Organic Bytesfinal

April 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 andRayglen Commodities. 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).

The organic grains market appears to be steadier these days - that is the prices are less prone to extremes, yet sellers keep selling and buyers keep buying. When shopping for a buyer, consider asking US buyers to pay (or contract) in US currency. With the Loonie depressed relative to the US dollar, don't leave this 20% on the table.

Soybeans - food$28.77/bu (USDA)
Soybeans - feed$24.11/bu (USDA)
Oats - milling$6/bu (old crop and new crop) del. to Yorkton; conv. $3.02/bu (MB)
Oats - feed$4.25-4.50/bu fob farm
Barley - feed$8-8.25/bu fob farm; conv. $3.45/bu (MB)
Corn - feed$12.58/bu (USDA); conv. $4.40-4.79/bu
Mustard - brown$0.80/lb. (contract); conv. $0.25-0.27/lb
Mustard - yellow$0.90/lb. (contract); conv. $0.35-0.38/lb
Wheat - soft white$15/bu; conv. $5.50/bu
Wheat - feed$12-12.50/bu fob farm; conv. $3.50/bu

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

Oats - milling198%
Barley - feed239%
Wheat - soft white272%
Wheat - feed357%
Mustard - yellow237%
Mustard - brown296%
Corn - feed262%


Organic market opportunities

grain truck

Best Cooking Pulses has 2015 production contracts fororganic green peas. ContactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view 306 586-7111

Grain Millers has 2015 contracts fororganic buckwheat(0.38/lb, contactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view 952-983-1277),organic yellow mustardat $0.90/lb), and organic brown mustard at $0.80/lb, (contactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Grain Millers is also seeking the following crops on the spot market: organic barley ($8-8.25/bu fob farm), organic feed oats ($4.25-4.50/bu fob farm) and organic feed wheat ($12-12.50/bu fob farm). Contact Craig Tomera.

A broker located in Guelph, ON is seeking organicsoft white wheat, hulled oats, spelt and barleyin truckload quantities. ContactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view 519 822-5616


Organic marketing meeting and MOA AGM

Join the organic sector for the last organic sector meeting before seeding.

1 - 3 pm Organic Marketing MeetingWant to help build a vibrant local market for organic food? Join us for a brainstorming session to look at ways to increase the consumer profile of local organic food in Manitoba.

3 - 5 pm MOA AGMHear about MOA's plans for 2015 and join the discussion on an action plan to build the province’s organic sector.

Everyone is welcome - farmers, foodies, retailers, chefs, organic processors. Come and join the discussion to build organics in Manitoba.

Contact Kate at 204-546-2099 for more information.

Thursday, April 23, 2015 from 1 to 5 pm at the Winnipeg Millennium Library (251 Donald St, Wpg), 2nd Floor, Anhang Room


Organic news bytes

Adagio Acres

Adagio Acres at "speed dating" event in Winnipeg

Organic food companies collaborating to increase organic grain supply

US Organic Grain Collaboration to address barriers to increasing organic farmers, develop strategies to increase supply in different regions of US

Sales of organic food are exploding. In 2013, Americans spent $35 billion on organic foods, a 12% increase over 2012. Organic food sales in 2014, which haven’t been compiled yet, will likely top that number.

Major retail chains such as Kroger, Target, and Wal-Mart are making major commitments to sell more organic food. General Mills plans to double their organic product sales in the next five years. Even McDonald’s plans to serve organic items in its restaurants.

Companies committed to growing organic supply

Annie’s, Inc. is another organic food company experiencing supply shortages. Shauna Sadowski, Annie’s director of sustainability, started to address the challenge in 2011 by visiting organic wheat farmers in the Northern Plains and attending organic conferences in the area. “We need a stable supply of wheat,” she said. “My aim was to see what Annie’s could do to support farmers.”

The farmers told Sadowski that they didn’t want to just sell their wheat, but wanted to sell their whole crop rotation. They also described challenges with weeds, crop yields, access to land, the three-year transition to organic, and lack of support from university extension services.

In 2013, Sadowski contacted the Sustainable Food Lab (SFL) to see if they could help. SFL is a consortium of businesses and non-profit groups working to accelerate the shift toward sustainability. “SFL and I thought we could make this bigger than just Annie’s,” she said. “We wanted to bring other companies into the conversation to address needs of farmers and the companies.”

Clickherefor the story

Beautiful relationship grows

It was the perfect match.

On one side of the table was Donald and Amy Nikkel, co-founders of Adagio Acres, a family-owned company near Lundar that produces rolled oat flakes and steel-cut oats. The Nikkels were hoping to meet some local restaurant or café operators who are interested in using their organic, naked oats products (naked oats is an alternative variety of oats) as ingredients in some of their menu items.

