Manitoba Organic Alliance Organic Bytes February 2015

Organic prices

Below are the highest organic grain prices (spot market prices unless otherwise indicated) gathered recently by MAFRD. Sources include farmers and buyers who have shared recent sales prices and theUSDA National Organic Grain & Feedstuffs Report. Prices do not include transportation unless otherwise indicated. Conventional prices come fromFarm Leadin SK and theWestern Producer Markets Moment Special Edition. USDA prices are in US dollars, the rest of the prices are Canadian.

For vegetable prices, check outCOG's Organic Price Tracker(eastern Canadian data only).Cyber-Help for Organic Farmerslists wholesale prices for organic fruit (fresh and frozen) and vegetables (Vancouver).

Soybeans - food$28.80/bu (USDA); conv. $9.99/bu
Soybeans - feed$24.48/bu (USDA)
Oats - milling$6 (2015 contracts $6/bu); conv. $2.75/bu
Flax - brown$34/bu old crop $33 2015 contract; conv. $13.50/bu old crop, $12/bu 2015 contract
Corn$12.20/bu (USDA); conv. $3.85/bu
Mustard - yellow$0.90/lb (2015 contract)
Mustard - brown$0.85/lb (2015 contract)
Wheat - feed$12.17/bu (USDA)
Wheat - Soft White$15/bu 2015 contract; conv. $5.50/bu old crop

Organic Premium this Month(based on highest organic and conventional prices)

Oats Milling218%
Flax - brown252%
Wheat - soft white273%
Soybeans - food288%


Organic market opportunities

grain truck

Grain Millers is buyingorganic oatsfor $6/bu delivered to Yorkton, SK (2015 contract),organic soft white wheatfor $15/bu fob farm (contactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), organicbrown flax@ $34/bu (old crop) and $33/bu (2015 contract) (contactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) andorganic buckwheatfor $0.38/lb. (contact Jessie Vanderpoel).

A producer in Forest is looking fororganic 4010 peasfor seeding. Call Ron Bertrand at 204 728-7089


Organic Farm Production Club meetings

eIf you're an organic producer, aspiring organic producer or you just want to learn about organic production, please consider coming out to one or more of the following farm club meetings this winter. The Farm Clubs allow producers to share information about organic production. The general format is to identify a topic, bring in an expert or two, and let the information fly! Feel free to attend any or all of the following meetings. There is no cost to participate.

Organic Farm Production Club meetings are made possible by funding from Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.

1.BrandonMarch 7 2015 2 - 5 pm, Riverbank Discovery CentreDiscussion Topic:Building soil fertility on your organic grain farmDiscussion Leaders:Darcy Hickson, a producer from the Forest area and Brenda Frick, an organic extension specialist based in Saskatoon.Directions:From Hwy 10/18th St. South, turn left onto Kirkcaldy Drive. Turn right onto Conservation Drive (#1 -545).
2.DauphinMarch 14 2015 1-4 pm, United Church Board RoomDiscussion Topic:Improving productivity, while minimizing pests and weeds through intercroppingDiscussion Leaders:Scott Chalmers, MAFRD Diversification Specialist and Keith Bamford, Research Technician, Natural Systems Agriculture Unit, University of Manitoba.Directions:The church is in the centre of Dauphin, just off Main Street (#37 3rd Avenue, NW)
3.Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre, University of Manitoba Glenlea Research CentreMarch 21 1-4 pmDiscussion Topic:Growing organic vegetables in tunnelsDiscussion Leaders:Dennis Hoeppner, organic vegetable producer from Oak Valley Vegetables and Tom Gonsalves, Vegetable Specialist, Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development.Directions:Drive south on Route 75 - Pembina Highway from Winnipeg, 3 kilometres past the St. Adophe turnoff (Hwy 210). Turn left (East) onto Research Station Road at the two flag poles. The Farm and Food Discovery Centre is the red and white building just after the dyke. Parking is a gravel lot in front of the building.
4.University of Manitoba Research Farm, CarmanMarch 24 2015 1-4 pmDiscussion Topic:2015 Crop Selection, New Crop ConsiderationsDiscussion Leaders:Various organic producers and experts will provide an overview of the key production considerations for growing spelt, soybeans, naked oats, camelina, hemp and other new(ish) crops under organic management.Directions:Drive 1.8 km west of the junction of Hwys 3 and 13

Organic news bytes

Consumers want organic, so why are farmers wary?

