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CWRC to administer new, $20-million Canadian National Wheat Cluster

March 6, 2024 (Carman, MB; Saskatoon, SK; Calgary, AB) Valuable wheat research across the country will receive crucial funding through the newly announced Canadian National Wheat Cluster, worth more than $20 million over five years.

Administered by the Canadian Wheat Research Coalition (CWRC), the Wheat Cluster will fund research projects that advance wheat genetics, agronomy and sustainability for the benefit of Canadian farmers.

“Wheat is a vital crop in the rotations of grain farmers across the country,” said Jake Leguee, CWRC chair, who farms near Fillmore, SK.

“The investment in research through the Wheat Cluster will keep wheat profitable and sustainable for Canadian farmers, increasing quality and yields while finding new solutions for environmental stressors like drought and diseases like Fusarium head blight. Farmers have been practicing minimum tillage and nutrient stewardship for decades, and the activities funded under this will enhance those practices, allowing farmers to contribute further to the Government of Canada’s climate targets.”

Winnipeg North MP Kevin Lamoureux announced the new Wheat Cluster this afternoon on behalf of the Hon. Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. Over $11.2 million in funding for the cluster will come from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP) AgriScience program, while over $9.3 million will come from producer and private organizations from across Canada, represented by:

  • Manitoba Crop Alliance (MCA)
  • Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission (Sask Wheat)
  • Alberta Grains
  • Western Grains Research Foundation
  • Canadian Field Crop Research Alliance

“Canada’s reputation for world-class wheat depends on a strong research network, working together from coast to coast,” said Lori-Ann Kaminski, CWRC president and research program manager for cereal crops with MCA.

“In the previous Wheat Cluster, we made great strides toward innovations that will provide tangible benefits to Canadian wheat farmers for many years to come. I am confident the new cluster will be another triumph of teamwork across the wheat value chain.”

The CWRC is a collaboration between MCA, Sask Wheat and Alberta Grains aimed at improving the net relative profitability of wheat for western Canadian farmers.

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Media Contacts:

Cole Christensen
Communications Manager
Manitoba Crop Alliance
403-589-3529

Dallas Carpenter
Communications Manager
Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission
306-653-7967

Jonathan Anderson 
Director, Communications, Marketing & Events
Alberta Grains
403-371-2132
janderson@albertagrains.com

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CWRC Appoints New President, Transitions Host Duties To MCA

May 25, 2023 (Carman, MB; Saskatoon, SK;Calgary, AB) – The Canadian Wheat Research Coalition (CWRC) – a collaboration between the Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC), Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission (Sask Wheat) and Manitoba Crop Alliance (MCA) – has appointed a new president, following the transition of hosting duties from AWC to MCA.

Lori-Ann Kaminski, research program manager – cereal crops with MCA, is the new CWRC president. The president, who is appointed from the host organization and approved by the CWRC board of directors, is the key contact for external stakeholders.

The CWRC’s operational hosting duties rotate every three years between the three Prairie producer organizations who represent wheat farmers in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Hosting duties include administrative functions, such as research funding co-ordination; communications activities,such as website updates and annual reports;and planning and co-ordination of CWRC’s annual general meeting.

“I would like to thank AWC, and Sask Wheat before them,for their significant contributions to build the CWRC’s success during their time as hosts,” says Kaminski.

“MCA strongly believes in the value of the collaborative approach to wheat research that the CWRC promotes and is proud to assume hosting duties for the organization overthe next three years.”

The CWRC facilitates a collaborative approach to producer support of regional and national wheat research in variety development and agronomy. This has included administering the 2018-23 Canadian National Wheat Cluster under Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) Canadian Agricultural Partnership and now the new 2023-28 Canadian National Wheat Cluster under AAFC’s Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

“This year marks the end of one successful Canadian National Wheat Cluster and the beginning of a new cluster that will lead to innovation in variety development and agronomic practices that allow Canadian wheat producers to increase the net profitability of growing wheat,” says Jake Leguee, CWRC chair and Sask Wheat vice-chair.

“There is a strong return on investment for producers investing in publicly funded wheat research in Canada, and the CWRC continues to lead the way in funding research that addresses the issues that matter most towheat producers across the country.”

Media Contacts:

Cole Christensen
Communications Manager
Manitoba Crop Alliance
403-589-3529

Dallas Carpenter
Communications Manager
Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission
306-653-7967

Paula Campbell
Communications and Events Coordinator
Alberta Grains
587-832-1190

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New Study Shows Strong Return on Farmers’ Investments in Wheat Breeding

March 21, 2022 (Calgary, AB; Saskatoon, SK; Carman, MB) – According to a new study, western Canadian farmers have received nearly $33 in return through varietal improvements for every dollar they invested in wheat breeding.

