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Change is coming in the seed royalty debate, and it could cost farmers

Farmers have a chance to influence seed royalty options, but need to get more involved, says Lynn Jacobson

Farmers can still shape their future contributions to cereal variety development, including possibly a new seed royalty system — but they must participate in the consultation process. That’s the message Lynn Jacobson, president of the Alberta Federation of Agriculture (AFA) is trying to spread. “This is coming and it’s going to cost you money,” Jacobson […] Read more


If farmers keep misusing glyphosate, they may lose it

The warnings from the ‘Keep it Clean’ campaign are taking on a more urgent tone

If Canadian farmers want to keep using glyphosate they must stop misusing glyphosate. That blunt message was delivered earlier this summer during a ‘Keep it Clean’ webinar to agronomists and retailers, who were urged to pass it on to their farmer-clients. “We all know the value of glyphosate, but to be very blunt about it, […] Read more



Local content scarce in local brews

University of Manitoba study shows brewers want to buy local but the supply chains don't exist

After 11 years in the business, Wells is still more than happy to yak about beer and what he’s got brewing — like the Pilsner made with Saskatchewan craft-malted barley he has in process. “So far it’s tasting awesome,” he said. Rosthern, Saskatchewan, is the closest Wells can get to local craft malt right now. […] Read more


A thorn in the side of oat growers

Common buckthorn is a haven for crown rust spores over the winter and an easy source of infection if the farmer opts for a susceptible oat variety

Oat growers may want to gauge the distance to the nearest woody stream bed the next time they choose a variety. That’s one of the messages sent out during this year’s Crop Diagnostic School in Carman in the first two weeks of July. Why it matters: Manitoba’s most popular oat varieties have either been downgraded […] Read more



What will become of Cigi?

Merger talks between Cigi, created 45 years ago to promote Canadian grain exports, and Cereals Canada could come to a head this month

Cigi’s future could soon be clearer. For more than a year, the Canadian International Grains Institute, created in 1972 to provide market development and technical support for Canadian wheat and other field crops, and Cereals Canada, which represents the country’s cereals sector, have been considering merging. Cigi could decide on that during its annual meeting […] Read more


U.S. wheats get limited nod for forage use

The varieties are limited to a small region of British Columbia

A British Columbia company has got a bit of breathing room in its efforts to promote forage wheats, but it’s not necessarily setting a precedent. Premier Pacific Seeds successfully argued its case to gain a limited interim registration for four U.S. soft winter wheat cultivars (Yamhill, Madsen, Kaseberg and Brudage) were better suited than any […] Read more



Should falling number and DON be grading factors?

Expensive machines would replace visual assessments of sprout and fusarium damage

Should falling number and deoxynivalenol (DON) be official grain-grading factors? The Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) is asking the grain industry for opinions before May 10. Both factors are included now, but through visual proxies — sprout damage for falling number and fusarium-damaged kernels for DON. They aren’t as accurate as machine measurements, but they are […] Read more


Organic wheat varieties waiting in the registration gate

Registration trials will have to wait for farm-developed organic wheat varieties while changes are made to the proposed trial design

The University of Manitoba’s farm-based organic wheat-breeding program is ready to start towards commercialization, but the body responsible for recommending new genetics to the CFIA says there is still work to be done. Jamie Larsen, chair of the Prairie Recommending Committee for Wheat, Rye and Triticale (PRCWRT), says a proposed trial plan submitted this year […] Read more



Corn’s future should be bright in Manitoba

The results of five years of corn agronomy research show it to be among the most profitable crops but farmers aren’t yet adopting it widely

Corn has seen some moderate acreage gains recently as a crop for farmers in Manitoba, and for good reason. The yield per acre seeded has grown exponentially over the past 20 years. But that growth in acres hasn’t been exponential as well. It’s been more in the realm of the slow and steady. For example, […] Read more


Barley varieties moribund

New genetics are needed in the field

Malt buyers have been slow to accept new varieties and that’s starting to have a big effect on growers. Yields are lagging, profits are falling and other crops are starting to look more attractive to growers. Jill McDonald of SaskBarley wants to see that change. She says varieties need to keep up with the times, […] Read more