BASF moves Clearfield system to open-ended agreements


Farmers wanting to grow Clearfield canola, wheat, sunflowers or lentils will now only need to sign one agreement to use the herbicide-tolerant crop system, rather than sign up every year or every few years.

BASF, developer of the Clearfield Production System, on Monday announced a new “evergreen,” or open-ended, version of its Clearfield Commitment, available for growers to sign starting this fall ahead of the 2015 growing season.

The evergreen commitment, which requires growers’ signature one time only for each Clearfield crop, replaces the previous commitment process involving yearly or multi-year commitments, the company said Monday. “This means that growers who sign a commitment in 2015 will not be required to sign again in the future.”

Growers now have until July 9, 2015 to sign and submit the new Clearfield Commitment forms for next year, the company said.

“The new commitment not only streamlines the process for growers and makes it easier to grow Clearfield crops, but ensures trait integrity to optimize yields and helps to drive further innovation in the industry,” Chris Vander Kant, the Clearfield marketing manager for Mississauga-based BASF Canada, said in a release.

For Clearfield wheat, the evergreen commitment will be a “retailer-specific” agreement, BASF said, so a grower who’s previously signed a Clearfield Commitment must sign the new commitment with his or her Clearfield wheat retailer.

A grower signing an evergreen commitment for Clearfield canola, wheat or sunflower crops will not have to register his or her acres each year, BASF said.

For Clearfield lentils, however, a grower signing the evergreen commitment will first need to sign a “final” commitment that requires reporting of Clearfield lentil acres each year going forward.

A grower who uses farm-saved seed for either Clearfield lentils or Clearfield wheat will also have to submit a Clearfield Confirm-test each year, to ensure “trait integrity” for Clearfield herbicide tolerance, BASF said.

In those cases, the company added, Clearfield seed testing will still be handled free of charge through accredited labs in Western Canada.

For Clearfield canola and sunflowers, however, the evergreen commitment will still require growers to use Clearfield certified seed to plant a single commercial crop — meaning the crop, once harvested, can’t be “brown-bagged” for future crops or sold to other growers. The annual Clearfield Commitment fee will also still apply.

BASF said Tuesday it would also continue to invest a “portion” of Clearfield lentil herbicide sales revenue back into lentil development through the University of Saskatchewan’s Crop Development Centre (CDC), when matched with a signed commitment.

Launched in 1995 starting with canola, the Clearfield line of crops is tolerant to the imidazolinone family of herbicides and is developed using conventional breeding methods, thus recognized as non-transgenic. — Network



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