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Canadian Wheat Board funds four research projects

The Canadian Wheat Board announced recently that it will fund four separate research projects being conducted by graduate students at the University of Manitoba and the University of Saskatchewan, a total of more than $130,000.

August 22, 2008  By Regina Leader-Post

August, 22, 2008

Carnduff, SK -The Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) is supporting four university graduate research projects studying wheat.

"Not only do these projects all have direct benefits for grain producers, they help to support and encourage the next generation of agricultural researchers," Larry Hill, chairman of the CWB's board of directors, said in a media release on Thursday.

The CWB annually supports research into diverse areas of benefit to Western Canadian grain farmers. This year's fellowships are valued at $33,000 each. The funding comes from the CWB's special account, made up of uncashed producer cheques and interest.

"Ongoing research is crucial to improve plant breeding lines, develop important new uses for our grain and keep up with market trends. In such a competitive international market, we cannot afford to be complacent," Hill said.

A University of Manitoba masters student's research project studies a new type of wheat bran with improved bioactive health benefits. Bran is the outer layer of the wheat seed.

The project, called "NovaBran," is a specially treated bran that has shown great promise during preliminary studies for use in functional food and nutraceuticals. Researchers at the University of Manitoba's Department of Food Science believe the novel bran has a range of potential health benefits far beyond what normal wheat bran can provide.

NovaBran also improves the aroma and flavour of whole-wheat products and increases the mixing strength of whole-wheat flour dough.

Another research student's project funded by the CWB at the University of Saskatchewan focuses on enhancing the bright yellow colour in durum wheat. Durum wheat is used to make macaroni and pasta products.

The flour from durum wheat is called semolina. It is marketed internationally. Buyers look for the yellow colour in the flour when they are purchasing semolina flour. By enhancing the yellow colour researchers are hoping this would give Canadian durum a competitive edge in international semolina and pasta markets.

A student from the University of Manitoba is engaged in the battle against the devastation of fusarium, a type of mould which affects wheat and some other cereals. The pink-coloured mould causes the grain to be graded much lower. Fusarium has been impacting crops in southeastern Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Finally, a graduate student from the U of S will study the financial implications for farmers trading in the international carbon-credit markets. The student will examine the international carbon-credit markets and their impact on farmers' financial interests.


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