Mexico has agreed to a 60-day delay in implementing new restrictions on wild buckwheat in Canadian canaryseed. Speaking yesterday at the Canadian Special Crops Association annual meeting in Saskatoon, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced that he had talked to his counterpart in Mexico to arrange the brief reprieve. This means that a number of railcars of canaryseed stalled at the Mexican border will be allowed to enter. It also provides until mid-August to work out a deal to satisfy Mexican concerns. While it’s easy to conclude that Mexico is just trying to get our canaryseed at a cheaper price, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Mexican buyers, some of whom are in attendance at the Saskatoon meeting, want our canaryseed just as much as we want to sell it to them. However, wild buckwheat is a quarantined weed seed in Mexico. Officials there have become concerned about its spread and the cost to control it. Some shipments of Canadian canaryseed have apparently had high levels. Fortunately, Mexico seems to realize that its imposition of zero tolerance is not practical and that will hopefully make it possible for the two countries to reach a workable solution. I’m Kevin Hursh.
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