GFM Network News


Come together?

Seed sector ponders forming a unified voice, but some worry farmers won’t be heard

A meeting set for this summer in Winnipeg could be the scene of a historic vote to reorganize the Canadian seed industry. Seed Synergy, a plan to unite Canada’s five main seed-related organizations, could be put to a vote in July at the Canadian Seed Growers Association’s (CSGA) 116th annual meeting. It would see five

The federal government has proposed two royalty models – an end point royalty and a trailing royalty – to help spur cereal variety development.

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


Manitoba potato growers say a wet and cold fall is causing issues with storages this winter.

Spud growers battling storage woes

A wet and cold fall saw some potatoes dug and stored at less than optimal conditions

A tough harvest is translating into a challenging storage season for Manitoba potato growers. It’s especially frustrating because growers were looking at a bumper crop, forecast to be the third-largest harvest on record. But they were denied that by rains that delayed harvest and hard frosts that hit in mid-October causing ground to freeze as

Potato growers battling storage woes

A wet and cold fall saw some potatoes dug and stored at less than optimal conditions

A tough harvest is translating into a challenging storage season for Manitoba potato growers. It’s especially frustrating because growers were looking at a bumper crop, forecast to be the third largest harvest on record. But they were denied that by rains that delayed harvest and hard frosts that hit in mid-October causing ground to freeze

One proposal is that an end point royalty would be collected when farmers sold their cereal crop.

Seed royalty consultation needs farmer engagement

KAP president Bill Campbell says farmers need to pay attention because the outcome will affect their bottom lines

Farmers need to get involved in the cereal seed royalty debate, says Bill Campbell. “This does affect our livelihoods down the road and for future generations so we have to get engaged,” the president of the Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) said in an interview following the first of four consultation meetings on the issue held


Minto farmer David Rourke told KAP’s advisory council meeting Nov. 12 he’s reluctant to support one of the two royalty options being proposed when there could be a third option. Rourke said the publicly funding cereal variety development system has served farmers well and said he’s skeptical about how much more value the private sector can deliver.

KAP has no position on proposed seed royalty options yet

Delegates raise concerns about higher seed costs ahead of the first consultation meeting in Winnipeg Friday

The Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) is still working out its position on a proposal for seed companies to collect more royalties from farmers on cereal seed, which proponents say will aid farmers by encouraging more variety development. Meanwhile, the first of the federal government’s four consultation meetings on the proposal is being held at the

2018 variety selection data for winter wheat and fall rye

This early data release is intended to help farmers make seeding decisions this fall

MCVET (Manitoba Crop Variety Evaluation Team) in collaboration with Glacier FarmMedia has been publishing winter cereal data collected from trials shortly after harvest to help farmers and seed growers make variety decisions during fall planting. In 2018, yield data is being published for eight fall rye and seven winter wheat varieties from five locations across

The wheat class review process

The focus was on addressing customer complaints that wheats 
in the CWRS class had reduced gluten strength

Customer complaints about lower gluten strength wheat in the Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) class started making headlines in 2013. But industry officials including Earl Geddes, then the executive director of the Canadian International Grains Institute (Cigi), and then Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) chief commissioner Elwin Hermanson, said the problem could be fixed. Chinese officials


Manitoba Canola Growers Association president Chuck Fossay (l) presented Teulon farmer and former seed grower Murray McConnell with the Canola Award of Excellence for 2018 in recognition of his contribution as an early canola seed grower.

Early canola seed grower recognized

The 85-year-old farmer was one of the earliest seed growers to try the new crop

Murray McConnell, a pioneer canola seed grower, received the Canola Award of Excellence for 2018 from the Manitoba Seed Growers Association (MCGA) at the CropConnect banquet in Winnipeg Feb. 14. McConnell, 85, who farms near Teulon, Man., grew some canola plots for Baldur Stefansson, a University of Manitoba plant breeder and one of the developers

Lowe Farm farmer Butch Harder told the seed growers’ meeting he opposes additional royalties for cereal breeders, calling the plan a “seed tax.”

The ‘value capture’ conundrum

A proposal to better compensate cereal breeders will almost certainly cost farmers more 
either when they buy seed or when they deliver grain to the elevator

Some call it a cereals ‘seed tax’ while others say it’s an investment in improved varieties. Either way, Canadian farmers face paying more for new varieties, or when they deliver the crop, if one of two proposed new “value capture” models is implemented by the federal government in 2019. “We want Canada to continue to