In 2021, the Canadian Wheat Research Coalition (CWRC), which includes the Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission, Alberta Wheat Commission, and Manitoba Crop Alliance, along with the Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF), and the Saskatchewan Winter Cereals Development Commission (SWCDC), began working together on a study to quantify the benefits of wheat breeding investments by western Canadian producers over the past 27 years.

The three farmer-led crop commissions comprising CWRC receive funding through mandatory but refundable producer levies on grain sold. The commissions contribute a large portion of their budgets towards innovative research on farmers’ behalf. Genetic and agronomic advancements to achieve maximum yields, and achieving a consistent end-use quality are properties on which the Prairie commissions base their research programming.

“This study clearly indicates that farmer investment in public breeding programs is working and is providing substantive returns to farmers,” says Fred Greig, Chair of the CWRC and Manitoba Crop Alliance representative. “Current information will allow CWRC and wheat commissions the ability to affirm our investment strategy and/or adjust it to better utilize farmers’ hard-earned dollars.”

The CWRC, WGRF, and SWCDC worked with Dr. Richard Gray and Dr. Katarzyna Bolek-Callbeck to update the previous studies that examined wheat farmers’ return on investment (ROI) for wheat varietal development.

Only yield improvements were considered when calculating the benefits to farmers to keep the estimate as conservative as possible. Including other traits such as improved insect and disease resistance would have further increased ROI but are dependent on specific environmental conditions and are difficult to assess. Improvements in agronomic practices over the same period were also not included in the final ROI estimates.

“Our measure is conservative because we don’t include many other potential benefits. It does provide a very defendable estimate because we can measure it accurately,” says Gray. “Wheat yields are something that everybody sees. They understand that the new varieties are better than the older varieties, yielding better, and improved yields are the key trait that delivers value back to the producer.”

The report also outlines that varietal development investments have a trickle-down benefit to all of society, with taxpayers reaping the returns, as well. Enhancing breeding capacity and maintaining funding relationships and budgets will be key to ensuring the continued success of farmer investments in varietal development moving forward.

The Benefits and Costs of Producer and Public Investments: Wheat Varietal R&D in Western Canada 1995 to 2020 Katarzyna Bolek-Callbeck and Richard Gray1

University of Saskatchewan
March 2022

CLICK HERE or click the image to download the report.

Media Contacts:

Cole Christensen
Communications Manager
Manitoba Crop Alliance
403-589-3529

Dallas Carpenter
Communications Manager
Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission
306-653-7967

Paula Campbell
Communications and Events Coordinator
Alberta Grains
587-832-1190

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Prairie Wheat Research Groups Commit $3.5 Million to the University of Manitoba for Wheat Breeding Activities

August 31, 2021 (Calgary, AB; Saskatoon, SK; Carman, MB; Winnipeg, MB) – The Canadian Wheat Research Coalition (CWRC), alongside the Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) and the Saskatchewan Winter Cereals Development Commission (SWCDC), have committed funding to a core breeding agreement with the University of Manitoba (UM). Valued at over $3.5 million over five years, this agreement will ensure the continuation of the successful Fusarium head blight (FHB) nursery program, along with the winter wheat breeding program.

The primary objective for the UM’s FHB screening nursery is to continue evaluating breeding lines for their reaction to Fusarium graminearum – the most common causal agent of FHB. As one of few FHB screening nurseries in Canada, the UM program returns vital information to the network of western Canadian breeding efforts, and is the key to developing future wheat varieties with FHB resistance. While the focus for winter wheat research will be the delivery of field ready cultivars, development of new genetic tools to help improve winter wheat quality will feature heavily. The agreement, which is an increase of $1.6 million over the previous core breeding agreement, also includes the training of students as future scientists in wheat research.

Known for her contributions to FHB research, UM’s long-time winter wheat breeder Dr. Anita Brûlé-Babel is set to retire this December, with Dr. Curt McCartney assuming the role. Prior to joining the UM, McCartney was a research scientist at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) in Morden, Manitoba, where he focused on cereal genetics targeting resistance to FHB, leaf and stem rust, and orange wheat blossom midge.

“This foundational funding of UM’s wheat breeding program ensures the continued evaluation of FHB resistance of breeding lines from across the Prairies,” says McCartney. “Dr. Brûlé-Babel’s research has been critically important for developing varieties with improved FHB resistance and has provided excellent training for graduate students. With this new agreement, I plan to build upon her successes through the development and implementation of genomics-assisted breeding techniques.”

