GFM Network News



POGA speaks out on Value Creation

The Prairie Oat Growers Association have a plan to provide more funds to seed breeders

The Prairie Oat Growers Association (POGA) would like to provide comments on the Grainews editor’s column titled “Paying for seed breeding.” In this article, Leeann Minogue suggested that “We’re already electing farmers to commodity boards across the Prairies, and these boards are already investing our money into research and development. These elected reps are studying […] Read more


Make your own seed initiative enters its ninth year

Manitoba’s Participatory Plant Breeding program turns farmers into plant breeders

[UPDATE: Dec. 12, 2019] The University of Manitoba’s Participatory Plant Breeding (PPB) program, now in its ninth year — brings together farmers and plant breeders as partners in the plant breeding process. The program is particularly useful in crop production systems that traditional breeding programs aren’t always geared for, like organic or under unique growing […] Read more



It’s a good time to be breeding oats

Oat research and development continues despite industry and government funding cuts

Despite a few stumbling blocks, the Canadian oat industry continues to advance and offer good opportunities for oat growers. The good news is that researchers are looking at new, value-added products that provide increased health benefits to consumers. Thanks to improvements in oat breeding and agronomic practices, Canadian oat yields have increased by 18 per […] Read more

A Prairie farmer who pays provincial wheat and barley check-offs or ships grain by rail is already paying a de facto end point royalty for variety development in Western Canada.

Bring back the Western Canadian Deduction

Ensuring producer funding for variety development is fair, transparent and market driven

I attended the value creation meeting in Edmonton on December 6, 2018. I went as a farmer, seed grower and a person deeply interested in the policies that shape the success of the cropping industry in Western Canada. As a professional writer, I am used to reporting what other people have to say about an […] Read more


A significant share of the money collected for varieties needs to be reinvested in varietal testing.

Paying more, getting more

As we sign up to pay more for seed, we must make sure we get a return on our investment

The discussion around seed royalty is now official. The question is not, “Will we have a seed royalty?” The question is, “Which system is going to be implemented?” The options have been defined and the choice is between two payment plans, which will likely boil down to one: EPR, or end point royalty, a charge […] Read more

Greg Viers, durum wheat
 procurement manager with Barilla America spoke at the Durum Summit in Swift Current. Globally, he said, Barilla buys the equivalent of 15,789 hopper cars-full of durum annually. When asked by farmer Scott Hepworth why Barilla labels its pasta products as “non-GMO,” Viers said, “If you don’t put that non-GMO certification on your package, then they’re going to assume it’s GMO.”

No short-term fix for fusarium heard at Durum Summit

Farmers looking for fusarium-resistant durum seed will have to keep on waiting

When farmers packed a meeting hall in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, for the 2018 Durum Summit, they were hoping to find a solution to their fusarium problems. Unfortunately, there’s nothing new on the horizon for the next few years. Curtis Pozniak, a wheat breeder and geneticist at the Crop Development Centre in Saskatoon, says they are […] Read more


The benefits of sex-free agriculture

With crop breeding by apomixes, seed-saving could change up the seed industry

Apomixis is a disruptive technology.” These was the oft-repeated phrase of Tim Sharbel, Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) research chair in Seed Biology, at the recent Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation annual conference in Saskatoon. Sharbel was speaking on the topic “Eliminating sex from agriculture to feed the world,” an overview of his research at […] Read more

New advances in chickpea breeding

Chickpea breeder Bunyamin Tar’an explains what breeders’ goals in variety development


Farming is all about colours: staying in the black and avoiding the red to keep your business in the pink of health. That’s no small feat, which is why genetic improvement and variety development in chickpeas is needed to keep farmers on the cutting edge and keep those greenbacks coming in. “For any crop you […] Read more