GFM Network News


“If something goes through these rigorous procedures... and a year later it’s being grown somewhere else, that’s a problem.” – Todd Hyra, SeCan

Illegal seed exports threaten Canadian farmers’ competitiveness

Kazakhstanis have been buying western Canadian cereal and pulse seed and Canada’s seed industry wants Ottawa to stop the seed from leaving Canada

Kazakhstani companies are illegally buying what some consider to be Western Canada’s crown jewels — high-value cereal and pulse seed. The varieties were developed publicly, for Canada’s benefit — prompting the seed industry to urge the Canadian government to stop it from leaving the country. “There is not much more that Canadian companies can do (to stop

The farm groups involved have remained open minded about options for a new system.

Oct. 15 deadline to comment on proposed cereal royalties

The online survey will allow farm groups 
to best represent grower interests

Farmers have until Oct. 15 to comment on proposed changes to cereal seed royalties at seedroyaltysurvey.com. Survey results will be presented to the federal agriculture minister after the Oct. 21 federal election. The online survey was launched in July by the Alberta Federation of Agriculture (AFA), the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) and Manitoba’s


Plant Breeders’ Rights Commissioner Anthony Parker (r) and Carla St. Croix, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s director of the Innovation and Growth Policy Division spoke about royalty proposals at Ad Days in Brandon Jan. 23.

Seed royalty costs discussed at Ag Days

Wheat deregistration as an anti-competitive tool is on regulators’ radar

There’s more word on just how big the bill could be under proposed new royalty models intended to fund variety development. A slide presented at Ag Days Jan. 23 showed a range of $1 a tonne or $1.30 an acre to $3 a tonne or $3.90 an acre. A farmer who grows 300 acres of

Opinion: The backstory on Seed Synergy

Over the last two months farmers have become aware of an ominous drive, co-ordinated by elements of Canada’s seed industry and financially aided by our federal government, that is attempting to eliminate our right to freely save and reuse our own seed. This story actually begins in 1990, when the Canadian government adopted the UPOV

Private sector seed research spending trends.

Federal consultation on new seed royalties will stretch into next year

Public meetings are over but smaller-scale discussions will continue in the coming weeks and months

After four public meetings with farmers and the seed industry, a federal consultation on proposals for changes to plant breeders’ rights is moving to individual discussions and group sessions. Following the last public meeting Nov. 30 in Ottawa, officials from Agriculture Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency will spend time assessing all the input


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

Farmers say they understand research costs money, they just want to know that’s where their dollars will go.

Farmers say no to ‘blank cheque’ on seed royalties

If seed companies don’t reinvest they risk going out of business, said Plant Breeders’ Rights Commissioner Anthony Parker

Some farmers are willing to pay more in royalties to encourage cereal crop breeding — but they don’t want to sign a blank cheque. “We’re not really clear on how much money this is going to generate for plant breeders and the industry as a whole, and there are a lot of concerns that it’s

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


Farmers have long sown saved seed, but that could start coming with a price tag under two proposed royalty systems.

Royalty shift could equal more costly seed for farmers

Proposal proponents tout farmer access to better varieties because of market incentives

Nobody likes paying more. But it’s also often said you get what you pay for. That’s the dilemma facing Canadian farmers being consulted about new options for paying higher royalties on cereal and pulse seed. It’s said those royalties will encourage foreign and domestic investment in variety development, which supporters of the options say will

Seed industry applauds PBR consultations

Sessions will be held in four cities — including Winnipeg — with seed growers and other groups

Agriculture Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency will be consulting with seed trade groups in the coming weeks on proposed Plant Breeders’ Rights Regulations released in April. Those sessions in Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg and Ottawa will be followed up with sessions in November that will include the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, Grain Growers of