How to identify low soil organic matter

By Matt McIntosh Glacier FarmMedia – Did your fields show a lot of crusting this planting season? Was there standing water where there shouldn’t be? These and other indicators, say provincial soil health experts, mean your soil organic matter (SOM) levels could use some attention. Crusting is normal – but should it be? “Crusting is […]

Updated organic standards clear committee vote

By Dave Bedard Glacier FarmMedia staff The latest round of revisions for the Canadian Organic Standards has passed a key vote on its way to becoming federal regulation. Members of the Canadian General Standards Board’s (CGSB) technical committee on organic agriculture voted unanimously last month to approve the draft of the Canadian Organic Standards submitted […]

How crop residue decisions impact soil life

American Society of Agronomy – In some ways, farming is like cooking. Cooking would be much easier if we could leave the kitchen after eating and not come back until we make the next meal. But someone needs to put away the leftovers, do the dishes, and clean up the table. Similarly, there’s work to […]

Organic growers now talking about yield

By Robert Arnason Glacier FarmMedia staff Crop yields depend upon a long list of factors. Producers control some of those factors and Mother Nature controls the rest. For years, organic farmers in Western Canada didn’t worry a whole lot about yield and the agronomics within their control. But that low-key, low-input approach is fading away. […]

Field work gap means spring shifts for organic growers

By Alexis Stockford Glacier FarmMedia staff Organic farmers are gearing up for a more complicated start to the growing season after missing much of their field work last fall. Last year’s “harvest from hell” is still sending shocks through Manitoba operations, with wet weather leaving many farmers with unharvested acres and incomplete fertilizer applications. For […]

Comparisons of organic and conventional agriculture need improvement: researchers

Chalmers University of Technology – The environmental effects of agriculture and food are hotly debated. But the most widely used method of analysis often tends to overlook vital factors, such as biodiversity, soil quality, pesticide impacts and societal shifts, and these oversights can lead to wrong conclusions on the merits of intensive and organic agriculture. […]

Waiting and weeding are keys to organic success

After six years, this organic farmer is seeing reduction in some weeds By Stew Slater OrganicBiz contributor It can sometimes be comforting for an organic farmer if the view of their field from the roadway shows an absence of green growth between the rows of corn or soybeans. But according to the presenter of a […]

Cover crops can benefit hot, dry soils

American Society of Agronomy – The Southern High Plains of the United States have low annual rainfall. When it does rain, though, intense storms can cause severe soil erosion. Strong winds also strip away valuable topsoil. Enter cover crops. Usually grown during seasons when primary crops aren’t cultivated, cover crops can include legumes such as […]

Growing – and harvesting – organic hemp

Glacier FarmMedia | Grainews – When Marcus Isaac decided he wanted to get into organic production, he thought hemp would be a good fit for his 300-acre farm near Kleefeld, Man. He was already growing alfalfa and he knew hemp would be a good organic crop to rotate with it. He also knew hemp would […]