Wheat leads pedigreed seed acreage jump of 100,000 acres

Pedigreed seed acreage in Canada surpassed 1.3 million acres last year, the highest level in more than a decade.

Statistics collected by the Canadian Seed Growers Association showed total acreage at nearly 1.31 million acres, up more than 100,000 acres from the previous year.

Wheat saw the biggest gains: almost 438,000 acres compared to 387,000 in 2012.

It was by far the most widely grown pedigreed crop last year, followed by soybeans at 299,000 acres, barley at 135,000 acres and hybrid canola at 79,000 acres.

CSGA executive director Dale Adolphe said acreage estimates for this year are down slightly at 1.15 million acres, partly because of higher inspection costs associated with the privatization of inspection services.

“We think that some seed growers will maybe not put acres in for inspection,” Adolphe told CSGA members in Regina last week.

“Instead of paying 75 cents (per acre) for inspections, they might be paying $3 or $4.”

As usual, prairie growers were the largest producers of pedigreed seed, accounting for nearly one million acres of last year’s total.

Membership in the CSGA also rose slightly last year to 3,565 members, up from 3,539 the previous year.

Pedigreed flax acreage increased significantly in 2013, jumping to nearly 25,000 acres from less than 17,000 acres in 2012.

The flax industry is beginning to see the results of an industry-wide effort to eliminate all traces of the genetically modified flax variety Triffid from stocks of commercial and pedigreed flax seed.

A few years ago, annual pedigreed flax acreage in Canada was approximately 33,000 acres. However, it was nearly cut in half following the discovery of Triffid.

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