Canadian National Wheat Cluster

2018-2023 Cluster Performance Stories


Improving Yield, Yield Stability and Grade Protection in Western Canadian Spring and Durum Wheat Cultivars – An Integrated Approach

Written By: Ian Doig “In plant breeding, we generally don’t think in absolutes,” said Pierre Hucl, a wheat breeder with the University of Saskatchewan Crop Development Centre (CDC). “We think in relative terms.” Progress in the 10- to 12-year marathon required to create a new wheat variety is measured against the latest check varieties. In …


Pyramiding Oviposition Deterrence and Sm1 to Control Wheat Midge

Written by: Ellen Cottee Lead Researcher: Dr. Alejandro Costamagna, University of Manitoba As many farmers know, there is only so much they can do to guarantee a good crop – and all that hard work can be undone by a pest less than an eighth of an inch long. Fond of spring and durum wheat …


Breeding Improved Canada Prairie Spring Red (CPSR) Cultivars

Written by: Ellen Cottee Lead Researcher: Dr. Richard Cuthbert, AAFC-Swift Current The wheat industry is always looking for the best: the highest yield, the strongest resistance, top quality, and the goal of strong marketability. It can be difficult to find a variety to check these boxes, but Dr. Cuthbert with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada – …


Winter Wheat Breeding and Germplasm Development for Disease Resistance

Written by: Michelle Boulton Curt McCartney joined the University of Manitoba’s Department of Plant Science in November 2020, which is when he took over this project from long-time winter wheat breeder Anita Brûlé-Babel. He says that, while this was not a large wheat cluster project, it provided valuable support for the University of Manitoba’s winter …


Building Economic Value in Winter Wheat Through Improved Hard Red and Soft White Genetics for Eastern Canada

Written by: Michelle Boulton When Gavin Humphreys assumed his position as the senior research scientist (winter wheat improvement) with the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) Ottawa Research and Development Centre in 2014, his first order of business was rebuilding the program. He wanted to build a breeding pipeline, develop new germplasm, and produce new varieties …


Improving Profitability of Hard Red Spring Wheat for Eastern Canada Through Superior Grain Yields, Fusarium Head Blight Resistance, and Improved End-Use Quality

Written by: Michelle Boulton Although his program is small, Andrew Burt, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), Ottawa Research and Development Centre, has big ambitions. His research is focused on improving the profitability of hard red spring wheat for eastern Canada through better grain yields, Fusarium head blight (FHB) resistance, and end-use quality. “Almost 90 percent …


Application of Biotechnological Tools to Wheat Breeding

Written by: Ellen Cottee Lead Researcher: Dr. Ron Knox, AAFC – Swift Current Across the wheat industry, breeders, growers and researchers alike are on the hunt for more ways to improve the crop. From increased yields to higher quality, pest and disease resistance to protein levels, there are several ways to ensure Canada’s wheat is …


A New Variety of Durum Wheat with Intermediate Resistance to Fusarium Head Blight. This Changes Everything!

Written by: Michelle Boulton Canada’s southern prairies are well suited to durum wheat production, which makes us one of the world’s top producers. Growing demand and higher prices are good news. However, producers are also facing growing challenges, such as increasingly unpredictable weather because of climate change and susceptibility to fungal diseases like Fusarium head …


Offering Strong Options for Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) Wheat in the Western Prairies

Written by: Michelle Boulton Looking at the 2022 numbers for insured commercial acres of Canadian Western Red Spring (CWRS) wheat, Richard Cuthbert can’t help being confident his research program is offering producers excellent varieties. Cuthbert is a wheat breeder with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Swift Current Research Development Centre. He points out that 8 of …