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Investment made to strengthen wheat breeding

Nov. 7, 2013, Red Deer, AB - The Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC), along with the Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) and the Canadian Field Crop Research Alliance (CFCRA) are partnering with the Government of Canada to invest $25.2 million to support the development of new and improved wheat varieties as part of the National Wheat Improvement Project (NWIP).

The NWIP, also known as the Wheat Cluster, will help to secure the success of wheat breeding across Canada for the next five years.

"The Alberta Wheat Commission has chosen the Wheat Cluster as one of its first investments because Alberta's producers recognize the importance of having strong varieties, alongside excellent agronomics," says Kent Erickson, Chairman of the AWC.

The AWC, WGRF, and CFCRA in Eastern Canada make up the industry or producer investment of $12.7 million, combined with the Government of Canada's investment of $12.5 million.

The Wheat Cluster includes 50 research projects aimed at producing varieties that are high quality, high yielding and with improved disease resistance. This new investment also guarantees sustained funding to federal and university programs, including university activities that will ensure knowledge transfer to the next generation of skilled breeders who in turn will help Canada continue to advance in the future.