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alberta

ORGANIC

FALL 2016

ISSUE 03

VOLUME 07

AN ALBERTA ORGANIC REGULATION


WHY WE NEED IT
BECKY LIPTON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR : ORGANIC ALBERTA

All organic food must be certified to be


called organic, right? Well, not necessarily.
If the product is grown or raised within
the province of Alberta, and is not sold or
exported to another province or country,
it is not covered by the federal governments
organic regulation. It is up to each province
to regulate organics within their borders.
Since Alberta does not have a provincial
regulation some producers and processors
are using the term organic without having
to be certified.
THIS POSES 2 KEY ISSUES:
1. Loss of sales due to lack of consumer
confidence and trust in the organic brand
2. Loss of markets and sales by certified
organic operators because of an uneven
playing field and competitive disadvantage.

WWW.ORGANICALBERTA.ORG

Alberta consumers dont buy


more organic food because they
are confused by what organic
means, and have doubts over
whether they can trust the brand.

Research commissioned by Organic


Alberta in 2012 showed that the main
reason Alberta consumers dont buy more
organic food is because they are confused
by what organic means, and have doubts
over whether they can trust the brand.
The organic certification process is
extremely rigorous, however, a small
number of producers or processors
wrongfully claiming organic status can
undermine consumer confidence

in the entire organic regime, thus


undermining sales for ALL participants.
Organic Alberta has met twice with
Agriculture Minister Carlier and he is
supportive of the organic sector and our
need for a regulation. He has mandated his
Assistant Deputy Minister John Brown to
present him with options for how to close
this regulatory gap. Now we need your
help to put the pressure on!
CONTACT YOUR MLA! Over the next
6 months, we need you to go to your MLA, or
better yet, invite them to your farm. Tell them
this issue is critically important, and ask them to
put pressure on the Agricultural Minister until
the regulation is passed. BC, Manitoba, Quebec,
New Brunswick and Nova Scotia have all done
it. It is time for Alberta to step forward!

FALL 2016 | ISSUE 03 | VOLUME 07

Mission: To represent and support Albertas


entire organic industry.
Vision: A strong, sustainable and united
organic community in Alberta.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS REPORT

ORGANICS IN THE AGRICULTURAL MEDIA


feed that was not certified to the Canadian
Organic Standard or to one of the standards
under our equivalency arrangements.

Editor/Submissions & Advertising


Editor: Debbie Miller
587-521-2400
editor@organicalberta.org
Copy Editor
Brenda Frick
306-260-0663
organic@usask.ca
Graphic Designer & Publisher
Curio Studio
780-451-2261
www.curiostudio.ca

Executive Director
Becky Lipton:
587-521-2400 | becky.lipton@organicalberta.org
Board Members
Representatives elected by region:
(N) North (S) South (C) Central
(M) Member at Large
President: Ward Middleton (C):
780-939-7549 | midmore@xplornet.ca
Vice President: Tim Hoven (S):
403-302-2748 | timhoven@gmail.com
Treasurer: Heather Kerschbaumer (N):
780-835-4508 | gaseeds@kerbagroup.com
Secretary: Trevor Aleman (S):
403-308-4003 | trevor@busybeasmarketgarden.com
Lawrence Ashmead (M):
403-971-9682 | lawrence.ashmead@
freshdirectproduce.com
Janice Shelton (N):
780-623-7664 | tjshelton@mcsnet.ca
Danny Turner (M)
780-469-1900 | danny@theorganicbox.ca
Dawn Boileau (C)
780-218-2430 | sunrise-gardens@hotmail.com
Abbie Stein-MacLean (M)
780-984-3068 | asteinmaclean@gmail.com
Charles Newell (AB rep at federal level)
780-809-2247 | newellsfarm@gmail.com

Winter 2016 deadline is Friday, November 25.


Please send comments, suggestions, ads, and/or
articles to editor@organicalberta.org

BECKY LIPTON,
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR : ORGANIC ALBERTA

I am sure it has happened to each of you.


You are reading an agricultural publication
such as the Western Producer, or The Country
Guide and it says something that is untrue
about organics. Now I am not talking about
a difference of opinion such as herbicides
are great for agriculture and those organic
farmers just dont know what they are talking
about but rather a hard fact that is untrue.
Recently there have been two examples.
On September 7th The Country Guide
published an article called The target is
glyphosate in which they state that even
organic farmers use this herbicide. On August
25th the Western Producer ran a piece called
Organic feed imports glitch in production
guarantee where they claimed that organic
farmers could feed their animals organic

Journalists are supposed to report the truth.


