January 11, 2019 – Saskatoon, SK – A group of independent western Canadian seed companies have united to speak out in support of proposed plant breeding funding changes, which has become a divisive topic of conversation among crop producers. Alliance Seed, CANTERRA SEEDS, FP Genetics and SeCan are all unified in helping provide seed customers with clarity about what the proposed changes will mean for their farm. Isn’t our existing model working? NO. Something needs to change. Canada invests less than most of our major wheat export competitors and will only fall further behind unless there is more plant breeding investment. Is this a new idea? NO. Canadian agricultural organizations have been considering various options for up to 10 years. We see the proposed model as best providing freedom of choice for farmers and breeders while encouraging greater competition in the marketplace. Is this concept being driven by big multinationals? NO. Canada is mainly dependant on public and smaller private breeding programs for new innovation in cereals. These programs will be the major beneficiaries. Do I have to participate? NO. Only new varieties protected under Canada’s new Plant Breeder’s Rights Act are eligible to collect royalties on farm-saved seed, and it is up to the breeder to decide whether their variety will participate. Will my existing varieties be taken away? NO. Existing varieties will continue to be made available without farm-saved seed royalties for as long as demand exists. Is this unique to Canada? NO. Several competitors have a system in place to collect royalties on farm-saved seed or on all grain harvested by a farmer. Will this increase my long-term cost of production? NO. Increased investment in plant breeding is the best way to reduce cost of production for farmers. “A farm-saved seed royalty is an extremely efficient and low-cost means of ensuring all farmers share in the cost of accessing new cutting-edge genetics faster,” says Todd Hyra, business manager for SeCan in Western Canada. “The system being proposed is designed to provide 2 maximum value, choice and transparency to farmers by directly rewarding the public or private plant breeders who deliver the best new varieties that you choose to plant on your farm.” Representatives from Alliance Seed, CANTERRA SEEDS, FP Genetics and SeCan will be at upcoming agricultural shows and meetings, and are available to discuss this important topic. Learn more at www.seedvaluecreation.ca