If you’ve been following this space over the past couple of years, you’ll know that at CSGA we’ve worked hard to use the latest technology to improve our services. Our paper-based system has been all but replaced by an electronic system that has made life easier for our members in a multitude of ways.
This year, those improvements are continuing with a number of new initiatives spearheaded by myself and Doug Miller, our managing director of certification and technology services.
- On May 1 we introduced our Variety Onboarding Tool for entering into seed crop certification new varieties that have yet to go through the CFIA Variety Registration Office process or CSGA’s Form 300 process. The tool, which requires a variety description, may be used by the variety developer, distributor or Canadian representative and is currently available through the Members’ area of our website. This new system will help get essential variety information and descriptions into the hands of inspectors when they need it most in the language that they prefer.
- Last year we piloted our new Remote Appraiser Program. Internally we have a number of appraisers, but it’s a heavy workload with 20,000 fields certified and over 100,000 documents reviewed each year. Last year’s pilot went so well we extended the program for this year with four remote appraisers who will be helping to increase the speed with which we can address materials and increase responsiveness.
- We’ve also modified our seed certification system to facilitate forage inspections. Growers are now able to request an inspection to a specific class, which means that inspectors won’t go out and do a higher intensity inspection unless required. We’ve also automated perennial application renewals so that forage growers can submit an application to CSGA with just four clicks.
- Finally, we’re piloting a project this year to standardize the reporting of soybean off-types. This pilot will lead to our first steps into true automation in the coming seasons.
I’m very excited about the direction we’re taking to offer the seed industry more flexibility. Stay tuned for updates as things unfold and our technology progresses even further.