March 2018

Regulation Changes in Effect in 2018 - Circular 6 Updated & Published Online

On February 13th, the 2018 version of Circular 6 was posted on the CSGA website.  This version contains revisions that result from Phase 1 of CSGA’s efforts to modernize Circular 6, a commitment made in our 2017-2023 Strategic Plan. Nearly every section has been updated so growers should review the list of changes carefully to ensure that their 2018 production season is as smooth as possible.

The changes to Circular 6 reflect the significant and successful effort to bring together plant breeders, seed growers, seed trade stakeholders, seed crop inspectors and government from across Canada to participate in six working groups for each major crop type: Cereals, Pulses, Soybeans, Canola/Mustard, Forages, and Hemp.

These working groups were asked to identify regulations that were burdensome or outdated and to propose revisions that will keep Canadian seed growers competitive with their international counterparts while maintaining the exceptional quality of Canadian seed.   The recommendations for change arising from the working groups were also informed by feedback received at meetings held across Canada, via email, and through an online survey.

The January 2018 edition of Seed Scoop provided a link to a survey that described the changes proposed for 2018 and the office received an overwhelming number of responses.  It wasn’t a short survey and we thank each and every respondent for their time and careful consideration.  The results of the survey were provided to the Board of Directors, and the Board approved the proposed changes to Circular 6 as brought forward by CSGA’s Standards and Circular 6 Committee.

Phase 2 of the modernization of Circular 6 continues – in the upcoming month look for more opportunities to engage and share your suggestions for changes to Circular 6 for 2019. Suggestions for changes can also be sent by email to


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Last Call for the Seed Synergy Online Survey


At the end of February we were in the final stretch of a series of regional workshops hosted by the Seed Synergy Collaboration Project partners. Thank you to everyone who came out and provided input on the proposal for a Next Generation Seed System at these workshops in Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Guelph, Drummondville and Charlottetown!  Seed growers are central to the whole seed industry value chain and your input was paramount to the success of this initiative.

If you were unable to attend an in-person workshop, please share your ideas on what the Next Generation Seed System should be by participating in the online survey.  This is the last call as the online survey closes March 31st.

In advance of sharing your views, we invite you to read the Green Paper  and the Executive Summary written by the Seed Synergy Collaboration Project.  It lays out the framework for how the Project will develop a shared vision that can serve as a starting point for industry and government to begin to work together to enact real change, in order to build an industry-led, government-enabled seed system that drives innovation and growth throughout the value chain, and which has direct benefits for seed professionals. CSGA has been working on the Seed Synergy Collaboration Project over the past year with its partners at the Canadian Seed Trade Association, the Canadian Seed Institute, the Commercial Seed Analysts Association of Canada, the Canadian Plant Technology Agency, and CropLife Canada.

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We Want to See You in Montreal 2018!

CSGA’s 2018 Annual General Meeting (AGM) is taking place in Montreal, Quebec, this summer and you are invited to attend! If you want to meet and engage with the seed industry’s leaders and are passionate about the issues and opportunities facing our industry, there is no better place for you to be this July.

Of particular interest for those who would like to see work on a “next generation” seed system move forward, is the planned half day session on the Seed Synergy Collaboration Project. This session will be co-hosted by the CSGA and CSTA; effectively bridging the two meetings.

Both meetings are being held at Le Centre Sheraton hotel from July 8th to 12th.  CSTA’s 95th Annual Meeting will be held from July 8 to 10, 2018 and CSGA’s Annual General Meeting from July 10 to 12. For more event information, including a detailed delegate meeting agenda, companion and youth program, social events and registration information please visit the CSGA website.

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Notice from Health Canada for Importers of Pesticide-Treated Seeds

Health Canada has provided some information to help importers of seed pre-treated with pesticides. Specifically, Health Canada is helping importers understand their responsibilities under the Pest Control Products Act (PCPA) and Regulations (PCPR).

Seeds that are pre-treated with pesticides are considered pest control products under the PCPA and are illegal to import unless both the a) active ingredient and b) seed treatment product are registered in Canada for the purpose of treating the seed.

Because of this, importers of pesticide-treated seeds must provide an import declaration that contains:

  1. The name of the pest control product,
  2. The name of the active ingredient, and
  3. The amount of seed being imported.

This declaration can be provided in the Goods Description field of the “eManifest “system used by the Canadian Border Services Agency until their newer Integrated Import Declaration / Single Window  (IID/SW) system is implemented in the spring of 2018.

The importer is also responsible for ensuring that all imported pesticide-treated seed is labelled properly, whether it be bagged or in bulk shipments, and that the imported seed is only treated with the pesticides included in the declaration.

If an importer has questions about their obligations under the PCPA, they can contact PMRA’s Pest Management Information Service (E-mail:, Telephone: 613-736-3799) or their local Regional Pesticide Officer.

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Please Bee Friendly!

beeHealthy pollinator populations are critical for agriculture, which depends on a steady dose of Vitamin Bee.  With all of the challenges that bees have faced in recent years, though, seed growers are uniquely positioned to help give bees a knee up.

There is a growing interest in seed of plants and varieties that bees and other pollinators prefer, including leguminous annuals and perennials along with flowers and fruits.  Municipalities are being encouraged to replace their lawns, greenspaces, and utility corridors with plants that are easy to maintain and that provide valuable food for bees and other pollinators.

