August 2019

CSGA’s 115th Annual Meting

This past July, CSGA members gathered in Whistler for the 115th Annual Meeting.  This years’ meeting was joint with the Canadian Seed Trade Association and provided excellent opportunities for the industry to network.

Seed Synergy
Seed Synergy continued to be the major topic of discussion.  Members were presented with an update from the Oversight Committee on their vision, progress and plan for a single National Seed Organization (NSO) and were informed of the recent hire of StrategyCorp, a leading management consulting firm, to lead the next phase of the project.

StrategyCorp is leading the development of an NSO transition plan, and will be presenting proposed governance structures for member consultation this winter, a final transition plan road map by spring of 2020, targeting a member ratification vote at the July 2020 Annual Meeting in Winnipeg, and implementation by fall 2020.  For those interested, presentations delivered at the meeting are available at www.seedsynergy.net.

Value Creation
Value creation remains a priority for the Association and members.  A panel comprised of Laurie Wakefield (seed grower, and CSGA Board Director), Gunter Jochum (Western Wheat Growers), Rod Merryweather (FP Genetics), and Lynn Jacobsen (Alberta Federation of Agriculture) provided perspectives on value creation.

Federal government officials were also present to hear member views and provide an update on the federal consultations.  After discussion, the CSGA Board reconfirmed its position in support of value creation, and endorsed the Seed Variety Use Agreement (SVUA) as the preferred model over the End-Point Royalty (EPR) model.  With that said, the Board made it clear they remain open to dialogue with industry partners, and are committed to reviewing their position and the models as additional information and details emerge.

SeedCert 2.0
Doug Miller, CSGA’s Managing Director of Certification and Technology Services, provided an overview of what blockchain is, and delivered the results of the latest soybean blockchain traceability pilot partnership with Grain Discovery.  As previously reported in Seed Scoop, the latest blockchain traceability pilot followed certified soybean seed production through production and processing, ending with fresh-packed tofu on store shelves.  Through the help of a QR code printed on the tofu packaging, customers can scan the code and follow the production of that soybean.  Meeting attendees were showed how this pilot could be expanded to other crop kinds and use cases.

CSGA Modernization
In a CSGA Modernization business session, members provided support to recent Board decisions to address issues around the definition of a seed grower, and CSGA membership.  The definition of a seed grower has not been updated in several years, and both the Board and members supported a move to explore the recognition of a seed production businesses, and agreed professional development options could support a new pathway to becoming a CSGA-accredited Plot Producer.  CSGA’s recourse (appeal) mechanism was also reviewed, and both the Board and members provided support to explore and broaden CSGA’s recourse mechanisms to provide clients recourse to appeal all issues, and provide clients with formal standing in the appeal process.  More details on these initiatives will follow in the months to come.

Awards Ceremony
CSGA held an awards lunch ceremony to present awards of recognition to our industry’s best. Seed growers Ed Hadland of British Columbia, Doug Heaman of Manitoba and Les Trowell of Saskatchewan, were presented with the Robertson Associate Award for their dedication and services delivered both to the Association, and to Canadian Agriculture.

Brenda Trask of SeCan, and Patti Rothenburger of the Manitoba Government, were presented with Honorary Life Awards for their dedication, and contributions both to the Association and to Canadian agriculture.  For more information on award recipients, visit https://seedgrowers.ca/awards/.

Gord Hill’s 3-year term as Honorary President came to an end, and Bob Rugg of Saskatchewan was nominated and honored with the position.

Retiring directors, Richard Stamp of Alberta and Hugh Berges of Ontario were presented with retiring director plaques and thanked for their service and dedication to the CSGA Board and the seed industry.

Ratification of Board of Directors for 2019-2020
The 2019-2020 Board of Directors was nominated and ratified by members.  The Board of Directors would like to take this opportunity to thank seed growers for the trust placed on them to represent and lead the Association, and encourages members to reach out and make their opinions heard. Full contact information for Board directors and advisors is available at https://seedgrowers.ca/contact-us/board-of-directors

Front row, left to right: Jonathan Nyborg (President), Chami Amarasinghe, Ryan Murray, André Lussier, Joanna Follings, Bryan Harvey, Glyn Chancey (Executive Director)
Middle row, left to right: Peter Boswall, Kevin Runnalls (Past President), Scott Horner, Eric McLean, Joe Rennick (1st Vice-President), Laurie Wakefield, Mitchell Japp.
Back row, left to right: Mark MacNaughton, Djiby Sall (Executive Committee Government Advisor), Dale Connell (2nd Vice-President), Dave Wuthrich, David MacKellar, Peter Scott, Jim Baillie, Steven Hamill.

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Notice of Special General Meeting

In accordance with Canadian Seed Growers’ Association By-law 5:02, the Executive Committee of the Association is convening a Special Member Meeting of the Association to take place in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, on Wednesday, November 20, 2019 at 4:00 p.m. at the Sheraton Hotel.

By-law 5:02 states that other meetings of members, designated as “special general meetings” shall be convened by the Executive Committee … and shall be held at such date, time and place as the Executive Committee shall determine.