That truth of course can be couched in
opinions and perspective, but they have a
requirement that the bare bone facts be true.
These inaccuracies are in a way a great
opportunity for us to educate the journalists,
as well as the agricultural community. Because
of the Western Producer article, I was able to
clarify how organic certification and equivalency
arrangements work with the editor Brian
MacLeod, the farm management editor Michael
Raine, and the journalist who first ran the story,
Robert Arnason. After several back and forths
with the editor, they published my response
on September 22nd. Organic Alberta and Sask
Organics also worked together to correct the
statement that organic farmers use glyphosate
in The Country Guide.
If you ever read an article that has a blatant
error and misrepresents organics, please let me
know. Organic Alberta will respond, and slowly
we will start to educate agricultural journalists
about organics and stop the misrepresentation.

ORGANIC ALBERTA SUPPORTERS


Big thank you to the following people and organizations who sent in donations and/or became members
over the last few months! It is your contributions that keep us going!
Khang Nguyen, Linsey Ezekiel & Duke Dobyanski, Wild + Free Farm, Daniel & Marilyn Wiebe, John Derksen,
John & Caroline Martens, Frank & Shirley Doerksen, Peter & Irene Mihailuk, Jack & Darlene Trudgeon, John
Barrett, Isaac & Anna Krahn, Kerry & Lisa Wilson, Gregory & Jacqueline Wedman, Joe Mans, Jered Serben,
Takota Coen, Ian Griebel, Don & Marie Ruzicka, Karl Rottier, Owen Nelsen, Blake Hall, Peter Lundgard,
Tim Hoven, Tyran & Janice Shelton, Fairwinds Farm, Jerry Kitt, Bryon Skretting Farms Ltd., Oliver Anderson
& Janice Fallows, Allan & Joyce Kettle, Nathan Manning, Keith & Lois Burger, Unruh Farm, Harvey & Nettie
Krahn, Sparks Egg Farms, Frank & Brenda Maddock, Paul Loziak, Valerie Schafers, Andrew & Anna Wiebe,
David & Theresa Freeman, Rodney Friesen, Keith & Beverly Everts, Premium Organic Farms, Richardson
Milling, Van Den Broek Dairy, Jerry Kitt, Gilbert Wolfe, Dan & Joanne Harris, John H & Susan Wiebe, Toni &
Sylvia Schuler and Winters Turkeys.
Are we missing your name? If you havent sent in your donation yet, please do it soon! We depend on you!

WWW.ORGANICALBERTA.ORG

CELEBRATING THE INTERNATIONAL


YEAR OF PULSES 2016
2016 has been declared the United
Nations International Year of Pulses, with
the goal of creating a unique oppor tunity
to encourage connections throughout
the food chain that would better utilize
pulse-based proteins, fur ther global
production of pulses, better utilize crop
rotations and address the challenges in
the trade of pulses.

Pulses are an impor tant crop in


Alber ta. The statistics gathered by
the Canadian Organic Trade Association
(www.ota.com) indicate that we are
the second largest growers of pulses
in Canada (Saskatchewan is largest),
and that together the Prairies produce
99% of all Canadian pulses. In 2014,
Canada was ranked the 3rd largest
producer of organic pulses in the world.

PHOTO BY ALBERTA PULSE GROWERS

INGREDIENTS
1/2 CUP

brown sugar

3/4 CUP

granulated sugar

1 TSP

vanilla

1/3 CUP

vegetable oil

eggs

1 CUP

lentil puree

1 CUP

shredded carrots

1 CUP

unbleached flour

3/4 CUP

whole wheat flour

PINCH

salt

1 TSP

baking soda

1 TSP

baking powder

1 TSP

each cinnamon
and nutmeg

LENTILS PUT A NEW


TWIST ON THE CLASSIC
CARROT CAKE RECIPE.
KEY INGREDIENT: LENTILS
COOK TIME: 25 MINUTES
SERVES: 12 MUFFINS

From Alberta Pulse www.pulse.ab.ca

LENTIL CARROT SPICE MUFFINS


DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Spray muffin tin lightly with nonstick spray. Mix both
sugars, vanilla, vegetable oil, and eggs in medium bowl until well blended. Add lentil
puree and shredded carrots. In separate bowl, combine flours, salt, baking soda, baking
powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Blend dry ingredients with lentil carrot mixture until
fully incorporated. Pour mix into prepared muffin pan and bake at 350F (180C)
for about 20-25 minutes. Check to see if they are done with a toothpick inserted
in centre; if removed clean, they are done.
Remove from oven and let cool in tray for a few minutes, remove, and let cool
on cooling rack.

