Don't text and drive

Driving safety: an accident is likely to occur 23 more times with cell phone use

Thompsons encourages all drivers not use hand-held communication devices of any kind while driving. Even if using hands-free and voice-activated dialing, it could still be a deadly distraction.

  • Texting and driving makes an accident 23 times more likely.
  • Dialing your phone increase your chances of an accident by 2.8 times.
  • 1 in 5 drivers confess to surfing the web while driving.
  • Smartphones are the most common form of distraction for drivers.
  • Making even the most basic text takes a minimum of 5 seconds of your attention off of the road when you text and drive.
  • In addition to causing 330,000 injuries each year, it’s estimated that about 11 teens die every day as a result of texting and driving. And this is just teens – this is about 4000 total deaths per year in the United States
  • Texting is more dangerous than drunk driving – texting while driving is 6 times more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk. 

Are there any exemptions to Ontario’s distracted driving law?

  • Calling 9-1-1 in an emergency situation
  • When the driver is lawfully parked or has safely pulled off the roadway and is not impeding traffic.

Note: It is dangerous to stop on the shoulder of a 400-series highway and drivers are prohibited from pulling off a designated 400-series highway and parking for a reason other than an emergency. If the situation is not an emergency, drivers are advised to exit the freeway at an interchange or pull into the nearest service centre

Fines (Starting January 1, 2019)

For your first conviction:

  • a fine of up to $1,000
  • three demerit points
  • a three-day day driver’s licence suspension

For your second conviction within 5 years:

  • a fine of up to $2,000
  • six demerit points
  • a seven-day driver’s licence suspension

For your third and all subsequent convictions within 5 years:

  • a fine of up to $3,000
  • six demerit points
  • a 30-day driver’s licence suspension

No text, email or phone call is worth your life, the life of a loved one or the life of another motorist or pedestrian!


Work safe. Farm safe. Home safe.™

™ is a registered trademark of Thompsons Limited.

Thompsons + ANDE + Sylvite

Sylvite purchases Thompsons’ agronomy business from The Andersons Inc.

A message to our valued customers,

We are reaching out to inform you that The Andersons, Inc., the owner of Thompsons Limited, has signed an agreement to sell Thompsons’ agronomy business to Sylvite. Thompsons and Sylvite have been working together now for over 35 years and this collaboration is a great opportunity to have a larger retail network to benefit you, our customer. The Andersons will maintain ownership of Thompsons’ grain storage and food processing facilities and Sylvite will maintain and operate the farm inputs side at these locations.

We believe this new relationship is beneficial to all our stakeholders, especially our customers. Our two companies share the same values and a strong commitment to serving Ontario farmers. We look forward to working together at our shared locations to provide the best possible service to our customers. Sylvite will focus on growing in agronomy products and services. Thompsons/The Andersons will enhance its focus and commitment on the grain and food products businesses.

The final details of this agreement are still being finalized by Sylvite and The Andersons. The sale is expected to close in early to mid-September. Between now and then, we will keep you updated with our progress to better serve you our customer. Our goal is to make this a seamless transition and maintain our normal business operations.

Thank you for the great working relationship we have shared over the years. We plan on continuing our successful partnership with you our valued customer. Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact your account representative.

Sincerely,

Corey Jorgenson,
President, Assets and Originations, Trade Group
The Andersons, Inc.

Father daughter farming

Trailblazing

Women farmers reveal how they have succeeded in agriculture, and how other women can too

By Brenda Schoepp, Country Guide

Country Guide asked for more on how we define a culture that is inclusive, equal and conducive for a successful female heir or independent business person from within a family unit.

In this first part of a three-part series, I went across Canada and asked trailblazers — highly successful women in farming, agriculture and agri-business — about their journeys starting from the time they were girls.

They pursued their dreams despite having very diverse back stories. Still, we need to recognize that the on-farm cultures they grew up in were extraordinarily different, and those differences helped determine the pathways they chose to get to where they are today. Read more

winter wheat bare ground

Managing bare areas in winter wheat stands

By Joanna Folings, Cereal Specialist

How should one deal with large bare spots in a wheat field that is otherwise in good condition?  Unfortunately, there isn’t a one size fits all solution because the size and number of bare spots in fields greatly varies. Here are some options and considerations for filling in those bare spots.

Leave the bare spots alone

While doing nothing with the bare spots may seem like the easiest option, it may create headaches later on.  The biggest implication is weeds.  If you decide to leave the bare spots alone, at minimum you should consider a herbicide application to those areas to keep weeds under control.  Glyphosate resistant Canada fleabane can produce up to one million seeds per plant, so even one Read more

4R nutrient stewardship logo

Thompsons is first agri-retailer to earn 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification in Ontario

First to pass rigorous 37 standards set by the program.

The voluntary program certifies nutrient service providers in the Western Lake Erie Basin and across Ontario that apply or make recommendations on fertilizers in accordance with 4R Nutrient Stewardship principles – which refers to using the Right Source of nutrients at the Right Rate, at the Right Time and in the Right Place. 

Read more

Spotter safety image

Safety: Importance of having a spotter

While spotting for moving trucks and equipment, it may not seem like a dangerous task, but it certainly is. Every year in Canada and the U.S., back-over incidents between equipment and spotters result in fatalities.

Spotting for equipment has been proven to be an effective safeguard for preventing incidents between pedestrians and the equipment as well as preventing property damage incidents, but safe work practices need to be established to protect spotters as well.

