For this episode of RealAg LIVE!, we pull back the curtain ever so slightly and catch a glimpse of what its like to have to choose your cropping mix four years in advance.

Well, running a seed company isn’t exactly like that, but as Jim Bagshaw of Alliance Seed explains, there are parallels between what farmers weigh for options each spring, and what seed companies consider each year when they bid on new lines to carry in their portfolio.

From the next big name in wheat, to IP oats, Bagshaw joins host Shaun Haney for this LIVE!

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  • Hard to lose money when every crop pencils out to profit!
  • Canola acres are set to climb; soybeans may bounce
  • But!
  • 40 per cent of Western Canada is really, really dry
  • That moisture in the brown or dark brown soil zone will dictate canola acres
  • Swap to what? Larger seeded crops like pulses… not if you have aphanomyces present
  • Wheat will take it on the chin if the moisture improves
  • Barley and oat acres will be up
  • The prices are there, and there is opportunity — what crop type?
  • Pulses and cereal concerns: if it’s too dry, more bin run possible
  • Now let’s choose some varieties! Two types: choosing varieties at a commercial level to offer vs. on-farm solution
  • What does a seed retailer do?
  • Talk to breeders, find out what’s what ahead of the Prairie Grain Development Committee recommendations happening next week
  • What’s going to solve the next issue? And what complements existing portfolio offerings
  • Diversity is key
  • Managing maturities, classes, pests, and quality: but four years in the future!
  • Hindsight is 20/20. Some that got away. Some stinkers.
  • Agronomics and disease committees summarize each variety
  • Chosen through RFP system (unfortunately not an auction, even though that would be entertaining)
  • New stuff for Alliance? Wheat is the workhorse of the portfolio. Three big hard red wheats hitting the market this year (two from Secan), AAC Leroy (Alliance’s), Starbuck and Wheatland. They are going to do well, so get your hands on some. All share Carberry as a parent.
  • AAC Leroy is the earliest of the three. Get that crop in the bin.
  • All midge tolerant and VB
  • Varietal blend: what is that? It’s like refuge in a bag. 10 per cent is a susceptible variety
  • You can grow one generation after certified, but that’s all, to protect the trait. Keep that in mind, please
  • Alliance owned in part by P&H and Paterson Grain, so contracts available there too. And at Northwest Terminal at Unity, Sask.
  • Let’s talk oats! CDC Endure, for southern Manitoba first, in 2021. 100 per cent contracted back to P&H or Patterson for market development (it’s IP this year, no seed saved, but for 2022 and beyond may not be)
  • Higher beta-glucan, good agronomics — watch for more in the next three years!
  • Oat and barley development can be similar
  • How are we going to continue to fund plant breeding?

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