January 2021

Branch AGMs – A Chance to Meet and Engage with Peers and Colleagues

A significant benefit the CSGA and its Branches provide is meeting and engaging with people who share a similar passion. Getting involved can benefit you in many ways—from networking, serving the community and volunteering, to developing lasting personal and professional relationships with your fellow growers.

Whether you attend an annual general meeting or a provincial meeting, serve on a committee or get involved on a Board—nothing replaces personal interaction with other like-minded people.

It is easy to get involved! Start by attending a meeting, listen to the discussion, and ask questions. If you would like to get involved further and would like to help shape the direction and policies of the Association, consider putting your name forward for a seat on either the provincial or national Board of Directors.

The CSGA Branch Annual General Meeting dates are:

  • Maritime Branch – January 15, 2021
  • Ontario Seed Growers’ Association – February 2, 2021
  • Alberta Seed Growers Association – February 4, 2021
  • Manitoba Seed Growers’ Association – February 10, 2021
  • Producteurs de semences du Québec – February 17, 2021

Click here for times and registration details.

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Acreage and Membership Report

The attached CSGA Acreage and Membership Report for 2020 provides a detailed breakdown of CSGA certified seed crop production levels and membership numbers for the last seven years; with 2019-2020 changes highlighted in red. Acreage remained fairly steady in 2020, despite the pandemic, at 1,266,547 acres. This is down only slightly (-27K acres) from 2019 levels, but still well below the 1.3 million-plus acres achieved between 2015 and 2018.

Membership numbers have continued their trend downward, from their 2015 high point of over 3,500 to 3,224 in 2019 and to 3,113 in 2020.

For those of you who are interested in broader statistical indicators of Canadian agriculture sector performance, we encourage you to visit the Statistics Canada agricultural data website.

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Do Not Forget to Settle Your Account Before February 1

A reminder to growers and assignees to settle your accounts and close-out any outstanding crop certificates, if possible, before the new fiscal year begins on February 1.

If you haven’t received your seed crop certificate, please log in to the Members’ Area of the website and review your account to see what may be outstanding. If you need assistance, please reach out to our staff at support@seedgrowers.ca or by telephone at 613-236-0497, ext. 231.

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Mark MacNaughton Steps Down from CSGA Board of Directors

The Government of Alberta has restructured its Department of Agriculture and Forestry, moving the breeding program managed by Mark MacNaughton (Alberta Provincial Government Advisor to the CSGA Board of Directors) to Olds College. As a result, Mark has stepped down from the CSGA Board after almost nine (9) years of service to the seed growers.

On behalf of the entire CSGA Board of Directors and Executive Team, we wish to thank Mark for his exceptional contribution. Always an active and engaged advisor, Mark has made an important contribution to the CSGA and to the Canadian seed industry during this period and he will be sorely missed. We wish Mark all the best in this transition.

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Electronic Long Service Certificates

The CSGA deeply values the many years of service and dedication of members and recognizes this formally through our long service certificates. Typically, at each provincial annual general meeting every winter, the Association presents long-service certificates to members with over 15 years of seed production. While this will not be occurring this year due to the cancellation of in-person events because of COVID-19, long service recipients will receive their certificates electronically via email.

Members with 50 years of service or more will also receive a hard copy certificate via regular mail. Any member who would like to receive a hard copy certificate is asked to contact the office at (613) 236-0497 or seed@seedgrowers.ca.

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Scientists Sequence the Genome of 15 Varieties of Wheat

The University of Saskatchewan’s “10+ Genome Project” scientific team, led by Curtis Pozniak, Professor and Director of the Crop Development Centre, along with researchers at Kansas State University and with support from the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Kansas Wheat, has sequenced the genome of 15 varieties of wheat from around the world.

The project’s goal is to characterize the wheat ‘pan genome’, or all genes and genetic variation within a species, which could advance “wheat gene discovery and breeding.”

You can read the technical report here and a general summary here.

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Seed Locator

Seed buyers across the country are making their seeding plans for the upcoming crop year.  CSGA’s online National Pedigreed Seed Locator and the provincial seed guides are important marketing tools for seed growers and seed companies. Many seed buyers use these resources to locate and purchase seed of the variety and class they need for their farming operation.

Use the search menu in Seed Locator to find Pedigreed seed by province, crop kind and variety.


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CSGA Honorary Life Award Recipient Vernon Burrows has Passed

We take a moment to recognize the passing of an outstanding oat breeder, Dr. Vernon Burrows, on November 8, 2020. Dr. Burrows was awarded a CSGA Honorary Life Award in 1986 for his exceptional work in oat breeding.

Vern had a 40-year career as a research scientist at Ottawa’s Central Experimental Farm, breeding 27 oat varieties – notably AC Gehl, the “naked oat” which is hulless and hairless, making it easier to process and transport – and publishing 100 research papers, including four book chapters. He was fondly known as Dr. Oat.

With his vast knowledge of all things oats, Dr. Burrows made many contributions to the oat scientific literature and the development of genetic stocks for specific traits. He was also key in developing a field inspection and lab testing system to ensure the production of uncontaminated, gluten-free oats using the AC Gehl variety for the celiac community.

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