CFIA moves to end KVD on wheat imports

With kernel visual distinguishability (KVD) ending Aug. 1 on Prairie wheat, there’s no point in having wheat imports fit KVD requirements too, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said Saturday.

CFIA announced proposed amendments to the federal Seeds Regulations that will allow for imports of wheat seed varieties that don’t conform with KVD. A 30-day public comment period on the proposal runs until June 23.

KVD has been Canada’s system of choice for variety identification in milling wheats, requiring wheats in each of the eight milling classes to have a unique kernel colour, size and shape indicate the particular class to which it belongs.

Although KVD has been a low-cost tool to separate wheat into classes, the Conservative government decided to end its use in order to allow for new crop varieties that are tailored to feed, biofuels or other value-added uses but don’t meet KVD requirements.

The proposed amendments would pull the import requirements related to KVD and distinguishability for seed of wheat and spring barley imported into the Canadian Wheat Board area in Western Canada.

“This proposed regulatory amendment provides producers with increased choice in, and timely access to, innovative, value-added and wheat varieties,” CFIA wrote.

The removal of import restrictions on KVD would also allow for imports of seed of an unregistered wheat variety (KVD or non-KVD) for the purpose of seeding by the importer, production of pedigreed seed (either for export or in anticipation of registration) or research.

As is the case with other crops, this would allow a producer to import seed of unregistered wheat varieties for planting, but not for sale as seed. The Seeds Regulations would still require wheat varieties to be registered before they’re sold as seed.

The CFIA is changing the distinguishability regulations on spring barley as well, noting they’ve been redundant since 1996 but just haven’t been amended yet to reflect that change.

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