Manitoba seed processor reaches farther West; The forge and turf seed company now supplies varieties to growers across Western CanadaOntario Farmer Tue Apr 24 2018 Page: A21 Section: Business Byline: Harry Siemens Source: Ontario Farmer Located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Imperial Seed Ltd is primarily focused on seed multiplication of forage and turf species.The company operates an accredited seed processing facility and works with Western Canadian farmers to ensure quality seed for domestic and international markets.In 2017 the company made its most significant move and expansion to 8040 Park Royale Way, in the CentrePort area of Winnipeg, MB.Moving from the original location on Arlington Street to the new open space gives the company a 20-acre open area up from the two acres at the old place 2.5 times more capacity and doubling their warehouse space.”The key part is our forage and turf seed industries with lots of different crop production opportunities for producers across Western Canada,” said Kurt Shmon president and owner of Imperial Seed.”We contract all through Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba and our crops are competitive so we’re expanding our surface area and our exports.””We’re also now a wholesaler-retailer of forage turf seed and cover crop seeds in western Canada. The timing was right for us to make a move.”Shmon contracts directly with farmers to obtain seed multiplication contracts from around the world, bringing their parented seed back to Canada, producing the seed and in their new Winnipeg facility processing, packaging, and then shipping it back around the world.”We try to provide producers across Western Canada with alternative crops like perennial ryegrass, tall fescue, meadow fescue, alfalfa, Timothy, and the whole family of clovers,” said Shmon in a recent interview.”We probably produce in the area of about nine to 10 different species, but out of (those) different species we probably deal with about 40 to 50 different varieties.”Shmon said perennial ryegrasses are an excellent alternative crop, referring to an example where producers near Carmen grossed over $1,000 an acre in 2017.These crops not only provide differentiation in terms of harvest time but also an excellent economic return to the farm. SHMON PURCHASED Imperial Seed in 2008, established some 50 years before that, adding new life to the business by taking the Manitoba-based company across Western Canada.”I travel the world to obtain multiplication contracts, bring them back to Canada contracting the parenthood seed with producers…Then we bring the seeds back to Winnipeg for processing and then ship it back to the country.””Currently, Imperial exports to over 26 different countries around the world,” said Shmon.”Exporting to more than 26 countries means 26 different countries that have faith in shipping their parenthood seed here to Canada for us to multiply and then shipped back to their homeland.”He said Canada’s currency also plays a huge role in attracting other countries to our seed production. Environmental conditions play a role, the quality of seed growers in western Canada, a, and some of the stiffest regulations to make certified seed.”We’ve got some of the best seed growers in Western Canada, a, and they can produce the grades that we can ship around the world,” he said.Following trade shows like Ag Days in Brandon, Shmon takes the accumulated names of producers interested in growing their crop kinds and meets with them face to face.”We’re following up by…sitting across the table from them. It allows for drawing out good questions of each other… answer any questions they may have, and sign on the dotted line. Let’s get this stuff growing,” he said.He contracts about 80 per cent of their seed business while working with open market purchases for the common alfalfa, common timothy, stuff like that.Imperial Seed also owns Integrity Seed Lab, an accredited seed testing laboratory performing seed testing for themselves. It is imperative to make sure their seeds are all making the grade for their customers to the different specifications they stand for.Getting ready to head into full swing seeding in Western Canada Shmon’s business enjoyed a great year in 2017.”The saturated grounds that we had in 2016 was a savior as we rolled into 17, and with a few timely showers we pulled off one of the best crops ever in my industry. The grasses and the legumes both yielded far above normal,” he said.Illustration:• / “The key part is our forage and turf seed industries with lots of different crop production opportunities for producers across Western Canada,” said Kurt Shmon president and owner of Imperial Seed.• / Located in Winnipeg, Imperial Seed Ltd is primarily focused on seed multiplication of forage and turf species. The company operates an accredited seed processing facility and works with Western Canadian farmers to ensure quality seed for domestic and international markets.