5 www.seed.ab.ca | spring.2019 HECTOR OUELLETTE FIRST, I WOULD like to thank all the people that attended the Alberta Seed Processors AGM in Edmonton in mid-January. The people that invest time and energy into the many farm organizations in this province drive the industry forward. This edition of the Alberta Seed Guide is all about Getting Field- Ready — Putting Seed First. Currently there is a LOT of chatter in the industry regarding possible policy changes relating to how seed breeding is funded. Typically, the topic of seed breeding funding, especially in the cereal sector, would not even reach the door of the coffee shop or twitter post. Now that the conversation has started, I think we can all look forward to a higher understanding on the path of a seed variety from the plant breeder’s germplasm bank to the actual seed that is planted on farms right across Canada. An increased focus on seed and the relatively invisible industry that drives it should help build an understanding of a path forward for the future. However, by the time this magazine hits the postal system, some Alberta farmers could be anywhere from 60 to 90 days from seeding. Hence, regardless of the policy discussions that are occurring, we all have to get Field-Ready. Managing the numerous decisions and preparations that go into seeding a crop, securing your seed supply is job no. 1. Much of Alberta suffered from an extended harvest season that may have had a negative impact on seed quality. Seed quality goes much deeper than just a visual check. Here in Alberta, all seed should be getting a germination and fusarium test as a bare minimum. Many of the seed labs offer additional services such as 1,000 kernel weight, vigor analysis and total disease screening for a complete seed health checkup. Let’s be SeedSmart: use a seed test to plan your success. If you are using farm-saved seed, booking your seed cleaning and treating through your local seed processing facility early is key to managing logistics. In the past year, Alberta seed processors handled over 41 million bushels of seed and grain. To handle this volume, many plants are operating multiple shifts to get the job done. Booking early helps the plants to run efficiently. Sourcing pedigreed seed also takes planning. If you are updating your seed, or changing varieties, talking to your local seed supplier early is imperative. A few of our co-op seed processors offer distribution services for local seed growers as well as seed companies. Whether you are purchasing seed or cleaning some farm-saved seed, planning your seed supply ahead of time is the first step to success. Hope you enjoy our latest edition of the Alberta Seed Guide. Hector Ouellette President Alberta Seed Processors