Steering the future of seed growers in Canada

There is a new seed organization in the works for Canada. The actual name has yet to be decided and several details have are still to be hammered out, so for now it will be called “NSO” short for — you guessed it, new seed organization. But while the new name and governance is not yet set in stone, the path forward is.

Jonathan Nyborg, president of Canadian Seed Growers Association and farmer from New Brunswick, says the seed growers are very much onside with Seed Synergy — the working title of the process of bringing all the seed and seed trade organizations under one umbrella, this NSO.

Ensuring that the producers’ voice is still heard and included in this new organization is of utmost importance, Nyborg says, though that isn’t a unique sentiment to just the seed grower group. All the organizations that are working together to hammer out the new model want to make sure they strike a balance and create an effective industry organization with strong governance.

High on the list of Nyborg’s other priorities is the so-called “value creation” model that the seed and farming industry need to commit to. Nyborg says that the idea of royalties in general are a harder sell for some members of the national organization, and there are definitely those that aren’t happy with either the proposed end-point or trailing royalty system.

“I don’t think we can stay with the status quo, especially on the cereals side. Without that money going back to breeders and breeding institutions we’re going to be left behind,” Nyborg says. Plant breeding is a long-term industry, with commercial results sometimes taking ten or more years — breeders need that funding to be returned at least in part to continue to do the work.

To that end, Nyborg says that CSGA is open to hearing other ideas on the value creation model, but there WILL be some sort of large-scale change in how plant breeding is funded in Canada; that isn’t up for discussion.

Hear more from Jonathan Nyborg in conversations with Shaun Haney at the recent Canadian Seed Trade Association meeting:

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