FALL 2016 | ISSUE 03 | VOLUME 07

PHOTO BY ALBERTA PULSE GROWERS

COOKING & STORING PULSES


Discard the soaking water and rinse
the pulses prior to cooking.

Pulses come in both canned and dried


forms and can be found in most grocery
stores. Canned pulses are pre-cooked and
ready to eat, though they should be rinsed
to remove any extra sodium. Dried pulses
require a bit more attention when it comes
to storing, soaking, and cooking them, but
the extra effort can pay off.

Cook pulses with fresh water.


Follow these soaking instructions, courtesy
of Pulse Canada, for dried beans, whole dried
peas, and dried chickpeas.
LONG COLD SOAK OR OVERNIGHT

Let stand 12 hours or overnight


in refrigerator.

Keep these things in mind when buying


and storing driedpulses:

QUICK SOAK

Bring pulses and water to boil in a saucepan


and boil gently fortwo minutes. Remove from
heat, cover, and let stand forone hour.

Choose dried pulses that are uniform


in colour, size, and shape.
Store dried pulses in containers
in a cool, dark place.

MICROWAVE SOAK

Use dried pulses within one year


of purchase to ensure the highest
quality possible.

Combine pulses and water in a suitable


microwave casserole dish, cover, and
microwave on high for 10 to 15 minutes.
Let stand forone hour.

HOW TO SOAK DRIED PULSES

For each method, add 3 cups (750 mL)


of water for every 1 cup (250 mL) of pulses.

Soaking pulses is an easy extra step when


you're cooking with dried pulses. When soaking
pulses, keep these things in mind:
Soak dried beans, whole dried peas, and
dried chickpeas prior to cooking. Split peas
and lentils don't need to be soaked, but
should be rinsed.
Pick through dried pulses before soaking or
cooking to remove any shriveled or broken
seeds and any debris, including pebbles.

Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and


simmer until the pulses are tender but
not mushy. To check for doneness, taste
the pulses; they should be tender, with
no "raw" taste.
Addacidic ingredients, including
vinegarand tomatoes, only after the pulses
are already tender, asthese can slow the
cooking process.
Follow these cooking instructions, courtesy
of Pulse Canada, for dried pulses:
BEANS

Soaking Required
Cooking Time: 45 to 60 minutes
WHOLE PEAS

Soaking Required
Cooking Time: 1 to 11/2 hours
SPLIT PEAS

No Soaking Required
Cooking Time: 40 to 45 minutes
GREEN LENTILS

HOW TO COOK PULSES


Dried pulses will need to be cooked before
you eat them, either on the stove, in a slow
cooker, or in a pressure cooker. One cup
(250 mL) of dry pulses will yield around
two to three times more cooked pulses.

No Soaking Required
Cooking Time: 30 to 45 minutes
BLACK LENTILS

No Soaking Required
Cooking Time: 10 to 15 minutes
SPLIT RED LENTILS

When cooking pulses, keep these things


in mind:

No Soaking Required
Cooking Time: 10 to 15 minutes

Use a large saucepan, as pulses will double


or triple in volume after cooking.

CHICKPEAS

Soaking Required
Cooking Time: 1 to 11/2 hours

FROM ALBERTA PULSE WWW.PULSE.AB.CA

WWW.ORGANICALBERTA.ORG

REMEMBER TO TAKE
MARKETING SAMPLES!
As you harvest, remember to take representative samples from
each bin. One method is to take samples from each truckload as the
grain comes in, mix them and then sample from this collection. Send
one sample to the Canadian Grain Commission or other test lab to
determine its quality. Samples should be sent to prospective buyers.
Find a list of buyers in the Business to Business directory on our
website. When preparing samples, split them and send one portion
to the buyer, and keep an identical sample. Remember to clearly
label the samples you send to your buyers with your name, contact
information, bin number, as well as details on the crop including
protein level, falling number, mould levels, toxins, etc. Check with
your buyer for other information that may help them to market
your crop more quickly. Always keep an identical sample of the
grain. It can be invaluable if there is a problem somewhere down
the value chain, for example, if contamination happens you can use
your sample to verify the quality of the crop when it left your farm.

