The Government of Canada is investing $11 million to develop new wheat and barley varieties. The funding will go toward helping to improve crop performance, and giving Canadian producers a competitive advantage in the market.
With additional funding from the Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF), the Canadian Agri-Science Clusters initiative will invest more than $8 million to create the Canadian Wheat Breeding Cluster. The Cluster will bring together experts who will work to improve wheat varieties so that producers will benefit from higher yields and quality, and lower production costs. Research will also go into innovative breeding techniques to develop varieties that are more disease and insect resistant, and that promote efficient use of nutrients and water.
The government will also invest up to $2.8 million under the Developing Innovative Agri-Products initiative for research in barley breeding. Partners in this project include the WGFR, the Canadian Wheat Board, the Alberta Barley Commission, the Brewing and Malting Barley Research Institute and Rahr Malting Canada Ltd.
“Grain farmers struggle against challenges like drought, floods and pests so that families in Canada and around the world can enjoy safe, healthy and high-quality food,” says David Anderson, parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board, speaking on behalf of Agriculture and Agri-Food (AAFC) Minister Gerry Ritz. “Our government is making sure grain farmers remain prosperous and competitive by investing in innovation that will not only improve the quality of field crop varieties, but will also create value-added opportunities for farmers in the growing bio-economy.”
The projects are delivered through the Growing Forward framework under the $158-million, five-year Agri-Innovations Program.