Seed World

Industry News | March 2013



People News

Syngenta Canada Inc. has appointed Chris Davison, a communications professional with more than 20 years of experience, as head of corporate affairs. Davison assumes the leadership of all corporate affairs functions in Canada and also sits on the corporate affairs North America leadership team.

DuPont Pioneer will increase its service to dairy customers by adding two new specialists to its team in Eastern Canada. Dairy specialists Marilyne Beaudry and Martina Pfister will provide customers with important information, knowledge and technical support to help producers get the most value out of the DuPont Pioneer line-up of inoculants and forage products. Beaudry supports dairy producers in Quebec and eastern Ontario with her strong background in dairy nutrition management. Pfister brings solid experience to dairy producers in central and western Ontario.

Makhteshim Agan of North America Canada has added two new members to its sales team. Kyle Barnett will serve as area business manager in Manitoba and Michael Robinson will join the team as area business manager in southern Alberta. With a second representative in Alberta, Brad Mitchell will serve as area business manager in central and northern Alberta and Robinson will provide sales service to southern Alberta. The addition of a second area business manager will allow greater focus and attention, providing even better service to customers across Alberta.

Canadian Agriculture Minister, Gerry Ritz, has appointed Dale Johnston as chairperson of Farm Credit Canada’s board of directors. “Since joining FCC’s board in 2011, Johnston’s knowledge and passion for agriculture has certainly made a mark on the board’s work. Under his leadership, I’m confident FCC will continue to help the sector make great strides, reaching even higher levels of productivity and profitability in the years to come,” says Ritz. Johnston’s appointment is for a term of three years and is effective immediately.

Genome Prairie has announced that Reno Pontarollo, the company’s current chief scientific officer, will succeed David Gauthier as president and CEO on April 1, 2013. During the interim, as president and CEO-designate, Pontarollo will work closely with Gauthier to lay the foundation of a long-term strategy that will focus on the implementation of new regional research initiatives and partnerships.

Novozymes BioAg has hired Jon Treloar as western Canadian technical agronomist. Treloar most recently served as the marketing and community liaison coordinator with the University of Saskatchewan College of Agriculture and Bioresources. Treloar brings a diverse background in sustainable agriculture.

The SaskCanola board of directors has elected Joan Heath as chair for the upcoming year. Heath has been vice-chair of SaskCanola for the previous two years and assumed the position of chair on Jan. 11, 2013. Franck Groeneweg has been elected as vice-chair.

Maizex Seeds has promoted two key team members, Ron Hathaway and Shane Jantzi. As the company’s new director of marketing, Hathway will focus on increasing the Maizex brand’s footprint by improving distribution and market coverage. Jantzi has been promoted to sales manager for Ontario and Western Canada, and will be responsible for the guidance of the company’s district sales managers and the Maizex dealers they support.

Product News

BASF Canada Inc. has received its first fungicide registration for the active ingredient Xemium. Priaxor DS is the first Canadian fungicide containing Xemium, an entirely new active in the carboxamide family. Priaxor DS is registered for use on field peas, lentils and chickpeas. It uses multiple modes of action to bind itself to the leaf’s surface for immediate contact activity and provides ongoing systemic activity to redistribute throughout the plant for continuous disease protection—even on areas of the plant that were missed during spraying.

Seed of the Year West has announced that CDC Bethune Flax has been selected as the 2012–2013 winner. CDC Bethune’s high seed yield and reliable agronomic package made it the flax variety of choice throughout the past decade. “CDC Bethune can be found in the pedigree of many new flax lines currently in development,” says Helen Booker, flax breeder at the Crop Development Centre, and nominator of CDC Bethune. “No other flax variety has come close to this level of return to farmers. CDC Bethune has proven itself to be a highly valued and sustained variety for farmers.”

BASF Canada has announced that the Pest Management Regulatory Agency has registered Insure Cereal seed treatment for use for the 2013 season. Insure Cereal provides excellent disease control along with the unique plant health benefits of AgCelence crop protection for faster, more uniform emergence. The product, which is registered on wheat, barley and oats, effectively treats seed rot, seedling blight and loose smut, and is available in a ready-to-use, liquid formulation that reduces damping-off effects.

Business News

A Manitoba-based organization is on the cutting edge of developing composite vehicle parts from flax and hemp fibres. The Canadian government is investing more than $210,000 to help the Composites Innovation Centre evaluate, develop and apply composite material technology using hemp and flax fibre to build high-performance biomaterials. An investment of $154,000 will help the centre find a use for locally-grown fibres in the development of biocomposite prototype parts for the agricultural machinery sector. Another investment of $57,000 will help the centre evaluate the use of flax fibre as a lightweight reinforcement in injection-molded plastic for use in car interiors.

