Prairie wheat com­mis­sions com­mit nearly $18 mil­lion to re­search in 2018/2019

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - OPINION -

The Al­berta Wheat Com­mis­sion (AWC), the Saskatchew­an Wheat De­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion (Sask Wheat), and the Man­i­toba Wheat and Bar­ley Grow­ers As­so­ci­a­tion (MWBGA) com­mit­ted a com­bined $17.9 mil­lion to 81 wheat re­search projects dur­ing the 2018/2019 crop year.

The in­vest­ments will ben­e­fit farm­ers with the de­vel­op­ment of new wheat va­ri­eties with im­proved ge­net­ics along with in­no­va­tive re­search into pest man­age­ment, agro­nomic prac­tices, and grain stor­age.

The com­mit­ments of the three Prairie wheat com­mis­sions have helped lever­age $76.6 mil­lion in to­tal fund­ing for these projects from all fund­ing sources, in­clud­ing the gov­ern­ments of Canada, Al­berta, Saskatchew­an, and Man­i­toba, as well as uni­ver­si­ties and pri­vate in­dus­try. The fund­ing for the pre­vi­ous crop year in­cludes a com­mit­ment to the Cana­dian Na­tional Wheat Clus­ter (Wheat Clus­ter), a five-year re­search agree­ment worth nearly $25 mil­lion which in­cludes fund­ing from Agri­cul­ture and Agri-Food Canada through the Cana­dian Agri­cul­tural Part­ner­ship’s AgriS­cience pro­gram as well as Sask Wheat, AWC, MWBGA, and seven ad­di­tional pro­ducer and pri­vate or­ga­ni­za­tions. The Wheat Clus­ter is be­ing ad­min­is­tered through the Cana­dian Wheat Re­search Coali­tion (CWRC), a part­ner­ship of Sask Wheat, AWC, and MWBGA. “The di­ver­sity of projects that Sask Wheat was able to in­vest in this year on be­half of Saskatchew­an wheat farm­ers will cre­ate new op­por­tu­ni­ties, build on in­no­va­tive re­search, and en­hance the long-term vi­a­bil­ity of grow­ing wheat,” said Laura Reiter, Sask Wheat Chair. “Col­lab­o­rat­ing with AWC, MWBGA, and the or­ga­ni­za­tions par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Wheat Clus­ter en­hances our ef­forts as a com­mis­sion and strength­ens the prospects for Cana­dian wheat in the global mar­ket­place.” “In­vest­ment in re­search aimed at im­proved far­m­gate re­turns is AWC’s top pri­or­ity,” says Ja­nine Paly, AWC re­search chair. “With new projects in our port­fo­lio rang­ing from help­ing to de­ter­mine the value of ben­e­fi­cial in­sects to clos­ing the yield gap through agron­omy and strength­en­ing ac­cess to pre­mium CWRS va­ri­eties, we look for­ward to see­ing re­sults. And now with the CWRC serv­ing as a col­lab­o­ra­tive in­vest­ment model, we are able to fur­ther max­i­mize value for west­ern Cana­dian wheat farm­ers by work­ing along­side our coun­ter­parts Sask Wheat and Man­i­toba Wheat and Bar­ley Grow­ers As­so­ci­a­tion.” “The MWBGA con­tin­ues to fund re­search projects that will im­prove the prof­itabil­ity of Man­i­toba wheat grow­ers,” says Fred Greig, MWBGA chair. “The var­i­ous projects meet the strate­gic re­search pri­or­i­ties the board laid out, with re­search fo­cused on va­ri­ety de­vel­op­ment, fusar­ium head blight, ni­tro­gen and pro­tein man­age­ment, ex­cess mois­ture man­age­ment, and use of plant growth reg­u­la­tors. We are also pleased to work closely with our sis­ter wheat or­ga­ni­za­tions in Al­berta and Saskatchew­an to fur­ther wheat re­search across West­ern Canada.” The com­mis­sions com­mit­ted the fol­low­ing amounts to re­search in the 2018-2019 crop year:

• AWC com­mit­ted $6.6 mil­lion to 46 projects, in­clud­ing over $2.6 mil­lion to 19 projects un­der the Wheat Clus­ter. This in­cludes $282,000 com­mit­ted to Dr. Brian Beres (Agri­cul­ture and Agri-Food Canada) to quan­tify the yield gaps across the Prairies and to de­ter­mine op­por­tu­ni­ties to sus­tain­ably im­prove yield through man­age­ment prac­tices. This project is also funded by Sask Wheat, MWBGA and Al­berta In­no­vates.

• Sask Wheat com­mit­ted over $8.8 mil­lion to 48 projects, in­clud­ing over $3.1 mil­lion to 15 projects un­der the Wheat Clus­ter. A key project will be re­search into fusar­ium head blight (FHB) re­sis­tance by Dr. Randy Kutcher of the Univer­sity of Saskatchew­an’s Crop De­vel­op­ment Cen­tre. This project, which Sask Wheat is pro­vid­ing over $317,000 to over three years, fo­cuses on seek­ing new sources of re­sis­tance for FHB and in un­der­stand­ing the re­sis­tance mech­a­nisms. This project is also be­ing funded by the MWBGA.

• MWBGA com­mit­ted $2.5 mil­lion to 42 projects, in­clud­ing over $933,000 to 16 projects un­der the Wheat Clus­ter. This in­cludes fund­ing com­mit­ted to ni­tro­gen man­age­ment and a multi dis­ci­plinary ap­proach to the de­vel­op­ment of tools and tech­niques to man­age ex­treme mois­ture.

• The three com­mis­sions co-funded 36 of the 81 to­tal projects.

For more in­for­ma­tion on the com­mis­sions and the re­search they in­vest in on be­half of wheat farm­ers, please go to their web­sites:

• al­bertawheat.com

• saskwheat.ca

• mb­wheatand­bar­ley.ca

• wheatre­search.ca

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