Canada. Dept. of Agriculture. Plant Products Division : In a major reorganization in 1938, operations of the Department were divided into five Services. The efforts of the Science Service were directed towards "the solution of practical problems of agriculture" through research. The Production and Marketing Services had responsibility for most of the legislation the Department administered. Within Production Services, the Plant Products Division, formerly the Dominion Seed Branch, administered the Seeds Act, Feeding Stuffs Act, Fertilizers Act, Agricultural Pests Control Act, Inspection and Sale Act, and Hay and Straw Inspection Act.
The Division had its regular work of inspection and research severely disrupted by the Second World War. Working as Commodity Administrators under both the Food Administration, Wartime Prices and Trade Board, and the Agricultural Supplies Board, officers of the Plant Products Division controlled the production, supply, distribution and pricing of seeds, feeds, fertilizers, and pesticides. Given the natural shortages of wartime and the heavy demand for Canadian agricultural products by her European allies, lack of these controls during the First World War had led to significant public alarm among farmers and severe production bottlenecks for all agricultural goods. The establishment of the Seeds Administrator, Feeds Administrator, and Fertilizers and Pesticides Administrator was an attempt to avoid these crisis situations during the Second World War.
The Seeds Administrator had the responsibility of ensuring adequate supplies of seed, if necessary buying and distributing seed stocks to maintain maximum production of crops throughout Canada. He also was to guard against wastage, shortage, and over-export of seed; organize, with provincial co-operation, seed production campaigns; and facilitate the export of seed to the United Kingdom and the Allies. In addition, he sought to export the maximum amount of flax fibre to Northern Ireland for war purposes, taking complete control of flax seeding and acreage to meet Allied demands.
The Fertilizers and Pesticides Administrator had to ensure a steady supply of these vital products to maintain maximum agricultural production. As many fertilizer brands were superfluous, the Administrator forced manufacturers to drop these in favour of increased production of essential brands. Exports to Allied countries or elaborate swaps - Russian fertilizer to Canada, Canadian fertilizers to Australia - to prevent Allied bottlenecks were an important part of the Administrator's role.
The Feeds Administrator (not extensively represented in these records) insured that hay, straw, and other feeds were in adequate supply for livestock, including military use for horses. RG17 General Inventory