Canary Seed Development Commission of Saskatchewan

Notice of Resolution for December 14 AGM

Be it resolved that the Canary Seed Development Commission of Saskatchewan (CSDCS) request a levy increase from the Saskatchewan Agri-Food Council. Whereas, Saskatchewan Canary seed producers currently pay a levy of $1.75 per tonne, the new levy would be $2.50 a tonne effective August 1, 2023.

Rational for requested increase

Assuming an average yield of 1300 pounds per acre, the current levy of $1.75 per tonne equates to $1.03 per acre. An increase in levy to $2.50 per tonne would equate to $1.47 per acre on an average crop. This would be similar to the per acre levy cost for crops like barley and flax, but much less than the per acre cost for pulse crops and mustard.

The per acre cost of levy for crops like wheat, durum, canola and oats would be less than the increased Canary seed levy. However, those crops benefit from a much larger acreage base that includes check-off programs in neighboring provinces.

The levy of $1.75 per tonne has been in place since the commission started operations back in 2006. Directors at the time decided to tie the levy to tonnes sold rather than a percentage of gross dollars the way some other levies are structured.

Over the years, the CSDCS has expended considerable resources in achieving human consumption approval for de-hulled Canary seed (alpiste) in both Canada and the U.S. as well as efforts to facilitate this alternative market. Progress has been slow and the vast majority of Canary seed is still for the birdseed market. Long-term, the work and investment should pay dividends, but production and therefore levy collection has not increased.

Investment by the commission into human food uses is now minimal and strategic. However, it is increasingly difficult to cover investments into variety development, agronomic research, administration and communication to growers.

The budget for the current fiscal year projects a net loss even with very little expended on human food development. If losses continue, there will soon be a need to use reserve funds. For the future, either expenditures need to be reduced or the levy needs to be increased.

See AGM information here.

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