Jeremiah Evans

July 2015

Organic prices

Below are the highest organic grain prices (spot market prices unless otherwise indicated) gathered recently by Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development. 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 fromRayglen Commodities. USDA prices are in US dollars, the rest of the prices are Canadian.

For vegetable prices, check outCyber-Help for Organic Farmerslists wholesale prices for organic fruit (fresh and frozen) and vegetables (Vancouver).

Demand and prices for organic wheat - both feed and food continue to be down. The dry weather in the Canadian Prairie and in the US mid-west is dampening expectations of a bumper crop. It's hard to predict how crops will do this early in the year, but if things continue as they are now, we can expect some good prices for organic pulses and oil seeds in the fall. Dry conditions in Alberta are also creating greater demand for organic feed grains such as barley. Alberta has been hit particularly hard, with some organic livestock producers downsizing herds in the face of hay shortages. Here in Manitoba, we're seeing some decent organic crops although some producers are complaining that the weeds have overtaken the crops. Organic alfalfa producers hoping to capitalize on high hay prices should consider adding composted manure to compensate for the removal of phosphorous from the soil.

Soybeans - food$28.34/bu (USDA); conv. $10.70/bu
Soybeans - feed$24.08/bu (USDA)
Oats - milling$6/bu (old and new crop West. Canada)
Corn - feed$11.63/bu (USDA)
Wheat - feed$10.94/bu (USDA), $13.60/bu del to e. ON, $9/bu (contract,USDA); conv. $3.50-$4.65/bu
Rye - food grade$11.20/bu (USDA); conv. $6/bu
Flax - brown$37/bu fob farm old crop, new crop $36/bu or $40/bu cleaned; conv. $10-13.75/bu
Barley - feed$7-8/bu west. Can, $10.88/bu del to e. ON; conv. $2.80-$5.50/bu
Hemp Seed - cleaned$1.47/lb.
Peas - feed$17.60/bu del. to e. ON

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

Soybeans - food265%
Flax - brown269%
Barley - feed198%
Rye - food187%
Wheat - feed235%


MOA Organic Showcase Dinner: Saturday, September 26, 2015

As part of our provincial Organic Week activities, MOA is coordinating an Organic Showcase Dinner and Networking event at the Red River College Culinary Arts School in downtown Winnipeg, on Saturday, September 26th at 6:00 PM. The event is aimed at drawing attention to the broad range of Organic producers and processors here in the province, and the many market opportunities that exist in our sector. Full tables and some individual seats are being sold for the event by MOA board members Ken Sabatier, Hermann Grauer and Eric Rempel. This event will be publicised and offers a unique opportunity to advertise and promote all aspects of the Organic sector to industry leaders within the province. Funds raised through this event are going directly to MOA with a view to building our ability to promote the Organic Sector throughout the year at trade shows and activities in partnership with government, and other Organic and Food Associations across Canada. For more information on how you can support this event, and MOA’s ongoing efforts to promote Manitoba’s Organic Sector please emailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or call 204-546-2099.


Certification for small scale producers. What do you think?

As part of the review of the Canadian Organic Standards the Organic Federation of Canada struck a working group to look at the issues of Small Scale Organic Certification.

A number of options were considered. After reviewing the concerns and hopes of the certified and not-certified organic farmers, the working group proposes two models: a self declaration organic pledge and a peer review certification process. See the proposals below.

MODEL 1 –Proposal for the Self-Declaration Model

MODEL 2 –Peer Review Model

Please take a look at the proposals for the self declaration and peer review proposals andshare your thoughts and comments.


Organic news bytes

Darcy Hickson MB Cooperator

Darcy Hickson Manitoba Cooperator

Organic is booming and the push is on to get more growers

Darcy Hickson says it was the year the rain - and the bills - wouldn't stop that he began to rethink how he farmed.

See page 33 of the July 9th edition of theManitoba Cooperator

Clickherefor the Alberta version

Precision tillage offers new option for organic weed control

Jeremiah Evans has a new high-tech hand helping him control weeds on his organic farm.
Last fall the Somerset-area farmer took delivery of a cus- tom-built U.K.-manufactured Garford Robocrop in-row cultivator, which uses special software to identify and target weeds, leaving the crop behind.

Clickherefor the story

Can organic ever catch up with conventional?

Most agronomists and farmers concede that organic crop yields are lower than conventional.

To get a sense of the yield difference, we contacted provincial crop insurers in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta and requested organic yield data.

Clickherefor the story

Farmer Direct Coop wins award

Farmer Direct Co-operative, a farmer-owned group of more than 60 certified organic prairie farms, has received the Whole Foods Market award as 2014 supplier of the year for dedication to responsible sourcing.

Three years ago, FDC was the first organization in North America to receive domestic fair trade certification under the rigorous standards of the Agricultural Justice Project’s Food Justice Certification.

“Since then, the marketplace has rewarded our co-op’s innovation through strong sales and increasing demand,” said FDC president Kevin Bristow, who farms near Eastend, Sask.

(Western Producer, posted June 25 2015)

Earth Is Losing Its Bumblebees

Climate change is causing wild bumblebees to disappear from large swaths of their historical range, which could spell disaster for pollinating crops in Europe and North America, new research suggests.

Clickherefor the story

Organic Seed Treatment for Alfalfa

Alfalfa is a $10 billion-a-year crop in the United States and is produced in all 50 states. It fixes nitrogen in the soil, saving an estimated $457 million a year in fertilizer costs, and reduces pests and plant pathogens when rotated between crops of corn and soybeans. Its roots also capture nutrients in the soil so that fewer of them flow into waterways.

