Seed World

Industry News | January 2014



People News

NorthStar Genetics, Minnesota’s largest independently owned seed company, has made several announcements concerning the Canadian arm of its business. Kim Perfumo has been hired to manage the company’s office in Winnipeg, Man., and to help co-ordinate sales activities. Brandon-based Brian Elliot has been added as a district sales manager for western Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Harry Davies has also been hired as a district sales manager/production manager for Manitoba.

Richardson International Ltd. is expanding its grains and oilseeds merchandising team by establishing international subsidiaries in Europe and Asia. Joining Richardson’s team are Boon Guay and Emmanuel Karrer. Guay will be working out of Singapore as director of marketing in Asia. Karrer will be working as director of marketing in Europe based out of Geneva, Switzerland.

Rod Merryweather has been appointed the new CEO of FP Genetics, according to the company’s board of directors. Merryweather has 30 years of experience in the Canadian seed and crop input business. For the last five years, Merryweather was responsible for Bayer’s canola seed business in North America.

MANA Canada has added Kevin Jacobson to its management team as Canadian portfolio manager. Jacobson will be responsible for managing MANA Canada’s extensive product portfolio as well as leading the company’s new product development and innovation program to ensure the continued evolution of MANA Canada’s crop protection solutions. Prior to joining MANA Canada, Jacobson spent 25 years working in the agriculture industry, and most recently worked at WinField Solutions as its Canadian business development manager.

In anticipation of the upcoming privatization of all seed crop inspections across Canada, AgCall says it is investing in the management and local support staff to ensure seed growers continue to receive the high-quality, dependable and unbiased crop inspections that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has supplied in the past. Laurie Hayes has been appointed as project manager for the company’s CropInspect service and will manage licensed crop inspectors across Canada as well as the day-to-day operations of CropInspect. Roger Bonin has been named regional manager for Quebec and will lead the CropInspect initiative in that province to meet the needs of seed growers there.

BrettYoung has announced that Mike Whiting is joining the company as technical director of Biologicals. In this capacity, Whiting will be responsible for stewarding all aspects of BrettYoung’s biologicals research, development investments and commercial production. Whiting has spent the last 20 years in the industry, optimizing microbial production and developing new formulations of leading products in food and ag-biologicals markets.

Ted Menzies, a long-time Alberta farmer and former member of Parliament, will be the new president and CEO of CropLife Canada. Menzies joins the organization in January. “Menzies’ ability to collaborate with others in the pursuit of meaningful solutions and his extensive agricultural background are attributes that will serve our industry well,” says Kamel Beliazi, chair of the CropLife Canada board of directors. Menzies has held several federal government positions, including federal minister of state for finance and parliamentary secretary to the minister of finance. Menzies owned and operated a 5,000-acre farm from 1974-2003 where he produced grain, oilseeds, pulses and spices.

Product News

Syngenta Canada Inc. has introduced the S00-N6* and S007-Y4 Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield Soybeans, two new varieties that will be available to Manitoban soybean growers for the 2014 planting season. Together with S00-B7 and S00-T9, these new varieties expand Syngenta’s soybean offering in Manitoba to four varieties. According to Syngenta, all four varieties incorporate a diverse and unique set of genes to help reduce the potential for disease outbreaks and give plants the ability to adapt to changing growing environments. *S00–N6 is pending registration.

Nippon Soda Co. Ltd. of Japan has appointed Ontario-based Engage Agro Corporation as its exclusive distributor for Assail insecticide in Canada. Under this arrangement, Engage Agro will be the exclusive marketer and distributor for Assail insecticide in Canada for all labeled uses. In this role, Engage will also review label expansion opportunities for Assail. Engage Agro also represents TriStar insecticide and Senator branded fungicides on behalf of Nippon Soda Co. in Canada.

Business News

Viterra has announced that it intends to invest more than $34 million in its Alberta elevator network through two upcoming projects. The first is the construction of a new high-throughput grain terminal near Grimshaw, Alta. The concrete facility will be developed with a 104-railcar loading capability and approximately 30,000 tonnes of grain storage. Preliminary site work was to have started late fall 2013. The second project involves the expansion of Viterra’s grain terminal in Grassy Lake, Alta. Storage capacity will increase by 14,000 tonnes to 36,500 tonnes, and there will also be operational improvements to increase logistical flexibility and efficiency.

