Prairie Wheat Grower Groups Commit $22.6 Million to AAFC

- Wheat heads

The Canadian Wheat Research Coalition (CWRC) has committed more than $22.6 million over five years to a core breeding agreement with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) for the development of wheat varieties, the group says in a news release.

The agreement ensures farmers will benefit from new premium wheat varieties and associated genetics from AAFC’s breeding program for many years to come, the release says.

The $22.6 million commitment of producer funding is an increase of $2.6 million over the previous agreement. The funding will provide further support for plant breeders, technicians, and specialists who are working to deliver field-ready wheat varieties to western Canadian farmers, the release notes.

This agreement will contribute to the development of wheat cultivars which provide farmers with greater yield potential, resistance to priority diseases such as fusarium head blight, rusts, and common bunt, and resistance to pests such as the orange wheat blossom midge and wheat stem sawfly. AAFC will be concentrating on the development of wheat varieties in the Canadian Western Red Spring, Canadian Western Amber Durum, Canadian Prairie Spring Red, Canada Western Soft White Spring, and Canada Western Red Winter classes, the release says.

The CWRC is a collaboration of the Alberta Wheat Commission, Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission and Manitoba Crop Alliance, the release notes. It assumed responsibility for producer funding of wheat varietal development from the Western Grains Research Foundation. CWRC core breeding agreements are funded proportionally by province based on the previous year’s production with 53 per cent coming from Saskatchewan, 32 per cent from Alberta, and 15 per cent from Manitoba based on the 2018-19 production year.