what does a resilient organic grain sector look like? A SUGGESTION BASED ON POGI'S WORK SINCE 2014
QUANTITY AND QUALITY OF GRAIN A critical mass of organic grain farmers are more resilient because they have adopted best management practices. This results in higher soil health, grain quality and yields, which all help to face threats like weather and fluctuating prices. High quality, ongoing research programs provide information on how to more effectively deal with weeds/pests/disease, increase soil health/fertility, increase yields, tolerate drought/flood tolerance, and increase nutritional values. Resources, training and extension/agronomic support is well distributed, sustainable, consistent, and easily accessible to grain farmers.
MARKETS AND PROFITABILITY Grain produced on the prairies is able to meet demand and allow growth of domestic and international markets. Strong and stable relationships across the value chains, and diversity built into markets. Grain farmers and processors are able to adapt to shocks and maximize their profitability. Programs are in place at a sector level to minimize risks and increase farmers’ buffering capacity against risk (e.g. crop insurance, payment for ecological goods and services, and subsidies and programs for risk management).
ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY Most or all farmers use management practices that sustain or regenerate the natural environment, including considerations for soil health, protection of soil from erosion, effective soil water management, water and air quality protection, effective nutrient management, natural pollination and pest and disease suppression services, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and enhanced carbon sequestration. There is government and public support for environmental sustainability, including awareness of how organic grain sector fits with other related environmental, climate and food movements.
COLLABORATION AND SOCIAL CAPITAL Organic associations have strong capacity and are working with farmers, government, researchers and other organizations to identify sector-wide challenges, address gaps and minimize redundancies, implement action plans and advocate for programs and policies. Farmers have many opportunities to connect with and learn from each other, particularly farmers in similar regions, using similar methods and facing similar challenges. Farmers feel a sense of community and have a network of support for shocks and upsets.
Prairie Organic Grain Initiative Final Evaluation