DLF-Trifolium A/S has presented record-high revenue in 2012/13 with significant growth in revenue outside Europe. The Danish firm’s revenue was €349 million in 2012/13, a 14 per cent increase from the previous year that reflected rising seed prices. According to DLF-Trifolium, sales in North America and countries such as Russia and China delivered satisfactory growth rates, with consolidated revenue outside Europe rising by 38 per cent in 2012/13 and contributing €70 million to the company’s revenue chain. European sales increased by nine per cent. Until recently, DLF-Trifolium had not been present in Canada, but with the acquisition of Pickseed, the company now has access to 40 per cent of the Canadian market.

DuPont Pioneer is building two new processing towers at its production location in Chatham, Ont.. The $19-million expansion will enable Pioneer to help simplify the planting process for growers by providing integrated refuge hybrids. The production facility will condition, treat and blend seed to integrate refuge products with other Pioneer brand products. Construction has started and is expected to be completed by mid-August 2014. DuPont Pioneer is also completing a facility expansion, including the addition of a new greenhouse at its research centre in Carman, Man. This $2 million investment will support year-round research on high-yielding, high-performing canola hybrids, as well as expand corn and soybean breeding and testing activities. The Carman centre is a multi-crop research facility that houses canola and early maturity corn and soybean breeding programs.

Swedish compmany Väderstad, one of Europe’s leading agricultural equipment manufacturers, has acquired Seed Hawk, a Canadian manufacturer based in Langbank, Sask. The deal opens up new possibilities for Väderstad in the North American market. Väderstad plans to invest in facilities and jobs at the Langbank factory, enabling Seed Hawk to grow as the centre of production of company products for the North American market.

Evogene Ltd. is expanding its multi-year research collaboration with DuPont Pioneer for developing soybean varieties displaying resistance to Asian soybean rust. As part of the original collaboration, Evogene and Pioneer established a joint research program aimed at identifying and validating novel genes portraying the highest probability for in-plant resistance to ASR. Under the one-year extension, the parties will add Evogene’s Gene2Product computational platform to the gene discovery program. The platform is designed to improve the efficacy and probability of success of the resulting novel seed products.

Industry News

Canadian oilseed producers will benefit from research in innovative oilseed varieties with the support of an investment for the Soy 20/20 project to research and develop new varieties of oilseed crops in Canada. The investment of $3.7 million will help the Soy 20/20 project develop market-ready varieties of the oilseed crop Camelina sativa to growers across Canada and will help increase the value of the oil for industrial use. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada researchers are collaborating on this project by working to improve the agronomic traits of the crop, such as higher yield and oil content, improved seed size, and resistance to diseases such as aster yellows.

Canadian mustard seed growers will benefit from important new research with the support of the Canadian government to Mustard 21 Canada for research and development that will help producers increase their competitiveness and profitability. The $4.9-million investment will enable Mustard 21 Canada to focus on developing new and higher-yielding varieties of condiment mustard through traditional and molecular breeding applications, as well as industrial mustard for use in the emerging biofuel sector.

The Alberta Wheat Commission, along with the Western Grains Research Foundation and the Canadian Field Crop Research Alliance partnered with the Government of Canada to invest $25.2 million to support the development of new-and-improved wheat varieties as part of the National Wheat Improvement Project. The NWIP, also known as the Wheat Cluster, will help to secure the success of wheat breeding across Canada for the next five years. The Wheat Cluster includes 50 research projects aimed at producing varieties that are high quality, high yielding and with improved disease resistance.

Government of Canada researchers, led by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Tom Fetch in Winnipeg, Man., are making progress in combating a potentially devastating wheat disease known as Ug99. Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz has announced an investment of $1.26 million in ongoing research, which builds on the $13 million the federal government provided in 2009. The research team has identified three genes providing resistance to Ug99. Molecular markers are being developed and will be useful in wheat breeding efforts. This additional funding will help scientists discover and genetically map these sources of resistance in the fight against the disease. Ug99 is a wheat stem rust first discovered in Uganda in 1999. Through coordinated crossbreeding efforts, AAFC researchers will speed up the replacement of susceptible varieties with new varieties that are higher yielding and durably resistant to Ug99.