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At the annual SFSDC Forage Seed Information Session on January 11, 2018, Mike Scheffel, Managing Director of Policy and Standards at the Canadian Seed Growers Association (CSGA) in Ottawa provided the pedigreed forage seed acreage report and an update on the on-going Circular 6 modernization.PEDIGREED SEED illustrations Mike showed the top pedigreed forage seed crops in Saskatchewan are Timothy, perennial ryegrass and clovers. In the Circular 6 modernization process, seven proposed changes were identified by the Forage Working Group and agreed upon by CSGA’s Standards and Circular 6 Committee. They are:

  1. Land Use Agreements - Portions of the seed crop may be reseeded in the case of poor establishment with permission of CSGA;

  2. Age of Stand - For most perennial crops there is a specified maximum number of years during which pedigreed seed may be harvested from one planting. It is proposed that the age of stand may be extended with permission of CSGA;

  3. Isolation - Circular 6 can be quite strict on elements that may be relatively low risk. It was proposed that “on average” be added and better define “harmful contaminant” to add clarity;

  4. Isolation - A crop offered for inspection must be isolated from any possible source of contaminating pollen. The area, density, stage of maturity and location of the contaminating source is an important factor in cross pollination, and therefore must be noted on the Seed Crop Inspection Report for consideration in determining pedigreed status. It is proposed that not more than 3 plants per square meter, “on average”, of plants that may cross pollinate with the pedigreed crop should be in the required isolation adjacent to an inspected crop of a cross pollinated species;

  5. Isolation - The Current 10% Rule for Isolation barriers - The working group proposed a more simplistic diagram being presented in Circular 6 and leaving the calculations to the inspectors in the Specific Work Instructions publically available by CFIA.

    Mike Scheffel 
     Mike Scheffel, CSGA Ottawa
  6. Isolation - At this time, only Alfalfa and Creeping Red Fescue are permitted to use the 10% rule in lieu of border removal. The working group proposed adding Timothy to this list.

  7. Maximum Impurity Standards - Circular 6 is currently three times stricter than the OECD Seed Schemes for purity standards of Foundation status seed. It was also noted by the working group that cleaning technology has improved, and that the regulations should be adjusted. It was proposed to modify the current regulation of 1 plant of another species or other varieties per 100 square meters to 3 plants.

For more information, Mike Scheffel can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (613) 236-0497 ext. 223

Posted February 6, 2018