Seed World

How Does Investing in New Genetics Contribute to Sustainability? Find Out Next Week at CrossRoads

The countdown is on until CrossRoads Crop Conference kicks off next week on Jan. 29-31 at the Westin Calgary Airport, and the Alberta Seed Guide will be there to moderate a panel discussion on an important topic that’s vital to the future of the seed value chain.

Alberta Seed Guide editor Marc Zienkiewicz will join panelists Sheri Strydhorst (Sheri’s Ag Consulting), Jeff Jackson (SeedNet), Greg Stamp (Stamp Seeds), Chelsea Tomlinson (True Seeds) and Morgan Webb (Seed Check) to talk about the seed value chain and how it contributes to sustainability. The discussion will emphasize the importance of investing in new genetics in order to ensure a steady stream of new seed varieties to ensure growers’ success.

“According to the stats available, overall crop yields increased 28% between the 1991-94 period and the 2016-19 period in Canada, due to the influence of new genetics,” Zienkiewicz says, referencing statistics provided by Stuart Smyth, a professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Saskatchewan.

“That speaks to the value of the seed sector in terms of the sustainability of modern farming operations.”

The discussion will build on an Alberta Seed Guide panel held last year at AgSmart, of which several of the panelists were a part.

The AgSmart discussion revolved around the challenges facing the Canadian farming industry, particularly in the realm of seed breeding and adoption of new genetics for crops.

Jackson expressed concerns about the changing landscape of agriculture, where farms are consolidating and growing in size, leading to a scenario where one farm now cultivates the same acreage that 10 farms used to. Despite this shift, the amount of seed being sold per individual hasn’t changed significantly.

“We’re facing tough decisions ahead, particularly in finding ways to fund breeding programs that will sustain our kids’ future in agriculture. Those discussions won’t be easy,” Jackson said.

“The key is to manage the system more efficiently and encourage education and understanding about the advantages of genetics.”

At the two-day CrossRoads conference, producers and industry will come together to examine big picture innovation in agriculture. The conference will help attendees unlock the latest insights, innovations, and strategies that can transform farming productivity. Explore the diverse agenda tailored for farmers and those engaged in the cropping industry.

“This year’s conference has a lot to offer from an insightful session schedule to unique networking events,” says farmer and foundation chair, Todd Hames. “It is a great time to connect ahead of the planting season, and the content directly relates to issues and opportunities that producers are facing in the world and will help them make future decisions for the long-term benefit of their operations.”

Full Access conference passes are available for $510. Each ticket is value-packed with insightful session and keynote speakers, hot breakfast & lunch, special events like the opening reception, evening beer reception and more. CEU credits are available for most sessions. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to network and learn with western Canadian farmers, industry leaders, and experts!

CrossRoads is presented by the FarmTech Foundation of Alberta which is a working collaboration of three of Alberta’s crop commissions — Alberta Canola, Alberta Grains and Alberta Pulse Growers.

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