Importing Seed Corn For Your Own Use
By Greg Stewart, OMAFRA Corn Specialist

There has been perhaps more talk than usual in regard to farmers importing seed corn from smaller seed corn companies from the U.S. Seed offerings via the Internet or 1-800-phone services may be responsible for some of this. Growers should be reminded that corn hybrids that have not been tested under Ontario conditions run a very high risk of producing disappointing yields and/or having poor agronomic traits (i.e., standability, disease resistance, test weight, etc.). As an industry, we have a reasonably difficult time identifying hybrids that will be consistent, excellent performers even when they are tested extensively within the province, let alone trying to make assumptions about hybrids that are untried. It is a case of buyer beware.

For those growers determined to import seed corn, here is a list of considerations in order to comply with government regulations:

Import Declaration. The importer must fill out this form at the time of importation. All of the information regarding the seed lot is recorded on the declaration. When importing seed for own use, the seed must be used by the declared importer and must not be sold to or used by anyone else.

Seed Treatments. The importer should check to see what the seed is treated with, as some seed treatments may not be allowed into the country.

Plant Protection Requirements. If the seed corn being imported contains novel traits, then it will require a permit to import. The importer must send in an application for a permit to import, plus a $35.00 fee, to the Plant Protection Office in Ottawa.

Certificate of Analysis (Purity). The importer must present a certificate of analysis for purity at the time of importation. The seed must not contain any prohibited noxious weed seeds.

Certificate of Origin. This document is a requirement of Animal Health. The certificate must declare that the seed is being imported in new bags and that the seed was grown in the U.S.

Corn producers wishing further information should contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency at (519) 837-9400

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