The Canadian arm of Swiss ag chem and seed firm Syngenta plans to broaden its canola portfolio beyond chemicals and launch its own new canola seed varieties on the Prairies starting next fall.
"This is an exceptional time to be in the canola seed market, given the extent of breeding and varietal development activities going on across the country," Dave Sippell, Syngenta's head of diverse field crops for North America, said in a release Thursday.
Syngenta Canada's first entry in the canola seed market will be SY4135, for which it says commercial quantities will be available in the fall of 2013 to seed in 2014.
The company noted its glyphosate-based Touchdown Total herbicide can be used on SY4135.
"Based on grower and market needs, Syngenta will continue to increase its number of canola seed offerings over the coming years," the company said.
"Future varieties will also be developed using leading technologies growers desire, offering strong yield and optimal weed control. Efforts in 2013 will focus on strategic trialing of new canola varieties at the field level with commercial growers."
Syngenta's canola portfolio in the West already features crop protection and pesticide products such as its Helix Vibrance seed treatment, Astound fungicide and Matador insecticide.
Syngenta Canada said it will rely on the "experience and expertise gained from these products" as well as its previous work overseas, where the parent company already markets a number of "canola-quality oilseed rape varieties."
Its experience, the company said, "facilitates the delivery of a new seed portfolio for western Canadian growers."
"Our approach is to take advantage of the best that these (breeding) activities have to offer -- allowing us to collaborate with a variety of canola providers and breeders to select the germplasm and traits that will deliver the greatest benefit to growers, and commercialize the resulting varieties," Sippell said Thursday.
The company has previously sold wheat seed on the Prairies in a distribution deal with Viterra's Proven Seed, but Syngenta Seeds' own branded seed business in Canada has so far been limited to its corn, soybean and sunflower varieties.
The first Syngenta-branded wheat for the Prairie cereals market was its herbicide-tolerant Canada Western red spring (CWRS) wheat variety, WR859 CL, sold through Richardson International starting in 2010.
Syngenta added to its Prairie wheat portfolio earlier this month with the launch of SY985, a Canada Prairie spring red (CPSR) variety approved for the Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba markets.
Where CPSR varieties were originally developed for industrial uses such as the ethanol and feed markets, Syngenta said Oct. 5, SY985 marked the launch of a CPSR with milling wheat grain quality.