GFM Network News


PBR breach to cost Saskatchewan seed grower $150K

A Saskatchewan seed grower will pay $150,000 to SeCan — the largest penalty in the seed company’s history — for breaching SeCan’s plant breeders rights (PBR). Harvey Marcil of Pasqua Farms near Moose Jaw, Sask., has also agreed to stop making unauthorized seed sales and was expelled from SeCan’s membership, Todd Hyra, SeCan’s business manager […] Read more

Canterra, Limagrain plan cereal breeding j.v.

Canada’s recent moves to tighten protections of plant breeders’ rights are getting the credit for encouraging a new private-sector joint venture in cereal seed development for the Prairie market. Canterra Seeds and French farmer co-operative Limagrain on Thursday announced they would further tie up their wheat variety commercialization work through a new joint seed breeding […] Read more


Canada ratifies UPOV ’91 seed treaty

Canadian crop commodity groups are hailing the federal government’s move to ratify Canada’s participation in the international UPOV ’91 treaty as a signal the country is “open for national and international investment.” Canada’s representatives to the World Trade Organization, on Friday in Geneva, deposited the government’s “instrument of ratification” for the 1991 Act of the […] Read more

Ritz’s Agricultural Growth Act now law

Banff — There was applause here when plant breeders, seed companies and farmers at the Prairie Recommending Committee for Wheat, Rye and Triticale heard the Agricultural Growth Act, with its stronger intellectual property rights, was about to receive royal assent. Immediately after the bill received royal assent Wednesday, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz tabled a treaty […] Read more


Federal official says UPOV ’91 will benefit farmers

Commissioner of plant breeders’ rights says enhanced intellectual property 
protection will bring more investment, better varieties, and greater choice

It’s a mistake to think that enhanced plant breeders’ rights only benefit seed companies, says the commissioner of plant breeders’ rights with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. “The net benefit, at the end of the day, is really going to be for farmers,” said Anthony Parker at FarmTech in January. The federal government is poised […] Read more

“No matter what model is chosen,  farmer money invested in farmer-funded research needs to be directed and controlled by farmers.” – Cole Christensen

Federal bill brings Canada one step closer to an end-point royalty system

Bill C-18 amends Plant Breeders’ Rights Act to bring it into compliance 
with an international seed treaty known as UPOV ’91

Federal NDP MPs only delayed the “inevitable” by voting against the Agricultural Growth Act (Bill C-18) in late November, said an Alberta Barley spokesperson at a recent meeting in Lacombe. “It might slow things down a bit, but nonetheless, we believe that it will be approved by Parliament in early 2015, after which work will […] Read more


Garth Patterson, executive director of the Western Grains Research Foundation wants farmers’ input on farmers’ role in funding research and the foundation’s future.


Big changes coming to plant breeding

With Ottawa poised to step back from developing market-ready cultivars, 
wheat and barley breeding is in for big changes

What do Prairie farmers want when it comes to cereal breeding? That’s the question being posed by the Western Grains Research Foundation, the farmer-run conduit for most of western grain farmers’ investment in agricultural research. “Breeding is a long-term process,” Garth Patterson, the foundation’s executive director, said at Winter Cereals Manitoba’s recent annual meeting. “You […] Read more

Anthony Parker, commissioner of Canada’s Plant Breeders’ Rights Office, says farmers are allowed to save seed under UPOV ’91, but the introduction of end-point royalties is not automatic once Bill C-18 becomes law.

Debunking myths around Canada’s UPOV ’91 legislation

Farmers can still save seed, but end-use royalties aren’t guaranteed, says Plant Breeders’ Rights commissioner

Farmers won’t lose the ability to save and reuse seed under UPOV ’91 and they won’t automatically be paying end-use royalties, the commissioner of Canada’s Plant Breeders’ Rights Office says. “I hope to debunk some of the myths that are out there…,” Anthony Parker told the Prairie Grain Development Committee’s annual meeting in Winnipeg Feb. […] Read more