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About Us

The roles of the Ontario Cereal Crops Committee (OCCC) are to:

*Act as the recommending body for cereal variety registration in Ontario. OCCC also advises the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Variety Registration Office (CFIA) as to whether registration of varieties should be extended to Ontario if the variety has been supported for registration outside of Ontario.

*Coordinate cereal performance testing and dissemination of the results.

*Review cereal-related research (public and private) to facilitate its coordination. Part of this role leads to the inclusion of new information in the Agronomy Guide (publication 811).

The crops for which OCCC holds this mandate are:
     • Wheat
     • Barley
     • Oats
     • Rye
     • Spelt
     • Buckwheat
     • Durum

Note: The OCCC has no authority outside of Ontario.

Registration Procedures and Testing Methods

OCCC Operating Procedures for Variety Registration (pdf)

OCCC Trial Methods & Testing Procedures Mar 2017 (pdf)

Data Summary when Check Cultivars are Changed (pdf)


The voting membership of the OCCC consists of one representative of each of the following 11 organizations representing the cereal industry in Ontario:

Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO)
Oat and Barley Council of Ontario (OBCO)
Ontario Seed Grower's Association (OSGA)
Canadian Seed Trade Association (CSTA)
Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA)
Canadian National Millers Association (CNMA)
Ontario Agri-business Association (OABA)
Canadian Grain Commission (CGC)
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food (OMAF)
Agriculture and Agri-food Canada (AAFC)
University of Guelph (UofG)

In addition, the committee is served by the following non-voting members:
Chair: Mark Etienne (Hyland Seeds)
Secretary: David Morris
Treasurer: Peter Johnson (OMAF)
Vice Chair: Crosby Devitt (GFO)
Past Chair: Martin Harry (OBCO)
Winter Wheat Registration Coordinator: Ellen Sparry (CSTA)
Spring Wheat Registration Coordinator (acting): Ellen Sparry (CSTA)
Barley Registration Coordinator: Alek Choo (AAFC)
Oat Registration Coordinator: Weikai Yan (AAFC)
Performance Testing Coordinator: Ellen Sparry (CSTA)
Spring Cereal Disease Coordinator (acting): Harvey Voldeng (AAFC)
Winter Cereal Disease Coordinator: Lily Tamburic (RC, UofG)

Research & Service Priorities

•  Breeding for fusarium resistance in wheat, barley and oat.

•  Spring cereal breeding: yield, quality traits, protein fractionation, milling yield, disease resistance.

•  Winter wheat breeding : yield, quality traits, protein fractionation, dormancy/vernalization requirements, milling yield.

•  Develop Management Tools to Reduce Risk Factors: winterkill, winter hardiness traits, sprouting tolerance (especially in white wheat), falling number impacts, stripe rust management and rust in wheat and oats.

•  Market Development: Food uses of cereal grains.

•  Performance Testing: adaptation, agronomic traits, competitive agriculture, quality attributes, market potential.

•  Research to Improve Grading Systems: DON (deoxynivalenol or vomitoxin) quick test, computer scanning technology for fusarium damaged kernels, mildew grading and impacts, rapid assessment of quality (falling number).

•  Production Management Research: planting dates, frost seeding, plant depth and uniformity, tillage impacts, Barley Yellow Dwarf and aphid management, herbicide impacts, European chafer, cereal leaf beetle, dwarf bunt management.

•  Determination and evaluation of OTA risk in Ontario cereal grains. (OTA=Ochratoxin A)

•  Evaluation of alternate methods for quality determination.

© 2007-2017 Ontario Cereal Crops Committee