GFM Network News


Beware of Kazakhs wanting to buy seed, agency says

Seed growers and farmers alike are being warned such sales breach breeders' rights rules

Western Canadian seed growers, seed retailers and commercial farmers are being urged not to sell seed to Kazakhs or their agents because it breaches plant breeders’ rights rules. “The basic fact is no Canadian breeder has given permission for their genetics to go to Kazakhstan,” Lorne Hadley, executive director of the Canadian Plant Technology Agency,

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


A fine balance

One major wheat seed producer says protecting Canada’s quality reputation is important

Changes to wheat classes have been disruptive for the seed business, but it was also necessary, according to a representative of one of the country’s major seed companies. Todd Hyra, Western Canada business manager for SeCan says even though the wheat class changes have disrupted business for SeCan and its seed grower-members, restoring gluten strength


SeCan says PBR enforcement will ensure farmers get the best possible varieties by rewarding the breeders who develop them.

Saskatchewan farmer pays up after breaching plant breeders’ rights

Seed companies warn infringers potentially face significant costs, not only for unpaid royalties 
but also the investigation and court costs

Canada has had plant breeders’ rights (PBR) regulations for 25 years, yet some farmers still breach them. Dustin Hawkins, who farms near Kincaid, Sask., is the latest to be penalized for the unauthorized advertising and sale of durum wheat varieties AC Transcend and AC Strongfield, whose rights are held by FP Genetics and SeCan, respectively.


Better yields with Manor Buckwheat

Our History: March 1984

Buckwheat was still a significant crop in Manitoba in the 1970s and 1980s, exceeding 100,000 acres some years, and SeCan was promoting the Manor variety in our Mar. 1, 1984 issue. However, acreage has declined to the point where it is no longer reported by Statistics Canada. In that issue, we reported that the U.S.

SeCan is celebrating its 40th anniversary. The not-for-profit company is Canada’s biggest distributor of certified seed.

SeCan celebrates 40th anniversary

Canada’s largest certified seed distributor is even more relevant today, says general manager Jeff Reid

SeCan was ahead of the curve when founded in 1976 — and still is today, says general manager Jeff Reid. “I think it is interesting that 40 years after SeCan was initiated, it seems in many respects to almost be just coming-of-age now, with all the talk about public, private and producer partnerships,” Reid said

PBR enforcement numbers highest on record

Financial penalties can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands, depending on the level of illegal sales

This past year was the busiest on record for plant breeders’ rights education and enforcement. Todd Hyra, western Canadian business manager for SeCan, said there were over 400 advertisements for seed sales that required investigation industry-wide through the Canadian Plant Technology Agency (CPTA), the body established to protect intellectual property rights. “SeCan alone had 40


PBR breach to cost Saskatchewan seed grower $150K

A Saskatchewan seed grower will pay $150,000 to SeCan — the largest penalty in the seed company’s history — for breaching SeCan’s plant breeders rights (PBR). Harvey Marcil of Pasqua Farms near Moose Jaw, Sask., has also agreed to stop making unauthorized seed sales and was expelled from SeCan’s membership, Todd Hyra, SeCan’s business manager

Elite Barley Producers Share Ideas

The “Elite Barley, Canadian Malting Barley Grower Recognition Program,” recently named the 10 farmers selected by industry as top producers for the year. The goal of the program is to promote grower best management practices for malting barley, and showcase the value that malt and malt barley bring to western Canadian agriculture and the Canadian