GFM Network News


Organic checkoff gets the green light

Organic checkoff gets the green light

This is the first mandated organic checkoff in Canada, says MOA

The Manitoba Organic Alliance (MOA) says its new checkoff levy on organic cereals, pulses and oilseeds will help fund organic-specific research and extension work. “It wasn’t felt that the research and development and marketing were actually benefiting organic grain farmers,” MOA project manager Karen Klassen told the Co-operator. “This is the first organic grain levy

Many people with livestock are searching for grazing land and a growing number of farmers are thinking about integrating livestock into their farms.

MOA soil health project to match livestock producers, landowners

Livestock integration, reduced tillage, perennials and cover crops to get a boost on organic farms with Conservation Trust funding

A website that will pair landowners with livestock producers in search of grazing land, and a cost-shared consultant agronomy program are two projects the Manitoba Organic Alliance (MOA) is taking on in a project called “Improving soil stewardship on Manitoba organic farms” funded by the Conservation Trust. “Organic farms are really well positioned to be


Kate Storey, Manitoba Organic Alliance chair, seen here at the MOA annual meeting last October, says a recent report is hopeful for Manitoba’s organic industry.

Organic acres up, farmer numbers stable

The Prairie Organic Grain Initiative says a survey shows lots of new organic acres, but just a handful of new organic farmers

Manitoba and Saskatchewan couldn’t match Alberta’s explosion of new organic producers in 2016, but local experts say their gains have been in acres, not farms. Alberta gained 82 certified producers (counting livestock operations) from 2015-16, according to the 2016 Organic Agriculture in the Prairies report. Saskatchewan and Manitoba, meanwhile, only added 16 producers each. Acres,

Organic processing in Manitoba a bright spot

The numbers look slim, but experts say Manitoba’s modest processing increases in 2016 miss part of the story

Manitoba had one more organic processor in 2016 than 2015, according to the last Organic Agriculture in the Prairies report, but provincial organics expert Laura Telford says the view might be more optimistic than that implies. “The report doesn’t release the type of processing. I think what we’re seeing there is an increase in primary

A field of wheat felled by hail. Producers at the meeting referred to some of the insured prices as

MASC comes under fire at organic insurance update

Producers call organic insurance ‘a joke’ while MASC says it’s already a money-loser

Organic producers are not happy with their crop insurance. Maurice Gaultier, Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) insurance sales and service manager for the southern region, faced pointed questions Jan. 18 during his organic insurance update at Ag Days. MASC and the Manitoba Organic Alliance have been looking for a middle road on insurance for months.


The Manitoba Organic Alliance announced the working group Oct. 23 during its annual meeting in Brandon.

Organic Alliance says crop insurance needs an update on organic production

Organic growers argue that insurance excludes critical production practices, but change may come with some real logistical problems, according to MASC

Organic farmers in Manitoba hope a new working group will help solve long-standing crop insurance issues. The body will have members from both the Manitoba Organic Alliance (MOA) and Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC). “There’s definite improvements that need to be made, so we want to know what the timeline on that is,” MOA president

Katherine Stanley (l) has been named as the Manitoba Organic Alliance’s first agronomist.

Manitoba Organic Alliance names agronomist

Katherine Stanley will take on the term position over the next year

Manitoba’s organic farmers now have an agronomist to call their own — even if it’s only for a year. The farmer organization the Manitoba Organic Alliance has teamed up with the University of Manitoba and the provincial Agriculture Department to create a one-year term position for an organic agronomist and Katherine Stanley has been named

Don Rourke fields equipment questions during a field tour near Minto.

Rourke Farms explores organic equipment options

Rourke Farms near Minto put equipment options to the test this year as the farm started 
the process of becoming certified organic

When Rourke Farms decided to go organic, it went all in, both in terms of acres and equipment. Over 4,000 acres of cropped land started the transition this year, while another third of that has been put to green manure and the farm’s fleet of tractors, seeders, cultivators and harrows has expanded as owners make


Tour attendees kneel to get a better look at the mix during the Aug. 4 tour focusing on green manure at Carnegie Farms north of Brandon.

The making of a green manure mix

Grain-only operation one of several tours organized by the Manitoba Organic Alliance

For organic grain farmers without livestock such as Carnegie Farms north of Brandon, green manure has become a mainstay for nutrient management. Visitors to the fully organic operation’s field day Aug. 4 took in two green manure mixes, ranging from peas, beans, oats and buckwheat to a field with all of the above, plus kale,

Dan and Fran DeRuyck stand in front of their recently reopened organic cleaning plant south of Treherne.

DeRuycks keep rolling with organic cleaning and milling

Dan and Fran DeRuyck hope to expand their customer base with their upgraded organic grain-cleaning plant, reopened earlier this year

Dan and Fran DeRuyck’s organic grain-cleaning plant is one of the first things a visitor sees when they arrive at Top of the Hill Farm, south of Treherne, Man. The large shed dominates the west side of the yard, bordered by bins which, on any given week, might be filled with anything from wheat, oats,