ORGANIC MARKET
OPPORTUNITIES
CLASSIFIED ADS
Growerss International is buying all varieties of wheat,
durum, barley, oats, flax, spelt, peas, mustard and lentils.
Call one of our buyers today! Mark Gimby: 306-652-4529,
Braden Neuls: 306-227-8872
F.W. Cobs Company is buying Organic Grains, including
Wheat, Barley, Peas, Rye, Screenings, and more. We buy
FOB the farm, delivered to Loreburn, SK or loaded rail.
Call 888-531-4888 ext. 7 or 8.
Are you looking for a consistent supply of Organic
Soybean meal? Shafer Commodities can assist you with
all of your organic needs, we are also buying HRS, durum,
flax, barley & peas 403-328-5066.
Wanted: finished certified organic grain and grass fed beef.
For Sale: Certified organic alfalfa seed, feeder hogs, and
milking cows. Also Freezer pork, lamb and beef. Contact
Peter Lundgard at Nature's Way Farm 780-338-2934
Trade and Export Canada is buying all grades of organic
grains. Call 1-306-433-4700.

CURRENT ORGANIC PRICES


The following prices are compiled by organicbiz.ca. The website
posts grain prices on a monthly basis. According to the buyers, most
organic commodity prices are holding steady throughout harvest,
bucking typical trends. However, they caution that in coming months
quality issues could support select grains, while pressuring others.
All the more reason to take extra care in your handling and storage!
An abundance of rain in Western Canada has increased grain
volumes, however some crops have suffered quality losses, bringing
increased amounts of feed grains. The pulse market (lentils, peas, etc)
is still strong due to more demand than supply.
Organic Price Quotes: September 2016

Crop

Price/Bushel (tonne)

Organic
Premium

Hard red wheat

$15-$17 ($551-$625)

281%-299%

Soft white wheat

$17-$19 ($625-$698)

275%-277%

Barley - feed

$7 ($322)

246%

Oats

$6.50 ($421)

276%

Flax - yellow

$50-$54 ($1968-$2126)

465%-490%

Lentils - lg green

$0.86-$0.87/lb

170%-344%

Lentils - french green

$0.80-$0.85/lb

202%-250%

Lentils - crimson

$0.75-$0.80/lb

226%-441%

Lentils - black

$0.90-$0.95/lb

Peas - yellow

$13-$15 ($478-$551)

207%-216%

Peas - green

$15-$17 ($551-$625)

218%-220%

Mustard - brown

$0.90-$0.95/lb

316%-321%

Mustard - yellow

$0.90-$0.95/lb

327%-333%

Bushels (tonnes)

Organic
Premium

New Crop

Crop
Feed wheat

$9.25-$10 ($340-$376)

231%-232%

Barley - feed

$7.50-$8 ($344-$367)

246%-319%

Peas - feed

$13.50-$14 ($496-$514)

250%

Oats - milling

$6.50 ($421)

157%

Oats - feed

$3.50 ($227)

177%

Rye - feed

$6($236)

Rye - milling

$8.50-$8.75 ($335-$344)

227%-233%

Bushels (tonnes)

Organic
Premium

Flax - brown

$35 ($1378)

226%

Buckwheat (Ontario)

$20 ($918)

Contract

Crop

All prices spot Prairie in CAD, unless otherwise noted. Lentils, beans and mustard are
measured in pounds. The organic premium indicates the value organic prices hold above
conventional prices
Compiled by organicbiz.ca

FALL 2016 | ISSUE 03 | VOLUME 07

POTATOES GROWN BY JOHN SAFRONIUK


PHOTO BY IRIS VAISMAN

THE ACCIDENTAL PLANT BREEDER

IRIS VAISMAN, PRAIRIE REGIONAL


COORDINATOR FOR THE BAUTA FAMILY
INITIATIVE ON CANADIAN SEED SECURITY

In late August, we got a call at the


Organic Alberta office from John Safroniuk.
He was calling because he had seen the
Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed
Security website and wanted to share his
story about potatoes with us. So, on a
chilly day in early September, Stephanie
Bach and I from the Organic Alberta office
headed over to Johns house, just south of
Wetaskiwin. John and his wife, Norma have
lived there for over 40 years and raised
2 daughters. John, originally from White
Fox Saskatchewan, was an RCMP officer
stationed in the North, but he eventually
found himself on an acreage in Wetaskiwin.

