Canary Seed to be Designated as Official Grain

Canary seed will be designated as an official grain under the Canada Grain Act as of Aug.1, the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) announced Wednesday.

The designation will give growers the same rights, services and protections afforded to producers of other regulated grains, including the right to have their canary seed assessed for grade and dockage following official grading standards at time of delivery and the right to dispute their grain’s assessment at a licensed primary grain elevator at the time of delivery. But perhaps most importantly, the designation will also provide growers with payment protection.

Consultations with producers on designating canary seed as an official grain began after the failure of a grain company in 2019 left producers unpaid for $2.1 million in deliveries to the company. Those producers didn’t qualify for payment protection under the Safeguards for Grain Farmers Program because canary seed was not a designated grain under the Canada Grain Act.

“After successive licensee failures where canary seed growers were left empty handed, it was clear we needed to extend regulatory safeguards to the sector,” CGC Chief Commissioner Doug Chorney said in a release. “We’re very pleased to be able to offer canary seed growers the rights and services provided by the Canada Grain Act and help ensure they are fairly compensated for their deliveries.”

Canary seed is the largest volume grain that isn’t currently protected under the Canada Grain Act. The average production of canary seed in Canada over the last six years was just under 150,000 tonnes and the average seeded area was slightly over 273,000 acres.

Canada accounts for 65% of global production and about 80% of total exports of canary seed.

The CGC has consulted with canary seed handlers and growers to determine the grade and quality specifications for the crop. A grade determinant table along with a moisture chart will be added to the CGC website in July 2021.

Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

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