Provincial timelines for introducing neonic controls ‘not feasible’ says Grain Farmers chair

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Coming through loud and clear is the message that the Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO) don't care one iota about any losses suffered by bee-keepers, but fall all over themselves to complain to high-Heaven about the possibility that they, themselves, might incur extra expense.

Hey, GFO, do any of you remember the mantra - "We're all in it together"?

It sure doesn't look that way today!

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Most scientists still claim lots of scientific research still to be concluded. Some are already saying, the opposite reaction will entail having enough Cygon, etc pre ordered and stocked in the almost 100% sure chance Aphids, leaf hoppers, and Western Bean cutworm start devouring the beans. Better get your Rogator overhauled Stephen it could end up being your Cash Cow! In fact, given your proposed net-negative profitability of sharecropping for next year it will definitely be your Cash Cow. Hmmmm... "Have Rogator Will Travel" could be the latest Ontario mantra!

Two "shoes" typically drop whenever there is a rapid increase in the price of farmland, such as what we've seen in the past five years, or so.

(1) the first "shoe" to drop is a sudden increase in the number of farm divorces as one party, or the other, decides to cash in his/her newly-realized equity, and flee - therefore, every farm accountant, and especially those members of the legal community who represent farmers going through divorces, have all been extremely-busy in the past several years dealing with farm divorces.

(2) the second "shoe" to drop, and it hasn't dropped yet, is a substantial increase in the demand for farm debt review services - I forsee it happening, especially with today's grain prices, and have re-structured my farming operation so that I can be in a position where I can effectively devote all of my non-spraying time to farm divorces and farm debt review work.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

While Mr. Thompson might or might not be correct about the divorce rate about to explode for those farmers who continue to bid up the price of farmland., he and a few others on this site remain in complete denial of one fact. The one fact is that Intensive Livestock Operations are also named in the same sentence as SM operations in the recent Huron Valco study as the ones primarily responsible for such inflated land values. Therefore, the current optics of his continued diatribe about poor livestock farms is at best questionable and at worst, simply bogus .

Even the most poorly-managed dairy or poultry farm gets, by virtue of 200% tariff barriers available only to supply management alone, obscene amounts of income which only the very-best managed non-supply managed farms are able to match.

More to the point, the rabble and riff-raff on this site continue to ignore the obvious fact that supply management, by definition, places non-supply managed farmers into a type of economic slavery.

Therefore, while there may be some rich "slaves" among non-supply managed farmers, it serves no purpose for this site's rabble and riff-raff to deny that supply management imposes, and institutionalizes, economic slavery, and that this slavery is crippling the entire farm community to the point where only the very, very best non-supply managed farmers are able to match the incomes and purchasing power of even the most-modest supply managed farms.

Or, to put the differences between supply managed farms and non-supply managed farms into context, I offer the following quote from Charlotte Whitton, formerly a long-time Mayor of Ottawa - "Women have to do twice as much as men in order to be thought half as good. Fortunately, that is not difficult."

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Absolutely noone is denying the fact that SM is able to bid up the price of farmland Stephan. On the other hand, you appear to be in absolute denial of the fact that Intensive Livestock Farmers are also named as co-contributers of the valco study and resulting land inflation you often complain about. Clearly, that fact severely deflates your argument, as well as, sinks your battleship. Please tell the whole truth next time.

I don't like to admit this but for once Steve you are right, GFO doesn't care about the bee keepers. At my local meeting last winter the GFO people and most of the farmers there were simply not willing to consider life without neonics. They simply wouldn't be able to farm so they said. I have very rarely used neonic on soy beans (and that was because of a seed mixup and that was all that was available) and have some neonic free corn and it still grows. Maybe the GFO farmers won't be able to outbid as many farmers for the next 500 acres of dirt they want to farm, what a shame!

John Gillespie

Seems the economist is short sighted . You would think the economist would acknowledge not only the expense but also the the competitive disadvantage by not having the same cheaper products to use that US farmers can use .

The bigger gaff in all of this is the fact that much of the research was started when Wynne was the Ag Minister . Goes to show you can't take her for her word .

Are bee keepers "farmers" ? Their name would suggest not .
They maybe need to keep their bee's on their own property or in their yard !

“Are bee keepers "farmers" ? Their name would suggest not . They maybe need to keep their bee's on their own property or in their yard !” What about the native bees they were working your farm before Canada was called Canada; they have more of a right to that land than you do! You think God gave you the right to poison everything because you think you might make a few extra dollars doing so?

Bee keepers are farmers and most of the them have an FBR number, They are just like cash croppers who don't own all the land their crops are grown on.

Sean McGivern

I am not sure how to comment other than to say that is what we get for letting Toronto elect for us out here in farm country . Even as a former Ag Minister , Wynne does not have a clue as to what is going on . She was likely the worst Ag minister we've had . Yet all the farm groups played nice nice instead of stompping their foot down and saying NO .
Hump your back , there's a twister coming and it ain't a tongue !!

