We bring the resources, tools, and expertise you need to get growing

Tune in as each episode our host Scott Beaton talks to researchers, farmers and other experts in the organic sector to discuss important issues in organic grain farming.

Podcast Episodes

Season 2, Episode 2 – Mechanical Weed Control

Mechanical weed control is one of the key tools in the organic farmer’s toolbox!
Join us as Scott talks to Sam Hitchcock Tilton about tine weeders, interrow cultivators, finger weeders and more. They talk weed biology, timing, and soil health.

We recorded today’s episode in March at the 2020 Prairie Organics Conference in Brandon Manitoba.

Scott gets into the weeds with Sam Hitchcock Tilton as they discuss ways to control weeds at all stages of their life cycle throughout the growing season.


Thanks to Regen Ag Solutions for helping to sponsor this episode. If you’re thinking about trying out some of the machines Sam and Scott were talking about, check out their website at https://regenagsolutions.ca/ or give them a call on 1-204-999-1232.

Their farming solutions aim to help farmers achieve balance and synergy between plants and soil. They provide their clients with the best products to develop soil nutrition, increase yields and promote long-term sustainability.




Dalhousie University has put together some great resources from harrowing to robotic weed control to help you decide what will work best for your farm.


Manitoba Agriculture has also summarized some of the issues with weed control in organic cropping systems here: https://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/crops/weeds/weed-management-in-organic-crop-systems.html

And don’t forget to check out the resources on Pivot and Grow!


Guest bio for Sam Sam Hitchcock Tilton

Sam Hitchcock Tilton is a Horticulture Instructor at Lakeshore Technical College, just North of Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He has a background in vegetable farming and earned a Master’s degree in Horticulture from Michigan State University, where he studied and conducted research on precision weeding tools. Sam was the Midwest Sales Representative for KULT-Kress precision cultivation tools. For this work he designed weeding machines for all types of crops, developed new tools, and traveled through Europe and the US visiting farms. He writes for Vegetable Grower’s News and Growing for Market, and is the organizer of the annual Midwest Mechanical Weed Control Field Day – the nation’s premier event for weeding tool demonstrations.


  • Alex Boersch
  • Karen Klassen
  • Sam Hitchcock Tilton
  • Scott Beaton


  • weeds
  • agriculture
  • organic
  • regenerative

Season 2, Episode 1 – Cover Crops

Thinking about growing a cover crop this year?

What are my #covercropgoals?

How can I manage my problem weeds like wild oats and Canada thistle with cover crops?

Can you use too much moisture when growing a cover crop?

Will cover crops tie up all my nutrients?

Scott Beaton asks Kevin Elmy all your burning cover crops questions in this episode. We also have Callum Morrison from the U of Manitoba telling us about a cover crop survey he’s been working on!



Our host, Scott Beaton, chats with Kevin Elmy from Cover Crops Canada about …..wait for it….cover crops.

They talk about why we should all be growing them in the first place and then get into some of the nitty gritty details about some timing issues, how to plan a cover crop mix and how cover crops actually work to improve your soil aggregates and water infiltration.

Thanks to Imperial Seed for helping to sponsor this episode. If you’re thinking about growing a cover crop this year, check out their website at https://imperialseed.com/ or call one of their experts for some help in deciding what would work best for you!


Imperial Seed Ltd. is an accredited seed processing facility focused on the multiplication and processing of proprietary forage and turf seed. Seed production is facilitated through a network of seed growers throughout Western Canada. Growers have at their disposal almost 60 years of cumulative field experience with our staff. This provides both new and experienced growers with an extensive resource related to their seed production.



Guest bio for Kevin Elmy

I was raised on a seed farm near Saltcoats, SK. I moved back in 1999 after various jobs after convocation from the University of Saskatchewan. The land I bought was baled and burned for 50 years so needed reviving. So we changed our management to included forages, corn grazing, winter cereals, reduced tillage, and the use of cover crops. We got to where we have not added synthetic nitrogen for 13 years, reduced our use of herbicides, eliminated seed treatments, fungicides and insecticides, and now eliminated the rest of our synthetic fertilizer applications. Our soil are now alive.


Check out Kevin’s cover crop assessment sheet and more info about cover crops at


And https://imperialseed.com/

Haven’t filled out Callum’s survey in 2019 yet?

Click here to fill it out. 

Or follow him on Twitter @CallumMorrisons  and he’ll let you know when to fill out his 2020 survey.

MOA also hosted a cover cropping workshop last November and the videos are available on our website https://manitobaorganicalliance.com/article/nov-13-brandon-mb-getting-the-most-out-of-every-acre-through-cover-cropping/ or go straight to our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZg0amo8jn6M6b7O38ZvriznADlDmT9Mm

Still wanting to read more?



Favourite read (book)

Kevin’s Top Book Pick

“When Weeds Talk”



Host: Scott Beaton

Guests: Kevin Elmy & Callum Morrison

Narrator: Karen Klassen

Producer: Karen Klassen

Editor: Karen Klassen

Consultant: Anne Kirk


The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Manitoba Organic Alliance.


