Demand and prices for organic grain remains strong in Ontario

Posted: January 3, 2015 at 4:48 pm

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January 2, 2015 - Organic grain traders, buyers and processors are paying top dollar for corn, soybeans and many other grains and expect this trend to continue.

Depending on test weight and the shipping period, we expect to pay $12 to $14.50 per bushel for organic corn in 2015, says Rita Felder, Owner and CEO of Field Farms Marketing near Petrolia, Ontario.

Tom Manley, President of Homestead Organics near Cornwall, Ontario and Dan Bewersdorff, Organic Grain Program Director of Herbrucks of Saranac, Michigan will be offering similar prices. (Although Herbrucks is based in western Michigan they source from Ontario as well as Michigan, Illinois, Ohio and Indiana.)

Even with organic yields being lower than conventional, Tom estimates that for 100 acres of organic corn, farmers could increase their profit by $700 to $1360 per acre versus conventional.

And its not just corn. I need a lot more of everything, says Tom. Growing niche products such as hops, millet or hemp isnt necessary. There are very strong markets for soybeans, corn, wheat, barley and oats, he adds. All three buyers expect organic soybean prices to be in the range of $29 to $34 per bushel.

In my 17 years in organic, the prices have never been so high. Theyre 2 to 3 times that of conventional, says Tom. Its very lucrative, he adds.

Demand for organic grains is being driven by consumer demand for organic food in a wide variety of categories. As the largest organic egg producer in the United States with over 1 million chickens, Herbrucks sees this trend first hand. The demand for organic eggs is growing so then the demand for organic grain grows too, says Dan. What we can offer growers is a good, solid, established market, he adds.

With strong demand and prices two to three times that of conventional, why arent farmers lining up to convert?

Its a big step and requires people to change how they have been farming for the last two generations, say Dan.

Rita notes that, many conventional farmers have also taken on jobs off the farm. Their plates are already quite full without adding the learning curve of converting to organic.

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Demand and prices for organic grain remains strong in Ontario

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January 3rd, 2015 at 4:48 pm

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