From the Editor: Top Crop West October 2018
“There’s a way to do better – find it.”
During the span of my career, I’ve had the opportunity to cover several different markets from an editor’s desk. From professional services, like firefighting, to retail bakeries and pizzerias, I’ve seen different Canadian sectors change and grow toward the betterment of the industry. But I’d be willing to argue that the level of research and development in Canadian agriculture in unmatched.
Of course, the research doesn’t come without cost, and over recent months, Canada has made several investments in agriculture (most recently, in early September, the investment made toward supporting the canola sector to focus on growth and profitability). But the real work happens behind closed doors, in the labs and offices, by some of the top researchers in the world.
The quote above, from America’s greatest inventor, Thomas Edison, is particularly poignant to open our annual issue highlighting advanced genetic and plant breeding research. Arguably overused, innovation is a buzzword you’ll often hear in many industries, including agriculture. As you flip through this issue, I’m sure you’ll agree with me that it’s hard not to describe these projects as innovative.
This month’s cover story is a bit different than our usual content, but important nonetheless. In Saskatoon, Patricia Vrinten with Bioriginal Food and Science Corporation is working to develop a stay-fresh wheat variety. The benefits of this, according to Vrinten, would be two-fold: flour made from the stay-fresh wheat could prevent staling in bakery products, eliminating waste, and products would require fewer added ingredients to stay fresher for longer periods of time.
And on page 34, Donna Fleury summarizes research on new ways to advance drought-tolerant varieties of wheat that are high yielding and high quality. Led by Karen Tanino out of the University of Saskatchewan, several projects have recently launched to accelerate drought tolerance – particularly timely after an incredibly dry summer in the Prairies.
We’ve also included our 2018 Traits and Stewardship Guides in this issue, which highlight new technologies from the seeds and traits industries projected to provide more protection, reduce risk and add value to your bottom line.
Finally, I’d be remiss not to mention the 2019 Soil Management and Sustainability Summit during a discussion about innovation. Our fourth research-focused event, Top Crop Manager’s annual summit gathers producers, agronomists, industry members and the scientific community together to share new research and ideas. We hope you’ll join us on Feb. 26, 2019 in Saskatoon.
There’s constant change and growth happening, and we’re pleased to be able to provide a glimpse of what you can expect to see from the industry in the coming years. Happy reading.