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April 2016

Organic grain prices

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Visit for the latest organic grain prices

Links to Prairie Organics: Think Whole Farm

If you missed any of the great talks at the February Prairie Organics: Think Whole Farm Conference at the University of Manitoba, you have another chance to view some of the presentations before it's time to plant your seeds (actual or metaphorical).

Designing Sustainable Whole Farm Systems

The Whole is Greater than the Sum of its Parts Chris Boettcher

Biodiversity in Organic Agriculture Helps Yields, Pest Management, and Economics Dr. Kathleen Delate

Designing Sustainable Farming Systems Dr. Martin Entz

Understanding the Carbon Cycle in Agricultural Fields Jay Fuhrer and Todd McPeak

Resilience and Innovation in Organic Farming Dr. Caroline Halde

Linking Soil Fertility and Soil Health to Cropping Systems Design Dr. Derek Lynch

Good to Great Tom Frantzen

Green Manures. Ask an Expert Dr. Derek Lynch, Dr. Martin Entz and Dr. Kathleen Delate

Grain Production

Farm Equipment. The Best Bang for your Buck Jeremiah Evans and Ward Middleton. Moderated by Dr. Steve Shirtliffe

Producers Make the Case for the Best Specialty Crop to Grow on the Prairies Franz Kracher, Larry Marshall, Alan McKenzie and Larry Pollock

Beating them Down and Cutting them Off Dr. Steve Shirtliffe and Katherine Stanley

Livestock Production

Improving the Economic and Environmental Performance of your Beef Operation Ryan Boyd, Brian Harper and Todd McPeak. Moderated by Jay Fuhrer

Integrating Field Crops and Vegetable Production

Growing High Yielding High Quality Organic Grains and Vegetables in Manitoba Marvin Dyck

Vegetable Marketing

The Organic Advantage - Organic Vegetable Production Gunta Vitins


Manitoba training for organic crop advisors

In partnership with the Prairie Organic Grain Initiative, the University of Manitoba will be offering a training program for agronomists who are interested in providing agronomic advice to organic and ecological farmers. The purpose of this program is to train agronomists, and farmers, who wish to become full-time or part-time extension agronomists, in the art and science of organic grain production. The program is open to anyone who is interested.

This year-long program involves an initial in-person meeting on June 16, 2016, followed by support throughout the next 12 months. This support involves direct access to instructors and to each other through social media. Participants will be equipped with data-gathering and decision support tools at the June 2016 meetings. These tools will enable agronomists to take a systematic and comprehensive approach when working with farmer clients. Participants will meet again in June 2017 to report on progress in organic crop advising; to share experiences with other agronomists and to suggest improvement to decision support resources.

CEU credits pending.

Date: June 16 2016 
Time 8:30 am - 4:30 pm 
Location: Carman MB, Ian N. Morrison Research Farm

Cost $159.60

Price includes:

▪ one in-person training session June 16 2016 (with lunch)
▪ 12 months of online/social media support
▪ one in-person training session 2017 (with lunch)

For more details and to register contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Plan to attend the organic science conference

Organic conference

“Sharing research that grows organic” is the theme of the Second Canadian Organic Science Conference. On the program: two days of conference presentations (in English) and a field day of visits to Quebec organic farms.

World renowned international and Canadian scientists will present their research in all aspects of organic agriculture, including crop and livestock production, soil science, and value chain development.

This key event will be held on September 19-21 at the Sandman Hotel in Montreal-Longueuil, and is a unique opportunity for researchers and organic producers to share organic knowledge. We hope to see you there!

Click here to register



Shallow non-inversion tillage in organic farming maintains crop yields and increases soil C stocks: a meta-analysis

Reduced tillage is increasingly promoted to improve sustainability and productivity of agricultural systems. Nonetheless, adoption of reduced tillage by organic farmers has been slow due to concerns about nutrient supply, soil structure, and weeds that may limit yields. Here, we compiled the results from both published and unpublished research comparing deep or shallow inversion tillage, with various categories of reduced tillage under organic management. Shallow refers to less than 25 cm. We found that (1) division of reduced tillage practices into different classes with varying degrees of intensity allowed us to assess the trade-offs between reductions in tillage intensity, crop yields, weed incidence, and soil C stocks.

Click here for the article

Impact of large strip cropping system (24 and 48 rows) on soybean aphid during four years in organic soybean

Strip cropping could be used to deliver several eco-services, including reducing pest pressure. The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of the management of a strip cropping system of soybean, wheat, corn and vetch on soybean aphid Aphis glycines Matsumura, its natural enemies and on the harvest of soybean.

Click here for the article

2016 CEAG EL Maple leaf logo

2016 census of agriculture

At the beginning of May 2016, farm operators will be asked to update Canada’s agricultural profile by completing the 2016 Census of Agriculture questionnaire.

The census will provide farmers, farm organizations, policy makers, stakeholders, and citizens with relevant information about the future of the Canadian agricultural sector and help them make informed decisions regarding agricultural practices in this country.

In early May, you will receive a letter with easy-to-follow instructions on how to complete your Census of Agriculture questionnaire online. This user-friendly option will save you time by automatically adding totals and limiting the questions to the ones that apply to your operation.

The questionnaire can be completed by anyone who is responsible for, or knowledgeable about, the day-to-day management decisions of your farming operation. As required by the Statistics Act, the information you provide will be kept confidential and used only for statistical purposes.

This May, add your voice to those of Canada’s organic farmers by completing your Census of Agriculture questionnaire!


What you get when you vote with your dollar: the case of organic wheat

If you buy organic food with the intention of catalyzing change in agriculture, it may be paying off. To address the wide gap between supply and demand, the nation’s largest flour producer Ardent Mills announced an initiative at the end of last year to double US organic wheat acreage by 2019 – a plan that could encourage a shift toward organic agriculture on hundreds of thousands of acres of American farmland.

Click here for the opinion piece


Farm for sale

40 acres organic fruit, veggie and hay farm with developed market. 45 miles north of Winnipeg. Full irrigation, shelterbelts, no stones, big shop, barn, well insulated character home. Plum Ridge Farm on facebook, 204-886-3472, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


April 13 2016 Join The Canada Organic Trade Association at SIAL Canada 2016 COTA will be hosting an organic pavilion for Canadian companies at SIAL Canada 2016 April 13-15 in Montreal. Click here for details

June 13-14 2016 Taste of Canada Showcase, Minneapolis This is an agri-food buyer-seller forum where Canadian suppliers can showcase their food products in a tabletop setting while meeting one-on-one with pre-screen US importers, beers and distributors from the retail and foodservice industry. No cost for Manitoba companies to participate. Product categories include: edible oils, bakery and deserts, specialty foods, and more. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Government of Manitoba if you're interested. 204 945-2397

June 16 2016 Organic Agronomist Training See details above

July 28 8:30 am - 4:30 pm 2016 Manitoba Horticultural School Portage la Prairie ContactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information

September 18 2016 Open Farm Day Click here for the details

September 19-21 2016 2nd Organic Science Cluster Conference See above for details

November 3-5 2016 Organic Connections Click here to visit the website