The Canadian Forage Seed Project assists in the tracking and management of Foundation seed supply of 11 key forage and grass varieties which are part of the program. Started as a collaborative project over 60 years ago, the project continues to contribute to the industry’s success.

Background on the Canadian Forage Seed Project

The Canadian Forage Seed Project (CFSP) was started in 1950 by the Seed Division of Agriculture Canada.The project arranged for the contract production, conditioning, warehousing and sale of Foundation seed of forage varieties developed by the Research Branch of AAFC. At one time, as many as 45 varieties were managed. This number had diminished to 20 by 1984 when a seed Program Review was conducted.

The review concluded that the varieties in the CFSP would be offered to SeCan and the project would be phased out over 5 years. SeCan picked up 5 of the 20 CFSP varieties.

In 1988, the Agriculture Canada Seed Division and the Research Branch accepted a proposal from the CSTA to tender the production and management of the Foundation Seed of the remaining varieties to private companies (Managing Companies). Managing Companies became the exclusive suppliers of Foundation Seed, assuming the responsibilities to manage the variety, including negotiating with the Research Branch for Breeder Seed requirements.

There are three varieties that are “UK listed” allowing sales of Certified Seed of those varieties in the EU. The managing companies for those varieties are responsible for maintaining the listing by paying a renewal fee every five years.

At that time, CSTA retained a small role as the allocator of Foundation seed when varieties were in short supply, and a Project Coordinating Committee was named to oversee the transition and the operation of the CFSP. The committee oversaw the transfer of two contracts to new owners, and approved the discontinuation of three others on joint agreement with the Managing Companies. The Committee was made up of representatives of CSTA, the Canadian Seed Growers Association and Agriculture Canada.

On decision by CSTA leadership earlier this decade, CSTA’s role was once again redefined. CSTA’s responsibility became to survey the trade and growers (through CSGA) to determine needs for Foundation seed of CFSP varieties and provide that information to the Managing Companies. CSTA also continues to survey Managing Companies to determine the supplies, production plans and prices Foundation Seed of CFSP varieties. These surveys are conducted two to three times each year and the results are provided to the trade, and posted below.

The former Project Coordinating Committee has become an Advisory Committee to the Canadian Forage Seed Project. Still made up of a representative of CSTA, CSGA and the Research Branch at AAFC, the committee exists to review the project and to receive and advise on any concerns with the operation of the project.

Today, 9 varieties remain part of the Canadian Forage Seed Project. If you click on the variety name, you will be redirected to the managing companies website.





Alsike Clover





Birdsfoot Trefoil




Creeping Red Fescue



New CFSP Managing Companies–CSTA is pleased to announce new Managing Companies for several Canadian Forage Seed Project (CFSP) varieties. Under contract with CSTA, Managing Companies are the exclusive suppliers of Foundation seed for the varieties that they manage. You can find a complete list of all CFSP Managing Companies by variety, including all necessary contact information and a key contact person here.

CFSP Procedures–Two special appendices have been added to the new contracts between the CSTA and CFSP Managing Companies. Anyone interested in CFSP varieties, either as a potential Managing Company, or as a company or grower who is interested in access Foundation seed of CFSP varieties should read and understand them.

  • Appendix 1: Non-Performance and Complaint Procedures–clearly describes the procedures for determining whether a Managing Company is performing its obligations in a satisfactory manner. It describes the criteria necessary to make a formal complaint as well as the arbitration process that is in place to handle formal complaints. If a Managing Company is found to be operating in an unsatisfactory manner consequences include; loss of exclusivity and/or termination of Managing Company contract.
  • Appendix 2: International Listing Fees–clearly describes the procedures in place for maintaining a variety listing, including the payment of required fees. It also describes the process to be followed should a company or individual request that a CFSP
    variety to be added to or maintained on an official list
CFSP Reports

Managing Companies are required to report to CSTA on a regular basis, and CSTA makes the reports available to the trade through the CSTA Forage and Turf Committee, and publicly through this website. The reports can be found by following the links.