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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


Comment: Farmer push-back on cereal seed royalty proposals

Most people don’t like change or paying more but a lack of trust could be a factor too

Western Canada’s wheat, barley and oat grower commissions say it’s unlikely farmers will accept either one of the two options to get farmers to pay more royalties for cereal seed. Some push-back was to be expected, but the seed industry no doubt was, and likely still is, hoping its arguments, including that farmers will gain […] Read more



Go malting

Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre issues annual variety list to aid growers

Pondering what barley variety to sow this spring? The Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre (CMBTC) has released its annual list of malting barley varieties that hold the most promise for producers in terms of performance, quality and marketability. The 2019-20 edition includes varieties that have been pilot-scale tested by the CMBTC and which exhibit good […] Read more


Opinion: Farmers’ voices important on crop missions

The Canadian wheat new crop missions for 2018 are well underway. These are missions organized and co-ordinated through three organizations: Cereals Canada, Canadian International Grains Institute (Cigi) and the Canadian Grain Commission. They take place over six weeks in November and December and include missions to 17 of our top markets for wheat and durum. […] Read more



Non-royalty wheats will continue to be an option

Industry officials say seed companies are unlikely to deregister varieties to limit farmers’ choices in an effort to collect more royalty money

If new proposed cereal royalties are implemented farmers will pay more for seed, but they can also choose to grow varieties not covered by the new regulations. That’s according to Plant Breeders’ Rights Commissioner Anthony Parker. But for how long? At least 2021 and probably longer, says the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, which oversees seed […] Read more


Researchers working to produce winter wheat with ‘CWRS-like’ qualities

The project is all about improving returns to the producer by reducing the price difference between the two types of wheat, say research scientists

A wheat research program could combine the superior end-use qualities of hard red spring wheat with the higher yield and environmental benefits of winter wheat within the decade. Robert Graf, a research scientist responsible for the winter wheat-breeding program at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Lethbridge Research and Development Centre, says he and his team are […] Read more