GFM Network News


China building world’s largest seed bank

Larger facility a bid to boost food security

Beijing | Reuters — China will complete a new national crop germplasm bank this year, the agriculture minister said Wednesday, to boost the country’s capacity to develop new crop varieties and enhance food security. The bank has a designed capacity of 1.5 million copies, almost four times the existing one, and will be the world’s

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


Optimum GLY canola getting closer to market

Corteva’s new canola trait will allow farmers to apply higher doses of glyphosate along with a longer application period

CROPS Corteva’s new canola trait will allow farmers to apply higher doses of glyphosate along with a longer application period

Corteva expects to commercialize its new Optimum GLY canola by 2022, giving western Canadian farmers more options and flexibility to control hard-to-kill weeds. Optimum GLY canola can tolerate higher doses of the non-selective herbicide glyphosate applied longer into the growing season, Kerry Freeman, Corteva’s canola category leader, said in an interview. “It’s going to allow

Farm suppliers race COVID-19 spread for planting season

Winnipeg/Chicago | Reuters — North America’s biggest farm suppliers are accelerating shipments of fertilizer, seeds and agricultural chemicals to crop-growing regions in an unprecedented race against the coronavirus that threatens to disrupt planting season. The timing could not be worse for farmers preparing to plant crops. Disruptions in deliveries of fertilizer, seeds or chemicals could

Prairie elevators’ staff aim for on-site distancing

Cargill, P+H elevators stay open but with arm's-length approach

At least two Prairie grain handling firms plan to continue taking deliveries from farmers during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic — but to make the process as touchless as possible. Cargill, in a email to customers Wednesday, said its Canadian grain elevators, crush plants and ag input retail sites will remain open for deliveries and pickups,


A mature wheat crop in southern Saskatchewan, on Sept. 2, 2018.

Year in review: Cereal royalty discussions expected to resume soon

Seed industry had hoped issue would be settled by now

Prairie farmers will be talking about cereal royalties again this year. When public discussions on collecting more royalties from farmers to help fund new cereal varieties started in November 2018 the federal government targeted the spring of 2019 to report on farmer feedback on the seed industry’s two proposed options. But farmer opposition to both

Taking a closer look at a farmer-breeder partnership on seed

Canada can learn from Australia’s value creation experience

The ‘value creation’ model both University of Saskatchewan agricultural economist Richard Gray and the Alberta Federation of Agriculture (AFA) are talking about has some commonality. Both say a farmer ‘entity’ should be formed to collect a levy — probably mandatory — from farmers at the point of sale and then funnel that money to breeders

Farmers pay royalties on certified seed, but the seed industry says it’s an insufficient amount because farmers sow such a high percentage of farm-saved seed.

NFU rejects proposed cereal seed royalties

It says the seed industry wants more money from farmers with no guarantees it will make farmers better off

Proposals for new royalties on cereal seed, if adopted, will extract more money from Canadian farmers without guaranteeing they’ll benefit, according to Terry Boehm. He is chair of the National Farmers Union’s (NFU) seeds committee and a former NFU president. “This is the end-game,” Boehm, who farms bear Colonsay, Sask., told reporters during a telephone


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

Consultation on plant variety royalty options soon starting

The seed sector says the goal is encouraging more plant-breeding investment in Canada

Federal government consultations on ways to encourage more investment in plant breeding will start this fall, says Todd Hyra, president of the Canadian Seed Trade Association (CSTA) and SeCan’s business manager for Western Canada. “It’s really about how to generate investment for plant breeders, incent investment by new innovators that want to come to Canada