In Brief… – for Jul. 29, 2010

Soybean breeder honoured:

Veteran Ontario soybean breeder Norman Bradner was awarded the 2010 Canadian Plant Breeding and Genetics award at the recent Canadian Seed Trade Association annual meeting in Kelowna. The award is peer nominated and selected recognition of an outstanding contribution to the advancement of plant agriculture. In addition to being a prolific varietal developer, Bradner is noted for developing earlier-maturing soybean varieties, which extended the range in which the crop can be grown. – Staff

Life membership:

Corn breeder Tom Francis has received an honorary life membership in the Canadian Seed Trade Association in recognition of his multifaceted contributions to the industry.

“One of Tom’s strongest skills was the ability to link science with business. That proved very useful to seed companies as they went through major reorganization in the late 1990s and early 2000s,” said nominator Dave Sippell, who also called him a “skilled navigator of regulatory systems.” – Staff

Gathering the flock:

The province’s sheep industry is “gathering the flock” in Neepawa August 13 to 15 for stock dog trials, a 4-H showmanship competition, speakers, shearing, barbecues and a sale. One of the items up for discussion is a proposed value chain to develop markets for lamb closer to home. – Staff

New CSTA head:

Wayne Unger, vice-president of forage and turf marketing for BrettYoung Seeds has been elected to serve as the 60th president of the Canadian Seed Trade Association.

Unger said in his acceptance speech he wants to emphasize the “T” in CSTA: “If you look through the supply chain of almost every crop grown in Canada, either the crop or a value-added segment of that crop is exported. Trade is important to you,” he said. “I can tell you that the only way for us to truly ‘protect’ our markets is to be as competitive as possible.” – Staff Next generation:

Sued-Chemie will build a next-generation bioethanol plant to produce the green fuel from straw, the German chemical company said July 21. The pilot plant will cost about 28 million euros ($36.14 million) and will produce about 2,000 tonnes of bioethanol annually, the company said. First-generation biofuels plants largely use feedstocks such as grains, rapeseed oil, soyoil and palm oil, which are also used as food.

Next-generation plants aim to produce green fuels from waste products which do not compete with food supplies.

Win seed:

The deadline for farmers to submit a 2010-11 variety survey is Aug. 16. Farmers who submit a survey before Aug. 16 are eligible for several prizes, including a $2,000 SeCan seed voucher. The survey asks farmers to list the varieties of wheat, durum and barley they’ve seeded. It takes just minutes to complete online at

– CWB release

Policing refuges:

CropLife Canada has launched a pilot program designed to increase the number of farmers complying with non-Bt corn refuge areas. Refuge areas of up to 20 per cent are seed as necessary to delay the onset of insect resistance to the Bt gene. A recent study fund only 61 per cent of farmers are complying.

Starting in July, assessors will be visiting producers growing Bt corn hybrids across Ontario and Quebec to determine whether they are planting the recommended refuge areas and to follow up with those who aren’t. – CropLife Canada release

Surging imports:

China will import 1.7 million tonnes of corn this year, leaping to 5.8 million tonnes in 2011 and as much as 15 million tonnes by 2014-15, a Shanghai-based consultant told the U. S. Grains Council July 26. Shanghai JC Intelligence chairman Hanver Li said China’s demand for corn was outstripping its production, thanks to economic growth creating demand for meat, milk and eggs. Li, addressing a U. S. Grains Council meeting, said JCI saw per capita meat consumption growing from 59 kg in 2005 to 61.7 kg this year and 63.1 kg in 2015.

Track changes:

The Canadian Grain Commission has launched an interactive search tool that searches its database on licensed grain elevators in Canada. The search tool is available at

Farmers can find data on location and capacity of specific grain elevators in the system, as well track historical changes in elevator numbers and capacity since 1962. The same data is published annually inGrain Elevators in Canada.

– CGC release

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