News | GERMINATION UPDATES
October 10, 2013
Agrium Inc. has successfully completed the acquisition of Viterra Inc.’s Canadian retail assets. The total consideration for the retail assets in Canada and Australia is approximately $300-million. “Viterra’s assets are an excellent strategic fit for Agrium and we are pleased to have finalized this acquisition. We look forward to building on Viterra's impressive track record to continue bringing improved technology, products and service to growers in Western Canada,” says Mike Wilson, president and CEO of Agrium.
SeCan has resolved a legal action it commenced against Leonard Junop and Junop Bros. Seed of Delisle, Sask., for infringement of Plant Breeders’ Rights. “Protection of our plant breeding partners’ intellectual property is something we take very seriously,” says Todd Hyra, business manager of Western Canada for SeCan. The resolution includes a declaration that the defendants will cease any further sales of SeCan’s protected varieties, as well as a cash payment totalling $120,000 in damages. The cash payment will be used to pay royalties owing to the respective plant breeding institutions, with the balance invested in future variety development.
Marcel Bruins secretary general of the International Seed Federation has announced he is leaving the association. During Bruins time as secretary general, ISF saw gains in new membership, bolstered association relations globally and increased communication efforts on many fronts via social media, position papers and internal tools. No new appointment has been announced to date.
Richardson International Limited 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.
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. This investment of $4.9-million will enable Mustard 21 Canada to raise the bar for quality and supply in the mustard sector. Research will 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.
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 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.
NorthStar Genetics, Minnesota’s largest independently owned seed company, has made several announcements concerning its Canadian business. According to Dan Hogstad, CEO of NorthStar, “The growth of our Canadian business has allowed us to re-invest in areas designed to continue our marketshare lead in Manitoba, and to further our business activities going west. Kim Perfumo has been hired to manage the Winnipeg office, and has helped coordinate our sales activities,” says Hogstad. 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.
Extended periods of stress can cause bee colony failures, according to new research published in the journal Ecology Letters. Scientists from Royal Holloway at the University of London have found that when bees are exposed to low levels of neonicotinoid pesticides―which do not directly kill bees―their behavior changes and they stop working properly for their colonies. The results showed that exposure to pesticides at levels bees encounter in the field has subtle impacts on individual bees, and can eventually make colonies fail. The researchers claim this discovery provides an important breakthrough in identifying the reasons for the recent global decline of bees.
DeKalb brand seed has launched a new tablet application, available for download and use on Apple tablet devices. The new app is the first of its kind in Canada and is an innovative new tool that will provide corn, soybean, and canola farmers with the 2014 seed guide, including full product information.
SEED WORLD AND GERMINATION MEDIA, an international media company specializing in print, new media, digital, video and web-based products and solutions for a wide range of seed-related publications and clients, is seeking an editor-in-chief. As well as providing editorial direction and overseeing content production for our flagship Seed World and Germination publications and media channels, the successful candidate will possess all the necessary editorial skills and seed sector knowledge to solidify our reputation as the leading source of information for the global seed industry. The editor-in-chief will write engaging feature stories and also manage both staff and freelance writers in the execution of print and digital properties. In addition to a strong background in agriculture and journalism, the position requires an aptitude for strategic thinking and idea development. A complete job description can be found at www.issuesink.com
On October 5, 2013, changes to the Canadian Grain Commission’s producer payment protection model and regulations were published in the Canada Gazette, Part I. All stakeholders, including licensees, farmers, farm groups and industry associations, are invited to submit their feedback on the amended regulations until November 4, 2013.
These changes are a result of amendments made to the Canada Grain Act as part of the Jobs and Growth Act, 2012. They propose to implement an insurance-based security model for producer payment protection. This model is expected to reduce the overall cost of producer payment protection coverage to the grain industry.
The objectives of the proposed regulations are to reduce costs to the grain industry and the CGC, reduce administrative burden to licensees and the CGC and establish that an eligible holder of an authorized document must be a producer. This removes a requirement with respect to terminal elevators to tender security, which is not applicable to them because terminal elevator operations do not incur producer liabilities.
The proposed regulations will apply consistent periods for payment and delivery obligations for all authorized document holders. Encourage producers to take steps to minimize the risk of not being paid by adding a five per cent deductible and reforming their eligibility period to 45 days from the date of delivery and create a more predictable and transparent producer payment protection model.
Under the proposed new model, producers would continue to be protected against non-payment for their eligible grain deliveries. Coverage will continue under the current individual security-based payment protection model until the new proposed model takes effect.