Over the years, John and Norma grew


a large garden of fruits and vegetables,
to feed themselves and the family. One year,
something remarkable happened. John was
cleaning up the garden and he threw all of
his potato vines into a pile. This was not
the remarkable part. The remarkable part
was the following year when John noticed
some potatoes growing in the pile. And
not just any potatoes, potatoes that were a
variety of shapes, sizes and colours. Some
unintentional cross-pollination had occurred!
This started a new journey for the selfproclaimed high schooldrop out that
of a potato breeder. John took these new
potatoes, and over the next few years, made
selections. He selected potatoes that were
tasty, stored well, and had good yield. John
even did some raw tasting in the field.
After five years, the Alta Blush was born, a
medium-sized potato with reddish brown
skin, a tinge of pink, and a glycoalkaloid level
of 5.3mg/100g (glycoalkaloids are a natural
toxin. Health Canada sets a maximum
level of 20mg/100g). It is now sold through

several distributors, including T & T seeds


and Van Noort Bulb, and is being grown
organically by Hoogland Farms.
The journey for John did not stop at Alta
Blush. John was hooked and continued to
experiment. He started intentionally making
crosses and selections, to see what else he
could come up with. He contacted several
experts across the country, including Michel
Konschuku (Potato Research Scientist
at CDC South) who is available anytime
for information or guidance and Patricia
McAllister (formerly at CDC North, now at
CFIA) who walked him through the whole
registration process. John now has several
varieties that he has bred, varieties that have
excellent taste, storage, and yield, and that
he believes would do well under organic
conditions. But he is no longer interested
in going through the registration process.
Instead, he is interested in connecting with
organic seed producers and sharing this
material with them. This is why we got
that phone call; John is looking to share
his passion, joy, and potatoes with farmers.
The Accidental Plant Breeder continues on page 7

WWW.ORGANICALBERTA.ORG

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The Accidental Plant Breeder continued from page 6

The story of the Alta Blush is a common


story in the history of the relationship
between plants and humans. An accidental
occurrence, plus some keen observations
by a grower, resulted in a new and locally
adapted variety. Beyond the observation,
it also took persistence on Johns part to
see the plants through to become varieties.
One of the very fun parts of my job is
learning about the stories and the people
behind varieties. A big thank you to John
and Norma for the warm invite into their
home and sharing their story.
If you are interested in learning more
about locally adapted varieties, ecologically
grown seed, or the participatory oat/wheat/
potato breeding programs, please contact
Iris by calling 1-587-521-2400 or emailing
iris.vaisman@prairieorganicgrain.org

Call to
learn more
and to schedule
your soil
diagnosis!

Phone: 780-994-4743 / 1-877-377-4769


E-mail: info@enviroperfectsolutions.com
www.enviroperfectsolutions.com

FALL 2016 | ISSUE 03 | VOLUME 07

FROM HARVEST TO SALE:


MAINTAINING FOOD QUALITY IN STORAGE
STORAGE TARGETS:
CLEAN, COOL, DRY
Grain stores best when cool and dry.
Under these conditions, the grain itself is
largely inactive: germination is minimized,
as is enzymatic activity within the seed that
can lead to heating and spoilage. Cool, dry
grain is less likely to emit odours that attract
storage insects. When cool, insects are less
active. When dry, moulds and insects are
less able to grow, develop and spread.
Ideals of temperature and moisture apply
to the entire contents of the bin. Extraneous
items in the bin such as green grain, weed
seeds, chaff and field materials can increase
the moisture in the bin. They can result in
moulds, and in composting, which heats and
deteriorates the grain. They can even lead to
fires and explosions. These extra materials can
also interfere with grain flow when augering,
and with airflow when cooling, heating, or
drying. Cleaning grain and removing non-grain
materials, improves the storage potential
of grains.