Paying $8 for a small box of breakfast cereal might seem outrageous. But an increasing number of Canadians are willing to pay 10, 20 or 40 percent more for certain grocery store items, if the food is produced organically.

Clickherefor the story

One Earth Farms acquires two beef brands

Toronto-based One Earth Farms is looking to broaden its reach with the acquisition of western beef brand Chinook Organics and its private label, Diamond Willow Organics.

Once a corporate grain farm, One Earth Farms left behind crops after its acquisition of beef producer Beretta Farms in 2013.

Since then, One Earth Farms has purchased Canadian Premium Meats, Heritage Angus Beef and Sweetpea Baby Food. One Earth Farms also owns a Toronto-based catering company called Beretta Kitchen.

Clickherefor the story

Grocery Stores Are Running Out of Organic Milk

About once a week the phone rings at the Dill Pickle Food Co-op in Chicago’s artsy Logan Square neighborhood with the same question: Got milk? Organic, to be exact.

“I’ll have people call up and say, hey, I know the truck’s comingon Tuesday, can you put aside three half-gallons?” said Dana Bates-Norden, 33, who works as the buyer of perishable goods for the store, which in 2014 started selling out of the glass-bottled milk it gets from Midwest organic dairies within two days. “When I first started two years ago, I felt like I ended up having to write off a lot of organic milk, and now, I really can’t keep it in stock.”

Clickherefor the story

True North on the verge of official federal certification

Manitoba is within weeks of having a modern federally certified livestock slaughter plant, says Calvin Vaags, owner and operator of True North Foods near Carman.

“We are currently operating right now as a provincial plant but we are actively working towards our federal certification and it shouldn’t be that far away. I am estimating a month to six weeks,” Vaags told the recent annual meeting of Manitoba Beef Producers.

Clickherefor the story

Exploring the transition to organic farming

Transitioning to organic farming presents challenges, but the benefits may outweigh them, said speakers at a session on organics at Ag Days last month.

Clickherefor the story (pg. 19)


Biotech bits

U.S. approves first biotech apple that resists browning

U.S. regulatorson Fridayapproved what would be the first commercialized biotech apple, rejecting efforts by the organic industry and other GMO critics to block the new fruit.

Clickherefor the story


New organic farmer forum

4 Organic Farm Talk logo compressed small

Organic Farm Talkwas started by organic Saskatchewan organic producers Cody Straza and Allison Squires.This is a space where organic producers can come together and exchange knowledge and ideas about organic farming practices and other related issues. This site also provides an area for consumers who are interested in learning more about organic farming to ask their questions directly to organic producers. Everyone is welcome to join! This site is also mobile friendly so you can check it while you're on the go or in the field. Clickhereto sign up.


Register your farm to avoid spraying

This is your annual reminder to send an email or a quick letter to Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship to get on the no-spray list. This list is shared with Municipal Pesticide programs so that they are aware of your farm's organic status when spraying roadside weeds. The contact person at CWS isThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship, Box 80, Building 1218, 123 Main Street, Winnipeg, MB, R3C 1AS.

Just to be sure that all of your bases are covered, you should also make contact with your local aerial sprayer to ensure that they program your farm's GPS coordinates into their systems.


Organic food processing survey

The Food Development Centre and MAFRD, in partnership with the Canada Organic Trade Association are conducting a first ever national survey of the specific challenges that organic food manufacturers face in bringing value-added organic food products to market.

If your business manufacturers organic processed food products to sell at Farmers' Markets, retail outlets or through any other sales channel, we would love to hear from you. Results of the survey will be used to help improve the business environment for organic food processing in Canada.

Clickhereto go to the survey


New farmer survey

Hello farmers and friends of farmers!