Private companies seeking private data seed registration now have another option for agronomy, disease and quality testing for cereal genetics through a new service offered by ICMS Inc. “We know there’s a significant need for more testing options for both Canadian and non-Canadian companies that want to enter the market, and we’re ready to provide that,” says Brent Wright, president of ICMS. Veteran seed industry player Dale Alderson is spearheading the ICMS private pooled testing initiative and Doug Brown, a retired researcher from AAFC, will be supporting the evaluation of the agronomy and disease trials of the private variety testing.

Glencore International PLC and Viterra Inc. have announced that Glencore has completed the acquisition of Viterra. The acquisition brings Glencore immediate critical mass in the key grain markets of North America through Viterra’s substantial Canadian operations. Viterra also materially expands Glencore’s existing operations in Australia. The acquisition reinforces Glencore’s position as one of the world’s leading commodity suppliers.

Performance Plants Inc. and Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company Ltd. have entered into a commercial license agreement, giving Mahyco exclusive rights for PPI’s heat and drought tolerance technology, yield protection technology and yield enhancement technology in various key crops. Through this agreement, Mahyco will be able to access an array of PPI’s breakthrough technologies for crop yield improvement in India and other South Asian countries.

Novozymes has acquired Iogen Bio-Products, the industrial enzyme arm of Ottawa-based Iogen Corporation, for CAD$67.5 million. The deal provides Novozymes with all commercial rights to Iogen Bio-Product’s existing product portfolio, pipeline and facilities. Novozymes acquires all of Iogen Corporation’s industrial enzyme business, which produces and sells enzymes for the pulp and paper, textile, grain processing and animal feed industries.

Industry News

The Seed Biotechnology Center at the University of California, Davis is bringing its Seed Business 101 course to Canada after successfully hosting the course nine times in the United States. This one-week intensive course is designed to accelerate the careers of promising new employees and managers, and offers invaluable insights and perspectives to seed dealers and companies offering products and services to the seed industry, including seed treatments, crop protection, seed enhancement technology, machinery and equipment. Seed Business 101 will be offered September 30 to October 4, 2013, and will be held in Guelph, Ont.

The 2012 Ontario Hybrid Corn Performance Trials Report and 2012 Soybean Variety Trials Publication are now available. These reports contain yield data and production information and are helpful to farmers as they select seed for 2013. The trials were held at numerous locations across the province and the reports contain information on yield index, moisture and test weight, and charts depicting performance relative to the average for their maturity.

If western Canadian producers intend to sell general purpose wheat for feed, they must declare it as eligible for the Canada Western General Purpose class when they deliver it to a licensed primary elevator, according to the Canadian Grain Commission. General purpose wheat varieties may be used for animal feed, but “feed” can also refer to a grade name in wheat milling classes. That could lead to general purpose wheat being incorrectly declared as feed wheat at a primary elevator and become mixed with milling wheat.

A group of Canadian industry associations is joining forces in a new Bio-Economy Network to explore ways to take advantage of the significant emerging potential in the global marketplace for bio-based products. BEN represents about 800 member companies that support more than two million jobs in areas such as the auto parts, biotech, chemical, agricultural and forest products industries. Nine industry associations have joined to explore new business modes and partnerships across sectors. Areas for government-industry collaboration include the investment climate, the regulatory environment, innovation and market diversification.

The Canadian government has unveiled three new federal programs that will streamline investments in the ag sector. The programs will come into effect April 1, 2013. The AgriInnovation Program will help expand the sector’s capacity to develop and commercialize new products and technologies. The AgriMarketing Program will help the industry improve its capacity to adopt assurance systems, such as traceability. The AgriCompetitiveness Program will strengthen the agriculture and agri-food industry’s capacity to adapt and be profitable in domestic and global markets.

The Canadian government has announced an investment for Grain Farmers of Ontario that will help producers increase their yields of corn, soybean and wheat through improved soil health, better pest management and enhanced disease resistance. The investment of more than $850,000 will help GFO lead seven projects that focus on helping grain producers find new pest management solutions and take advantage of proven soil management practices. The investment will also help to develop new seed varieties with improved disease resistance and higher protein content.

Representatives from governmental and non-governmental organizations across the world have agreed to establish a new multinational initiative—the Wheat Yield Network. The WYN will support research and development activities to raise global wheat yields and develop new varieties adapted to different geographical regions. The WYN has been established within the framework of the G20-sponsored Wheat Initiative and is a long-term endeavour which aims to raise the yield potential of wheat through sustainable approaches by up to 50 per cent over the next 20 years. Participant countries include the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, China, Argentina, Brazil, Turkey, Germany, India, Mexico, France, Japan and Ireland.

The Canadian government is investing to help canaryseed producers maximize their yields with an investment for the producer-funded Canaryseed Development Commission of Saskatchewan. The investment of $54,000 will provide producers with more accurate recommendations to help them maximize their yields.