GFO pursuing DON tool

The federal and provincial governments are supporting a Grain Farmers of Ontario initiative to find a way to forecast the risk of high concentrations of DON in corn crops.

Officials state the tool would help both traditional and organic corn farmers to make early, informed decisions about their crops and the use of fungicide or other treatments that reduce the risk of DON. This would also help reduce DON-related challenges faced throughout the corn value-chain and is similar to a forecasting tool for wheat.

The investment is worth over $150,000.

What that forecasting tool is and how it will work is still in the very early stages.

But GFO CEO Barry Senft says with the high DON levels from the past growing season still being felt through the industry, it’s a start to something that can help farmers prepare and maintain business and the province’s grain corn value chain.

Some previous government responses to DON-affected Ontario farmers, include:

  • Creating a tiered corn salvage benefit in support of requests from farmers who dealt with DON in their corn crop last year
  • Establishing another partnership with the Grain Farmers of Ontario to develop best management practices for in-season mitigation of DON and for effectively managing the storage of high-DON corn
  • And the provincial government extending its Commodity Loan Guarantee Program loan repayment deadline, giving farmers affected by DON additional time to market their corn.