September 2015

Happy Organic Week!

As Canada gets set to celebrate the sixth national Organic Week September 19 to 27th, the Manitoba organic community is showcasing its own vibrant organic food sector.

TheManitoba Food Processors’ Association(MFPA) will kick off the week by announcing a new Manitoba Organic food brand to help the province’s organic producers and processors capitalize on a growing appetite for locally and sustainably produced food. The MFPA’s executive director, Dave Shambrock says, “For over twenty years, the MFPA has been delivering cooperative product branding campaigns for industry. We are excited to expand our family of Manitoba food brands to help consumers identify and purchase local organic food in their favorite markets and grocery stores.”

The new brand will be on display at the Westwood Vita Health Fresh Market (3500 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg) on Saturday September 19th from 1 to 4 pm. Winnipeggers are invited to enter to win an organic gift basket, chat with local organic food processors and sample their products.

TheOrganic Food Council of Manitoba(OFCM) will be celebrating Organic Week from 3:30 to 9:00 pm September 19th at Sam’s Place (159 Henderson Highway, Winnipeg).The event will feature live music, local organic treats and colouring and other activities for families. OFCM will also be launching and giving away a new Our Nature is Organic activity book. Project organizer Janine Gibson says “Sharpen your pencil crayons, bring your shakers and get ready for some fun! Organic Week celebrates organic growers and organic eaters of all ages. “

Clickhereto read more.


The Manitoba Organic Alliance is looking forward to the Organic Gala Showcase Dinner and Networking event to be held at Jane's restaurant on September 26. We would like to thank all of the sponsors for this event, including: Grain Millers, Overton Environmental Enterprises, Eco-Cert, Nature’s Farm, Poplar Grove Organic Farm, Organic Food Council of Manitoba. With your help MOA works to build the organic sector.

Kate Storey, Chair Manitoba Organic Alliance


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).

Organic feed soybean prices are down from last fall by $2/bu, likely as a result of the larger than anticipated organic soybean harvest in India. Prices for most other field crops have remained stable. Organic feedstuffs including corn, barley, wheat and peas were exactly the same at this time last year. Market demand remains high for specialty crops like mustard seed.

Soybeans - feed$24.83/bu (USDA), $25.17/bu (e. ON)
Soybeans - food$31.30/bu (e. ON)
Oats - milling$6/bu (w. Can.); conv. $2.30-2.65/bu
Oats - feed$6.93/bu (e. ON)
Corn - feed$11.88/bu (USDA); $12.70/bu (e. ON); conv. $4.85/bu
Wheat - feed$13.06/bu (e. ON); conv. $3.50-7/bu
Triticale$12/bu fob farm (w. Can.); conv. $7.25/bu
Barley - feed$9.79 (e. ON); conv. $3-4/bu
Peas - feed$17.69/bu (e. ON)
Mustard seed - yellow$0.97/lb.; conv. $0.34-0.45/lb.
Lentils - large green$0.79/lb.; con. $0.24-0.45/lb.
Lentils - red$0.75/lb.; conv. $0.30-0.44/lb.

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

Lentils - large green176%
Lentils - red170%
Oats - milling226%
Mustard - yellow216%
Corn - feed262%
Wheat - feed187%
Barley - feed245%


Market opportunities

Two with Nature Foods from BC is looking for organic yellow and brown mustard seed. ContactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

A Korean buyer is looking for bulk dryorganic dog food(in totes), bulkorganic lentils(in totes) of any type, and bulkorganic chickpeas(in totes). ContactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.at Pelee Island Winery.

Grain Millers is looking fororganic triticaleat $12/bu fob farm (contactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.),organic oatsat $6/bu fob farm (contactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.),organic yellow mustardat $0.97/lb. fob farm for Canada #1 (contactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.),organic red lentilsat $0.75/lb. (contact Craig), andorganic large green lentilsat $0.79/lb. fob farm (contact Craig).

Roger Rivest Marketing has contracts fororganic light hilum soybeans(premiums for storage),organic spelt,organic soft red winter wheat(food or feed grade),organic mixed grain,organic yellow peas. 2016 contracts are available forblue cornandblack turtle beans. ContactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Stonehenge Organics is looking for all varieties of organic lentils. Call 306 640-8600.

Prairie Wide Grain is looking for all organic cereal grains. Call 306 230-8101.


Farewell to a Manitoba organic pioneer

Gerald Wilson

Gerry Wilson

The organic fraternity in Manitoba is saddened to learn of the passing of Gerry Wilson, organic farmer and mentor for many of us, on September 1 in Brandon after a brief hospital stay. He was 71.

Raised on the family farm at Wellwood, he pursued two degrees, Bachelor of Science (’66) and Bachelor of Arts (’72). After retiring from MTS in 1997, he put his science degree to work transforming his section of farm land just north of Brandon into a certified organic farm. His keen interest in microbiology in the soil led him to the ACRES USA convention in the fall of 2000. There he heard Dr. Ingham lecture about compost and compost tea. He would become one of the first organic farmers in Manitoba to build a compost tea brewer. Teaming up with Dr. Marcia Monreal at AAFC, Gerry spent many years doing plot research on his farm, exploring the relationship of mychorrizal fungi with growing plants. He networked with organic producers at the MYKE booth at Ag Days, sharing his broad knowledge on mychorrizal fungi with anyone who cared to learn.

