Organic Bytes – March 2017

March 9, 2017


winter farm scene banne

Direct Farm Marketing Conference March 10-11

You can register at the door for this two day conference in Morden.


Telling your Story, Mark Evans, March 10
Growing Organic – It’s not that Hard, Laura Telford March 10
Options for Manitoba Vegetable Growers – What Works on Our Farms, Bruce Berry, Justin Girard, Stefan Regnier, March 10
New Frontiers in Meat Marketing, Jim Lintott, Katie Daman, Brad Anderson, March 10
Local on the Menu, Gordon Leighton-Bailey, March 11
Bee Keeping for Fun and Profit, Rheal Lafreniere, March 11
Direct Farm Manitoba, Phil Veldhuis, March 11
and more…. visit

Location: Access Event Centre, 11-D Gilmour St, Morden
Time: Registration at 9 am on March 10 and at 8:30 am on March 11. Talks begin at 9:30 am on March 10 and 9:00 am on March 11
Cost: $150 at the door and one day rates are available


Agronomy training Carman March 10

It’s not to late to register for this training!

This workshop builds on the skills learned at a similar workshop last winter. It will be interactive and hands-on and it will provide an opportunity to share experiences, progress and the challenges of organic crop advising. The workshop is intended to continue to build the skills necessary for organic crop advising in the coming growing season.

There are no additional registration fees for the January 2017 meetings for those who were registered in the 2016 sessions. However, registration through Eventbrite is still required. New entrants who did not take the 2016 training are also welcome.

Lunch will be provided.

Location: Ian N. Morrison Research Farm in Carman (from Carman, go south on #13 to 245. Head west on 245 for 1.7 km. The station is on the south side of the road)
Time: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Click here for the agenda

Click here to register

For questions regarding the meeting, contact Katherine Stanley. Questions regarding registration can be sent to Iris Vaisman

CEY credits are available

This event is organized by The Natural Systems Agriculture Group at the University of Manitoba and the Prairie Organic Grain Initiative


Organic farm club Carman March 13

Still looking for organic seed?

Join the organic community and guests Iris Vaisman from the Prairie Organic Grain Initiative and Anne Kirk from Manitoba Agriculture for this last organic event before spring planting.

We will share resources for sourcing organic seed and Anne will share her data on the new organic wheat cultivar AC Tradition.

Farm clubs are about farmer-to-farmer information sharing so the real discussion will focus on whatever you want to talk about related to seeds and seed procurement.

If you have organic or non GMO seeds to sell, please bring some samples and information about your variety and quality specs.

RSVP is not required. You don’t have to be organic to attend. There is no cost and snacks will be provided.

Location: Ian N. Morrison Research Farm in Carman (from Carman, go south on #13 to 245. Head west on 245 for 1.7 km. The station is on the south side of the road)
Time: 1:30-4:00 pm

Have questions? Contact Laura Telford at Manitoba Agriculture

This event is organized by Manitoba Agriculture and the Prairie Organic Grain Initiative


On-farm research or demonstration plot grants

The Prairie Organic Grain Initiative is accepting applications for on-farm research trails and on-farm demonstration plots to take place in the Canadian Prairie region. Projects that represent a collaboration between certified organic growers and researchers with demonstrated experience conducting research in organic agriculture are encouraged. Both research and demonstration projects are eligible.

Deadline to apply is March 15, 2017

Click here for the details


OCIA micro grants available

Micro grants are awarded to organic research involving crops or livestock, for organic education such as on-farm field days and for the development of organic educational materials. Grants are open to anyone in North America. Typical grants range from $300-$1,500.

Deadline to apply is March 15, 2017

Click here for details.


Safe Food for Canadians

Safe Food for Canadians, the Act that will be the new home for the Canadian Organic Standards has been published in the Canada Gazette. The organic sector has many concerns about changes to the OPR which will significantly impact organic. Some of the big ticket items are a requirement for truckers to be certified and an annual expiration date for organic certificates. The easiest way to find out about the proposed changes and how they can impact you is to watch COTA’s webinar.

