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Maple Glen Soybean Named 2015 Seed of the Year

Dec. 16, 2015, Ottawa – The Maple Glen soybean was announced today as the 2015 Seed of the Year.

Maple Glen was developed by Drs. Harvey Voldeng and Elroy Cober and released in 1987 as a food-grade soybean. More than 1.2 million acres of Maple Glen were sown in a 10-year period following its release. It is a consistently high-yielding soybean that helped to make soybeans a competitive and profitable crop. Maple Glen is an especially desirable soybean for tofu and helped to develop Japanese demand for Ontario soybeans.

“The most important part of Harvey’s contribution was that he was the first breeder to develop ‘homegrown’ lines of soybeans for the short season areas of Ontario,” explains Martin Harry, eastern marketing manager for SeCan. “Soybeans are vital to Ontario’s agri-food economy. Ontario farmers produced $2 billion worth of soybeans in 2014.”

Maple Glen is part of a series of soybeans developed by Voldeng to stand up to Eastern Ontario weather. Previously soybeans could only be grown in Southwestern Ontario.

The Maple series includes Maple Arrow 1976, Maple Presto 1979, Maple Amber 1981, Maple Isle 1984, Maple Ridge 1984, Maple Donovan 1986, and Maple Belle 1984.

Maple Arrow introduced a new era for soybeans in Canada, as it was stable and high yielding, but Maple Glen was by far the most successful of the series. All were developed at the Plant Research Centre of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Ottawa.

Maple Glen made an excellent parent to soybean lines such as AC Glengarry, Accord, OAC Embro, OAC Lucan Yamaska and York.

The Seed of the Year competition encourages public breeders to highlight their research accomplishments in developing a new field crop, forage, fruit, vegetable or herb variety. Any publicly developed Canadian variety is eligible to compete.

The competition was designed by SeCan and the University of Guelph with support from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Additional sponsorship was provided by Canadian Seed Growers Association, Quality Seeds Ltd., Ontario Asparagus Growers, Ontario White Bean Producers, Canadian Seed Trade Association, Snobelen Farms, Grain Farmers of Ontario, Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, and the Ontario Potato Board.