Gerry was a man of many talents, foremost of which were his people skills and ability to engage in conversation with anyone. A generous person with his time and possessions, he would never hesitate to drop what he doing to help someone. Gerry is survived by his wife Geri, three children and three grandchildren.

Darcy Hickson, organic farmer and long time friend


Organic news bytes


Western Producer

Food labels give consumers final say

In Canada, consumers and producers are used to terms like cage-free eggs, pasture-raised cattle, and other positive welfare attributes adorning products on grocery store shelves.

These labels have appeared on egg cartons and other products for decades, aimed at conscious consumers who want to ensure animals have the chance to move.

Clickherefor the story

Milling about an organic farm

For 15 years, the Deruycks have grown organic grains such wheat and flax. But they don't just grow crops, they also process them at their on-farm flour mill.

The Deruycks' Top of the Hill Farm in Treherne was one of three farms featured on last week's tour with Small Farms Manitoba. Participants would've seen how the mill works, using little blades — unlike most larger-scale flour mills — to cut the grain into flour or flakes, depending on what the customer wants.

Clickherefor the story

Organic food market growing

When I first became interested in organic farming in the 1970s, there was only one certified organic farmer in Saskatchewan and only a handful in Canada.

Organic farming has taken off hugely since then. Today, there are 5,000 certified organic farms, processors and handlers nationwide, and close to a million hectares of organic farmland. Most organic operations are in Saskatchewan; of those, 97 per cent produce field crops.

Clickherefor the story

Organic Farmers Struggle With Stigma Of 'Dirty Fields'

While consumers might seek out organic food for its purity, organic farmers have a reputation for being anything but.

A study conducted by Southern Illinois University Carbondale found that farmers who go organic are often subject to a “weedy field bad farmer” mentality in their communities, a social stigma organic corn and soybean growers face for having mare’s tails and pigweeds poking their raggedy heads up through the neat rows of cash crops.

Clickherefor the story

Gluten free certification growing

A new partnership in Saskatchewan will help meet growing consumer demand for organic gluten-free oats in North America.

Avena Foods in Regina and Marshall Gluten-Free Milling of Saskatoon are working together to offer oat products that are certified organic and gluten-free and produced through a certified grower network.

The companies describe it as a ground-breaking marketing move.

“Nobody else is offering the product as certified gluten free, certified organic,” said Dale Richardson of Avena.

Clickherefor the story

The high cost of pesticides: Human and animal diseases

A significant degradation in the health of wild animals in Montana has been recorded over the past two decades. We surmise that the health issues are related to pesticide exposure. We present some of the evidence of the deterioration of the health in wildlife, which we used to inspire investigations on human health in the US population.

Clickherefor the scientific article.

MAFRD offers tool to keep track of your grain harvestThis record keeping system allows you to track grain sales and remaining inventory, monitor sales and see the implications of each sale for your farm's financial status. MarketPlan will allow you to run different forward pricing and cash sales scenarios to assess breakeven points and profitability. Clickhereto download MarketPlan and other farm planning tools.



September and October Business Information Courses from the Business InfoCentreClickherefor the details

September 19-26 2015 Organic Weekwww.organicweek.ca

September 19 1- 4 pm 2015 Manitoba Organic Demo Day at Vita Health Fresh Market Westwood (3500 Portage Ave., Winnipeg)Kick off Organic Week by looking for the new Manitoba Organic logo and enter to win an organic gift basket! Local Manitoba producers will be sampling their delicious goods – try Naked Oats from Adagio Acres, delicious organic baking by Integrity Foods and hemp hearts from Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods.

September 19 1- 4 pm 2015 Organic Food Council of Manitoba Our Nature is Organic Book Launch at Sam's Place (159 Henderson Highway, Winnipeg)
Music, kids' activities and free copies of OFCM's new activity book.

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 DayThis Organic Week, make it a point to visit one of the three organic farms participating in Open Farm Day: Howpark Farms (Brandon), Williment Farm and Ranch (Miami) and Blue Lagoon Organics (St. Francois Xavier).
Clickherefor directions and details.

September 22 4:30-9:00 pm 2015 Getting your Food Product into a Grocery Store, StonewallPackaging specialist Fred Kozak, FDC Product Development Consultant Alana Henuset, MFPA Buy Manitoba Manager Jennifer Strath and others will provide advice on how to prepare your food for the retail environment. ContactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.of Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development for more information.

September 26 2015 MOA Organic Week Showcase Dinner at Jane's Restaurant, WinnipegContactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.for tickets ($120 pp).

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

October 21-22 2015 NHP/FI Building Success Conference, Edmonton, ABClickhereto find more information regarding sponsorship package and company showcase.

November 25-27 2015 Agricultural Excellence Conference, Cultivating the Entrepreneurial Farmer, Regina, SKClickherefor details.

November 30 9 am - 4 pm 2015 MAFRD HACCP and GMP Training, Conference Room, Agricultural Extension Centre, 1129 Queens Avenue, Brandon MB

Who should attend
 Anyone involved in food production and handling
 Food producers looking to implement GMPs or HACCP
 Food safety consultants

Registration is free but pre-registration is required. EmailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or call 204-391-3064.

December 8-10 2015, Western Canada Conference on Soil Health, Radisson Hotel, Edmonton, ABClickherefor more information or call 780 612-9712. Speakers include Jay Fuhrer, Dr. Martin Entz, Dr. Allen Williams, Gabe Brown, Neil Dennis, Dr. Jill Clapperton and more.

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.