The future of the Pacific Field Corn Association will be on the agenda when the organization holds its annual general meeting in Abbotsford on February 21.
A discussion paper circulated in advance of the meeting notes the association’s operating environment has changed significantly since the start of industry-led field corn research in partnership with federal research scientists at the Agassiz Research and Development Centre in the 1970s. Trials of varieties submitted by each of BC’s major corn seed suppliers let growers easily compare results of the various seeds offered in the market with the help of government plots and testing equipment.
The government-industry partnership came to an end in 2018 when Ottawa stepped back and rejigged its priorities.
“The abrupt cancellation in 2018 of the use of the facilities, which enabled us to undertake the trials, and the present absence of other facilities brings into perspective the question as to what role, if any, we should consider for the future of the association,” states the discussion paper.
The paper offers nine possible objectives and activities for the association to consider, including continuing field corn variety trials as facilities, manpower and finances allow; cooperative relationships with similar organizations aligned with the interests of forage producers; and support roles related to emerging issues.
Since the association’s work to date has been largely project-based, the discussion paper notes that funding for any future activities will be a consideration.