42 | Advancing Seed in Alberta March 11 & 12, 2019 Hyatt Regency – Calgary, AB Elevating the discussion in agriculture Alberta Seed Guide - 1/2 Page Horizontal - 7.125” x 4.75” AdvancingWomenConference.ca or call 403-686-8407 R e g i s t e r T o d a y ! S E A T I N G I S L I M I T E D . Advancing Women In Agriculture Conference “Simply, I worked there for four and a half years developing breeding tools and doing genetic mapping,” he says. “I also set up a breeding program for incorporation of stripe rust and Clearfield herbicide resistance for the Pacific Northwest using marker-assisted breeding.” Since 2007, Randhawa has been working as a spring wheat and triticale breeder with AAFC at Lethbridge. His prime focus of research is developing spring wheat cultivars that have better agronomic performance, excellent end-use quality, and resistance to various biotic and abiotic stresses in Western Canada. His other research interests include the identification of new sources of disease resistance in wheat, genetic mapping, double haploid production and new breeding tools. He has published more than 60 research articles in international journals, he supervises many undergraduate and graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, and continues to attend national and international conferences. In 2016, Randhawa received AAFC’s Gold Harvest Award for innovation, collaboration and service excellence. Randhawa says his breeding program today focuses on two minor classes: Soft White Spring (SWS) and Canada Prairie Spring (CPS) wheats. “In soft white, our focus is developing new varieties with higher yield and improved resistance to various diseases,” he notes. “We’ve developed AAC Chiffon, AAC Indus and AAC Paramount. We also have this new one in the Special Purpose class, the highest-yielding variety in Western Canada — AAC Awesome. It’s a benchmark in pushing yield to the next level.” With the closure of AAFC’s Cereal Research Centre in Winnipeg in 2014, Randhawa’s plant breeding workload increased. To that end, he stresses that the most important highlight in CPS breeding today and going forward is the development of the unique P4 partnership involving Alberta Wheat Commission, Canterra Seeds and AAFC. This program recently yielded its first commercial wheat variety: AAC Crossfield, a Canada Prairie Spring Red (CPSR) wheat with a short, strong straw and high yield potential. This first-of-its-kind partnership, totalling $3.4 million over five years, is aimed at combining the strengths of producers, along “We’ve entered into a new era for developing and collaborating with industry as a public, private and producer partnership.” — Harpinder Singh Randhawa