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October 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).

The price of organic oats has gone up slightly for the first time in a very long while as has organic hemp. The price of Hard Red Spring wheat has come down relative to last year as buyers stored more grain while importing some lower cost wheat from overseas. Feed grain prices, including corn and soy, but not barley, are down relative to where they were at harvest in 2014 and 2013. According to Grain Millers, prices for some of the organic specialty crops are starting to come down from recent highs as the size of the harvest becomes known.

Soybeans - feed$21.81/bu (USDA)
Oats - milling$6.50/bu; conv. $2.30-2.65/bu
Corn - feed$10.75/bu (USDA); conv. $4.85
Triticale$15/bu (Prairie, fob farm); conv. $7.25
Wheat - milling$19-21.50/bu; conv. $5.20/bu
Barley - feed$8.75 (SK, fob farm); conv. $3.70-3.80/bu
Mustard seed - yellow$0.95/lb. (Prairie, #1, fob farm); conv. $0..40-0.45/lb.
Lentils - large green$0.75/lb. (Prairie, fob farm); conv. $0.41-0.45/lb.
Lentils - red$0.72/lb. (Prairie, fob farm); conv. $0.34-0.39/lb.
Hemp$1.55/lb.; conv. $0.65-0.85/lb.

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

Lentils - large green166%
Lentils - red185%
Oats - milling245%
Mustard - yellow211%
Corn - feed222%
Wheat - milling413%
Barley - feed230%


Market opportunities

Grain Millers is looking fororganic oatsat $6.50/bu fob farm (contactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.),organic yellow mustard(#1, fob farm, contactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) at $0.95/lb.,organic large green lentilsat $0.75/lb. (fob farm, Craig Tomera),organic red lentilsat $0.72/lb. (fob farm, Craig Tomera),organic triticaleat $15/bu fob farm (fob farm, contactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Bioriginal wantsorganic flaxfrom the 2014 crop year and is contracting for 2015 crop. Contact Bioriginal Crop Production Manager,This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view 306-229-9976. For 2014 flax, send an 8 lb. sample to Sandy Jolicoeur, Bioriginal Food & Science Corp. 102 Melville Street, Saskatoon, SK, S7J 0R1

Grower's International is buyingorganic milling wheat, feed grains, spelt, flax and peasfor NutraSun Foods and Growers International. 8 Delivery Locations across the Prairies. Call Mark at 306-652-4529 for prices.

Stonehenge Organics is looking fororganic lentils. 306 - 640- 8600, 306-640-8437

Total production contracts fororganic quinoaare available for 2016. Premium returns, guaranteed markets and delivery. Call 306-933-9525 or


Manitoba Food Processors rolls out new organic and local logo

The Manitoba organic community kicked off National Organic Week launching a new logo to help food shoppers more easily identify organically and locally grown Manitoba foods.

The Manitoba Food Processors’ Association (MFPA) rolled out its new Manitoba Organic brand in Winnipeg last weekend.

The logo will be very similar to the association’s own Manitoba Made, which identifies a product as locally produced.

The new organic logo will help MFPA members producing certified organic products to identify them as both locally and organically produced, said MFPA executive director Dave Shambrock.

Clickherefor the story


How will the revised Canada Organic Standard impact you?

Canada Organic Logo - Colour

The Canadian Organic Standards have been revised and updated and the new version is being released on November 9. To prepare for these changes, Canadian Organic Growers will be hosting a series of webinars in the coming months to ensure operators, producers, processors, certifying bodies and verification officers are up to date on the revisions. Join Canada Organic Standards experts, Maureen Bostock, Anne Macey and Rochelle Eisen to learn how the new standards will impact you. Cost is $25 per webinar. See the events section for dates and registration information.