The CWRC is a collaboration between the Alberta Wheat Commission, Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission and the Manitoba Crop Alliance with a focus on funding genetic and agronomic wheat research for western Canadian farmers. The UM agreement represents the fourth and final core funding agreement with the public wheat breeding programs in Western Canada. Previously announced agreements include $22.6 million to AAFC, $9.6 million to the University of Saskatchewan’s Crop Development Centre, and $2 million to the University of Alberta. These core agreements provide support to key capacity in the breeding programs. In recognition of the winter wheat and FHB focus of the UM program, WGRF and SWCDC are providing $935,000 and $50,000, respectively, over the term of the agreement. 

Quotes

“FHB is a growing concern across the Prairies as it not only compromises yield, but also end-use quality and food safety. As a farmer, my best line of defence starts at variety selection, so having access to FHB resistant wheat varieties is key for my farming operation.”

–        Fred Greig, CWRC Chair  


“The University of Manitoba is an important piece of the western Canadian wheat breeding network. Renewing this long-term agreement creates stability for the winter wheat breeding program and ensures access to a coordinated FHB screening nursery that will continue to provide benefits for the wheat breeding programs across western Canada.” 

–        Dr. Keith Degenhardt, WGRF Chair 

 

“Winter wheat is a sustainable crop that promotes good environmental stewardship. Breeding for winter wheat varieties that better survive prairie winters is critical to continued uptake and adoption by producers. A better understanding of the genomics which influence winter survival and improve quality will lead to cultivars I can incorporate into crop rotations to enhance my farm’s profitability.”

–        John Burns, SWCDC Chair

 

“The producer-funded support from the CWRC, WGRF and SWCDC will be critical for supporting a strong program of winter wheat breeding and FHB resistance research at the University of Manitoba. As Dr. Brûlé-Babel capably passes the torch to Dr. McCartney, I know we can look forward to continuing to develop profitable and climate resilient wheat genetics for western Canadian farmers.”

    – Dr. Martin Scanlon, Dean, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, UM

Media Contacts:

Cole Christensen
Communications Manager
Manitoba Crop Alliance
403-589-3529

Dallas Carpenter
Communications Manager
Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission
306-653-7967

Paula Campbell
Communications and Events Coordinator
Alberta Grains
587-832-1190

Mike Espeseth
Communications Manager
Western Grains Research Foundation
306-380-2553
mikeespeseth@wgrf.ca

Crystal Jorgenson
Communications Specialist
University of Manitoba
306-653-7967
Crystal.jorgenson@umanitoba.ca

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  • News Releases

CWRC Commits $2 Million to the University of Alberta in Wheat Breeding Activities

May 3, 2021 (Calgary, Saskatoon, Carman) – The Canadian Wheat Research Coalition (CWRC) – a collaboration between the Alberta Wheat Commission, Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission and Manitoba Crop Alliance – has committed $2 million over five years towards a core breeding agreement with the University of Alberta (U of A). The investment will fund research activities through the U of A’s wheat breeding program with a specific focus on developing new Canadian Western Red Spring (CWRS) and Canadian Prairie Spring Red (CPSR) wheat varieties. The agreement came into effect on May 1, 2021 and will expire December 31, 2025.

A top objective of the agreement is for the U of A’s wheat breeding program to develop three to five registered wheat varieties focusing on the traits of early maturity, shorter straw stalk, and resistance to stripe rust and Fusarium Head Blight, all of which are key priorities of northern Alberta’s Parkland region where the program is located. The program is led by principal investigator and well-known wheat breeder, Dr. Dean Spaner.

“This agreement with the U of A is a natural fit as the CWRC recognizes the importance of having a strong breeding network across Western Canada,” says Fred Greig, CWRC chair. “Dr. Spaner and the U of A wheat breeding program have a history of successfully developing and commercializing wheat varieties with strong agronomic packages for prairie farmers.” 

Since 2013, the U of A breeding program has registered 13 CWRS varieties and one CPSR variety for a total of 14 varieties. 

“This funding from the CWRC provides tremendous solidification of our breeding capacity at the University of Alberta,” says Dr. Spaner. “Plant breeders have been at the forefront of feeding the world, and wheat production is an economic backbone for the western Canadian and Alberta economies, which makes this commitment from wheat producers to support our vital research a much-appreciated vote of confidence.”

