Top Crop Manager

Features Agronomy Plant Breeding
Plant Breeders’ Rights updates bring new varieties to Canadian farmers

Apr. 29, 2015, Ottawa, ON - As was expected, recent changes to Canada's Plant Breeders' Rights legislation is delivering new crop varieties to Canadian farmers.

The Plant Breeders' Rights Office (PBRO) has granted rights under the new legislation (PBR91) to 12 new agricultural crop varieties, developed in Canada and outside our borders by private and public sector plant breeders.

The April 30, 2015, PBRO Plant Varieties Journal, which was published on the CFIA website on April 28, lists three new PBR 91 wheat varieties. Two were developed by public institutions in the United States and one is a private sector developed U.S. variety. The journal also presents two Canadian public sector developed oats varieties, and a Canadian private sector developed flax variety. There are also six new internationally developed potato varieties.

"While this is exactly what we were expecting with updated legislation, it is still very exciting to see it happening," said Dave Baute, president of the Canadian Seed Trade Association (CSTA). "Our farmers now have access to new Canadian-developed varieties and also to international varieties that would never have come to Canada without the new legislation."

CSTA expects this is just the start of an upward trend. In fact, the PBRO is already reporting a general upward trend in PBR applications since the implementation of PBR 91 in February.

CSTA reminds crop value chain stakeholders there are different obligations associated with the new PBR 91 varieties. CSTA has developed a number of useful resources to explain the changes and help value chain participants to comply with the new legislation. They can all be found on a comprehensive website www.PBRfacts.ca.

"We are entering a new era of opportunity with PBR 91," said Baute. "But with the opportunity comes obligations. Farmers, seed conditioners, retailers and buyers of harvested material all have a role to play to ensure that the investment continues to grow and the new varieties keep coming."