If you are currently farming, want to be a farmer, or have recently exited farming, we need to hear from you! Please take a few minutes to complete this survey to support the next generation of farmers in Canada.

The National New Farmer Coalition and the University of Manitoba have put together a survey to assess the needs of new farmers in Canada where it concerns policy and educational opportunities. The results from this survey will be used to develop a National New Farmer Policy Platform that we aim to share with all levels of government. It will also document the sources of new farmer learning and make suggestions on how to improve this training in Canada. In order to give weight to our recommendations, we need as many farmer voices as possible.

Please forward this survey to everyone in your farming/foodie network.

Clickhereto go to the survey



February 25-26 2015MOSES Organic Farming ConferenceLacrosse, WI

February 25-26 2015Manitoba Young Farmer Conference, Victoria Inn, Brandon
Clickherefor program details. Cost: $135 per person

February 26 2015 10 am - 3:30 pmHigh Stock Density GrazingBrandon Research Station, $25 per person. Speakers Neil Dennis and Brian Harper. RSVP to Michael Thiele by February 23rd at 204 365-6334,This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

March 5-6 2015CETAB Organics for All! Victoriaville, QCTo mark its 5th anniversary, the Centre d'expertise et de transfert en agriculture biologique et de proximité (CETAB+) is hosting a major conference on organic farming that will be of interest to researchers, advisers, students and farmers, whether engaged in organic or conventional agriculture. Two days will be devoted to technical know-how and the results of research, particularly that carried out with support from NSERC, the main financial partner of CETAB+. The third day will be devoted to the general public.

CETAB+ researchers and partners, together with international experts and leading organic producers, will give lectures on soils, green manure, field crops, market-garden production, apple growing, and nutrition and the environment. Panel discussions will feature advisers and farmers. Clickherefor more details

March 6-7 2015Direct Farm Marketing Conference, Brandon, John R. Brodie Science Centre, Brandon UniversityEarly bird registration by February 6. Speakers include Charlie Touchette from the North American Farmers' Market Association, Colleen Biggs of TK Ranch in Alberta, Wayne McDonald of McDonald Farm, Ian Grossart of Howpark Farm, Tom Gonsalves and Jeff Fidyk from MAFRD, Danny Kleinsasser from Danny's Whole Hog BBQ Smokehouse and many others. Clickherefor conference details

March 7 2015 12:30-2 pmOPAM AGMRiverbank Discovery Centre, Brandon. All are welcome.

March 7 2015 2-5 pmBrandon Organic Farm Production Club meeting.See details above.

March 10 2015Webinar: Promoting native pollinators in organic farming systems. Clickherefor more information

March 14 2015 1-4 pmDauphin Organic Farm Production Club meeting.See details above.

March 21 2015 1-4 pmGlenlea Organic Farm Production Club meeting.See details above.

March 24 2015 1-4 pmCarman Organic Farm Production Club meeting.See details above.

March 24-25 201510 ameach day Grazing Management Principles, Brandon Research StationInstructor Blaine Hjertaas will lead participants through a two day workshop focusing on ecosystem functions, grazing principles, and land planning. Each producer will leave with a completed grazing management plan for his or her own farm. Cost $75. RSVP toThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.(204 365-6334)

April 1 2015 SaskOrganics Transition Workshop, North Battleford, SKContactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.for details.

April 2 2015SaskOrganics Transition Workshop, Humbolt, SKContactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.for details.

April 6 2015SaskOrganics Transition Workshop, Swift Current, SKContactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.for details.

April 7 2015SaskOrganics Transition Workshop, Assiniboia, SKContactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.for details.

April 8 2015SaskOrganics Transition Workshop, Estevan, SKContactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.for details.

July 16-18 2015Sustainable Ranching and Regenerative Grazing CourseLearn how to double your sustainable profits while regenerating your environment. Instructors Johann Zietsman is a renowned cattle and composite breeder and a certified Holistic Management practitioner. Zietsman is acknowledged as the first person to use Ultra High Stock Density. Cost $500, lunch is provided all three days. For more information and to register, contactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 204 662-4060