Seed company inks new deals

One of the largest independent soybean seed distributors in Manitoba has parted ways with Legend Seeds and has signed a pair of new seed distribution agreements with specialty seed companies Sevita International Inc. and Horizon Seeds Canada Inc.

Delmar Commodities, a subsidiary of Ceres Global Ag based in Minneapolis, confirmed recently that it will no longer distribute corn and soybean seed varieties as Legend Seeds Canada.

In a May 25 news release, Ceres Global Ag announced that Delmar is dropping its Legend Seeds Canada trade name and will sell seed under a new trade name — Ceres Global Seeds.

As of next year, Legend Seeds Inc., based in South Dakota, will no longer be licensed to grow or sell corn or soybean seed products containing traits owned by Bayer.

Delmar managing director Mark Jorgensen said the company received notice earlier this year that Legend would not be able to provide them with products they had in the past.

“Those (products) … were a very large percentage of what we were selling in Western Canada so it really meant that we had to find some new partners.”

For 2021 planting, corn and soybean products distributed by Delmar will come from Horizon and Sevita, both based in Ontario.

Under the new agreements, Delmar will distribute 10 Horizon corn hybrids and 12 Sevita soybean varieties.

Horizon corn varieties have been previously available to growers in Western Canada. Horizon had a small distribution network in the West before signing an agreement with Delmar.

Under the new agreement, existing Horizon seed dealers will become part of Delmar’s western Canadian distribution network.

Sevita did not have a distribution network in Western Canada.

Jorgensen said some of the soybean products previously distributed by Delmar and its dealers will be redeployed or relicensed through Sevita.

“We will be moving forward with some of our existing soybean varieties that we had, and in addition, we’ll be bringing to market four or five new (soybean) products from Sevita,” he said.

Sevita soybean offerings include Enlist E3 and Roundup Ready 2 Xtend varieties.

Xtend soybeans are so-called “stacked trait” seed products that contain Bayer/Monsanto genetics and are resistant to both dicamba and glyphosate herbicides.

Enlist E3 genetics contain Corteva traits that are resistant to glyphosate, glufosinate and 2,4-D choline herbicides.

“On the Horizon side, we will be replacing our (corn) portfolio completely with products that Horizon Seeds will be bringing to market,” Jorgensen added.

He said Delmar examined a lot of Horizon trial data from the West and assessed all of Horizon’s corn hybrids to make sure their products were a good fit for western Canadian growers.

“We wanted to make sure that we were able to replace our current (corn) portfolio and remain competitive,” he said.

Delmar is the largest independent soybean seed distributor in Manitoba by volume.

About 10 years ago, it signed a deal to become the exclusive distributor for Legend Seed products in Western Canada.

Jorgensen said Delmar is expecting an increase in markets share in 2020. Its corn seed business has tripled over the past three years.

Sevita is in the process of registering names for new soybean varieties that are expected to be offered in Western Canada for 2021.

Sevita’s yet-to-be-named varieties have performed well in western Canadian trials, Jorgensen said.

Dealers and producers will be able to see the new products at Delmar’s Winkler, Man., plot location this summer.

The Horizon corn hybrids will also be on display at Winkler as well as in Delmar’s research and development plot at Carman, Man., and in the Manitoba provincial corn trials.

Horizon varieties will also be grown in dealer plots throughout Western Canada.

Jorgensen said the new agreements with Sevita and Horizon give Delmar a closer relationship with companies that are directly involved with research, plant breeding, varietal development and seed production.

“The big thing for us is that both of these companies (Horizon and Sevita) are actual research and production companies,” he said.

“Our relationship with Legend was really (with) a licensing company whereas now, we’re partnering directly with the companies that do their own seed production and their own breeding, so we’re going direct to the source and its always better if you can go direct instead of going through another layer.”

Sevita International is an Ontario-based soybean company that develops and sells varieties under the ProSeeds trade name. Sevita has a strong focus on non-GMO food grade soybean genetics and is expanding into the GMO soybean market.

Horizon Seeds is a family operated corn seed business based in Courtland, Ont.

Ceres Global Ag, whose assets include a high-throughput grain terminal and rail transload facilities at Northgate, Sask., acquired Winkler-based Delmar Commodities in 2019.

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