WGRF invests record $21.4 mil for wheat and barley breeding
By Top Crop Manager
Feb. 8, 2016 - The Western Grains Research Foundation is investing $20 million into wheat breeding and $1.4 million into barley breeding at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) Research Centres in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta over the next five years.
The funds, derived from farmer check-offs on wheat and barley sold in Western Canada, represent the biggest ever industry investment in AAFC research. According to a news release, it will underpin AAFC's scientific capacity in plant pathology and physiology, entomology and grain quality, and will enable specialized research equipment upgrades in support of all disciplines.
This partnership with WGRF will support AAFC research on:
- Potentially devastating wheat and barley diseases, such as Fusarium head blight;
- Enhancing insect resistance;
- Environmental stresses, like drought and flooding; and
- Developing genetic markers for plant breeding selection.
WGRF has been investing farmer's wheat and barley check-off dollars into breeding research since 1994. The WGRF's investment dollars are derived from the 30 cents per tonne check-off received from farmers on wheat and 50 cents per tonne on barley sold in Western Canada. A University of Saskatchewan study commissioned by the WGRF estimated that every check-off dollar invested in varietal development of wheat and barley returned $20.40 and $7.56, respectively, in value for farmers.