Combining separates grain from chaff and


weeds. Using the proper settings for the
condition of the crop will avoid or at least limit
damage to the grain. Manuals suggest cylinder
speeds and concave settings for specific crops.
Sieve spacing is critical. Proper settings will
yield the most grain, of the best quality.

cleaned to remove all previous grain, dust,


mould, insects and debris before bin filling.
Commonly high-pressure air, brushes and
brooms, and grain vacuums are used to assure
a thorough cleaning. If high-pressure water
is used, all surfaces must be completely dry
before grain contacts them.

In general, running augers full and slow,


keeping cylinder and ground speed low,
and for some crops, closing the spacing
between concaves and cylinders makes
the harvest gentler on seeds and reduces
damage. Check and adjust settings as needed,
but especially at the beginning of harvest, and
as grain conditions change in the field. Watch
for signs of damage in the grain, and for crop
losses out the back of the combine.

Bins should seal completely to prevent


access by water and insects. Vent holes should
be covered and not allow access by birds.
All holes, cracks, and seams should be sealed
with food safe and strong material before
grain is stored in the bin.

BINS

If the crop is not uniformly dry, or if the


field has green weeds, swathing can improve
quality. Swathing also reduces losses from
insects, shattering, hail, or frost. In general,
swathing should be done when there are no
more green kernels, and when the grain has
reached a moisture level specific to that crop
(see the fact sheet for more detail). Crops
weather better standing than in the swath,
but also better in the bin than in the field.

Bin placement is important. Low spots in a


field accumulate water, and attract insects,
birds and rodents so they should be avoided.
Ground around bins should be level, and if a
water prone area cannot be avoided, possibly
graveled. Pea gravel is the least rodent-friendly.
Grounds around the bin yard should be clean
from trash, old, or spilled grain or weeds.
Good sanitation around bins can reduce
the likelihood that insects and rodents will
be attracted into the bin. This is especially
important for bins that are flat-bottomed.
Hopper-bottomed bins offer more challenge
to pests. Landscaping should be minimally
attractive to pests (i.e. no fruit trees). If lighting
is included, it should avoid the ultraviolet
range, which attracts insects (sodium vapour
are better than mercury vapour lights).

Either straight-cut or combine when the


crop is at the desired moisture level. It is
important to avoid weathering issues such
as sprouting, bleaching, staining, mildew
and mould, or frosting.

All bins, as well as handling equipment such


as augers, transfer equipment, ducts, exhaust
systems, drying and/or aeration devices,
aeration floors, and electrical equipment such
as fans and ventilation, etc. must be thoroughly

PREPARE FOR
STORAGE AT HARVEST

When filling the bin, try to keep the surface


level. This allows better aeration. If the grain
peaks at the centre, airflow will tend to move
around the peak area, and moisture and
temperature will tend to be higher, resulting
in a higher probability of insects and spoilage.

MOISTURE AND TEMPERATURE


Spoilage is more likely to occur if temperatures
are high, e.g. above 20C, and if moisture levels
are high, e.g. above 15%. Higher moisture levels
may be tolerable if temperatures are cold, but
will be challenging once temperatures increase.
If grain is harvested above the desired moisture
level, it should be brought down to the
appropriate moisture content. If the bin has
aeration, this should be used, provided that
ambient air temperatures are below 20C.
Otherwise, grain should be dried before
binning. Temperatures for air in the dryer can
be up to 65-70C for cereal grains, but grains
themselves should not exceed 45-50C; 3032C for delicate crops such as faba beans,
where faster drying may result in cracks in the
seed coat. Peas should not be dried above
45C if used for seed. Never dry lower than 6%
moisture, as this can result in shattering in many
grains. Corn and oilseeds such as soybeans and
canola are most prone to drying damage.

EXCERPTS FROM AN PRAIRIE ORGANIC GRAIN INITIATIVE FACT SHEET BY BRENDA FRICK. FULL
VERSION AVAILABLE AT NO COST ON WWW.PIVOTANDGROW.COM, OR CONTACT OUR OFFICE.

