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Head of plant science named Plant Breeder of the Year

Dr. Bruce Coulman, head of the Plant Science Department at the University of Saskatchewan, was awarded the 2008 Canadian Plant Breeding and Genetics award for his work in forages.


July 9, 2008
By Canadian Seed Trade Association

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July 8, 2008

Winnipeg, MB  –Dr. Bruce Coulman, Head of the Plant Science Department at the University of Saskatchewan, has been awarded the 2008 Canadian Plant Breeding & Genetics Award for his outstanding work with forages, the second largest seeded crop in the country. Co-sponsored by the Canadian Seed Trade Association (CSTA) and Germination magazine, this award recognizes the outstanding contribution of a Canadian researcher to the advancement of plant agriculture. Coulman received the award today at the CSTA’s Semi-Annual Meeting in St. John’s, Newfoundland.  During his long career, Coulman has developed and released varieties that have not only benefited producers, but have been an integral contribution towards Canada’s global reputation for high quality forage products. He has worked on a diversity of species, striving to make forages a more profitable choice for farmers all the while maintaining a keen understanding of the technical and commercial issues of the industry. Coulman has released 18 varieties, including a number of industry firsts and standards such as AC Grazeland, the world’s first bloat-reduced alfalfa, which had a significant impact on the forage industry as it allowed producers to reduce pasture bloat by up to 60%. Coulman also developed various hybrids which led to the release of AC Knowles and AC Success – hybrid bromegrasses developed from crosses of smooth and meadow bromegrass to produce a dual purpose grass that is good for either hay or pasture. His research on plant breeding has lead to the development of new and improved alfalfa varieties and forage grasses that are safer and provide greater nutritive value, improved disease resistance, and higher productivity for producers and the livestock sector in general. “As a former Canadian forage researcher, the continuous erosion of forage breeding in Canada has been an ongoing concern,” says Bill Leask, Executive Vice President of CSTA. “Bruce successfully countered the trend by maintaining support for his forage breeding activities and programs and has released an impressive number of varieties.” 

It was reported that nearly 9 percent of Canada's GDP is generated by the agri-food industry in this country, and that innovations in plant breeding form the foundation for such strength. 

 This is the eighth Plant Breeder’s Award CSTA has given. The Canadian Seed Trade Association is committed to fostering an environment conducive to researching, developing, distributing, and trading seed and associated technologies, with the goal of bettering the choices and successes of its members and their customers.