Ontario is the measuring stick used in the soy export market today because of quality. Neonics control bean leaf beadle and aphids which will reduce soy quality. I currently plant soys with non air planters. Dust from treated soys since they have no red dog and treat sticks to them better should not be a problem. Ontario could lose the export market if quality drops. I will kill more bees with my sprayer in all likelihood than my planter when I spray to kill insects. I hope this is considered when permits are needed to use neonics as both the soy seed and export industry need quality to survive.
Joe Kerr

i am a fourth generation bee keeper but let the busness early in life but returned to it. At the early age of 16 when in to the golf industry and enjoyed a 32 year career. I have sprayed my fair share of pesticides,about five eight years a program called IPM was was introduced the main objective was to reduce the active ingredient used inorder to kill pests.
i have incountered bee losses from neonics and have the reports from the PMRA to prove it. I think its time for the Pesticide and Seed companies and the farmers To start impementing an IPM approach and only use a pesticide when when pests are a problem. If a spray app is applied early or late in the day no harm will be done to the honey bees when the material dries on the leaf blade it does not dislodge.As for crop yield no one proven that not using neonics reduces that.Be a leader not a follower try it for a year and give our bees a chance
P. Dickey

So..., after spraying pesticides for 32 years with little regard of the consequences, now that (you say) it effects YOU, it should stop!

Comments of "I'm a 4th generation beekeeper" have little to nothing to do with today's beekeeping practices. A "generation" is a little more than 20 years. Since varroa mites came 20 years ago, (one generation) Dad, Granddad and Great Granddad offer nothing from their experience on how to manage mites.
If you are continuing 3 generations ago practices of beekeeping, well there you go...

I am "only" a 1st generation beekeeper, my 30+ years beekeeping allows me the right to add my views.
For years my bees have been surrounded by neonic crops, although I have recently had substantial winter losses, I blame the weather first.

People will blame anything before blaming themselves.

I am surprised that bee keeper of 30 years wouldn't share his or her name, are you really a bee keeper or do you work fro crop life ?

Sean McGivern

Smart move, try to discredit me rather than address my comment.

I "am" a beekeeper, since 1981, I don't work for Croplife, or anyone else for that matter.
Since my beekeeping experience differs from the popular media hype, I am reluctant to name myself.
Credibility attacks such as yours justify my decision.

I truly wish I could sit down and calmly discuss Neonics with any beekeeper who has had personal experience with the effects, but I have yet to met anyone.

I have written the OBA asking how they came up with Neonics as the main culprit killing our bees when the last 7 years of compiled provincial beekeepers' surveys never once mentioned pesticides as a cause.
(I suggest you and everyone else reading this look up the Ontario Provincial Apiarist's Annual Reports, Canadian Honey Council reports and the Canadian Association of Professional Apiarist reports for the last 7 years to confirm these facts)
The OBA never addressed my question, dismissed me by saying they are all volunteers who believe in what they are doing as if their belief should be reason enough.

I know my views are contrary but my experience backs me up.

And without your name, your experience counts for naught and your views are merely gossip.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Thompson's views are only shared by a tiny vocal minority.
They view signed posts as gospel no regard how ridiculus and unsigned posts as "gossip" regardless of how factual.
Maybe it is compensation of some type and I usually feel a bit sorry for him.
Ignore it, most of us do.
I appreciate hearing your views.

It seems to me that many Ontario croppers believe they need neonics to get a viable crop to market. What scientists and the Ag. Ministry tell us is that we do not. Specifically 10-20% of acres in Ontario make use of the product, otherwise it is waste. It is a waste of farmer's money, it is a toxic waste product that ends up in our water ways and it is a waste of our public money trying to deal with this debacle. There is only one tiny segment of non-farmers benefiting from this product: chemical multi-nationals and their distributors. Why is the GFO going to bat so hard for a product with such limited effectiveness in Ontario?

Most farmers know it is not useful but what choice do they have? What will happen to their crop insurance if they suffer a loss and they didn't use neonics? It will drop like a rock. The government needs to do all it can protect farmers from what increasingly looks like a bungled approval process for a product that didn't have enough data to be safely released. That approval happened at a Federal level but there is 0 movement at the Federal level to address the issue. Therefore the provincial government is displaying leadership on this issue, a rare sight in these days and so maybe many commentors do not recognize it when they see it.

It is clear that neonics are a major contributor to pollinator loss and possibly to overall ecosystem degradation. And just so that it's crystal clear: to have a viable farm you need a viable ecosystem. What is also clear is that government and those group that are pushing for controls on the products are not meeting Farmers needs and concerns around this product. I suspect if farmers fears around crop insurance could be met that we could move forward.

It would seem the poster does not get a hydro bill since he thinks gov has not been stepping up as late . Minister Leal has said publicly that we need the feds to come on board and put their 60% share in to fully fund the Risk Management Program . Then went on to say that if it is not trade freindly to bring on the action . Well why then doesn't Leal and his Ontario Liberal Gov make it a fully funded Ontario program ? They can step up and do the program 100 % on their own with out federal support .

Crop insurance is just one small part of the total picture . There is more involved than just crop insurance . What about having a competitive level playing field ?

There should be no Farm Debt Review . That is just plain utter bull shit to give some one an out for bad management . If you go broke you go broke . That's it that's all !!

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