This Conference occurred in Winnipeg in February 2016. Most of the sessions were recorded and can be seen as outlined below.

Designing sustainable farming systems. Dr. Martin Entz, Professor, Plant Science, University of Manitoba

Designing sustainable farming systems means "thinking whole farm". And thinking whole farm means focussing not only on the individual parts of a farming system, but on the connections between the parts as well. Dr. Entz will share his experiences with whole farm design and provide practical examples for organic farmers.

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Chris Boettcher, Boettcher Family Farm, ON

Chris Boettcher is more than a shepherd. He sees himself as the conductor of a complex farm business that includes multiple components that work synergistically to create a balanced and resilient farm ecosystem. Chris will explain how integrating a rotational sheep grazing system with field crops and vegetables makes both agronomic and financial sense.

Beating them down and cutting them off. Managing weeds organically. Dr. Steve Shirtliffe, Professor and Katherine Stanley, M.Sc. Student, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Saskatchewan

Mechanical weed control can be accomplished with a variety of implements and techniques. We will present research results using in-crop techniques including harrowing, rotary hoeing and inter-row cultivation. We will also discuss the concept of harvest weed seed management and equipment to utilize this technique.

Resilience and innovation in organic farming. Dr. Caroline Halde, Laval University, Assistant Professor, Sustainable Agriculture, Université Laval

In a changing climate with uncertain international food policies, the capacity of organic farmers for learning and adaptation is constantly being tested. This talk will present examples of organic farmersfrom coast to coast, that have turned to resilience thinking and have achieved farm sustainability through adaptability and change.

Green manures. Ask an expert. Dr. Martin Entz, University of Manitoba, Dr. Kathleen Delate, Iowa State University, Dr. Derek Lynch, Dalhousie University

Do you have questions about how and when to use Green Manures? Here's your chance to ask the experts about your situation. They will provide advice about Green Manure selection, using single or multiple species, timing of planning, termination. Any question is fair game.

Biodiversity in organic production helps yields, pest management, and economics. Dr. Kathleen Delate, Professor/Extension Organic Agriculture Specialist, Agronomy and Horticulture, Iowa State University

Biodiversity across the farm and across time is necessary for a sustainable organic operation. Research results from Iowa and the Midwest will be presented that demonstrate the benefits of increasing diversity in terms of crop species and ecological niche to provide optimal yields and enhanced ecosystem services, including pest management. Economic returns also benefit from longer crop rotations and mixed species.

Linking soil fertility and soil health to cropping systems design. Dr. Derek Lynch, Associate Professor, Depart Plant Animal Sciences, Dalhousie University

The holistic approach of organic farming aspires to closely link cropping practices with beneficial changes to both soil fertility and soil health. Much more North American data, which sheds light on these linkages, has become available in recent years. The impact of management strategies on organic grain, potato, and forage productivity and organic matter, nutrient (nitrogen, phosphorus), and soil microbial and macrofaunal community dynamics will be presented.

Good to great. Tom Frantzen, Owner/Operator Frantzen Farms

Tom uses the defining business management study from the 1990's, Good to Great by Jim Collins, along with principles gleaned from holistic management on his own journey towards making better decisions to build a sustainable and resilient organic farm enterprise.

Farm equipment. The best bang for your buck. Jeremiah Evans, Ward Middleton and Dr. Steve Shirtliffe.

This is your chance to find out from the panel and from other producers in the room which farm equipment represents the best investment.

These

talks

were

profess-

ionally

recorded

by

Cerebral

Focus

and can

all be

accessed

here.

 

Have your cake and eat it too? Grazing green manures to generate income while building soil. Joanne Thiessen Martens, Research Associate, University of Manitoba and Ian Grossart, Howpark Farm, MB

Grazing a legume green manure can boost income while providing nitrogen to rotation crops, but there is still a lot to learn about managing these systems. This session highlights researcher and farmer experience with grazed green manures, including effects on soil, crops, weeds, and more. Moderator Michael Thiele, Ducks Unlimited, MB

The organic advantage - organic vegetable production. Gunta Vitins, Resilient Solutions Consulting

Canada's organic sector needs to significantly increase its production capacity to keep up with the ever-growing consumer demand for organic products. In fact, less than 25% of the domestic demand for organic vegetables at retail is currently filled by Canadian producers. In this presentation, Gunta will discuss the demand for key organic vegetables and retail price trends relative to conventional, and outline the market opportunities, economic benefits, and resources to support a successful transition into the sector.

Growing high yielding high quality organic grains and vegetables in Manitoba.

Marvin Dyck and Jason Peters, agronomists for PGF Organics (Kroeker Farms) will share some of the secrets behind one of Manitoba's most successful organic farms.

Producers make the case for the best specialty field crop to grow on the Prairies.

Camelina - Franz Kracher Freefield Organics, Hemp Grain - Larry Marshall Marshall Farm, Mustard Seed - Alan McKenzie Hedgeville Stock Farm, Spring Spelt - Larry Pollock Pollock Farms Organic producers will make the case for the best speciality crop to grow based on markets, ease of growing and fit within an organic rotation. The audience gets the final say.

Improving the economic and environmental performance of your beef operation. Ryan Boyd, Brian Harper, and Todd McPeak.

This panel of producers will give you some advice and answer your questions about how to improve your bottom line while reducing the environmental footprint of your beef operation.

These

talks

were

recorded

by MOA

volunteers

and

can be

viewed

at the

Organic

Manitoba

YouTube

channel