December 2017

Season's Greetings

From the Staff and Board of Directors of the Canadian Seed Growers Association we would like to extend our warmest holiday wishes to you and your families.  May your homes be filled with abundance, happiness, peace and hope for the New Year.

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Committed to Circular 6 Modernization

Canadian pedigreed seed has a rich history and a global reputation for quality.  This is due, at least in part, to strong Canadian regulations and procedures in place for pedigreed seed production.

Of course, standards must be kept current with the trends and practices in modern agriculture. CSGA plans to bring changes to some standards as early as 2018 as a result of a technical review and revision of standards in Circular 6, currently underway. Additional changes to the layout of Circular 6 are also planned.

Circular 6, the Canadian Regulations and Procedures for Pedigreed Seed Crop Production, is a detailed 200-page document. Since its inception in the 1920s Circular 6 has been revised many times but the last extensive review dates back more than 15 years. Through recent consultations, CSGA has heard from numerous members of the need to clarify, simplify and update the regulations.

CSGA is happy to announce its commitment to the Circular 6 Modernization Project.

As part of the Circular 6 Modernization Project, CSGA is reviewing all seed crop standards and regulations to adapt and simplify the language used.  We’ve heard from members of the difficulty in interpreting the regulations due to the language used.  By simplifying the language and making regulations more clear, we hope to improve the understanding of our regulations and in turn prevent simple but costly mistakes from being made in the field. Regulations are also being reviewed to ensure that they reflect modern agricultural practices.

The project also includes the review of procedures to distinguish mandatory from voluntary requirements. In short, all the suggested guidelines (“shoulds”) for seed crop production will be removed from the regulations and moved to a separate best management practices (BPM) handbook to improve seed growers’ understanding of regulations versus BMPs.

To help with this review, CSGA has organized six separate working groups: cereals, pulses, soybeans, canola, forages, and hemp. Comprised of experienced seed growers and industry experts – including plant breeders, seed crop inspectors and CFIA – the working groups are examining Circular 6 to review the standards, procedures, best practices and other elements.

CSGA is also exploring digital tools to transform the current paper based or PDF document into a searchable, interactive and accessible electronic tool.  Members need to be able to find pedigreed seed production requirements quickly and from a mobile device, if necessary.  The current 200-page format is difficult to navigate and we hope the new searchable data base will improve members’ access to Circular 6 requirements from a mobile device.

All of these changes are part of the first phase of Circular 6 Modernization. In a second phase some of the more difficult, contentious, or uncertain elements of the technical standards will be reviewed which should result in further amendments in 2019 and 2020.

Although some standards will be changing in time for the 2018 crop season, CSGA is working towards a 2019 launch of a new and improved Circular 6. An in depth analysis and review of the regulations, including time to collect member input and review proposals takes time. We are confident that interested parties will support this approach and timeline to ensure the review is given the time it deserves.

We recognize that seed growers and other seed sector stakeholders have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to pedigreed seed production. Maintaining scientifically-based and internationally competitive standards is important for Canadian agriculture and we need to hear from seed growers and key stakeholders about what they think matters. There is an opportunity for face-to-face discussions at all upcoming branch meetings this winter as well as through an online engagement link that will be communicated to you via Seed Scoop. In the meantime, if you have comments, please share them with us!

For more information on Circular 6 Modernization or to share your views, contact Mike Scheffel at 613-236-0497, ext. 223.

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Pedigreed Trends, Issues and Acreage Report

This year’s seed crop production figures were notable is several ways but one was truly historical – soybean acres surged past wheat acres to become Canada’s leading pedigreed seed crop, hitting an all-time high of over 200,000 acres in Manitoba alone.  But this rapid growth in acres has not been without some problems.  Post season analysis of seed crop certification decisions noted a three year trend of continuing growth in the number of demotions of crops for other varieties – and most of these were Foundation soybean fields, although not just in Manitoba.  CSGA has taken the lead to discuss this trend with growers, companies, the boards of directors of the provincial seed grower associations, breeders, seed crop inspection services and the CFIA.  Preliminary feedback has identified several issues, including CSGA’s extremely high varietal purity standards and proper descriptions of varieties.  CSGA will continue to work with all stakeholders through the winter in efforts to resolve this issue ahead of the 2018 season.

For full 2017 acreage and membership data, see CSGA’s 2017 Acreage Report.

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The Seed Synergy Green Paper

Please read the Seed Synergy Green Paper & Executive Summary.  This document is intended as a starting point for a seed industry discussion on the elements of a potential Next Generation Seed System for Canada. It reflects the initial work of the Seed Synergy Collaboration Project, spearheaded by the CSGA and five other six seed sector associations, including the Canadian Seed Trade Association, the Canadian Seed Institute, the Commercial Seed Analysts Association of Canada, the Canadian Plant Technology Agency, and CropLife Canada.

The goal of the Project is to develop a consensus industry position in response to government plans to modernize the seed regulatory system. We would like to hear from you over the coming months.

To participate, visit the Seed Synergy Collaboration project website to join in on a new stakeholder consultation, which includes face to face meetings across the country in January and February 2018 as well as through electronic engagement.

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Have you read CSGA’s Strategic Plan, circulated with the November issue of Seed to Succeed?

You’ll likely have noticed that the most recent issue of Seed to Succeed included a printed copy of our Strategic Plan. Our members were top of mind when this document was researched and written, and everything included in it stems from the feedback that we received from you at branch meetings, during face-to-face conversations, and from surveys we conducted over the past year.

As we work on the projects and initiatives identified in Strategic Plan 2017-2023, CSGA is expanding member outreach and is looking to connect with members and other groups whose values align with seed growers.

How Can We Better Connect With You?

We hope you all take the time to review it as what’s included stems directly from the feedback we received from members just like you. Please share your ideas with us at any time.

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Notice of Holiday Office Closure

The CSGA the office will be closed from December 25, 2017 until January 3, 2018 and will re-open on January 4th . If you have any outstanding issues that need to be resolved before the holidays, we encourage you to contact us now at (613) 236-0497. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Contact Us

CSGA staff is here to help and guide you. Don’t hesitate to contact us. Remember the CSGA national office operates in the Eastern Standard Time (EST) zone.

Telephone: (613) 236-0497, Fax: (613) 563-7855, Email:
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 8455, Ottawa, Ontario, K1G 3T1
Courier Address: 240 Catherine Street, Suite 202, Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 2G8
Visit for complete contact information for our staff members.

Have YOU participated?

We are looking to members to provide feedback on our draft Strategic Plan. Once endorsed, the plan will shape CSGA policies and member services. Please take a few minutes to register and complete a short survey.

We are looking for YOUR opinion on Circular 6 Modernization, a Seed Grower Designate Program, Plant Breeders Rights, Inspections, CSGA services and many more. Join the conversation online today and hurry! This engagement ends Friday!


Avez-VOUS participé?

Nous sommes à la recherche de membres pour nous donner leur rétroaction sur l’ébauche de notre Plan stratégique. Une fois entériné, le plan façonnera les politiques et les services aux membres de l’ACPS. Veuillez prendre quelques minutes pour vous inscrire et répondre à un court sondage.

Nous aimerions connaître VOTRE opinion sur la modernisation de la Circulaire 6, un programme de désignation de producteur de semences, la protection des obtentions végétales, les inspections, les services de l’ACPS et bien d’autres. Joignez-vous à la conversation aujourd’hui même. Faites vite! Cette consultation prend fin vendredi.