In addition to delivering wheat varieties, the agreement specifies other key objectives including delivering one to three germplasm distributions, growing the infrastructure and breeding capacity at the U of A, and training a minimum of three graduate students. The U of A has the only CWRS wheat breeding program in Alberta, and is the only program that can grant graduate degrees in plant breeding in the province.

Today’s announcement with the U of A marks a significant increase from the previous agreement through the Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) which will conclude on May 7, 2021. The increase is due to significant progress and potential growth of the wheat breeding program. 

Quotes

“As a farmer in northeastern Alberta, early maturity traits in wheat give me more flexibility when faced with adverse weather, particularly during seeding or harvest. This investment shows promise and is directly attributed to farmers setting research priorities and establishing needed traits in Canadian wheat varieties.”

  • Todd Hames, Chair of the Alberta Wheat Commission
      

“My farm and thousands of others have benefitted from the work of wheat breeding programs such as the one at the University of Alberta. I’m proud that Sask Wheat is able to collaborate in this investment through the CWRC, as it will lead to new varieties that improve the profitability of growing wheat for farmers across the Prairies.” 

  • Brett Halstead, Chair of the Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission

“Not only are new wheat varieties important for Manitoba producers, but growing the infrastructure and breeding capacity at the U of A is a significant step in the continued growth and success of wheat breeding for Canadian farmers.”

  • Robert Misko, Vice Chair of the Manitoba Crop Alliance

Media Contacts:

Cole Christensen
Communications Manager
Manitoba Crop Alliance
403-589-3529

Dallas Carpenter
Communications Manager
Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission
306-653-7967

Paula Campbell
Communications and Events Coordinator
Alberta Grains
587-832-1190

Bev Betkowski
Communications Associate
University of Alberta
780-293-1592
beverlyb@ualberta.ca

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  • News Releases

CWRC Announces New Executive and President, AWC Obtains Host Duties

November 9, 2020 (Calgary, Saskatoon, Carman) – The Canadian Wheat Research Coalition (CWRC) – a collaboration between the Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC), Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission (Sask Wheat) and Manitoba Crop Alliance (MCA) – announces today the newly appointed executive and president following the transition of hosting duties from Sask Wheat to AWC.  

The new executive comprises chair Fred Greig with MCA who farms at Reston, MB; vice-chair Jake Leguee with Sask Wheat, a farmer from Fillmore, SK; and treasurer Jason Lenz with AWC, who farms near Bentley, AB. Additionally, Dr. Lauren Comin, the director of research with AWC, has been appointed the CWRC president, succeeding Dr. Harvey Brooks, general manager of Sask Wheat. 

“It’s been a historical year for wheat research in Canada,” says Fred Greig, CWRC and MCA chair. “We saw the execution of two core breeding agreements, marking the largest of these producer contributions towards wheat variety development since their establishment. This would not have been possible without the collaborative environment that the CWRC creates.”

CWRC’s operational hosting duties rotate every three years between the three Prairie commissions who represent wheat farmers. Hosting duties include administrative functions such as accounting services, research funding coordination, communications including website updates and annual reports, and other responsibilities such as planning and coordinating CWRC’s Annual General Meeting. Sask Wheat was the first commission to host CWRC in its initial start-up years. The key contact for external stakeholders, the president, is appointed from the host organization and approved by the CWRC board of directors. 

“On behalf of AWC and MCA, we thank Sask Wheat for their diligence and dedication over the past three years while hosting the CWRC,” says Comin, CWRC president and AWC’s director of research. “Managing the CWRC’s operations is a large task at any point, let alone during establishment. This transition has been exceptionally smooth thanks to the processes Sask Wheat has established.” 

The CWRC facilitates a collaborative approach to producer support of regional and national wheat research in variety development and agronomy, including administering the Canadian National Wheat Cluster under Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) Canadian Agricultural Partnership program. Recently, the CWRC announced a $22.6 million commitment over five years to a core breeding agreement with AAFC to develop wheat varieties. Earlier this year, the CWRC committed over $9.6 million over five years to a core breeding agreement with the University of Saskatchewan Crop Development Centre.

Media Contacts:

Cole Christensen
Communications Manager
Manitoba Crop Alliance
403-589-3529

Dallas Carpenter
Communications Manager
Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission
306-653-7967

Paula Campbell
Communications and Events Coordinator
Alberta Grains
587-832-1190

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  • News Releases

CWRC Commits Over $22.6 Million to AAFC Wheat Breeding Activities

October 19, 2020 (Calgary, Saskatoon, Carman) – The Canadian Wheat Research Coalition (CWRC), a collaboration of the Alberta Wheat Commission, Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission, and Manitoba Crop Alliance, 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 agreement ensures that farmers will benefit from new premium wheat varieties and associated genetics from AAFC’s breeding program for many years to come.

