The July 2022 Farmer Direct Organic Newsletter is here!
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Farmer Direct Organic CEO Jason Freeman speaks at Organic Alberta
Farmer Direct Organic Founder & CEO Jason Freeman delivered a speech at the Organic Alberta GRO Trade Show this month. The two-day event, held on July 8 and 9, 2022, was full of presentations on a variety of topics including cover crops, hemp trials, perennial grains, and soil amendment trials. Mr. Freeman proudly presented on the Regenerative Organic Certification as well as emerging markets for Regenerative Organic Certified crops.
If you are interested in getting ROC certified and partnering with Farmer Direct Organic, please contact Fabiola Coates at 403-999-4161.
Quote of the Month
“With wrong farming methods, we turn fertile land into desert. Unless we go back to organic farming and save the soil, there is no future.” - Sadhguru
12 Steps to Regenerative Farming
By Organic Farmer Peter Lundgard via Helen Fischer of We are Carbon
Edited by Jason Freeman, CEO of Farmer Direct Organic
Step 1 - Become Highly Effective
Merging influences from Stephen Covey with knowledge from indigenous communities this step gives us a guideline of seven sub-steps to live by. It's a step that could apply to any area of our life and sets a tone of thinking less prescriptively.
Step 2 - Holistic Decision Making
Taking on the teachings of Allan Savory this important step is referred to in all of our decisions and actions. It includes seven testing guidelines that we consider everything against. Two of the seven that make great examples are 'what effect will this have on the ecosystem?', and 'cause and effect; always looking to the root cause of a problem rather than dealing with symptoms'.
Step 3 - Mineral Balanced Soil
The industrialised agricultural model has been mining soils of carbon - in order to replenish that carbon we need plant growth... The soil chemistry effects the soil biology and both effect the physical structure of the soil, and so mineral balancing of the soil becomes a very crucial step to start the process working for us again.
Step 4 - Create Diverse Ecosystems
Creating diverse ecosystems goes back to one of the testing guidelines from step 2. One of the foundation blocks of a healthy ecosystem is diversity. The more species you have the better the ecosystem becomes and when you have a healthy ecosystem it adds stability to your production; and with stability comes profitability. The idea is to create diversity in plant species AND animal species, (everything including microbiology.) With that diversity you take away a lot of the risk in farming.
Step 5 - Intensive Plant Cover Management
We look at our land as being a big gigantic solar panel, the plants are the photocells. Instead of converting to electricity you're getting plant matter. To create the sun's energy conversion you need a lot of plant material available for as long as possible.
Step 6 - Enhance the Rhizosphere
The rhizosphere; the area around the root zone. Once you get the chemistry right in the soil then the biology becomes very active and you get a tremendous population of micro organisms. Minerals that were unavailable become available - this unbelievable diversity of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes all working in harmony can break down the minerals and make them available; along with taking nutrients from the atmosphere. The plants receive the right balance of minerals to become healthy and nutrient dense.
Step 7 - Build and Maintain Ground Cover
The sun's energy conversion and protecting the soil (from wind and water erosion) are the two main points for establishing ground cover. We need species that can cover the ground and stay there for a long period of time, and do well in that ecosystem. It's why I'm so fond of perennial forages, even trees and shrubs, because once you build and maintain them you have a lot of long term ground cover.
Step 8 - Minimal Soil Disturbance
Ideally this would be achieved by the long term perennial diversity of plant species. But if you are growing some annual crops then any soil disturbance should be minimal - maybe 2" - 3" (for incorporating a green manure, for example). You don't want to disturb the microbiological community that you've created any more than necessary.
Step 9 - Sequester Carbon
Since we've started farming the prairie soils in Canada and the US the carbon levels have been dropping and dropping and dropping. They were 5% and now they're down to 1% - 2%. The great gold in the soil is carbon; it's what makes the soil nutrients happen, the soil microbiology happen. And it has tremendous amounts of water holding capacity - it's the basis of soil structure. So we have to enhance that carbon and the way to do that is to capture it from the atmosphere through plant material photosynthesising the sun's energy. The plant makes carbohydrates and they put some back into the soil through exudates. So if we have green plant material photosynthesising then we're creating a carbon sink and putting carbon into the soil, so the more plant cover we have and the longer we're growing it, we're sinking carbon - so the point is to follow all of the other steps.
Step 10 - Monitor - Testing - Measuring
You can test and monitor and measure everything on the farm - soil testing, soil carbon, plant tissue and sap analysis, monitoring your bank account... It just goes and goes and goes. You should use this step to keep everything evolving.
Step 11 - Climate Rehabilitation
Personally we see climate change happening on our farm, we have to deal with that every year, but with all the steps above regenerative agriculture helps to rehabilitate our climate. Sequestering carbon is one example, another is the cooling effect of ground cover. I'm a firm believer that we can help rehabilitate our climate with regenerative agriculture - It's very doable!