The purpose of the Special General Meeting is to:

  1. Confirm member support for the CSGA Board of Directors position on the proposed amalgamation of CSGA with the Canadian Seed Trade Association, the Canadian Plant Technology Association, the Commercial Seed Analysts Association of Canada and the Canadian Seed Institute with a view to seeking member approval of an amalgamation as early as July 2020, once a detailed proposal has been finalized and approved by the Board.
  1. Seek member support for a change in membership structure to take effect as early as the 2020 crop year. The proposed change in membership structure would establish the business unit (as opposed to the individual) as the entity to which a crop certificate is issued, to which certain voting rights are assigned and to which fees associated with crop certification are charged. The proposed change in membership structure would also recognize the professional standing of individuals for the purpose of seed certification and other functions, assign certain voting rights to those individuals and propose an associated fee schedule.
  1. Seek member approval for a temporary fee increase designed to generate up to an additional $500,000 per year for modernization and amalgamation initiatives, and up to an additional $500,000 per year for employee pension plan termination costs for up to three years, to take affect for the 2020 crop year. Annual member review and approval of the continuation of any temporary fee increase in the 2021 crop year will be required at the 2020 CSGA Annual General Meeting in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and for the 2022 crop at the 2021 Annual General Meeting in Ontario.

If you wish to learn more about the proposed changes or provide feedback, please contact Glyn Chancey, Executive Director of the CSGA at gchancey@seedgrowers.ca or (613) 236-0497, ext. 224.

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CSGA Modernizes Standard for Wild Oats

CSGA has undertaken a review of the standard for wild oats in pedigreed oat seed crops, and at their July 2019 meeting, the Standards and Circular 6 Committee decided that wild oats would no longer be subject to the same standard as off-types/other varieties.  The new standard will take effect immediately for the 2019 oat seed crop production.

As we are already in inspection season, for 2019, inspectors will continue to report wild oats in counts.  Crop certificates for fields produced in Ontario and Western Canada with more than an average of 15/10,000 will include a “warning” for the grader that wild oats were found in the seed crop. For plots, an average of 30/20,000 wild oats in oats will include a ‘warning’.  Crop certificates for fields produced in Quebec or Eastern Canada will include the warning if there are any wild oats present in the field.

In the future, wild oats will be reported by frequency related to the number of plants/100m2 (clean, trace, few, numerous or very weedy) rather than reported in counts.   Crop certificates for fields produced in Ontario and Western Canada where the frequency is “Few” or “Numerous” for wild oats in the CROP will include a “warning” for the grader that wild oats were found in the seed crop.  Crop certificates for fields produced in Quebec and Eastern Canada will continue to include the warning if any wild oats were present in the crop.  The rationale for the warning is that the grade standard for the harvested seed remains the same with very strict limits on the quantity of wild oats permitted in cereal seed, including a requirement to be free-from wild oats in Quebec and eastern provinces.  The grade standard will also be reviewed as part of CFIA’s regulatory review.

What does this mean for seed growers?  It means that seed crops will no longer be demoted for the presence of wild oats and will only be declined if the overall field rating is “very weedy” where the wild oats (or any other weed or crop) cover the seed crop and do not permit the inspector to complete six counts.  Growers will now have the choice to either remove the wild oats plants in the field or clean the wild oats from the seed (or some combination) for their seed to meet grade.  High levels in the field will not necessarily mean that the seed won’t be eligible for final certification.

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Invitation to Participate in a Survey on Precision Agriculture Conducted by the University of Guelph

The University of Guelph is conducting a survey to help develop credible metrics on the state of development and adoption of precision agriculture techniques in the Canadian Agri-Business Industry.

As seed industry stakeholders, CSGA encourages you to participate.  Survey results will provide a clear snapshot of the state of precision agriculture services among Canadian agri businesses, including seed growers who use (or could potentially use) precision agriculture technology.

CSGA’s participation in this initiative is a demonstration of how the breadth of CSGAs membership and the association’s strong relationships with industry partners puts the association in a unique position to gather and share aggregated data.

The survey results will have multi-fold purposes and provide value to numerous stakeholders including CSGA as an association, its members, farmer customers and academics. This information will serve to provide CSGA members with benchmarking tools, help guide CSGA’s future activities on behalf of members regarding precision agriculture, provide academics with reference to guide future research, and help farm customers better understand capabilities of ag retailers.

The survey will be open throughout the month of August and CSGA will distribute results of the survey to members after it closes. Click here to take this survey.

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Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference

Registration is now open for the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference, taking place again this year in Niagara Falls, Ontario, from October 27th to the 29th. For more information, visit https://www.advancingwomenconference.ca/2019east/

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Contact Us

CSGA staff are here to help you. Don’t hesitate to contact us. Remember the CSGA national office operates in the Eastern Time (ET) zone.

Telephone: (613) 236-0497
Email: communications@seedgrowers.ca
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 8455, Ottawa, Ontario, K1G 3T1
Courier Address: 21 Florence St, Ottawa, Ontario K2P 0W6

Click here for complete staff contact information.