For a deep dive into the policy, check out the links below:

Pre-publication of the proposed regulations in the Canada Gazette, Part I

Key Issues and COTA recommendations:
Organic Sector Concerns – Key Issues & Recommendations

Proposed Safe Food for Canadians Regulations
Safe Food for Canadians Act

Learn more about how the SFCRs will affect your business via these videos:
What Food Businesses Need to Know
Importing Food



March 10 Agronomy Training Ian N. Morrison Research Farm in Carman See details above

March 10-11, 2017 Manitoba Direct Farm Marketing Conference Presented by the Prairie Fruit Growers Association and Manitoba Agriculture, Access Event Centre, Morden. Click here for more information

March 13, 2017 1:30-4:00 pm Organic Farm Club Meeting, Ian N. Morrison Research Farm in Carman See details above

March 15, 2017 9 am Brandon Research Station Are you interested in cover crops, soil health, winter cereals and how to deal with wet soils this spring?


Dr. Rob Graf (Winter Wheat researcher Ag Canada Lethbridge) – Update on new varieties and wheat classifications – new possible markets.
Derek Axten (producer from Minton, Sask) – “Winter Cereals – Adding Diversity with intercrops and companion crops”
Dr. Yvonne Lawley (University of Manitoba Professor) – “Extending cover: winter wheat planting dates and cover crops for wet soils”
Dr. Ravindra Chibbar (Canada Research Chair in Molecular Biology for Crop Quality) – Cold tolerance genomics research in winter wheat

Check out Winter Cereals Manitoba for more information

Lunch is sponsored by Winter Cereals Manitoba.

March 16 2017 12:30 – 4:30 pm Ensuring Grain Quality from Concept to Cleaning, Station 20 West, Saskatoon This half day SaskOrganics workshop provides an opportunity to learn about ensuring grain quality from planting to shipping and everything in between. Click here for the details

Cost: $60 in advance (second person from same farm $30). At the door $80 ($40 second person)

March 17 2017 12:30 – 4:30 pm Ensuring Grain Quality from Concept to Cleaning, Travelodge, Regina Details in previous entry

March 21-22 2017 and March 23-24 Entrepreneur Bootcamp Do you have a new business that you want to grow? Connect with successful entrepreneurs and business advisors, learn how to make an effective pitch and win up to $6,000 in cash and in-kind prizes.

March 21-22 Pembina Valley, R.M. of Stanley Office on PTH 14 between Morden and Winkler. Click here for more info
March 23-24 Victoria Inn & Suites in Brandon. Click here for more info

Last week of March 2017 Organic Agronomy Coffee Shop Date and time TBA. Long time organic grain farmer from Alberta, Steven Snider will talk about how he manages soil fertility and weeds, especially Canada thistle. Contact Katherine Stanley for date and time.

March 30 2017 1:00 pm Using Biofungicides, Biostimulants and Biofertilizers to Boost Crop Productivity and Help Manage Vegetable Diseases Effectively managing diseases is one of the biggest challenges facing organic tomato growers. There is currently a wide range of biologically based products available on the market that claim to boost crop growth and help plants withstand many plant diseases. However, there are few independent, science-based studies to validate the efficacy of some of these products as well as instructions detailing how and when to apply them to achieve the best results. In this webinar, presenters will describe the different types of products available in the marketplace today, provide an overview of recent studies evaluating their efficacy, and discuss strategies for identifying the most effective products and application practices.

Click here to register for this free event or visit

March 31 2017 8:00 am – 4:30 pm Soil Microbe to Farmer – I’m Here SaskOrganics hosts Jill Clapperton from Rhizoterra Inc. and farmer Derek Axten. Email Marla Carlson for more details

Cost: $75 in advance (2nd person from same farm $40). At the door $100 (2nd person $50)

April 2017 Organic Agronomy Coffee Shop Date and time TBA. The guest will be Mark Kopecky, soil fertility specialist with Organic Valley. Details in next newsletter.

April 7, 2017 Spring Organic Research Workshop This all day event is organized by the Swift Current Research and Development Centre and is co-hosted by SaskOrganics. Click here for the details. Register by April 3 by contacting

November 9-11, 2017 19th Organic world congress, New Delhi, India. Click here for more info.

February 23-24, 2018 Prairie Organics. Think Whole Farm Conference, Keystone Centre, Brandon

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