Behind the seeds

The Right Variety for the Job

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)

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Touring with Limagrain Cereal Seeds

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.

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It’s R-Rated!

By: Brent Derkatch in Products

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.

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Culture Shock

By: Sheena Pitura in All About Us

Companies often talk about the great 'corporate culture' in their organizations. All too often this is simply part of their corporate messaging, and doesn't actually ring true. This is NOT the case here at CANTERRA SEEDS. I am privileged to work with a dynamic, intelligent, fun, respectful and hardworking team. This is a great company, in large part because of the great people we get to work with. 

Last week we had the pleasure of joining together for meetings in Winnipeg. Here are a few photos from the week.

 Kosie checking out the early growth of the Showcase site in Sperling, MB

 That's a good looking sales team!

 Edwin talking to us about the work of the Research team

 A good portion of our crew, just missing a few folks.

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