Wanted: Prairie Organic Grain Initiative program manager

Have you reached the point in your career where you want to know you are really making a difference? Are you passionate about organic food and interested in helping Prairie farmers to be more successful on their farms? Have you honed your listening, coaching and problem-solving skills to a fine point, and would love to put them to use in a place where they will be appreciated and celebrated? We are looking for someone who loves to get people excited and working together for a common cause. Someone who is fanatical for schedules and budgets, but who can maintain a sense of humour no matter what level of chaos is going on around you. Someone who is smart, flexible, fun and creative. Is that you? Then we want to hear from you!

You will provide oversight to the overall program, including the Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security on the Prairies, while simultaneously managing portions of the program. You will report to the Executive Director of Organic Alberta and work closely with the steering committee to determine direction and balance as well as providing support to the program.

Clickherefor more information on the Prairie Organic Grain Initiative and the specific roles and responsibilities.

Does this sound like your dream job? Are you ready to join an amazing team? Then we can't wait to meet you!

Please send a detailed C.V., including a full cover letter telling us when you can start and a succinct (one page maximum) account of how to best build partnerships across a large, diverse industry (imagine a situation that includes parties whose interests may not always be fully aligned), to: Debbie Miller, Executive Office Manager, Organic Alberta Council:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The position is open until filled.


Funding for grain and vegetable seed projects

The goal of the Seed Facilitation Fund is to help build a diverse and resilient seed system by strengthening the capacity of ecological vegetable seed and field crop producers. The Fund provides financial support to organizations and individuals, including farmers and gardeners who share the values and goals of our program, and who are working to advance the following objectives:

▪To increase the quality, quantity and diversity of ecologically grown Canadian seed
▪To promote public access to seed
▪To facilitate collaboration among individuals and organizations committed to advancing an ecological and diverse seed system in Canada
▪To respect, advance, and promote the knowledge of farmers in seed and food production

Applicants may submit proposals for a maximum of $6,000 per project, with typical grants in the range of $300 to $1500. In total, approximately $200,000 will be allocated across the country in 2016.

•Deadline for applications: November 15, 2015
•Funding decisions will be communicated during the week of December 14, 2015

Clickherefor more information


Organic news bytes



McDonald’s to offer first-ever organic burger in Germany

McDonald’s will offer its first-ever 100 per cent organic beef hamburger for a limited time in
Germany, as a growing number of global diners demand food that is more natural and less processed.

Clickherefor the story

Certification coming for organic foods in B.C.

People wanting to make sure the organic food they’re buying is actually organic can look forward to new provincial requirements.

The new rules don’t kick in until 2018, but when they do, all products labelled organic will have to be certified.

This will apply to those who produce, process or handle organic food and drinks.

Certification will have to come from a national or provincial body.

The government says this move comes after consulting with industry members in BC, with nearly eighty percent supporting this kind of move.


Market demand for Canadian hemp exceeding supply

As hemp users develop more uses for the plant and its seed, so too grow the demands on the crop. It’s a demand becoming tougher to fill, according to an industry expert, as the general
public becomes increasingly interested in the plant.

“You talk about canola being the miracle crop? Well, hemp has even more uses,” said Kim
Shukla of the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance at Steinbach, Man.

Clickherefor the story

Canada pork producer duBreton to boost output of crate-free pigs

Private Canadian pork producer duBreton said Sept. 24 it plans to raise 300,000 additional pigs during the next three years without housing them in crates, as it seeks premium prices from food stores and restaurants for meat raised humanely.

Clickherefor the story

McDonald’s cage-free egg pledge pressures farmers

This month’s pledge by McDonald’s Corp. to phase out eggs laid by caged hens in its North American restaurants will increase competition for limited supplies of cage-free eggs.

The ban, which follows similar moves by Burger King and food services company Sodexo, carries higher costs that may, at least initially, sting farmers.

For the egg industry, the transition to “cage-free” production will be slow and expensive. Only six per cent of U.S. hens, or about 18 million birds, are currently raised without cages, according to trade group United Egg Producers.

Clickherefor the story

U.S. workers sue Monsanto claiming herbicide caused cancer

A U.S. farm worker and a horticultural assistant have filed lawsuits claiming Monsanto’s
Roundup herbicide caused their cancers and Monsanto intentionally misled the public
and regulators about the dangers of the herbicide.

