SEED NEWS

Buy SeCan seed on credit

SeCan members can now offer their customers credit through an arrangement with Farm Credit Canada (FCC) and ACC Farmers’ Financial. This helps both seed growers and their customers. Todd Hyra, western business manager for SeCan, says, “Many of our members are family-based businesses and one or two outstanding accounts can jeopardize a family’s livelihood.”

For years, SeCan members have offered unsecured credit to their customers. This new system of credit checks and back up allows independent seed growers and retailers to protect their business while continuing to service their customers

CWB adds Snowstar to IP program

Snowstar, a new hard white spring wheat, is part of the Canadian Wheat Board’s identity-preserved contract program for 2009-10. Snowstar has become the focus of the board’s test-marketing program for this class because it shows good potential for improved dough strength, white flour colour and better milling yield.

Spring production sign-up forms for Snowstar and all other identity-preserved contract programs (IPCPs) must be completed by June 26, 2009. They are available through designated elevators or by calling the CWB at 1-800-275-4292.

The one other wheat in the 2009-10 “market development” IP program is AC Commander extra strong durum. Here are the incentive programs for Snowstar and Commander:

Snowstar: $15-per-tonne premium from the CWB and Richardson International, storage payment in effect after February 1, 2010, guaranteed acceptance and delivery on eligible grades

Commander: guaranteed acceptance and delivery on eligible grades.

The CWB also has two wheat varieties in its 2009-10 “commercial” IP program for spring crops. Here are the contract details:

AC Navigator durum: $2.50-per-tonne on No. 1 and No. 2 grades, guaranteed acceptance and delivery on eligible grades.

Snowbird hard white spring: Grades No. 1 and No. 2 only, acceptance levels driven by market opportunities.

Canola research going strong

All of these fall under the theme of “collaboration,” where canola seed companies look to specialized genetic research partners to speed up and broaden their canola breeding efforts.

Dow AgroSciences will license Sangamo BioSciences’ zinc finger process to develop new and better Nexera canola lines. Zinc finger DNA-binding protein (ZFP) technology can be used with precision to add new genetic material, delete genes altogether, and even regulate or edit native genes. “The list of traits that can be generated quickly and precisely with zinc fingers is virtually limitless,” says Edward Lanphier, Sangamo’s president and CEO. “Some of the first under consideration for development include healthier cooking oils and many other improvements in nutritional content; resistance to a broad range of insect pests and diseases; enhanced photosynthetic efficiency and overall yields; as well as plants custom-engineered for the biofuels industry.”

Monsanto has licensed a nitrogen-use efficiency (NUE) genetic trait from Arcadia Biosciences. A Monsanto news release says, “Field trials conducted by Arcadia during five growing seasons in various U. S. regions demonstrated that NUE canola achieved higher yields than the control canola variety in each trial using as much as two-thirds less nitrogen fertilizer.” Monsanto had canola lines with this trait in trials in Western Canada in 2008, but Neil Arbuckle, canola business development lead with Monsanto, says it will be several years before a commercial hybrid is ready.

Viterra and Evogene of Israel are working together to develop canola with improved yield and tolerance to abiotic stress (drought, extreme cold or heat). Evogene discovered one abiotic-tolerance gene in particular, Evo133, that Viterra will evaluate in its proprietary canola lines in field trials in Western Canada.

BASF will expand its Clearfield weed management portfolio with Cibus’s Rapid Trait Development System. Mary Anne Kuhn, communications manager with BASF in North Carolina, says the Cibus technology will speed up the conventional breeding process in developing new and improved Clearfield canola.

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