The Government of Canada recently announced investments of $11 million to develop new wheat and barley varieties for Western Canada.
A Government of Canada investment of more than $8 million under the Canadian Agri-Science Clusters initiative, along with funding from the Western Grains Research Foundation, will create the Canadian Wheat Breeding Cluster. The cluster will bring together the best scientific expertise to improve wheat varieties that will help farmers obtain higher yields and higher quality with lower production costs.
Using innovative breeding techniques, researchers will focus on varieties that are more resistant to disease and insects, promote efficient nutrient and water use and capitalize on opportunities in new markets. The cluster will also help to build capacity and generate knowledge to ensure the long-term success of the sector and maintain Canada’s reputation as a leader in the industry, according to a government release.
In addition, the Government of Canada will invest up to $2.8 million under the Developing Innovative Agri-Products (DIAP) initiative for barley breeding and related research. Along with WGRF, the project pulls together partners with a direct interest in barley research, including the Canadian Wheat Board, the Alberta Barley Commission, the Brewing and Malting Barley Research Institute and Rahr Malting Canada Ltd.