Clickherefor the story


The science behind organic

soil health USDA NRCS SD

Photo credit: USDA NRCS South Dakota

Organic agriculture and soil health

Astudypublished in the journal Sustainable Agriculture Research supports previous findings that organic agricultural practices improve soil health by increasing and improving microorganism activity, nutrient availability and soil structure.

Clickherefor the story

Study confirms bats’ value in combating crop pests

It’s dusk in the countryside, and in the fading golden light a small, winged shape takes to the air over a local cornfield. Darting this way and that, the creature executes maneuvers far beyond what any modern fighter jet could manage.

The bat is on the hunt for insects, and according to new research, farmers have a billion reasons to be grateful for it.

Research recently written by former graduate student Josiah Maine and his adviser at Southern Illinois University Carbondale shows that bats play a significant role in combating crop pests, saving up to $1 billion a year in crop damages. The research article, titled "Bats initiate vital interactions in corn," is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Clickherefor the story



October 14 1-3:30 pm 2015 Mid-Scale Composting Hands-on Workshop at Almost Urban Vegetables3893 Pembina Highway, St. Norbert, Manitoba. This workshop is geared towards those with small to mid-size farms/operations (e.g. market gardeners, vegetable growers, community garden coordinators/gardeners, mixed farms, etc.)

The workshop is free but advance registration is required. EmailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

* Bruce Berry and Marilyn Firth Almost Urban Vegetables
* Mario Tenuta, Soil Ecologist University of Manitoba
* Trevor Fraser National Centre for Livestock and the Environment
* Jolene Rutter Green Manitoba
* Van Doan Manitoba Agriculture Food and Rural Development

October 14 9:30 - 11:30 am 2015 Hiring Smart webinar from The World Trade CentreIn this seminar you learn:
* How to focus on facts vs. impressions in selections
* Red and green flags to watch for
* Planning successful selection interview questions and techniques
* Basic Does & Don’t for employers in selecting, reference checking and making offers of employment

Clickhereto register for this free event

October 16 4 pm 2015 Revised Canadian Organic Standards: Crop Production

Clickhereto register.

October 21-22 2015 NHP/FI Building Success Conference, Edmonton, AB

Clickherefor sponsorship package and company showcase

October 23 2 pm 2015 Revised Canadian Organic Standards: Livestock ProductionClickhereto register.

October 27 10:00 am to 2:00 pm 2015 Planned Grazing Management WebinarFeaturing Jim Gerrish, American Grazing Land Services and a Producer Panel of Innovative Graziers with lessons and reflections on their own experience working with grazing models: Brian Luce, Lucends Ranch; Steve Kenyon, Greener Pastures Ranching; Blake Hall, Prairie Gold Meats. A great opportunity for the beginner and intermediate grazier.

Clickhereto register by October 21st

October 30 2 pm 2015 Revised Canadian Organic Standards: Preparation and ProcessingRegistration is $25. Clickhereto register.

November 6 2 pm 2015 Revised Canadian Organic Standards: Crop Production

Clickhereto register.

November 13 10 am 2015 Revised Canadian Organic Standards: Livestock Production

Clickhereto register.

November 19 2015 Harvesting Value: Business Opportunities in Value-Added Agriculture MNP Convention Hall, Keystone Centre

Agriculture is a key driver of our economy – how can we generate more profit from our primary production? How can we add value to these agricultural products and generate business, jobs and economic development for Manitoba?

Harvesting Value is one day forum with dynamic keynote speakers, experienced business leaders and agri-processors and resourceful agencies that will help you to identify the opportunities in value added agriculture and the steps to get them started. A diverse and experienced roster of presenters will generate thought provoking and stimulating discussion and raise awareness of the possibilities that exist.

$125, includes lunch.

Clickhereto register or call 204 571-5340

November 20 10 am 2015 Revised Canadian Organic Standards: Preparation and Processing

Clickhereto register.

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

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

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 later this month.