Canary seed will soon become an official grain

News release

Canary seed will soon be designated as an official grain under the Canada Grain Act.

Responding to producer calls for change and following consultations with stakeholders across the country, the Canadian Grain Commission is implementing regulatory changes that add canary seed to the list of official grains.

Effective August 1, 2021, grain producers will benefit from the same rights, services and protections on their canary seed crop as they do on other regulated grains, including:

  • the right to have their canary seed assessed for grade and dockage following official grading standards at time of delivery
  • the right to dispute their grain’s assessment at a licensed primary grain elevator at the time of delivery through the Canadian Grain Commission’s Subject to Inspector’s Grade and Dockage service
  • payment protections through the Canadian Grain Commission’s Safeguards for Grain Farmers Program
  • access to no-fee quality assessments through the Canadian Grain Commission’s Harvest Sample Program

The Canadian Grain Commission has consulted with canary seed handlers and growers to determine the grade and quality specifications for this crop. A grade determinant table along with a moisture chart will be added to our website in July 2021.


“After successive licensee failures where canary seed growers were left empty handed, it was clear we needed to extend regulatory safeguards to the sector. We’re very pleased to be able to offer canary seed growers the rights and services provided by the Canada Grain Act and help ensure they are fairly compensated for their deliveries.”

Doug Chorney, Chief Commissioner
Canadian Grain Commission

Quick facts

  • Under the Canada Grain Act, the Canadian Grain Commission is responsible for establishing and maintaining Canada’s grain grading system.

  • Canary seed is the largest volume grain that isn’t protected under the Canada Grain Act.

  • Canada accounts for 65% of global production and about 80% of total export of canary seed.

  • The average production of canary seed in Canada over the last six years was 149,600 tonnes and the average seeded area was 273,050 acres.

  • Saskatchewan accounts for over 95% of Canadian acreage and production and is the world’s leading producer and exporter of canary seed.

  • Consultations with producer groups began after the failure of a grain company in 2019 left producers unpaid for $2.1 million of canary seed deliveries to the company. Those producers didn’t qualify for payment protection under the Safeguards for Grain Farmers Program because canary seed was not a designated grain under the Canada Grain Act.

Associated links


Rémi Gosselin

Head of Communications


Canadian Grain Commission

The Canadian Grain Commission is the federal agency responsible for establishing and maintaining Canada’s grain quality standards. Its programs result in shipments of grain that consistently meet contract specifications for quality, safety and quantity. The Canadian Grain Commission regulates the grain industry to protect producers’ rights and ensure the integrity of grain transactions.

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