Step 12 - Build Health & Vitality for the Agrarian Community
It's really, really difficult in lots of areas around the world for the next generation to get involved in agriculture. We see our farmers disappearing. Farm sizes in our area have increased from around 640 acres into around 15000 acres that people are farming to make a living - it's displaced thousands and thousands of farmers. I say we have to enhance the system for the next generation to become farmers, and regenerative agriculture is one of the main models that will enable that. We have to recreate our communities - with diversity and feeding the local people and having the infrastructure in place to allow for this.
Agricultural Crop Report
For the full crop reports please click on the links below:
June 27, 2022: Two highlight stories for this week’s crop report are increasingly aggressive crop development after early June rains and also the significant year-over-year improvement in soil moisture levels across the province. This week, 75 per cent of all crops in the province are rated in good or excellent condition, only marginally behind both the five-year and 10-year averages (74 and 73 per cent respectively). Mustard, durum wheat, and potatoes are the lowest rated crops qualitatively, whereas chickpeas, spring wheat, oats and flax are rated in the best condition. Other major crops like barley, canola, and dry peas are relatively in line with long-term provincial averages for this time in the growing season…
For the Period June 21 to 27, 2022: Though there was general precipitation across the province this past week, additional rainfall is still needed in many areas. Some regions experienced flooding and drowned-out crops due to receiving extremely high volumes of rain in a short period of time; producers in these areas hope this water will soak in quickly and the effect on crops will be minimal. In the west, where conditions remain very dry, the rainfall was welcome for crop land and pastures, although the rain did delay the start to haying season for some producers…
As of July 5, 2022: Spraying for weeds is wrapping up, despite challenging conditions, leaving rutted fields behind in many areas. Insecticide application for flea beetles is slowed significantly as the canola crop has generally grown past susceptible stages, but crops appear highly variable in condition. Herbicide shortages for glufosinate have growers and retailers scrambling to find adequate supply to spray canola crops, many of which have not yet had the first herbicide application and weed pressure is rising. Crops are advancing reasonably well, but water stress is evident on more sensitive species, and in areas toward the northern Interlake, and surrounding Lake Manitoba, and west towards Riding Mountain…
As of July 3, 2022: Montana experienced dry conditions during the week and a weekend of heavy rain and storms, according to the Mountain Regional Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. Precipitation totals were over half an inch for much of the State - with many areas receiving significant rainfall. Golden Valley and Musselshell Counties reported 2 inches of rain over the weekend. Ravalli, Missoula, and Mineral Counties reported heavy rain with hail and high winds. Wibaux County reported 1.5 to 3.5 inches of rainfall and some hail damage to crops. Helena experienced flash flooding due to excessive rain received in a short period of time. The rainfall over the weekend improved drought conditions for most of the State. According to the United States Drought Monitor for June 30, 2022, 55.3 percent of the State is experiencing drought conditions – compared to 75.4 percent last week. The amount of land rated as abnormally dry decreased to cover 15.1 percent of the State, compared to 31.5 percent last week. Moderate drought was present across 20.6 percent of the State and severe drought was present across 12.2 percent of the State. Extreme drought conditions remained unchanged at 3.0 percent of the State…
FARGO, N.D. July 5, 2022 - For the week ending July 3, 2022, there were 5.9 days suitable for fieldwork, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 1% very short, 10% short, 72% adequate, and 17% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 2% very short, 7% short, 77% adequate, and 14% surplus. Field Crops Report: Soybean condition rated 0% very poor, 4% poor, 28% fair, 63% good, and 5% excellent. Soybeans emerged was 97%, near 98% last year, and equal to the five-year average. Blooming was 8%, near 12% last year and 10% average. Spring wheat condition rated 0% very poor, 1% poor, 23% fair, 67% good, and 9% excellent. Spring wheat jointed was 58%, well behind 91% last year and 90% average. Headed was 12%, well behind 64% last year and 55% average. Durum wheat condition rated 0% very poor, 1% poor, 11% fair, 85% good, and 3% excellent. Durum wheat jointed was 65%, behind 81% last year, and well behind 86% average. Headed was 10%, well behind 43% both last year and average…
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. July 5, 2022 - For the week ending July 3, 2022, there were 6.2 days suitable for fieldwork, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 5% very short, 26% short, 65% adequate, and 4% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 5% very short, 24% short, 68% adequate, and 3% surplus. Field Crops Report: Corn condition rated 1% very poor, 2% poor, 22% fair, 65% good, and 10% excellent. Soybean condition rated 1% very poor, 2% poor, 27% fair, 66% good, and 4% excellent. Soybeans blooming was 10%, behind 18% last year and 16% for the five-year average. Winter wheat condition rated 1% very poor, 21% poor, 31% fair, 36% good, and 11% excellent. Spring wheat condition rated 0% very poor, 12% poor, 20% fair, 63% good, and 5% excellent. Spring wheat headed was 64%, behind 83% last year and 79% average. Oats condition rated 0% very poor, 8% poor, 19% fair, 65% good, and 8% excellent. Oats headed was 75%, behind 94% last year and 83% average…
Favorable weather conditions allowed farmers 5.9 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending July 3, 2022, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Topsoil moisture supplies were rated 5 percent very short, 18 percent short, 66 percent adequate, and 11 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies were rated 3 percent very short, 13 percent short, 73 percent adequate, and 11 percent surplus. Corn condition was 1 percent very poor, 4 percent poor, 27 percent fair, 57 percent good, and 11 percent excellent. Soybean emergence was at 98 percent, 18 days behind last year and 6 days behind the 5-year average. Soybean blooming was at 6 percent. Soybean condition was 1 percent very poor, 3 percent poor, 28 percent fair, 58 percent good, and 10 percent excellent…
Wisconsin had 6.1 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending July 3, 2022, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Another dry week allowed some farmers to wrap up their first cutting of hay, while others were well into their second cutting. Reporters across the state noted crops were starting to show signs of stress due to the drier conditions so they are hoping for rain in the coming week. Topsoil moisture condition rated 5 percent very short, 21 percent short, 72 percent adequate and 2 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture condition rated 4 percent very short, 18 percent short, 75 percent adequate and 3 percent surplus. Corn condition was 76 percent good to excellent statewide, down 2 percentage points from last week. Soybeans emerged was 98 percent, 11 days behind last year but 4 days ahead of the 5-year average. Soybeans blooming was 13 percent, 5 days behind last year and 2 days behind the average. Soybean condition was 76 percent good to excellent, down 1 percentage point from last week. Oats emerged was at 97 percent, over 2 weeks behind last year and 10 days behind the average. Oats headed was at 63 percent, 12 days behind last year and 3 days behind the average. Oats coloring was at 17 percent. Oat condition was 83 percent good to excellent, even with last week. Potato condition was 91 percent good to excellent, even with last week…
Weather conditions continued to be mostly dry across the State, according to Marlo D. Johnson, Director of the Great Lakes Regional Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service. There were 6.3 days suitable for fieldwork in Michigan during the week ending July 3, 2022. Many counties in the Northwest and Central Lower Peninsula experienced abnormally dry weather. Winter wheat reached maturity and changed colors with the heat. Oats continued to need moisture but were not in critical condition. Corn began to roll leaves due to arid conditions in some areas. Dry bean and soybean emergence progressed towards completion, while weed control was in full swing. Alfalfa and other hay second cutting growth slowed but there were several opportunities to make dry baled hay. Other activities during the week included preparing combines and grain carts, side dressing fertilizer, and spraying pesticides…
Growing with Farmer Direct Organic
Farmer Direct Organic has built a traceable, transparent pipeline to market that will assure retailers that the organic products they are selling their customers have organic integrity and are grown by family farmers like you--not imported from faceless corporations being accused and convicted of organic fraud or domestic players who are floating the rules.
Simply put, our strategy to take back markets by combating organic fraud and offshoring through transparency, traceability, pesticide testing and exclusively sourcing from US and Canadian farms is working and retailers want more of your grains.
We have a real opportunity to establish lasting relationships with retailers that will assure premium prices, regardless of the pressures to organic commodity markets.
Please call Fabiola Coates at 403-999-4161 if you have grain to market or me, Jason Freeman at 306-201-6948 if you have general questions about FDO.
Pricing and Markets
Please contact us if you have any of the grains below for sale or acres you are interested in contracting.
All our oat planting seed has been contracted for the 2022 growing season. Thank you to all our grower partners. We still would like to speak to growers who are interested in putting gluten-free oats in their rotation.
The Farmer Direct Organic brand is purchasing the following crops. For oats, priority will go to gluten free ROC and organic oats. Pricing to be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.
Call us, we’d like to discuss new crop pricing with you. Spot market price indications below:
Meet Rufus! Owner: Lissy Matthews, Brand & Marketing Manager of Farmer Direct Organic
Rufus is a fierce feline in a pint-sized container. The runt of the litter, Rufus regularly hunts animals twice her size, bats playfully at our 80 lb. bulldog, and keeps things in ship-shape order around our organic, solar-powered fruit and vegetable farm. Despite turning our front porch into a real life “circle of life” documentary, Rufus is also incredibly friendly and can often be found in the shadow of our three-year-old son as he adventures around the farm.
Don't forget to send us pictures of your fur friends for a chance to be featured in our upcoming newsletters!
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