GFM Network News


File photo of Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau speaking to media in Winnipeg in March 2019. (Dave Bedard photo)

Bibeau says government committed to federal plant breeding

Seed royalty consultations stalled

The Canadian government is committed to plant breeding, federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau told members of the Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation on Tuesday. Some farmers and seed industry officials suspect Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) variety development work, along with many other programs, will be on the chopping block post-COVID-19 as the government tackles its

wheat research

Reporter’s Take: Farmer-owned AAFC?

In 2019 Canadian farmers grossed almost $37 billion from crop sales. Each started with a seed. That’s why getting farmers to pay more for plant breeding — often referred to as “value creation” — is important. It’s also contentious. Nobody wants to pay more and a lot of farmers worry royalties will enrich seed companies


Some are worried that the federal government will kibosh plant breeding as the COVID deficit grows.

AAFC sits on value creation sidelines

In the meantime farmers and the seed industry are seeking consensus on how to proceed

After farmer push-back Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) has hit pause on end point and trailing royalties consultations aimed at getting producers to contribute more money for plant breeding. But the controversial issue isn’t dead. Some farm groups and the seed industry are trying to find consensus on how to proceed. “What we’re trying to


Plant breeder and researcher Doug Cattani was recently recognized by the province 
for innovation in sustainability.

Kernza plant breeder recognized

Faces of Ag: Doug Cattani has spent his career working on perennial grasses

And to think, he could have been an accountant. Plant breeder and researcher Doug Cattani received provincial recognition in October for his work in developing perennial grains. Since 2010, Cattani has worked with Kernza, the trade name for organically produced intermediate wheatgrass, which is being developed for grain production. As a perennial grain, Kernza causes



Sixty-five per cent of all farmers surveyed rejected both proposed seed royalty models and 25 per cent said they need more information.

Survey says: Farmers reject proposed seed royalty models

Farmer skepticism on end point and trailing royalties proposals came through loud and clear in a recent survey

Proponents of royalties proposals to fund cereals variety development need to either head back to the drawing board or do a better job of making their case. A recent survey from the three Prairie general farm organizations conducted to gauge farmer response to the two proposals for end point or trailing royalties found a deep

Time to re-engage on seed royalty discussion

SeCan’s Todd Hyra says more resources are needed

If plant breeders are going to develop the next AAC Brandon, they need the resources to do it, says Todd Hyra, SeCan’s business manager for Western Canada. Last fall consultations led by the federal government on two new options — trailing and end point royalties — met with some stiff push-back from farmers. Both options


Ron DePauw, creator of AAC Brandon, at a field day where the variety was introduced to growers by SeCan in 2015.

AAC Brandon No. 1 wheat in Manitoba four years running

MASC’s 2019 Variety Market Share Information lists crop acreages and the percentage of plantings by variety

AAC Brandon remains Manitoba’s ‘Wheat King.’ For the fourth year running AAC Brandon was the most planted red spring wheat insured in Manitoba. The variety, developed at Swift Current by former Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada wheat breeder Ron DePauw, and distributed by SeCan, was planted on 1.8 million insured red spring wheat acres, accounting for

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