August 14, 2019
By Top Crop Manager
The Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC), the Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission (Sask Wheat), and the Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association (MWBGA) committed a combined $17.9 million to 81 wheat research projects during the 2018/2019 crop year.
The investments will benefit farmers with the development of new wheat varieties with improved genetics along with research into pest management, agronomic practices, and grain storage. Research conducted has looked into Fusarium head blight, nitrogen and protein management, excess moisture management, and the use of plant growth regulators.
The commissions committed the following amounts to research in the 2018/2019 crop year:
- AWC committed $6.6 million to 46 projects, including over $2.6 million to 19 projects under the Wheat Cluster. This includes $282,000 committed to Dr. Brian Beres (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada) to quantify the yield gaps across the Prairies and to determine opportunities to sustainably improve yield through management practices. This project is also funded by Sask Wheat, MWBGA and Alberta Innovates.
- Sask Wheat committed over $8.8 million to 48 projects, including over $3.1 million to 15 projects under the Wheat Cluster. A key project will be research into fusarium head blight (FHB) resistance by Dr. Randy Kutcher of the University of Saskatchewan’s Crop Development Centre. This project, which Sask Wheat is providing over $317,000 to over three years, focuses on seeking new sources of resistance for FHB and in understanding the resistance mechanisms. This project is also being funded by the MWBGA.
- MWBGA committed $2.5 million to 42 projects, including over $933,000 to 16 projects under the Wheat Cluster. This includes funding committed to nitrogen management and a multi disciplinary approach to the development of tools and techniques to manage extreme moisture.
- The three commissions co-funded 36 of the 81 total projects.
The commitments of the three Prairie wheat commissions have helped leverage $76.6 million in total funding for these projects from all funding sources, including the governments of Canada, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, as well as universities and private industry.
The funding for the previous crop year includes a commitment to the Canadian National Wheat Cluster (Wheat Cluster), a five-year research agreement worth nearly $25 million which includes funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership’s AgriScience program as well as Sask Wheat, AWC, MWBGA, and seven additional producer and private organizations. The Wheat Cluster is being administered through the Canadian Wheat Research Coalition (CWRC), a partnership of Sask Wheat, AWC, and MWBGA.