Companies often claim their unwavering commitment to quality, but what exactly does this commitment entail? At CANTERRA SEEDS, our dedication to quality is embedded in every aspect of our operations, from selecting the right hybrids for commercialization to rigorous quality assurance processes and cutting-edge packaging.
Selecting Superior Hybrids
Canola that reaches commercialization undergoes a meticulous evaluation spanning several years, ensuring top-tier performance. This rigorous assessment is carried out by breeding companies and further confirmed through our canola trial program at CANTERRA SEEDS. Should a hybrid exhibit exceptional performance, it proceeds to the variety registration process led by the Western Canada Rapeseed and Canola Recommending Committee, which recommends varieties to the CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) for commercialization, assuring the fulfillment of all necessary requirements beyond yield and pod-shatter. We bring top-performing canola hybrids to the market that fit our customers' needs in Western Canada.
Quality Assurance from Seed to Sale
Every seed lot we offer undergoes a stringent quality assurance process, starting with our careful selection of growing regions for hybrid canola seed. Spread across numerous distinct geographic locations in North America during the summer months and in Chile during the off-season, our selection criteria include equipment availability, canola-free crop rotations, isolation from other canola types, clean production practices, and proactive field scouting to maintain optimal quality. Stock seed lots undergo thorough pre-screening to eliminate impurities and ensure outstanding performance.
To maintain high standards, a dedicated production technician or agronomist regularly visits growers and fields, overseeing every aspect from pre-scouting and early-season weed control to equipment setup, parent seed delivery, and maintaining the desired male-to-female seed ratio. Continuous monitoring of field conditions, including crop emergence, irrigation frequency, weed management, pesticide application, and more, ensures that every step is executed meticulously.
The Journey Beyond Harvest
The journey to guaranteeing seed quality extends beyond the harvest. Harvested seeds are carefully stored in clean bins using impeccably maintained equipment, followed by the collection of representative samples. These samples undergo comprehensive testing, including molecular marker analysis to establish hybridity. Our commitment to quality dictates that all seed lots must meet standards, or exceed regulatory requirements. Additionally, samples are sent to Chile for grow-out analysis to identify any off-type plants that could compromise quality, and Chilean grown crops are grown in quality assurance plots the following summer season.
Our commitment to genetic quality is evident in the substantial isolation ranges we maintain, ensuring hybridity. Producers in North America benefit from a one-mile isolation, surpassing the mandated half-mile requirement. In Chile, we extend isolation measures due to the risk of winter canola crossbreeding with spring canola, which can lead to undesirable off-types.
Physical Purity and Performance
Physical purity and performance are fundamental to our commitment to quality. We subject all recently harvested seed lots to a battery of tests, covering herbicide tolerance, germination, vigour, seed weight, weed seed purity, and more. While the Canada Seeds Act stipulates a minimum of 90% germination for a CANADA Certified No. 1 grade, we strive for excellence by consistently aiming for results that are considerably higher. Additional tests assess seed size uniformity, seed coat strength, and other essential parameters.
Cleaning and Conditioning
All seed lots are meticulously cleaned and conditioned in certified seed cleaning plants. This process involves the removal of chaff, split seeds, pod pieces, weed seeds, and other crop type seeds. Our objective is to achieve zero impurities per 25 grams in every seed lot. Tests are conducted at various stages of the cleaning process, and if impurities are detected, re-cleaning is conducted. In some cases, re-sizing is also performed to ensure uniform seed size, particularly for precision planting applications.
Seedling Root Rot and Pest Protection
The clean seed lots are then positioned for blending or individual coating at top-rated seed treating facilities. We offer a range of seed treatment options to combat seedling root rot diseases, blackleg, flea beetles, cutworms, and other pests. These treatments are applied just before final packaging, which includes tags and other essential information. Post-treatment, thorough testing is conducted to guarantee that the seed maintains its exceptional performance throughout processing.
Our commitment to quality extends to packaging. Over the past decade, our packaging has undergone a remarkable transformation, evolving into a true brand statement. Our bags are designed to not only reflect our brand but also provide functionality. The white interior highlights the premium treatment, while slip stop pre-applied to the bag exterior ensures stability on pallets during transportation. Trait information is prominently displayed, making it easy for customers to access vital details about each lot. Treatment information can also be found on the crepe tape. For those who require large quantities, we offer branded tote bags with impressive strength and quality.
Quality Assurance Even After Purchase
Wondering what happens to returned bags of seed? Our Operations Department ensures that every bag is collected and returned for retesting upon delivery. This meticulous process guarantees that only seed lots meeting our high internal standards are re-packaged for sale the following spring. Return or carryover bags are tested twice each fall to ensure the highest quality. This level of dedication extends to every detail, tracking quality down to a seed-by-seed level in each bag.
When CANTERRA SEEDS proclaims our commitment to quality, we mean it wholeheartedly. We invest effort into every stage of our operations to ensure that our customers receive nothing but the best. From selecting the finest hybrids and stringent quality assurance processes to impeccable packaging and continued commitment to quality even after purchase, we leave no stone unturned. Our commitment to quality truly means everything.