DECEMBER 5, 2017 – The Midge Tolerant Wheat Stewardship Team has launched an online system to improve the Stewardship Agreement process for growers and retailers that will help to ensure continued protection of the midge
tolerance gene. The Midge Tolerant Wheat Stewardship Assurance Site (MTWSAS) is a secure, web-based tool for use by seed distributors, seed retailers and seed growers that makes the process of documenting the movement of Certified Midge Tolerant Wheat seed more efficient. It allows users to create electronically signed Stewardship Agreements and to post sales transactions. All Midge Tolerant Wheat is sold to farmers under an Agreement in order to ensure proper stewardship of the technology, which limits the use of farm-saved seed to one generation past Certified seed. With MTWSAS, the stewardship principles do not change, but the process becomes a lot easier. “This online Agreement replaces the paper-based version and manual process that we’ve used since the launch of Midge Tolerant Wheat in 2009,” explains Mike Espeseth, Communications Manager for the Western Grains Research Foundation and Co-Chair of the Midge Tolerant Wheat Stewardship Committee.
“The online Stewardship Agreements are evergreen, which really simplifies things for everyone. Agreements are now signed digitally and farmers will only need to sign once, no matter where they buy their seed,” he says. While Stewardship Agreements have been a vital part of protecting Midge Tolerant Wheat technology for the past eight years, Espeseth and the team knew that the process could be improved. “The new MTWSAS is simple and technologically advanced,” says Ed Mazurkewich, a Business Development Consultant with AgCall, the developer and host of the new retailer-driven platform. “All wholesale and retail movement of Certified Midge Tolerant Wheat seed is posted to the MTWSAS by seed growers and retailers with a user-friendly interface,” he says. Mazurkewich points to benefits for retailers such as eliminating the nuisance of duplicate agreements and adding report-generating capabilities for their specific varieties. He explains that in order for distributors, retailers and seed growers to access the new system, they require a new Authorized Retailer number. This is obtained by successfully passing the updated Retailer Training located at midgetolerantwheat.ca and by signing a new Retailer Stewardship Agreement at MTWSA.ca. “New processes incur new actions and perhaps new questions,” says Mazurkewich, adding that AgCall is committed to providing ongoing support. “Users will have access to four videos outlining how to use MTWSAS once they receive their login information from AgCall.” MTWSAS is administered and managed by AgCall with oversight by the Canadian Plant Technology Agency to ensure privacy and confidentiality. The Midge Tolerant Wheat Stewardship Team is a broad industry coalition representing plant breeders, government, seed growers, seed distributors and
producer groups. The Stewardship Team is committed to maintaining the viability of Midge Tolerant Wheat by educating western Canadian wheat producers on the importance of proper stewardship of the technology.
For more information, please visit www.midgetolerantwheat.ca or contact one of the Co-Chairs of the Midge Tolerant Wheat Stewardship Team: