Following extensive consultation with stakeholders along the alfalfa hay production chain in Western Canada, aÂ Coexistence Plan for Alfalfa Hay in Western CanadaÂ is now available.
Recognizing that GM development of alfalfa and other crop kinds will continue, the Canadian Seed Trade Association (CSTA) agreed to facilitate a value chain process to develop a coexistence plan for conventional, organic and GM alfalfa production, first in Eastern Canada in 2013, and now in Western Canada.
Many experts contributed to the development of the Western coexistence plan and voluntary Best Management Practices (BMPâ€™s), including forage specialists, alfalfa producers, seed companies and honey producers. The group reviewed the biology of alfalfa in Canada and alfalfa hay production systems, and tailored the BMPâ€™s to the specific needs of Western Canada. The planÂ does not advocate for or against the commercialization of GM alfalfa, or favor any one system. The result is a science-based document designed to help farmers understand and incorporate the voluntary BMPâ€™s into their crop management system, whether conventional, organic or GM.
â€œCSTA is happy to have facilitated this meaningful stakeholder process,â€ said Scott Horner, CSTA president. â€œWith stakeholder cooperation, solutions to help producers be successful with the system that best fits their needs can be found. We encourage everyone to view the Plan as an important component of successful alfalfa hay production in Western Canada.â€
TheÂ Coexistence Plan for Alfalfa Hay in Western Canada,Â containing background on alfalfa production systems in Western Canada, the principles of coexistence, and Best Management Practices can be found atÂ cdnseed.org.