Should You Be Concerned About Carry Over Canola Seed in 2011

By Shaun Haney

Due to the demand for canola acres this fall, canola seed is in high demand from growers across the prairies. For some reason some farmers are asking questions about the quality of carry over canola seed from last year.  The assumption is that whether bare or previously treated, the carry over seed is substandard in comparison to the current 2010 seed crop.

Last week at the Canadian Seed Trade meeting in Winnipeg I talked to several different canola seed companies, seed labs and government personnel and everyone had got the same answer…..no.

Kevin McKnight, Bayer CropScience discusses how Bayer manages carry over seed to ensure high performance in the field.

Click here if you cannot see the video below

This assumption of poor quality carry over seed raises a few thoughts:

  • There is carry over seed every year in almost every crop type.
  • There is really no advantage for seed companies to retail poor quality seed to farmers.  Compromising the brand by selling a few extra bags doesn’t make any logical sense for even the purest of capitalists.
  • the ability to save the blue tag gives the farmer the ability to ask questions of a lot if there is emergence issues.

Whether it is new seed or carry over seed, seed companies are in the business of managing quality.  I have been in the seed business my whole life and I can assure you that the high quality of the seed being sold to farmers is the brand of certified seed.  Without quality,  certified seed provides no value to the marketplace.

It is always easy for some conspiracy theorists to assume that substandard product is being moved into the marketplace so that the big bad seed companies can take advantage of farmers.  The ironic point is that a few farmers that have brought this up with me are the same people that don’t do a germination test of their own farm saved wheat seed before they plant it.

If you have any questions on how your canola seed supplier manages the quality of canola seed I encourage you to take the time to make a phone call and just ask them.

 

Shaun Haney

Shaun grew up on a family seed farm in Southern Alberta. Haney Farms produces, conditions and retails wheat, barley, canola and corn seed. Shaun Haney is the founder of RealAgriculture.com. @shaunhaney

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