Messages 6 www.seed.ab.ca | Advancing Seed in Alberta WARD OATWAY WELL everyone, we made it! With the harvest now completed (for most of you), we now shift our mindset to clean-up and marketing as the days get shorter and the ground gets whiter. As we look back on the year that was, it is important to reflect on what crops worked well and whether a new variety might be the way to go. As you go through this journey, I am pleased to say that you are holding one of the most valuable resources you can have – the Alberta Seed Guide. In the following pages, you will see how the new varieties stack up against the older ones in the compiled regional variety trials. If you like what you see, you can call a grower who carries that seed. The growers in these pages have already experienced the variety you’re looking for and can provide some first-hand advice on its performance. Why not start the 2018 planting season with a variety that provides better crop vigour and the pest resistance you are looking for? These pages and the growers featured in them have the varieties and solutions you are looking for. Speaking of looking ahead, on the policy side, your seed grower representatives, the Alberta Seed Growers’ (ASG) board of directors, have spent much of the year working on the future of our industry by contributing to discussions on the Seed Synergy Project. We feel strongly about contributing to the development of the seed industry to ensure Canadian farmers are competitive globally and they can provide a viable future for successive generations. A healthy seed industry maintains the quality standards expected from all customers. It also encourages investment from industry and government. It’s all about finding the right balance for all stakeholders, and patience will provide the best outcome. We will continue to provide updates on these discussions as they come available. In other news, Fusarium graminearum (Fg) continues to spread throughout the province and ASG, along with others in the crop and seed industry, are working hard to ensure the full suite of management tools are available to farmers. Many farmers were concerned that with the high moisture we experienced in 2016 we would have a major infestation of Fusarium head blight (FHB). However, the hot, dry weather during cereal flowering spared most cereal acres in the province. In the war against FHB, we would like to extend a thank you to the Alberta Wheat Commission and Alberta Climate Information Services for launching a new web-based tool to help with Fusarium management decisions. This tool, available via the Alberta Agriculture and Alberta Wheat Commission websites, lets you determine the probability of FHB development in your area based on current maps of FHB detection, and weather from a station in your area. As we move into the winter, I hope you find time to attend a meeting of your local commission or producer group to network and learn about the changes that are facing our industry. The best way to stay informed or to have your say is to get involved or participate in a crop sector farm meeting. Speaking of farm meetings, consider adding FarmTech to your calendar for 2018. As one of the partners of the event, ASG will be there putting on informative workshops and providing further updates on our organization and industry. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to network and see the latest from ag companies and our fellow commodity organizations. Have a safe, happy and healthy winter season. Ward Oatway President Alberta Seed Growers Email: wloatway@yahoo.ca