Grass and Legume seed production involves growing and harvesting seeds from turf, forage, legume and native grass species. The Peace River region of Alberta and British Columbia is the world's second largest grass and legume seed growing region in the world (after the Willamette Valley in Oregon). Because of the significant production and acreage devoted to this industry, forage seed processors have established facilities located throughout the region. Due to the large number of growers and acres devoted to this industry, other forage seed processors operate in the area, with their facilities located outside of the Peace region. Most local processors will buy and sell bulk seed to customers, many of which are in the USA or overseas.
The forage seed trade
Following are the major forage seed buyers and brokers located in the Peace Region with their most recent addresses and phone numbers. Not included are municipal operated seed cleaning plants and farmer owned plants, which only clean seed on a custom basis. Most companies listed below are large processors. You do not have to be from the region to do business with them.
Comments are included under each listing to provide a general description as to what the companies are involved with. These areas include: custom cleaning and bagging, broker, buyers, production contracts, retailers and accredited seed testing labs.
Growers are advised to deal with a reputable company and understand the specifics of the offered price, whether you are selling seed, forward pricing or growing seed under production contracts. Prices for companies will vary but this could be due to differences in how the prices are structured. For example, a price quoted at one company could be higher than another but the higher priced quote may include the producer paying for cleaning and bagging. Dockage levels have also been known to vary among companies. When signing forage seed production contracts, understand the pricing structure, length of the contract and quality requirements. Make sure that prices are compared on an even basis when contacting companies about selling and/or establishing contracts.
All seed companies have access to government-accredited labs for seed germination and purity. Notes have been made as to which companies have their labs located in the Peace country.
Forage Seed Processors Operating in the Peace River Region
|Ag-Vision Seeds||Janet Stoner||1-306-768-3336|
|Dynamic Seeds||Fairview||Keith Lyons/Lyle Qin||1-888-882-5435|
|Foster's Seed and Feed||Beaverlodge||Doug Thiessen||1-800-379-4804|
|FSJ Seed Co-op
|Fort St John||John Beifort||1-250-785-3904|
|Golden Acre Seeds||Fairview||Heather Kerschbaumer||1-800-481-7333|
|Moore Seed Processors||Debolt||Raymond Walker||1-800-563-0461|
|Pickseed Canada Ltd||Dawson Creek||Gino Morrone||1-250-782-3040|
|South Peace Grain Cleaning
|Dawson Creek||Shaun Grant||1-250-782-7820|
Brett Young – Rycroft AB
Box 100, Rycroft AB T0H 3A0
Contacts: Jerry Wilner
Phone: 780-536-7703 or 1-800-661-1289
Comments: Brett Young Seeds bags and cleans rough seed. They are involved with production contracts and retail some forage seed. Also have a government-accredited lab for both purity and germination.
Dynamic Seeds – Fairview AB
Box 813, Fairview AB T0H 1L0
Contact: Keith Lyons, Manager
Lyle Qin: Assistant Manager
Rob Lyons: Buyer
Phone: 780-835-5435 or 1-888-882-5435
Comments: Dynamic Seeds buys, cleans and bags rough seed and is involved with production contracts. Also does cleaning and is involved in retailing of forage seeds. Handles some native grasses.
Foster's Seed and Feed Ltd. – Beaverlodge AB
Box 210, Beaverlodge AB T0H 0C0
Contacts: Doug Thiessen
Sherry Corvalan, Lee-Anne Alde, Seed Analyst (Precision Seed Testing, 354-2259)
Phone: 780-354-2107 or 1-800-379-4804
Comments: Foster's buys, cleans and bags rough seed. They are also involved with production contract sand retailing of most forage seeds. Foster's has a lab that is government accredited for both purity and germination. A second facility is located in Grande Prairie.
FSJ Seed Co-op - Fort St John, BC
Golden Acres Seeds – Fairview AB
Box 1090, Fairview AB T0H 1L0
Contacts: Heather Kerschbaumer
Phone 780-835-4508 or 1-800-481-7333
Comments: Golden Acres offers a custom cleaning and bagging service. They handle some native grasses. They do not buy seed but they will act as a seed broker for clients.
Moore Seed Processors Inc. - Debolt AB
Box 360 Debolt, AB T0H 1B0
Contact: Raymond Walker (Manager), Todd Smith
Phone: 780-957-3964 or 1-800-563-0461
Comments: Moore's buys, cleans and bags rough seed. Production contracts are available for most forage seed crops. Moore's are also involved in retailing seed.
Pickseed Canada Inc. – Dawson Creek BC
Box 2407, Dawson Creek, B.C.V1G 4T9
Contact: Gino Morrone
Comments: Pickseed buys, bags and cleans rough seed, (mainly CR fescue). Production contracts are available. They also retail most types of forage seeds.
South Peace Grain Cleaning - Dawson Creek, BC
After a grower has harvested his crop, contact as many seed buyers or brokers as possible to let them know that you have forage seed to sell. Let them know how much you have for sale and what quality it is. Most companies will do dockage tests and a germination test. Seed companies usually keep lists of prospective suppliers they can contact when sales opportunities arise. However, be aware that some companies do not buy clean seed. Buying unclean ("rough") seed helps companies keep their cleaning facilities operating as much as possible.
It is a good idea to send a company good representative samples of your seed and ask them to estimate grade and dockage. This way, both the grower and the firms know what weeds are present and if the seed can be cleaned to qualify for certain markets. Many U.S. states cannot accept any seed containing couch and cleavers.
Knowing what each company considers to be dockage is also helpful. Often companies will offer similar prices, be prepared to negotiate a better deal. Growers of pedigreed seed should contact the specific companies and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for proper certification procedures and protocols. Many companies offer forward pricing contracts on forage seed. This provides a producer with an opportunity to lock in a price for future delivery. Forward pricing contracts may be available throughout the year but timing of the contracts is dependent on market conditions.
Comparing offering prices
Most of the trade's quoted offering prices for seed are based on net cleaned seed. Sometimes, the prices quoted on any given day by different companies are the same or nearly the same. However, to accurately compare the offers, each company’s dockage estimate of the sample must be known. A firm that really wants to buy seed may offer the same price as its competitors but will guarantee a lower dockage. In that case, the firm guaranteeing the lowest dockage is actually paying the higher net price for the seed.
A note of caution
Most forage seed companies are long established businesses and should be sound. However, forage seed firms do not need to be licensed or bonded or prove their solvency in the way that grain companies must. Producers are encouraged to be careful when they are dealing with companies with which they are not familiar.