At the end of every planting season, each and every bag of remaining CANTERRA SEEDS canola is collected and brought to a central location. Once all the seed has arrived, our own Sandy Lavoie and Duane Ransome head out to spend a couple of days counting inventory of all the seed, and taking an extensive array of samples representing each seed lot. Last week I had a conversation with them about why it is that we do these samples, and why we bring the seed back to one location.
The more I learned from them, the more it became clear that all of these things were done for the exact same reason; to ensure top quality seed in every bag of CANTERRA SEEDS canola each year.
I grew up in a farming community, and though I lived in town, I spent many summer days out on our grandparents’ farm. When I was young this meant I played games with grandma and went for combine rides, and as I got older it meant learning how to change a belt, unplug a combine, use a welder, or back a grain truck up to an auger in the dark. I was a ‘50% farm kid’. While I didn’t live out there (though in the summers I was pretty close), I got a glimpse of what it was like to grow up on a farm.
That meant that I had also heard a lot of stories about the farm 30 – 50 years ago. Stories about the community, about bin raisings, driving over to the neighbour’s yard to use their new moisture tester, and if something was broken, stopping to help them fix it while you were there. While some of this still happens (we always say hi to the neighbours if we see them in the yard as we’re driving home) I used to think the difference between the stories I was told and the stories I had experienced meant that community had simply disappeared. It’s a reasonable assumption that the increased size of farms would drive that kind of change. But I was wrong.
The community is there, and it is active, and it is buzzing and connected, it just exists in a different medium than it did before. It’s here online.
There is an unbelievable amount of research, technology, and fascinating science that goes into the process of developing and producing canola varieties. After spending an hour talking hybrid production with our resident expert Duane, I could likely do an entire blog mini-series, (that after about 3 episodes would surely be cancelled) but here are some of the most important things to know about the differences between Open Pollinated and Hybrid Varieties.
In its simplest form, the difference is this: An open pollinated variety starts as a single variety that is self-pollinated through each generation of seed production. A hybrid canola variety however, is the product of two unique parental lines.
One of these two lines has been bred to be male sterile (this is the female parent), which means that it cannot pollinate effectively, it can only be a receiver of pollen, and the other of these lines, the male parent line, pollinates as normal. The two parent lines are planted in separate strips, with the female strips being 2 or 3 times the width of the male strips. Honeybee hives are placed next to the field, to aid in the distribution of pollen. In some cases leafcutter bee shelters will also be placed next to the male strips (as seen in the photo below). Sometimes the male strips will also be clipped back to keep them producing pollen for the females as long as possible.
(a hybrid canola production field. Photo: Shaan Tsai)
Our Territory Manager in the Peace River region, Jesse Meyer, has fun working with his time-lapse camera in a few fields in his area. He shared a recent video of CANTERRA 1990 growing in his territory, shot from June 24 - July 13.
Earlier this week I had the pleasure of attending Limagrain Cereal Seeds' (LCS) field day in Casselton, ND. Since our strategic partnership in 2012, I have greatly enjoyed getting to know and work with the LCS crew. It was my first time at one of their field days, and here are some of the highlights of what is going on with the company.
A group of approximately 100 people made up of LCS dealers, state extension people and other partners gathered at Howe Seed Farm to view the LCS material, and hear where the company is headed. LCS was started in 2010 in Fort Collins, Colorado. Their program got its start with Dr. Bob Ronig of Trigen Seeds in Minnesota. Since taking on this program, LCS has consistently doubled and tripled in size. As an example, last year they had 17,000 pre-yield rows, this year there are 54,000. Last year there were just under 500 Y1 lines tested, this year that number has grown exponentially to over 2,000. Dr. Blake Cooper explained the program is now as big as it needs to be to be effective.
Republished from September, 2013
CANTERRA SEEDS recently announced that much anticipated launch of AC™ Emerson will occur in the fall of 2014, when Certified seed supplies are sufficient for a broad-scale introduction. The CWRW milling wheat has quickly gained notoriety as the first wheat of any class to be rated resistant to fusarium head blight (FHB), and is expected to be a game changer product for areas with high FHB pressure.
Despite its ‘game changer’ label, it is imperative that growers understand that AC™ Emerson’s R rating does not equal immunity to FHB. If disease pressure is high, yield loss due to FHB can still occur.
To demonstrate this point, please look to the chart below.