Producing alfalfa, however, can be challenging. Samac wanted to see if alfalfa seeds coated with a naturally occurring mineral would protect them from the soil diseases that attack alfalfa, including ARR. The mineral, zeolite, comes from degraded volcanic rock, has antifungal activity, and qualifies as an organic soil treatment. It is now used on golf courses to enhance water infiltration and the water-holding capacity of the soil. As part of her study, Samac also wanted to assess zeolite’s effects on beneficial microbes in the soil and on the health of plant roots.

Clickherefor the story

Clickherefor the product website


Biotech Bytes


GMO Labeling Proposal Presses FDA to Define "Natural"

A GMO regulation bill waiting for House committee approval has been altered in two significant ways. First, the bill would ensure that milk could only gain non-GMO certification if cows are fed non-biotech grain. Second, the legislation would also require the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to write definitions for labeling foods "natural."

Clickherefor the story


Organic university

Radishes – A new cover crop for organic farming systems

Over the past decade, radishes have been redefined; once known almost exclusively as a pungent vegetable, radishes have recently gained recognition for their cover cropping potential. After reading this article, you'll be able to make an informed decision about whether cover crop radishes are worth a try on your farm.

Clickherefor the article

Long-term study confirms benefits of organic farming for soil organisms

A recent study published in Agronomy for Sustainable Development has confirmed that organic farming is beneficial for soil organisms. The study compared soil organisms among fields that had been managed using different farming practices for 14 years as part of a long-term study. The study fields were managed conventionally, organically, or using conservation agriculture techniques.

Clickherefor the story

Clickhereto read the scientific article

A tale of two (soil) cities

Sasha Kravchenko, a soil scientist and professor at Michigan State University, studies soils and their pores in different agricultural systems. Her recent work showed that long-term differences in soil use and management influence not only the sizes and numbers of soil aggregates, but also what the pores inside them will look like.

"Pores influence the ability of bacteria to travel and access soil resources," Kravchenko says. In return for this good home, the microbes help plants access essential nutrients.

Clickherefor the story

Using Sheep to Terminate Cover Crops in Organic Farming

Clickhereto watch the video.

Healthy soil is underground insurance in extreme weather events

USDA reports that for each 1 percent increase in organic matter from improving soil health, our cropland could store the amount of water that flows over Niagara Falls in 150 days. And we could reach 20 million acres of cover crops with a modest investment of just $740 million.

Clickherefor the article

Other science of interest...

Ecological principles underlying the increase of productivity achieved by cereal-grain legume intercrops in organic farming. A review

Review: Nutrient Cycling and Soil Health in Organic Cropping Systems - Importance of Management Strategies and Soil Resilience

Enhancing Yields in Organic Crop Production by Eco-Functional Intensification



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

August 10 9:30 - 4 pm 2015 Grazing Club Workshop with Dr. Christine JonesChristine Jones from Australia will conduct a morning class room session and afternoon pasture tour at Larry and Rosemary Wegner's Farm. Christine will discuss management techniques that increase levels of soil biological activity. On the pasture tour, you'll experience a high-density grazing system, riparian grazing and the value of ground cover. RSVPThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view August 5

August 17 3-4 pm 2015 Organic and non GMO soybean walkThis soybean "walkabout" organized by the Natural Systems Agriculture Lab at the University of Manitoba will provide an opportunity for farmers, agronomists and the community to see non-GMO soybean varieties from Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and North Dakota grown under organic management. This tour gives a unique opportunity to see the varieties when pod development and yield potential are evident, and may show differences between maturity ratings.

Directions: From the junction of Highways 59 and 205 just south of St. Pierre, travel east about 2 miles on highway 205. The site is on the north side.

August 20 Gabe Brown and Ken Miller Pasture Walk Tours, Bismarck, NDTour presented by the Grassfed Exchange and Coalition. Clickherefor details.

August 27 9:00 am -4:30 pm 2015 Food Handler Certificate CourseClickherefor details.

September 10 2015 6:30-9:30 pm Farmers' FeastTickets are now on salefor this annual fundraising event for St. Norbert's Farmers' Market.

September 16-18 2015 Generations of Opportunity The Grassfed Exchange Conference* Comfort Inn & Suites, Mt. Pleasant, MIConference speakers include Ben & Denise Bartlett, Doug Carmichael, Luke Linnenbringer, Jason Rountree, Mark Shatzker, Nicollette Niman, Daphne Miller, Blaine Hitzfield and more. Early bird registration until July 31. Clickherefor more information

September 17 8:30 - 4:40 pm 2015 Non-Conformities & Root Cause AnalysisMFPA food safety workshop for food processors. Clickherefor details.

September 19-26 2015 Organic

September 19-20 2015 Canadian Health Food Association EastThis trade show is the place to be for food processors with a natural or organic food product to sell. Clickherefor details.

September 20 2015 Open Farm DayThe deadline to register as a host farm has been extended to July 10 2015. Clickherefor details.

October 7-8 2015 Packaging Conference: Packaging that Makes Products SellRichardson Centre for Functional Foods & Nutraceuticals
University of Manitoba. Clickherefor the details.

February 18-19 2016 Prairie Organics: Think Whole FarmThis two day conference at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg will feature a trade show, four keynote speakers, 18 break-out sessions profiling leading thinking in organic livestock, grain and vegetable production. There will also be pre-arranged business to business meetings with buyers in the Food Services and Grains sector. Registration will be open in October.