Seed of the Year West Announces 2012 Winner

November 28, 2012 / Saskatoon

Seed of the Year West Announces Winner

Seed of the Year West is proud to announce that CDC Bethune Flax has been selected as the 2012-13 winner. CDC Bethune’s consistently high seed yield and reliable agronomic package made it the flax variety of choice throughout the past decade. CDC Bethune enhanced the economic return of flax crops.

The name was chosen to continue the theme of the naming University of Saskatchewan, Crop Development Centre (CDC) flax varieties after significant Canadian World War I locations. Bethune is a town in northern France where Canadian troops were often sent for rest when they were pulled out of the front lines. “CDC Bethune can be found in the pedigree of many new flax lines currently in development” said Dr. Helen Booker, Flax Breeder at the Crop Development Centre, and nominator of CDC Bethune. “No other flax variety has come close to this level of return to farmers. CDC Bethune has proven itself to be a highly valued and sustained variety for farmers” said Booker.

Seed of the Year is designed to provide recognition to publicly-developed varieties that have made a significant contribution to the economy, agriculture, and the Canadian public in general. Although the name, Seed of the Year, indicates the contribution in a particular year, the program is much broader reaching and considers total lifetime achievement and contribution. It is important to recognize the value of our public plant breeding programs, as well as encourage the entry of new plant breeders to the industry.
Part of the western award is a $4000 scholarship, awarded to a student enrolled in a western Canadian university and currently completing a Masters or Ph.D. in plant breeding or genetics. As the breeder responsible for CDC Bethune, Dr. Gord Rowland has been asked to review and select the scholarship award winner. “Plant genetics has always been a real passion for me,” said Dr. Rowland. “I am excited about awarding a scholarship winner and having the next generation of plant breeders and geneticist’s associated with CDC Bethune” said Dr. Rowland.

Seed of the Year West would also like to acknowledge its sponsors: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Alberta Barley Commission, Canterra Seeds, Cargill, Parrish & Heimbecker Limited, Canadian Seed Growers Association, Viterra, Richardson International, SeCan, and Western Grains Research Foundation. We also wish to thank the judges and other applicants.

For more information on Seed of the Year West, as well as application forms for next year, please visit


For further information, contact:

Mike Espeseth
Western Grains Research Foundation


Todd Hyra
SeCan, Western Business Manager