From Harvest to Sale


continues on page 9

WWW.ORGANICALBERTA.ORG

From Harvest to Sale continued from page 8

Lentil varieties with green seed coats


discolour over time, reducing their grade.
Lentils should be stored in dry and dark
conditions to slow this process. Lentils from
different years should not be mixed, as older
seeds will be more discoloured. In general,
lentils should not be stored through a second
summer. Lentils should not be handled when
it is colder than -20C to avoid chipping
and peeling. Handling equipment should be
gentle, with belt conveyors preferred over
augers. Lentils should not be dropped from
a significant height.
Dried grain is much less likely to spoil
due to composting, insect or mould action.
However, reducing the moisture content
below specification results in a loss of weight
which translates to lower returns. For instance,
wheat dried to 10-11% moisture is less likely
to spoil than wheat at 14-15%, but it is also
4-5% lighter, resulting in a 4-5% loss in
payment when marketed.
Dryers can be a fire hazard, and must be
kept clean. They are also more effective when
airflow is not impeded with dust and debris.
Once grain has been dried, it should
immediately be cooled to within 5C of
ambient air temperature. If the temperatures
change markedly, this can result in areas of
condensation within the grain mass, producing
moisture pockets where spoilage is more likely.
Even sunny days can result in temperature
gradients, as the sunny side of the bin heats,
but the shady side does not. Temperature
gradients can be reduced by aeration. Be sure
that the temperature front has moved entirely
through the grain before stopping aeration,
or moisture cells can develop. Where aeration
is not possible, the grain can be turned,
by emptying the bin and refilling it. This will
equalize temperature and moisture in the bin.
Grain is a good insulator. As ambient
temperatures drop in the fall, grain in the
centre of the bin will stay warm longer,
resulting in convection currents in the grain.
This can result in condensation. Aeration may

be required, especially if
the grain at the centre of
the bin is more than 5C
different from the grain at
the walls. Moisture is likely
to accumulate near the top
centre of the bin. Be sure
aeration reaches this area.

MONITORING

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Air temperatures change


over the season, and this
may lead to condensation,
and moisture pockets
within the grain mass
in the bin. This can lead
to spoilage. Monitoring
temperatures allows
the producer to detect
possible condensation
before it is problematic.
Temperatures in the bin
should be checked every
2 weeks, using probes or
sensing cables. If these are
not available, a metal rod
can be inserted into the grain at the top, near
the centre. After 30 minutes, remove the rod
and feel if it is warm to the touch at any point.
This would be an indication of heating and of
potential grain spoilage. Aeration, or turning
the grain would be recommended. Samples
should also be taken every 3 to 4 weeks to
check moisture content.

It is also possible to monitor for insect


pests with a variety of traps and probes. The
Canadian Grain Commission advises that bins
be monitored for insects every 2 weeks until
the grain temperature falls below 18C, and
monthly after this. Aeration and grain turning
will reduce insect activity, if it is detected.
Insects and moulds are sensitive to
temperature. Several resources suggest
that temperatures below -5 to -15C are
lethal to insect pests; temperatures at

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-17C will control insects in structures.


Temperatures below 3C will prevent mites
from reproducing; below 18C will prevent
insects from doing so. Moulds are inactive
below 0C. However, Canadian insects
and mites that attack stored grain on the
Canadian prairies are more cold hardy
than reported elsewhere.
Using cold weather to inactivate insects is
better than having active insects; however,
buyers do not want any insects in the grain.
Cleaning grain, and drying it before binning
will reduce insect, mite and mould numbers.
Monitor bins regularly between January
and March, and remove any snow before
it melts. When temperatures warm outside,
temperatures also warm at the sides of
the bin. This causes condensation, and the
potential for damage to the grain.

FOR MORE INFORMATION BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THIS AND OTHER FACT
SHEETS AT WWW.PIVOTANDGROW.COM, OR CONTACT OUR OFFICE.

FALL 2016 | ISSUE 03 | VOLUME 07

PHOTO BY MELISA ZAPISOCKY

LIVESTOCK HANDLING IN WINTER


During winter, all animals require an
increase in energy to maintain good health
and proper weight gain. Plan on, and have a
budget in place, to feed your animals more
in the winter. It is especially important to
have stress free and easy access to shelter/
wind breaks, top quality feed, minerals,
vitamins and water during this season.

to ensure animals have an escape from the


elements. Wind, cold, snowstorms, rain and
mud can cause stress in herds. Adequate
shelter/wind breaks and bedding can reduce
feed requirements by up to 20%.

When winter temperatures reach -20


Celsius (either temperature or wind chill
reading), increase feed rations by 5 to 10%
to ensure the animals are gaining weight.

