Seed Sector Stats

This section provides you with fast facts about the Canadian seed sector – specifically certified seed and expected trends.

The Canadian Seed Sector

  • Is the critical first step in the agri-food value chain
  • Drives agricultural innovation
  • Contributes billions to the Canadian economy
  • Encompasses diverse crops and businesses; and
  • Fuels a strong export market

Economic Impact

Canada’s seed sector is a significant contributor to the Canadian economy

  • $6 billion annual economic impact (direct and indirect)
  • $2.8 billion in seed sales to Canadian farmers in 2018
  • 63,622 jobs of implied employment effects of seed sector
  • $2.26 billion in wages and salaries


  • In 2017/2018, seed accounted for approximately $609 million in imports and $646 million in exports
    • This makes Canada a net exporter of seed, with a trade surplus of approximately $37 million
  • Domestic seed production created a value of $2.8 billion in 2018
    • This was the basis for crop production that generated over $33 billion of farm gate revenue
  • The largest importers of Canadian seed are the US (62%), China (7%), Ireland (5%), Japan (3%), Turkey (2%), the Netherlands (2%) and Nepal (2%).
    • Together, these countries accounted for approximately 83% of total Canadian seed exports in 2017/2018.
  • Canada exports seed to over 100 countries worldwide, 63 countries buy seed worth over $100,000; 34 countries over $1 million and seven countries over $10 million.


  • With Canada’s unique geography and climatic zones, approximately 50 principal crops are grown for seed in Canada, including: forages and turf, grains and oilseeds, pulses and more.
  • In 2018, 3,487 seed growers produced 1.33 million pedigreed seed acres in Canada.
  • The number of registered seed varieties increased to 4,418 in 2018 from 106 in 1978 (excluding cancelled varieties.)
  • Wheat is the most widely grown crop among pedigreed seed producers at 358,311 acres in 2021, followed by soybeans at 266,335 acres.

Certified seed trends

21x21-chart-icon Certified seed varieties increased to 2,079 in 2021 coming from 64 different crop kinds
21x21-chart-icon 1.3 million acres of pedigreed seed inspected in 2021
21x21-chart-icon In 2021, CSGA had 3,113 seed grower members

Data contained in this section is a representation of CSGA records.  Data and information from the November 2019 Canadian Seed Sector Profile report for the Seed Sector Value Chain Round Table (SSVCRT). Contributing resources referenced in the report include Agriculture Canada and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).