GFM Network News


Prairie farm slapped with plant breeders’ rights infringement penalties

Farmers need to know who they are buying seed from to avoid potentially significant costs

Reading Time: 3 minutes Infringing on Plant Breeders’ Rights (PBR) has cost a large southern Alberta farm a record $737,597. “The settlement relates to unauthorized advertisements and sales of PBR-protected barley and wheat varieties,” Alliance Seed, SeCan and an unnamed seed company said in a news release Wednesday. The settlement “includes the royalties, plus legal fees and penalties,” Todd […] Read more

Bibeau says government committed to federal plant breeding

Seed royalty consultations stalled

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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 […] Read more


The seed sector, particularly cereals, needs reinvestment in breeding, hence the drive to establish Seeds Canada.

Is a united seed sector possible in Canada?

Finding modernization, value creation and synergy in a streamlined seeds agency

Reading Time: 7 minutes In spite of the size of agriculture in Canada, its home-grown seed industry is relatively small. Wheat and canola represent our two largest commodities by area, yet the domestic share of research and plant breeding activity is underwhelming. In part, that’s linked to the fact that the seed sector is comprised of a variety of […] Read more

Beware of Kazakhs wanting to buy seed, agency says

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

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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, […] Read more


SeCan says wheat midge tolerance saves producers $40 to $60 million per year.

Protect your midge-tolerant wheat

The midge-tolerance gene was found in the majority of SWS wheats in 2017. Refuge seed is required to keep this trait in play

Reading Time: 3 minutes Producers should add refuge seed to most Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) and Soft White Spring (SWS) wheat varieties in 2018 to prolong the longevity of the midge-tolerance Sm1 gene, says Todd Hyra, western business manager for seed marketing agency SeCan. Last spring, Canadian researchers discovered Sm1 in most SWS varieties, including AAC Indus, AC […] Read more



New in IP and edible bean varieties

When you opt to grow food-grade or edible beans, the challenges are substantial – but so are the potential benefits

Reading Time: 3 minutes In the past few years, production of identity-preserved (IP) food-grade soybeans and edible beans has seen ebbs and flows based on their respective markets, with growers signing up and dropping out in ways that the trade says are much harder to predict. The comparative ease and reliability of growing transgenic corn and soybeans is hard […] Read more

New soybean varieties in 2017 for Western Canada

Demand for soybeans just keeps rising on the Prairies

Reading Time: 7 minutes Three years ago, something interesting occurred in soybean production in Canada: in 2013, Manitoba became the second-leading producer of soybeans in the country. The province’s 1,068,200 acres of soybeans eclipsed the 847,000 acres produced in Quebec. And the figures continue to rise with each passing year, to the point where nearly 1.4 million acres came […] Read more


What’s new in soybean varieties for Eastern Canada in 2017?

Disease packages join newer herbicide-resistance technologies at the top of the value list

Reading Time: 13 minutes Last year, the big news in soybean varieties could be summed up in one technological term: Xtend, which became part of the fall lineup for many of the seed companies. Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show was abuzz with talk about Xtend, with demonstration plots aplenty, and all sorts of signage promoting the new system’s platform, Roundup […] Read more

SeCan at 40

Born in 1976, is SeCan living up to its promise to deliver better, more cost-effective genetics by supporting public research?

Reading Time: 6 minutes In the days leading up to 1976, new public sector seed varieties were few and far between, as Ray Askin recalls things. Askin, who grows seed at Portage la Prairie and is today’s president of the Manitoba Seed Growers Association also remembers it as a time marred by disorganization. “SeCan gave a structured format for […] Read more