Stands of trees/forest/shelterbelts,
which provide protection from the
weather in all directions.

Work with the facilities you have on your


farm for feeding and use feed bunks and
bale feeders whenever possible to reduce
feed wastage.

Wind fences.

Finishing organic beef in the winter requires


having shelter and clean bedding available

SOME IDEAS FOR


WINTER SHELTER AND
BEDDING INCLUDE:

Free standing panels.


Round bale shelter, with electric fence.
Portable windbreaks
Wood chips make great bedding
mounds and wick up less moisture

in wet conditions. They can be topped


up with straw when the temperature
drops below -20 degrees Celsius.
Bedding mounds can generate heat as
they compost to help keep cattle warm.
Refresh the bedding area regularly
during winter to maintain a stress free
environment.
WATER
Stress free and easy access to fresh,
clean water will keep your herd thriving
and gaining. Some options available for
providing water to animals include:
a drilled well with water going
into a trough,
frost-free stock waterers,
Livestock Handling in Winter continues on page 11

EXCERPT FROM THE FINISHING ORGANIC BEEF PRODUCER GUIDE PUBLISHED BY ORGANIC ALBERTA.
COPIES AVAILABLE AT A COST OF $6 PLUS SHIPPING. CONTACT OUR OFFICE FOR MORE INFORMATION.

WWW.ORGANICALBERTA.ORG

11

PHOTO BY MELISA ZAPISOCKY

Livestock Handling in Winter continued from page 10

remote solar powered watering system,


or a dug out. This water may also be
pumped to a trough. Use caution if your
herd is using a dug out as their primary
water source. The animals may ingest
a parasite from fecal contamination,
and become sick. If they are accessing
the water directly there is also a risk
of slipping along the steep sides.
Many producers use snow for their herds
winter water requirements. This is suitable
as long as there is adequate snow available.

Always have a backup plan for access


to water as the snow may be trampled,
become icy, melt, or blow away.
WINTER OBSERVATION
During the winter months it is especially
important to observe your herd to ensure
the animals are eating and drinking enough
to keep them as stress-free as possible and
gaining weight.
Some things to watch for:
Snow more than eight inches high
and/or crusted over.

Dirty snow.
Tender noses and hair being rubbed
off their legs from working hard to
get through the snow to find food.
Not gaining weight.
If you notice any of these things, plan
on moving your animals to an alternate
location where they dont have to work
as hard to eat or drink.
Check your herd daily, during daylight
hours. Note any changes to body condition
and behavior, and react quickly if changes
need to be made.

FALL 2016 | ISSUE 03 | VOLUME 07

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13

FALL 2016 | ISSUE 03 | VOLUME 07

Prairie Heritage Seeds

Proud supporter of organic agriculture.


Wishing all organic growers a productive 2016 crop year.
Currently contracting Kamut and other grains.
WWW.PHSORGANICS.COM | 1.306.869.2926

WWW.ORGANICALBERTA.ORG

15

OCIA International - Canada


OCIAThe Root of Organic Integrity
Leading the Way in Organic
Certification for Over 25 Years
Contact us today regarding discounts
for new members!

Marg Laberge, Member Services T: 780-851-9482


Email: mlaberge@ocia.org www.ocia.org

We clean cereals,
oilseeds, and
pulse crops.
Contact Glen Hartel at 403-578-3810
or coroseed@xplornet.com

GLOBAL ORGANIC
ALLIANCE, INC.

CORA KRYWKO

MANAGER
www.seed.ab.ca/plants/Morinville
mscp@xplornet.com

9407-100 Street
Morinville, AB T8R 1R2
Ph. (780) 939-4021
Ph. (855) 939-4021
Fax (780) 939-2605

rganic
roducers
ssociation
Certification
with TCO Cert

#1, 10329-61 AVE NW


EDMONTON, AB
T6H 1K9

FIRST NAME LAST NAME


COMPANY NAME
ADDRESS
CITY, PROVINCE
POSTAL CODE

Organic Grain Marketing


Feed Grains
Food Grade
Oilseeds
Pulses
Screenings

Contact:
Jake, Kelly, Tom or Glen@ 306-931-4576
sales@sunrisefoods.ca
Sunrise Foods International Inc. - Saskatoon, SK
Licensed and Bonded by the Canadian Grain Commission