything, making this announcement was entirely the right thing to have done, and should have been made far-sooner.

And, given the hyper-partisanship, and "spin doctoring" grain farmers have always shown towards ethanol at the considerable expense of livestock farmers, it's rather easy to conclude that anything grain farmers dislike this much, has got to be a good thing.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Thank you Steve T for trying to bring some facts to the issue
Please do not class all of Huron in with the econimist and now apparently a want to be Joan Rivers clothing expert giving advice on how grain farmers or may be just me as a Huron Grain farmer need to dress to suit Mr Thompson
For u and all the rest of readers beleive me I can only speak for myself but certainaly am not proud of the one track rants
Steve T does not speak or represent me or all of Huron County with his continus rants on Ethonal , supply mangment etc

It is so obvious that you have no clue that livestock farmers grow their own feed and also use the same neonic seed treatment . (Comment modified by editor) .

Huge bee die offs in B.C. where there is little to no corn production. Steve Tywnstra has a point. It would be a complete shame if the gov't bans products and the bees keep dying. The issue is too important for political guessing. The bee die-off needs to be resolved properly before the damage is too great.

When, as this government does, you have a majority, and four years to govern, there simply isn't any political guessing to be done. It's time for grain farmers to get with the program and try to obtain the "least-worst" alternative instead of dreaming that the government will make some sort of miraculous about-face in their favour.

Or, to look at it another way - it's payback time for the lack of votes this government received from the farm community in the recent election.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Even in your own riding there were 47,346 votes cast . If you look at Huron being 2/3 of the riding then you still have 31,564 people who voted . There was a spread of 3882 votes between the PC and the Liberal candidates . As you should be well aware the Huron County Federation of Agriculture has 1900+ members . I suspect the CFFO and NFU do not have more than 2-300 members combined . So to say that it is payback time for the lack of votes this government received from the farm community in the recent election is wrong , poppy cock and an all out lie . The farm community is such a small pecentage of the vote that it does not matter how the farm community votes .
The Green Energy Act was the decision that determined the outcome in Huron Bruce and rural Ontario . Had the PC's had a real leader of their party , I suspect the gap would have been even wider .

If it doesn't matter how the farm community votes:

(A) supply management would have been abolished long ago
(B) politicians wouldn't fall all over themselves to court the farm vote, even to the point where a Premier appointed herself Minister of Agriculture.

I suggest, with no respect whatsoever, after the farm community snubbed the Liberals in the recent election, it really is payback time, and why shouldn't it be?

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Democracy in action Stephen! I believe you said it in other posts before Stephen, the Green Energy Act and over 80 unwilling wind turbine host municipalities had a huge impact on the outcome of the previous election. News flash!.... it just happened again in Rural Ontario. Maybe you think it is o.k. to bow down to a bully and vote against your conscience but most people in Rural Ontario chose not to be bullied. Furthermore, if the Liberal government truly wants a huge increase ag productivity and use agriculture to lead us out of recession then acting like a school yard bully is not the way to "move forward". Finally, the Rural / Toronto /GTA divide IS alive and well and if the Liberals ever want a seat in rural Ontario for the next election they had better soon figure out what Rural Ontario needs.

I agree with you....except if anything this past election has shown us the Liberals don't need rural Ontario,they can form a majority with solely the urban vote.I fully expect every Agricultural Government decision to be make in the next 4 years to have the full support of the urban population,whether we in rural Ontario like it or not.

For someone who keeps sayings he is an economist you missed a big point. If this move by OMAF results in less corn it will hurt livestock producers. Supply and demand. Less supply and the same demand price goes up. Pretty simple.

I missed nothing. Economics doesn't exist to give corn farmers a place to hide when convenient - what this anonymous poster missed entirely is that government seems to have decided that the net-negative impact of dead bees on society, far outweighs any net-positive benefits of cheap corn for livestock producers.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

I'm guessing this is a sneak peek into the future of this minister's file. Next he'll be banning GMO's and factory chicken farms.

I'm quite sure the minister has no say in the matter and will receive his orders from the premiers office. I suspect he was as surprised as GFO

The first thing one learns in any Business/Government relations class, is that government won't ever give anyone any notice of what it intends to do - therefore, it is imperative to always have a "Plan B" when, not if, government makes this sort of "surprise" announcement.

Therefore, for the Grain Farmers to admit to being "taken by surprise" is tantamount to admitting their contingency planning processes and procedures were woefully lacking.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Plan B means more and more acres sprayed with insecticides. Plan B should insure a make work project for custom sprayers and accountants filling out Agristability claim forms though. O course the next "logical step" after plan 'B" would be for gov't to ban plan B sprays then move to plan "C" organic which would reduce overall yields, increase prices and result in plan "D" an outcry for more production to feed the world.

This is such a load of crap that it isn't even funny . They have made the decision before the results from the research projects are even done .
Also Davidson has shown that he does not have a clue how the seed industry works .

An international panel of 50 scientists working as the Task Force on Systemic Pesticides says use of the pesticides should be phased out and this based on over 800 research papers. How much more research is needed?

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