Green Manure Tool Kit

A practical guide to growing green manures.

Soil fertility is a primary factor influencing the yield and quality of organic crops and a key to the sustainability of organic farms. Green manures, a type of cover crop planted primarily for the purpose of improving soil fertility, are a critical management strategy for Prairie organic farmers. The adoption of a reliable, efficient and effective green manure program is a key component in not only supporting new grower transition to organic, but also in optimizing the yield and quality of prairie grains.

Project Background

Creating a practical resource for producers

Under the direction of the Prairie Organic Grain Initiative Optimization steering committee, the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada (OACC) embarked on survey of organic grain farmers and extension agents to identify gaps in green manure knowledge and resources. The outcomes are presented in the report, Green Manures to Support Prairie Organic Production: Resource Recommendations. At the same time, the OACC developed a literature review to provide an overview and synthesis of the green manure research conducted over the last thirty-five years on the Canadian prairies and adjacent US Northern Great Plains. From the resource recommendations put forth, the OACC has developed five modules of resources, focusing on the most hands-on topics, while limiting overlap with other initiatives, such as the COG Field Crop Handbook update. The Green Manure Tool Kit has been prepared by Joanna L. MacKenzie and Andrew M. Hammermeister, Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada, Faculty of Agriculture, Dalhousie University on behalf of the Prairie Organic Grain Initiative. We also graciously thank Joanne Thiessen Martens, Rosalie Madden, and Brenda Frick for their valuable feedback.

Start Module 1