Farm Facts & Furrows

by OMAFRA Ag Rep Brian Bell

2017 Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence Program

Now Accepting Applications: Have you developed and implemented a unique product or process that helps foster innovation in Ontario’s agriculture and food sector? If so, you could be eligible to receive one of the following awards from the Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence Program: Premier’s Award (one award valued at $75,000); Minister’s Award (one award valued at $50,000); Leaders in Innovation Awards (three awards valued at $25,000 each); Provincial Awards (45 awards valued at $5,000 each). Primary producers / farmers, processors and Agri-food organizations are invited to apply. A copy of the program guidebook and application form, as well as information on previous award recipients is available online at www.ontario.ca/agrifoodinnovation or by phone at 1-877-424-1300. Applications will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, April 28, 2017.

Time and labour are the largest costs on the farm

Many people take for granted the amount of time a job will take but have the cost of supplies set in stone. We need to realize that time is valuable. If we start to track the time it takes to do certain jobs, we can look for efficiencies and designate the time to another task. You cannot track what you do not measure. Until we actually mark down our time and other costs, we cannot figure out if we are improving in our enterprises. Setting goals for improvement in whatever you do can help to benchmark current practices and lead to savings in time and money in the future. A little bit of planning will save you the headache of the future. Plan like you will be thinking of the next generation. When you think about new buildings, pastures, seed, or livestock, planning should look at both what you can afford now and the years to come. Renting can be one of the ways a new farmer can start in the industry so as to afford the best genetics and land available.