Bayer to scrap TraitGuard canola program for 2014

Calling the program a “bigger challenge” than expected, Bayer CropScience Canada plans to shut down its TraitGuard early-season establishment program for growers of its InVigor canola.

Under TraitGuard, farmers who signed the program release would see per-acre refunds of the InVigor trait fee they paid to Bayer, on InVigor hybrid canola acres that failed to establish by the end of June each year.

TraitGuard will be replaced in 2014 by an “increased investment” in Bayer’s InVigor reseeding program, the company said Thursday.

Starting with the 2014 season, InVigor hybrid canola growers who have “early establishment issues” with their crop but reseed back to InVigor will qualify for a $40-per-acre refund from Bayer.

The new refund, Bayer said, will represent “a 60 per cent increase in the early establishment reseeding program to support growers continuing to grow InVigor hybrid canola.”

TraitGuard was introduced in 2010 with the company’s Liberty and Trait Agreement (LTA). In its first year out of the gate, however, the number of TraitGuard claims “surpassed all expectations” due to record spring rainfalls across the Prairies, Bayer said in 2011.

While TraitGuard “enjoyed some success,” Bayer said Thursday, “the logistics and resources of managing the program for all involved had proven to be a bigger challenge than had been forecasted.”

TraitGuard for 2013 had offered trait fee refunds of up to $12.50 per acre on a minimum of 100 InVigor acres that suffered an early-season crash and were either taken out of production (by spraying or cultivation by July 15 at the latest) or reseeded to other crops or non-InVigor canola.

Growers who had such a crash on at least 50 acres, but reseeded their affected acres back to InVigor canola, received up to $25 per acre.

In any case, TraitGuard claims for the 2013 crop year had to be registered by June 28 or within 15 days of reseeding, whichever came first.

TraitGuard refunds were calculated based on the number of bags of seed used on the acres either reseeded or taken out of production, at a rate of 10 acres per 22.7-kg bag of seed.

Any areas that were deemed “lost,” but were kept for harvest, weren’t eligible for TraitGuard. — Network

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