In response to comments made in reference to the proposed wheat levy for certified seed purchases on your website on January 27, 2009:
- The decision as to where the levy would be spent would be made by purchasers of certified seed. By voting with our purchase decision we would be supporting the most successful breeding programs.
- As to the added bureaucracy, there would no doubt be some extra administrative costs incurred by the OWPMB for both collecting the levy and rebating it to certified seed purchasers. However, unlike a tax credit, this method would not require legislation to implement or to change. Wheat producers would be in control and could make changes or terminate as conditions dictate.
- The comment about mildew discounted wheat is valid but should be directed to the Eastern Standards committee of the Canadian Grain Commission. Ontario wheat producers are represented on this committee by the OWPMB. Removing mildew as a grading factor is a marketing issue that must be dealt with immediately. It is not an issue that any breeding program can solve.
- As to the comment that seed companies should learn to live off of the 100,000 acres of certified seed being used: If we only use certified seed on 10 per cent of our planted acres, wheat farmers will be the losers as we will not have available to us, new higher yielding varieties that will provide us with improved Ontario wheat yields.
This levy proposal is a concept based on fairness. All wheat producers would be provided with the opportunity to contribute to breeding research by virtue of the levy. Those that purchase certified seed would receive a rebate.
I for one do not want to return to the days of having only Frederick and Yorkstar type choices.