Basic safe work practices for spotting

  • Never walk behind the equipment and spot at the same time.
  • Agree on hand signals prior to any spotting activities with equipment operators.
  • As the operator, stop anytime you lose sight of the spotter.
  • Review the work area for any additional hazards such as trip hazards or fixed objects that the equipment can strike. Remove any people, objects, or equipment prior to needing to back into an area to eliminate the possibility of a strike.

Other tips

  • When planning work, look at the task and determine if there is a way to eliminate backing up or minimize it.
  • Often times, personnel who are spotting for equipment may not have ever operated that specific piece or model of equipment. Work with operators to discuss and review the blind spots of the equipment onsite.
Girls to farmers - by D.Stobbe

Turning girls into farmers

Should you raise daughters differently to succeed at farming? This mother, daughter and granddaughter know their answer

By

No matter how progressive we think agriculture is becoming for ourselves, for our wives and for our daughters, there’s still a prevalent attitude that farming is “men’s work.”

Now a new ethos is gaining ground, and anyone who subscribes to the men’s-work way of thinking is being asked — well, ordered really — to get over themselves.

Farming excellence, we’re told, is no longer predicated on the farmer’s muscle strength. Instead, success takes multi-tasking, management, problem solving — areas where women excel at least as often as men.

With the demands ahead, our industry’s priority should be attracting the best and brightest of the next generation, regardless of gender. How can we do that? To find out, Country Guide sent me to talk to the experts: three generations of women from one farm family, all of whom identify solidly as “farmer.” Here is what I learned. — M.B.


Bev Shewchuk can pinpoint the exact moment she realized she’d had enough of not being taken seriously as a farmer. She and husband, Brad, had gone into the local bank to talk financing. Even though she carried the majority of the farm management including all of the day-to-day operating of the farm while he worked away, she waited until he was home from the oil field to make the trip into town since they always did the major farm decision-making together.

When the financing officer handed the couple their completed paperwork, Brad’s occupation was described as “farmer.”

Shewchuk, despite the fact that the couple had clearly described the partnership of their operation, was listed as “housewife.”

“Even though I was 100 per cent engrossed in the farm,” she says, “and even though I made all the decisions with the cattle and sheep, and even though I did every bit of the work when Brad was away, I was still a farmer’s wife even in my own mind until that moment.

“That was my turning point, the moment when I really changed my attitude about my own role on the farm.” Read more

Climbing a ladder image

Safety: Climbing ladders safely

Not maintaining three points of contact when climbing ladders can lead to injuries. Three points of contact is defined as always having one foot and two hands, or one hand and two feet in contact with the ladder at all times.

While maintaining three points of contact is important, maintaining three points of control is critical. Three points of control involves a worker using three of their four limbs for reliable, stable support while climbing a ladder.

Climbing a ladder with a tool in your hands can maintain contact with the ladder but not a firm grip (control) on the ladder rung. Communicate and practice three-point control. It provides for a greater level of safety when climbing ladders.

Other ladder-related best practices include:

  • Inspecting the ladder prior to climbing.
  • Facing the ladder at all times.
  • Hoisting tools rather than carrying them.
  • Keeping the belt buckle between the rails of the ladder.

Safety first in everything you do – on and off the farm.

REMEMBER TO ALWAYS:
Get proper rest. Look after yourself. Slow down. Never take shortcuts.

Work safe. Farm safe. Home safe.™

Exposed electrical box

Safety: Common electrical hazards

Take a moment today to think about electrical hazards and how you can make your operation safe for you, your family, workers and visitors.

There are several things you can do at home, in the barn, and workshops to help eliminate the chances of shocks, electrocution and fires.

Missing covers

Missing covers on junction boxes, switches and outlets expose energized circuits, creating arc flash, shock, and electrocution hazards. In addition, missing covers provide a path of entry into the interior of the enclosure, allowing dust, dirt, and debris to accumulate. Missing covers could allow metallic objects to fall into the circuits that could arc or lodge in a way that presents a hazard when the enclosure is opened.

Broken/unsupported light fixtures

Light fixtures should be permanently mounted to the base and show no signs of damage. Light fixtures that are hanging unsupported by wiring, puts undue stress on the electrical connections. These two conditions present the potential for an electrical short, which can produce sparks that can ignite combustibles leading to a fire.

Circuit breakers

All electrical breaker panels should be equipped with an appropriate cover and remain closed. Missing covers expose the circuits to dust and physical damage. If an arc or short circuit would occur, the cover will contain the sparks from igniting surrounding combustibles.

There should not be any missing breakers or other openings between breakers. These openings allow for the potential for electrocution, physical damage, and dust and dirt to accumulate in the circuits. Spare clips should be installed in any openings in the breaker panel.

Breakers must never be taped or physically secured in the “ON” position. If the breaker is not allowed to trip, or cannot be manually tripped, the wiring could overheat, increasing the chances of a fire.

The electrical panel should be indexed, identifying each individual circuit breaker.

Housekeeping

Electrical equipment can and does fail, often catastrophically, with arcing that produces large amounts of heat. Any combustible material in the vicinity of the arc flash can be ignited.

Access to electrical rooms should be limited to authorized maintenance or operations personnel that understand the importance of maintaining a clean, well-ventilated electrical area.

Electrical equipment areas should be kept dry and equipment needs to be protected from moisture. When evidence of moisture contamination is noted, equipment should be examined for damage and necessary repairs made. The source of the moisture needs to be identified and eliminated.

Electrical equipment areas should be clean and protected from dust and dirt. Placing storage items too close to electrical panels or near electrical equipment will restrict air circulation and impede proper cooling. Excessive heat buildup will result in premature failure and shortened service life.

Work safe. Farm safe. Home safe.

™ is a trademark of Thompsons Limited.