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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



Landscape featuring a grain field.

Cereal royalty discussions dominate CropConnect AGMs

There’s increasing agreement among farmers to invest more in variety development, but how?

There’s still no consensus among western grain farmers on how they can contribute more money to boost cereal variety development, but Fred Greig says there’s progress on the contentious issue. “I think there’s a will to move along the path and to protect our interests and protect our rights and do it right,” the Reston […] Read more


Wheat and Canadian Money or dollar or currency in double exposure shot, concept for earnings or spend in Agriculture

KAP carefully considering seed ‘value creation’

KAP doesn’t have a set plan, but it has set out its principles on the issue

The Keystone Agricultural Producer’s (KAP) policy on how farmers should fund new cereal variety development remains a work in progress. The seed industry has proposed two models — trailing and end point royalties. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) has been consulting farmers about them. But KAP delegates attending their 35th annual meeting in Winnipeg Feb. […] Read more



MWBGA offers ‘principles’ on ‘value creation’

It says AAFC must continue to bring new cereal varieties to market

Government and farmer-funded plant breeding has benefited Canadian farmers greatly, the Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association (MWBGA) says in the preamble to its principles on seed value creation. “The MWBGA emphasizes many critical questions remain unanswered concerning which value creation model proposed by AAFC/CFIA (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada/Canadian Food Inspection Agency) best serves Manitoba […] Read more


If farmers must pay more for seed, they want more say

A third option has emerged for funding new crop varieties — one that keeps farmers in the driver’s seat. An agricultural economist says it has merit

[UPDATED: Feb. 22, 2019]* When it comes to funding the development of new crops varieties, there could be a third way. Western Canadian farmers collectively should consider partnering with plant breeders to fund new varieties as an alternative to the two new seed royalty options farm leaders say lack widespread farmer support. The idea has merit, […] Read more