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Grain handlers to partner on new seed firm

Two Winnipeg-based grain companies and four Saskatchewan inland terminal companies plan to make a joint venture into the seed business.

Their new seed business unit, to be called Alliance Seed Corp., is to “work with local seed growers to fulfill their objective of providing top-performing varieties to western Canadian farmers.”

Alliance’s partner companies include Paterson Grain, a division of Paterson GlobalFoods that operates about 50 Prairie grain elevators, and Parrish and Heimbecker, which operates at over 60 locations in Canada and the northern U.S.

Alliance’s four other partners include Weyburn Inland Terminal of Weyburn, Sask.; North West Terminal (NWT) of Unity, Sask.; Prairie West Terminal of Plenty, Sask.; and Great Sandhills Terminal at Leader, Sask.

The six companies are already partners in a West Coast grain terminal, Alliance Grain Terminal, that they bought in 2007 from the former United Grain Growers (UGG) as a condition of its merger with Agricore into Agricore United, which later merged into Saskatchewan Wheat Pool to form Viterra.

Parrish and Heimbecker, Paterson and NWT were also among six companies to launch a level-of-service complaint in 2007 against CN at the Canadian Transportation Agency. The CTA found those three firms plus North East Terminal had been short-changed on adequate rail service.

Dale Alderson of Paterson Grain will oversee Alliance Seed Corp., the partners said in a release Friday. Alderson in his new post is to assume “responsibility to ensure access to genetics and consistent corporate sales growth.”

“Varietal development and related technology will lead the way” in the future success of Canadian agriculture through efficiency of production, Alderson said in the companies’ release Friday.

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