A partnership between the Canadian Forage & Grassland Association (CFGA), and the Saskatchewan Forage Council has just released a national, industry-wide market impact study providing an unbiased, fact-based assessment of the potential impact of Roundup Ready® alfalfa (RRA) on Canada’s forage industry. The project is to assist the forage industry nation-wide in its efforts to respond to the new and emerging issue of genetically modified forage crops.
The report provides an overview of Canada’s forage industry, including export statistics, and a synopsis of the technology and current regulatory status of RRA in Canada. Analysis of the topic is far-reaching, including a discussion of the basics of alfalfa reproduction and potential for gene flow and seed cross contamination, an overview of strategies implemented by other commodity groups in their efforts to adapt to the introduction of GE technology, and the current status of RRA in the United States. Key to this study was widespread input from stakeholders across Canada’s forage industry, from those concerned about potential impacts on export markets to producers anticipating a new and effective weed control system. Potential economic impacts are quantified.
Canadian Forage & Grassland Association Chair and Irricana, Alberta-area cow/calf and forage producer, Doug Wray, noted “from my perspective, the input gathered and the dialogue created within our industry has been the greatest success of this project. The opportunity to clearly examine the facts and come together for an open and broad-based discussion was essential. By addressing the issue we are positioned to establish the best path forward for all stakeholders.”
The complete report, ‘Assessing the Potential Impact of Roundup Ready Alfalfa on Canada’s Forage Industry’, is available for download on the CFGA website.
Funding for this project has been provided in part by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP). CAAP funding for this project has been provided through industry councils in Saskatchewan and Alberta.