Seed testing protects integrity of herbicide-tolerant system
By Bruce Barker
If you are growing farm-saved Clearfield lentil, get your seed tested to ensure tolerance levels to appropriate Clearfield herbicides. That’s the message BASF wants to get out to growers.
“We want to ensure the integrity of the seed that farmers are using so they won’t be disappointed if there are non-Clearfield seeds mixed into the seed sample,” explains Harley House, brand manager for Clearfield Crops, BASF Canada. “In the long term, the seed testing will help to ensure the Clearfield Lentil Production System remains viable.”
Clearfield lentil growers are required to sign a multi-year Clearfield Commitment for lentils. In 2012, BASF changed the Clearfield Commitment for lentils from an annual agreement to a multi-year commitment. Once signed, it remains in effect through the 2014 growing season. There is no cost, and the agreement simplifies the process for growing Clearfield lentils.
Growers can complete the agreement online at the BASF Canada website, at the time of purchase with a Clearfield lentil seed grower, or at a Clearfield lentil herbicide retailer. After having signed their commitment, growers only need to register their Clearfield lentil acreage and variety details annually so that – beyond a successful lentil crop – they are eligible for additional programming benefits. Growers new to the Clearfield Commitment will not be penalized for previous non-compliance.
Growers who purchase Clearfield lentils from another grower, or are growing their own farm-saved Clearfield lentil seed, should ensure the seed lot has been Clearfield Confirm tested to make sure it was not comingled with conventional seed that would compromise the herbicide tolerance levels, resulting in poor plant stands and reduced yield potential.
BASF pays the entire cost of the Clearfield Confirm test. They also provide additional financial rewards when completing the Clearfield Commitment, through greater savings on Clearfield herbicides and fungicides used on lentils under their AgSolutions Rewards program. These additional rewards are only offered to those who sign the Commitment this year, or – if they have already signed one in 2012 – follow up by registering their acres and varieties for 2013.
“We would like to see 100 percent compliance by growers, which is why BASF pays the cost of the test,” says House. “The compliance rate is pretty high, but considering there is no cost to the grower, I hope it can go higher.”
Clearfield lentils do not have a technology fee associated with the agreement, and considering farmers can replant their own seed, getting a confirm test conducted makes a lot of sense.
Certified testing labs
BASF has agreements with the following seed test labs to carry out the Clearfield Confirm test for lentils. Growers should submit a representative sample of their farm-saved Clearfield seed to one of these labs early in the winter to ensure they have a reliable seed lot. The labs can also conduct additional tests, such as germination and disease screening, but these additional tests would be at the grower’s expense.
Prairie Diagnostic Seed Lab
1105 Railway Ave., Weyburn, SK S4H 3H5 (306-842-7375)
Discovery Seed Labs
450 Melville St., Saskatoon, SK S7J 4M2 (306-249-4484)
Seed Solutions Seed Labs
Box 1420, Swift Current, SK S9H 3G6 (306-741-9309)
Seed Check Technologies Inc
101, 5906-50 St., Leduc AB T9E 0R6 (780-980-8324)
Lendon Seed Lab
147 Hodsman Rd., Regina, SK S4N 5W5 (306-585-7333)
20/20 Seed Labs Inc.
507-11th Ave., Nisku, AB T9E 7N5 (780-955-3435)
BioVision Seed Lab
7255B Roper Rd., Edmonton AB T6B 3J4 (780-436-8822)