New data unearths pesticide peril in beehives

Cornell University – Honeybees – employed to pollinate crops during the blooming season – encounter danger due to lingering and wandering pesticides, according to a new Cornell University study that analyzed the bee’s own food. Researchers used 120 pristine honeybee colonies that were placed near 30 apple orchards around New York state. After allowing the […]

Ontario organic survey looks at barriers to expansion

By John Greig OrganicBiz staff A large survey of Ontario organic and conventional farmers, processors and retailers shows that risk and concern about weeds and disease is the largest barrier to greater adoption by conventional farmers. The results of the survey were presented at the Organic Council of Ontario’s annual meeting in Guelph. The OCO […]

Female Farmer with Digital Tablet in Vegetable Garden

Looking at the future of organic regulation

By John Greig OrganicBiz staff One of the largest frustrations for a certified organic farmer is seeing someone sell produce as organic without having gone through the rigours and costs of certification. Certified growers say it happens frequently in Ontario. There are national standards that restrict how the word “organic” can be used in marketing, […]

Organic agriculture part of the climate change solution

By Laura Rance Organic Biz editor Farmers have become accustomed in recent years to hearing about how agriculture contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, which are widely believed to be a leading cause of global warming. Agriculture accounts for between 30 and 40 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions on the Prairies. One-third of that comes […]

Incentives urged to match organic supply to demand

Canada’s organic retail sales are growing faster than organic acres OrganicBiz staff Canadian governments will need to come up with incentives for farmers going organic if they want domestic supply to keep up with domestic demand, a national organic sector group warns. The Canada Organic Trade Association on March 1 released data showing 5,053 certified […]

Studying the benefits of grassfed livestock

The production system is linked to healthier meat, egg and dairy products By Laura Rance OrganicBiz staff It’s unlikely that University of Toronto researcher Richard Bazinet will include on his resumé the fact that he had a whole room of farmers holding their noses during one of his presentations. But it was actually an effective […]

Costco works with farmers to increase organic food supply

OrganicBiz staff The Seattle Times is reporting that Costco has started investing in farmers to increase the supply of organic foods and keep pace with consumer demand. “While other retailers might have loan programs for suppliers to upgrade equipment or offer financial incentives such as advance payments or long-term contracts, helping farmers buy land to […]

Tractor spraying wheat field

Chemical use accelerates past environmental change

Duke University – The increased use of synthetic chemicals, including pesticides and pharmaceuticals to attack unwanted organisms, has outpaced the rates of change in rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations and other agents of global environmental change over the past 45 years, a new Duke-led analysis reveals. Despite this trend, U.S. ecological journals, meetings and funding sources […]

Field in the crop is food on the plate

Organic Day panel talks specs and critical crop management for meeting buyer quality requirements By Lorraine Stevenson Organic Biz staff  Mike Gallais knows quality when he sees it, and he’s impressed with what organic growers deliver. “I can tell just by looking at the (organic) samples,” said the co-owner of Portage la Prairie based Best […]

Library of cowpea varieties offers food security

American Society of Agronomy – Tim Close has found himself, happily, stuck in a library. But it’s not your typical library with shelves and books. It’s a genetic library of cowpea varieties, also known as black-eyed peas. This genetic library tells us stories about the crop’s unique qualities. “Think of the books in a library’s […]