Crop production on the Canadian Prairies is large-scale, export-oriented, and risky. In this context, it is useful to study competition between two approaches to sustainability: neo-conventional and organic farming. The former features reduced tillage and herbicide resistant, genetically modified crops − especially canola. It is championed by an agro-food complex that includes agribusiness, governments, universities, and purpose-built promotional organizations. The organic agro-food complex is smaller but enjoys broad support from consumers and environmental organizations. We explore how each has grown but also why the organic sector has not kept pace with growing demand. We note underfunding of organic research, interaction of technologies and land markets, barriers to social reproduction, and how, despite mutual borrowing, this competition remains cultural and political as well as technical. We conclude that agroecological innovation in both camps is constrained by commercial logics and that there is need for further advances in environmental and social sustainability.