Seed World

Hybrid Canola Visionary Inducted into Ag Hall of Fame

At last week’s Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame ceremony, a visionary in the area of hybrid canola was recognized with an induction.

Maurice Delage began his change-making career in Canadian agriculture as a sales representative in the crop protection industry. Over the next nearly 30 years, he’d leave an indelible mark as the visionary leader of Hoechst Canada, AgrEvo Canada and Aventis North America.

Delage was an early believer that biotechnology was vital to the future of agriculture. His vision saw a public/private plant breeding centre built in Saskatchewan that is now home to one-third of Canada’s ag biotechnology industry. He fostered cooperation between European and Canadian scientists that resulted in Liberty-resistant canola, the first herbicide-tolerant canola on the market in the mid 1990s. This was the origin of InVigor herbicide-tolerant hybrid canola that continues to dominate Canada’s canola acres.

For the past 20 years, he’s been farming full-time with his family on Delage Farms in Indian Head, Sask. — a 35,000 acres operation that balances new agronomic practices while improving the quality of the environment. He was nominated by Ag-West Bio Inc. and the Global Institute for Food Security.