New Rules for Seed Blends Used to Control Crop Pests

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The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has amended the Seeds Regulations to provide greater consistency in how seed blends created to manage pests are graded, labelled and tagged.

What are the key changes to the Seeds Regulations?

The amendments clarify that varietal blends intended for pest management in the major crop kinds

  • must identify all the plant varieties included in the blend on the official tag
  • may be graded in the same way as seed of a single variety, and
  • may have a Canada pedigreed grade name applied.

There are changes to the requirements to keep the Pedigreed Seed Declaration for each lot of pedigreed seed.

  • Previously, Pedigreed Seed Declarations had to be kept for a minimum of two years for all seed lots.
  • With these amendments, operators of registered seed establishments must now retain the Pedigreed Seed Declaration for the following time periods:
    • one year after the final disposition of a Certified status seed lot, and
    • two years after the final disposition of a Foundation or Registered status seed lot.

Varietal blends of corn that are used for plant pest tolerance management have been exempted from the labelling requirements in subsection 23(f) of the Seeds Regulations, because these requirements are intended only for labelling blends of silage corn.

How will plant pest management varietal blends be labelled in the marketplace?

The official seed tags attached to the seed packages will indicate the names of all plant varieties in the blend.

For varietal blends of two or more varieties of Certified seed, the official tag will indicate the two-digit seed year (July 1 to June 30), followed by the word "Blend." For example, "11-Blend."

How will these varietal blends be grown and certified?

This process will vary according to the crop kind. For some crops, such as wheat, the different plant varieties will be blended at high generations (Select or Foundation) and grown together as a blend. Blended Certified status seed will be produced from a planting of pre-blended Registered status seed.

For other crop kinds, such as corn, separate lots of Certified status seed of the different varieties will be mixed together by an approved conditioner before the seed is packaged and sold as blended Certified seed.

The variety developer specifies the proportion of each variety in the blend.

Can varieties of plants with novel traits be included in a plant pest management varietal blend?

Plants with novel traits may only be used in these varietal blends when the Canadian Food Inspection Agency specifically permits this use.

Additional Information:

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