Western Grain Development Coop Seeking New Members

CANADA - The Western Feed Grain Development Coop is looking for new members interested in a program designed to allow the production and internal distribution and use of high yielding strains of wheat, normally inaccessible in Canada writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 23 December 2006
clock icon 3 minute read
<?=getCodeSnippet(45);?>To protect the integrity of Canada's wheat exports federal regulations prohibits the registration or commercial distribution of wheat varieties that resemble high quality milling wheats.

Over the years these rules have resulted in the rejection of several lines suited for industrial uses such as ethanol or for feeding livestock.

The Western Feed Grain Development Coop was formed one year ago as one option for filling that void.

Coop Director David Rourke told those on hand last week for Hog and Poultry Days 2006 in Winnipeg members would be free to develop and distribute those varieties on their own within a closed loop coop system.

Because the coop is owned by the individual farmer members, they own the germ plasm and they're free to use it and multiply it as much as they want on their own.

They're not free to sell it to anyone else outside of the coop.

There's been lots of cases of people bringing unlicensed wheats from the states for various purposes and that is illegal and you're not supposed to do that.

Certainly what we don't want to do is anybody taking our type of material and entering it into the elevator system where it could get mixed with an export quality grain.

We've got pretty explicit instructions to our members and declarations that that won't be tolerated and that's certainly not the intent of what we want to do but there's a huge gap.

We're feed deficient in eastern Manitoba for a long time and western Manitoba we're not as feed deficient but, as the US develops their ethanol industry and starts using more of their own corn, there's less options and there's a glaring hole here of a locally grown starchy spring cereal.

Rourke notes its the membership fees, along with matching grants provided by the Manitoba Rural Adaptation Council that cover the cost of the coop's research efforts.

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