AWC announces $2.6 million in wheat research funding
By Alberta Wheat Commission
The Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC) annouced more than $2.6 million in funding for 22 cutting edge wheat research projects aimed at improved farm profitability through variety development, pathology, agronomy and pre-breeding.
Projects are being funded as part of the Canadian National Wheat Cluster, a five-year federal matching program under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. The Wheat Cluster is worth nearly $25 million in combined government and industry funding. Wheat Cluster funding was announced on Jan. 14, 2019 by the Lawrence MacAulay, minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
Farmers can look forward to new varieties that could better resist western prairie heat and drought stress, new biotechnologytools that will strengthen wheat breeding, and an innovative winter wheat agronomic package aimed at improving sustainability on the Canadian Prairies, among a host of other high value projects.
“This announcement is good news for farmers,” said Terry Young, AWC’s research chair and Canadian Wheat Research Coalition (CWRC) chair. “We see tremendous benefit in research projects that provide significant value to Western Canadian farmers and will improve our competitive advantage.”
AWC’s funding is being administered by the CWRC as part of the commission’s partnership with Sask Wheat and Manitoba Wheat and Barley. The CWRC was formed by the three Western Canadian wheat commissions to coordinate their approach to funding variety development and assume responsibility of the public institution core breeding agreements currently funded by the Western Grains Research Foundation. The Wheat Cluster is the CWRC’s first investment.
A full listing of AWC-funded projects are listed online including research looking into developing Canadian Western Red Spring Wheat varieties for northern areas and improved breeding for drought and heat stress. Additional funders include the Canadian Field Crop Research Alliance (CFCRA), Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association (MWBGA), Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission (SWDC), Saskatchewan Winter Cereals Development Commission (SWCDC), Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) and Winter Cereals Manitoba Inc. (WCMI).
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