To this end, a Planting Guide has been developed for farmers and land managers to help preserve, restore, and maintain forage areas for honey bees.  It is an excellent resource for land management considerations, bee-friendly plants, and ideas to create a buzz in your community. The guide is written by the Canadian Honey Council, who are a great resource for all things honey-related.

If you have any questions about the guide or if you have any questions or concerns about Bee Health, please contact Brianna Chouinard at


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Are You an Accredited Plot Producer?

If you’ve been a long-time grower of seed crops in Canada, plot production might be a great opportunity for your business. Plot production facilitates the first stage of seed multiplication for most non-hybrid annual crops.  Plant breeders typically work with CSGA-accredited Select Plot Producers to multiply Breeder seed for a new variety, which in turn becomes Foundation, Registered and/or Certified seed.

Many plot producers appreciate the financial and competitive benefits which can be realized from:

  1. Early access to new traits and genetic, and
  2. Gaining a strong understanding of the agronomic characteristics and management needs of a new variety.

Knowledgeable seed customers in turn appreciate Select Plot Producers’ hard work at removing off-types, sanitizing their plot planting, harvesting equipment and carefully segregating plot seed storage in order to produce clean, high-quality seed as they increase the supply of new varieties.

Succession Planning for Accredited Plot Producers

Succession plans are required for situations where an accredited plot producer is no longer able to produce Select plots.  If there is only access to a single accredited Plot Producer, the business risks losing access to self-produced Select status seed if their accredited producer is no longer able to produce Select Plots since Select plot production accreditation is linked to an individual seed grower.

An effective Select Plot succession plan ensures that a second or third seed grower in the business has also been accredited by CSGA as a Plot Producer. In the event of a death, retirement or partnership separation, a succession plan ensures the business can continue to produce its own Select Plots. If a seed grower family business or partnership is suddenly left without their accredited Plot Producer, another family member or partner must then complete the three-year Probation Plot process to become a CSGA-accredited Plot Producer.

How to Get Started in Plot Production

In order to become a CSGA-accredited plot producer, an individual seed grower must successfully complete a three-year probation in plot production.  If you haven’t produced pedigreed seed crops in at least 3 out of the past 5 years, you cannot begin the probation period for plots. The probation period begins once a seed grower submits a formal application to the CSGA (link below!) and receives permission from CSGA to begin.

Interested growers must submit a Probation Plot Production Application to the CSGA office prior to March 31 for spring-seeded crops and July 31 for fall-seeded crops.

More Information

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Looking Ahead to Spring - Does Your Land Meet Land Use Requirements?

Seed growers across the country are finalizing their seeding plans for the upcoming crop year.  It is important to take into consideration land use requirements as you are planning your crop rotation. If you you’ve consulted the regulations for pedigreed seed crop production in Circular 6, and are still uncertain of the eligibility of your land for pedigreed seed crop production of the crop kind you intend to produce, you are encouraged to submit a Form 101 – Land Use Verification Form to the CSGA prior to planting.  Our staff will review your proposed land use plan and will send a confirmation on whether your plan meets regulations.

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Tips to Avoid Plants Breeders’ Rights Infringements

SeCan has released a statement regarding a recent settlement with some seven producers in western Canada over Plant Breeders’ Rights (PBR) infringements.

Awareness is the important first step and SeCan talks about the importance of PBR whenever possible. The goal of Plant Breeders’ Rights is to encourage investment in plant breeding in Canada. If farmers want access to the best varieties in the world, we need to reward breeders’ time and investment. There is a misconception that PBR only benefits large companies – the fact is large companies often have other tools to protect their intellectual property (including patents and contracts). PBR is critically important for public breeders, (including universities) and smaller private breeders who may not have the resources or traits necessary to utilize other forms of protection.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when buying and selling common seed:

  1. Most new varieties have some form of protection – don’t assume a variety is not protected.
  2. If a variety is protected under PBR, it is illegal to sell common seed, even if you don’t use the variety name.
  3. Under PBR, it is OK to keep seed on your farm – as long as the farm-saved rights are not pre-empted by another agreement or contract.
  4. Under the new PBR ’91 rules, the buyer, the processer, and the seller are responsible for the infringement.

Growers are encouraged to visit for more information and FAQs regarding PBR in Canada.

For more information, contact:

Todd Hyra, SeCan Business Manager, Western Canada
Tel: 204-489-9126

Lorne Hadley, Executive Director, Canadian Plant Technology Agency
Tel: 1-888-450-4116

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Eastern Canada sees first Canadian Global Crops Symposium in Toronto

What new opportunities will emerge for your business in 5 years, 10 years? How about in 2030? Ontario and Quebec seed growers can find answers to these questions this year at The Canadian Global Crops Symposium in Toronto March 26th to 28th. Held at the Westin Harbour Castle, this is the first year the Symposium is held in Eastern Canada – and it won’t return to the East for a few more years. This will be a great opportunity to meet with presidents and CEOs of many of Canada’s largest agribusiness corporations and gain insights into the future of crop-based agriculture through to 2030.

The symposium is meant to get you ahead of the curve by helping you understand Canada’s latest advances in grain production technology, investment, partnerships, policy, trade, and growth in Canada’s crop-based agriculture. For more information, check out the agenda and registration information online today!

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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
Address: 21 Florence St, Ottawa, Ontario K2P 0W6
Click here for complete staff contact information.