  • Kevin Elmy
  • Callum Morrison
  • Karen Klassen
  • Scott Beaton


  • regenerative farming
  • cover crops
  • agriculture
  • agroecology
  • organic farming
  • soil health

Season 1, Episode 1 – Crop Rotation Strategies

Scott Beaton, Manitoba Organic Producer, and Katherine Stanley, Organic Extension Specialist at the University of Manitoba’s Natural Systems Agriculture, discuss strategies for designing organic crop rotations that build soil fertility, manage weeds and prevent disease and pests. (32.31 minutes)

Bio: Katherine Stanley is a Research Associate at the University of Manitoba’s Natural Systems Agriculture. She has a MSc. in plant science from the University of Saskatchewan and a B.Sc. in Agroecology from the University of Manitoba. Her research focuses largely on organic agronomy and weed management and extension work has allowed her to work with agronomists and organic farmers across the prairies.

Resources discussed in this episode:

Season 1, Episode 2 – Marketing Organic Grain 101

Scott Beaton, Manitoba Organic Producer; Ian Cushon, Saskatchewan Organic Producer; and Scott Shiels, Organic Grain Procurement Manager, Grain Millers discuss the key principles, considerations, barriers, and opportunities to marketing transitioning and organic grains. (27.11 minutes)

Guest Bios:

Ian Cushon has farmed organically for 30 years producing a wide variety of field crops including row cropping organic sunflowers in the 1990s to soybeans in 2016. Ian has used mechanical weed control including rod weeders, tine harrows, tine weeders and rotary hoes. Mechanical weed control is an important option in some crops, but strong crop rotations and cultural weed management are the foundation of productive organic crops on the prairies. Ian and wife Jo-Anne, operate Moose Creek Organic Farm near Oxbow, in Southeast Saskatchewan. They have two children Liam 16 and Anna 14.

Scott Shiels works with Grain Millers as the Procurement Manager and has experience as a grain buyer handling the procurement of grains into the mill in Yorkton. He works with the US procurement team on other commodities that they source from Canada.

Resources discussed in this episode:

Season 1, Episode 3 – How to Take Soil and Plant Tissue Samples

Organic grain expert Joanne Thiessen Martens talks about taking soil samples and plant tissue samples and how it can help you make management decisions on your farm. (33.25 minutes)

Guest Bio:

Joanne Thiessen Martens grew up on a small mixed farm at Austin, Manitoba. She earned a B. Sc. In Agroecology at the University of Manitoba in 1999 and has since been working in the area of sustainable and ecological agriculture. For much of this time, Joanne has been a part of Dr. Martin Entz’s research team in the Department of Plant Science at the University of Manitoba. Her recent areas of focus include cover cropping, integrated crop-livestock systems, and farming systems design.

Resources discussed in this episode:

Season 1, Episode 4 – Managing Weeds in Organic Crops

Brenda Frick, organic expert on weeds in organic cropping , talks about practical and helpful tips for managing weeds in organic cropping. With host Scott Beaton, she discusses how to prevent and manage those tough weeds like Canada Thistle and Bind Weed. (37.31 minutes)

Guest Bio:

Brenda Frick is a partner in Resilient Solutions Consulting. Brenda has a wealth of experience in organic research extension having authored many resources for organics along with an expertise in managing weeds in organic cropping systems. She shares this as an instructor of an online organic weeds class through the University of Saskatchewan Brenda is also one of the experts behind Pivot and Grow’s 1-800 ‘Ask an Expert’. Call her with your questions about organics.

Resources discussed in this episode:

Season 1, Episode 5 – Organic Grain Transition: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Transitioning organic grain farmer, Alex Boersch from Elie, MB, interviews Alan McKenzie, an experienced organic grain farmer from Nesbitt, MB. With host Scott Beaton, they discusses strategies, perceptions, challenges, and opportunities of transitioning into organic grain. (53.11 minutes)

Guest Bios:

Alex Boersch has a bachelor and Masters in Agri-Business and science from INP Purpan (University in Touluse, France). He has worked for two years in Toronto for DG Global Inc as a grain trader and moved back to the farm July of 2017. The farm was founded in 1988 by his father Andreas Boersch, who emigrated from Cologne, Germany. They farm 5000 acres and are transitioning 500 acres of land into organic.

Alan McKenzie farms in Nesbitt, MB on a 4000 acre mixed cattle and grain organic farm. Alan began transitioning his farm to organic production in 2002 and since 2011 his whole farm including his cattle operation are certified organic. Alan works for diversity on his farm, growing a variety of grain crops including inter-crops, hemp and other cereals. His cattle are used to graze cover crops on the farm.

Resources discussed in this episode:


Grain on the Brain is a podcast of the Prairie Organic Grain Initiative and is now produced by the Manitoba Organic Alliance.

Season 1 Producers: Dana Penrice, Iris Vaisman, Cari Hartt, and Tierra Stokes

Season 2 Producer: Karen Klassen

Host: Scott Beaton

Scott Beaton
Karen Klassen