A faba fix for corn’s nitrogen need?

American Society of Agronomy – Researchers have good news for growers. Farmers raising a nitrogen-hungry crop like sweet corn may save up to half of their nitrogen fertilizer cost. The key: using a faba bean cover crop. Faba bean is an ancient crop increasingly used as a cover crop. Cover crops are grown in the […]

New organic oat varieties in the pipeline

By Laura Rance OrganicBiz editor Prairie organic growers can for the first time this spring grow a registered variety of oats that has been developed under organic management. Limited quantities of AAC Oravena certified seed are now available through Fedoruk Seeds at Kamsack, Sask., after a lengthy breeding and development process by Agriculture and Agri-Food […]

Dry the weeds, keep the crops

Flame-weeding controls weeds for organic farmers  American Society of Agronomy – Interest in organic farming is growing. However, controlling weeds without synthetic herbicides, as organic certification requires, is challenging. Scientists are studying alternative tools for weed management. One such tool is propane-fueled flame weeding. Flame weeding sounds as if it means burning plants. But propane-fueled […]

Balanced nutrients help soil microbes

Starved organic soils erode soil organic matter By Robin Booker Organic grain farms rely on micro-organisms to cycle soil nutrients into plant-available forms, but nutrient imbalances in organic soils can hamper this process. “In organic systems, you don’t have inorganic fertilizers bringing in primarily nitrogen and phosphorus, but each year, you have grain being harvested […]

Robotic weeders. Coming to a farm near you?

American Society of Agronomy – The future of weeding is here, and it comes in the form of a robot. The growing popularity of robotic weeders for specialty crops has grown partly out of necessity, says Steven Fennimore, an extension specialist at the University of California, Davis. Specialty crops are vegetables like lettuce, broccoli, tomatoes, […]

It’s not your grandparents’ farm

Ag Days talk highlights advancements being made to support modern organic farmers By Lorraine Stevenson OrganicBiz staff It’s often said Grandpa’s farm was organic — just because he used no chemical inputs. But how a past generation ran a farm and what present-day organic farmers do aren’t just years apart. Producers operating organic production systems […]