And on the other side of the table stood Kendra Magnus-Johnston, a co-owner of Fools & Horses, a coffee/beer/wine bar that's slated to open later this month in downtown Winnipeg. Magnus-Johnson was hoping to find some local farmers who could supply their new bar/eatery with organic baked goods or organic ingredients for their Broadway bar/eatery.

Within a matter of minutes, the Nikkels had struck a deal to begin supplying Fools & Horses with steel-cut oats that will be used as an ingredient in its parfaits.

That's the kind of thing Food Matters Manitoba was hoping would happen when the non-profit organization organized a speed-networking event Wednesday for local food producers and buyers.

Clickherefor the story

Who Let The Hens Out? Dunkin’ Did

Another fast food company is taking steps toward providing its customers with products they hope say less “factory farm” and more “farm fresh.”

Dunkin’ Donuts says 10 percent of all the eggs used in its breakfast sandwiches in the U.S. will be from cage-free chickens by the end of the year, and is studying the feasibility of transitioning to 100 percent cage-free eggs in its more than 10,000 stores worldwide.

Clickherefor the story

Ont. organic dairy co-op in creditor protection

The co-operative behind one of Canada’s biggest names in organic dairy goods is in creditor protection and aiming to negotiate new terms on the eight figures owing to its creditors and members.

Organic Meadow Co-operative announced Monday it had filed for creditor protection “in order to complete a restructuring of its operations.”

editor's note: Most of the organic milk marketed in MB is under the Organic Meadow brand.

Clickherefor the story


Biotech bytes

No Roundup Ready alfalfa production for 2015

Genetically modified (GM) Roundup Ready alfalfa will not be sold commercially in Canada this year and it’s unclear when, if ever, it will be commercialized in Western Canada.

Clickherefor the story

Glyphosate classified as ‘probably carcinogenic’

The decision by an international group of cancer experts to classify the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide as “probably carcinogenic” has drawn fire from the product’s main maker.

Clickherefor the story


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.


Farm profile

Business built on organics

A hint of pride is evident in Marc Loiselle’s voice when he explains that his farm sprayer has not been used with synthetic chemicals since 1987.

“When you start dragging your harrows through your crop (to control weeds) … you get people slowing down on the highway and gawking, thinking, ‘he must have lost his marbles,’ ” he said.

Clickherefor the story


I am a seed saver

Check out USC Canada's Bauta Initiativenew campaign on seed saving.


Participatory plant breeding for Canadian organic crop production

Participatory plant breeding (PPB) aims to restore the place of farmers in crop variety development by bringing together farmers, plant breeders and other partners in the plant breeding process. This form of plant breeding is particularly successful in crop production systems that are underserved by traditional breeding programs and for systems where unique growing environments are encountered. As a result of the relatively small number of organic acres, plant breeding programs have generally overlooked organic crop production systems, and crop varieties currently used in organic agriculture are bred for conventional, high-input production.

Clickherefor program details



April 14 and 16 2015 6:30 pm Taking Care of BusinessPresented by Community Futures, White Horse Plains. An evening look at your business and how to care for it from beginning to end. Topics covered include business planning, financing, location, and marketing. This event is free and open to all and food and refreshments will be provided. Call 204 353-4200 for more information.
Locations:St. Francois Community Hall and Elie CF WHP Office (14 Main St. E.).

April 23 2015 1-3 pm Building the Market for Local Organic FoodSee details above.

April 23 2015 3-5 pm Manitoba Organic Alliance AGMSee details above.

April 23 and May 7 2015 Setting your PriceThis MAFRD workshop will help food entrepreneurs calculate the cost of food products and breakeven points, required profit margins and other costs associated with selling to retail. It will also cover ways to promote your food products. ContactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view 204 461-2978

May 21 2015 Creating an Effective Sell SheetThis MAFRD workshop will help food entrepreneurs understand retail requirements, how to design a sell sheet, successful strategies for pitching your products and how to determine your product's competitive position. ContactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view 204 461-2978

June 1-3 2015 Marketing and Stockmanship School Wawota, SKRichard McConnell and Tina Williams will taken you through some of the latest stock management practices. Cost $725. Clickherefor more information.

June 4 2015 Making the PresentationThis MAFRD workshop will help food entrepreneurs understand industry jargon, make presentations to retailers and undertake follow-up activity with retailers to ensure product sales. ContactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view 204 461-2978

August 6-8 2015 Sustainable Ranching and Regenerative Grazing CourseLearn how to double your profits while regenerating your environment. Instructor 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