The CWRC assumed responsibility for producer funding of wheat varietal development from the Western Grains Research Foundation, which includes working with AAFC to provide the capacity needed to deliver improved genetics and profitability to producers. 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 activities being conducted by Canadian researchers and wheat breeders such as those at AAFC have led to major innovations over the past few decades, including the development of several new wheat varieties with improved genetics and more desirable traits,” said Fred Greig, CWRC board chair and a director with the Manitoba Crop Alliance. “Building on the work funded by farmers through organizations such as the Western Grains Research Foundation, this investment will ensure Canadian farmers benefit from new wheat varieties that improve and enhance the competitiveness of their farming operations while maintaining Canada’s reputation for providing quality wheat for markets around the globe.”

This agreement will contribute to the development of wheat cultivars that 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.

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.

Quotes
 
“The research and plant breeding conducted by AAFC over the past few decades brought needed innovation and economic benefits to Canadian grain farmers. Farmer funding committed by Sask Wheat and our fellow commissions in Alberta and Manitoba through the core breeding agreement will help support AAFC’s ability to bolster their technology and attract and retain top researchers and breeders. Public wheat breeding is crucial to Canada’s agriculture sector and the wheat varieties AAFC has produced are a tremendous return to the farmer investment in this program.”

–   Brett Halstead, Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission Chair
 
“Manitoba Crop Alliance is proud to be a part of this collaborative initiative with our sister organizations in Alberta and Saskatchewan. This is an investment that will benefit our western Canadian wheat producers by providing them with competitive new varieties.”

–  Fred Greig, Manitoba Crop Alliance Chair
 
“This is an exciting and historic investment by Prairie wheat farmers. Investing collaboratively in this core breeding agreement ensures that farmers will continue to have access to wheat varieties with desirable traits, higher yields and strong disease packages, further enhancing our long-term profitability.”

–  Todd Hames, Alberta Wheat Commission Chair

Media Contacts:

Cole Christensen
Communications Manager
Manitoba Crop Alliance
403-589-3529

Dallas Carpenter
Communications Manager
Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission
306-653-7967

Paula Campbell
Communications and Events Coordinator
Alberta Grains
587-832-1190

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  • News Releases

CWRC Commits Over $9.6 Million to USask Crop Development Centre

January 13, 2020 (Saskatoon) – The Canadian Wheat Research Coalition (CWRC), a collaboration of the Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission, the Alberta Wheat Commission, and the Manitoba Crop Alliance, has committed more than $9.6 million over five years to a core breeding agreement (CBA) with the University of Saskatchewan’s (USask) Crop Development Centre (CDC) for the development of spring wheat cultivars.

The CWRC funding will provide expanded “core” support for the CDC’s wheat breeding programs, including a significant increase in contributions to field-based breeding activities, disease nursery and screening, molecular marker assisted breeding, winter nursery capacity, and end-use quality evaluation. The CDC will be concentrating on the development of Canadian Western Red Spring (CWRS), Canadian Western Amber Durum (CWAD), and Canadian Prairie Spring Red (CPSR) wheat cultivars with improved yield potentials, and greater resistance to diseases such as fusarium head blight (FHB) and stripe rust, and pests such as the orange wheat blossom midge.

“This investment by the CWRC will benefit farmers across the Prairies by developing wheat varieties with improved resistance to pests and diseases along with improved yields,” said Jason Lenz, CWRC board chair and a director with the Alberta Wheat Commission. “The CDC is renowned for their excellence in research and for developing some of the most popular and best-performing varieties available. Farmer-funded wheat breeding has been vital to the continued development of programs and farmers will benefit from their investments with the release of new varieties that can help make their farms more profitable.”

“The CDC looks forward to working with the CWRC in developing new wheat genetics for producers in Western Canada,” said Dr. Pierre Hucl, CDC wheat breeder and Interim Director. “Our 25-year relationship with the Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) has been very productive and will provide the momentum to deliver on the ambitious objectives we have developed with the CWRC. The core breeding agreement announced today will be key to ensuring the future successes of the wheat breeding programs at the CDC.”

The agreement with the CDC is the first core breeding agreement to be signed by CWRC. The provincial wheat commissions, through the CWRC, have assumed responsibility for these agreements from the WGRF. The new agreement represents a significant increase over the previous five-year agreement of $5.4 million. Core breeding agreements are funded proportionally by province, and adjusted annually, based on the previous year’s production, with 53 per cent coming from Saskatchewan, 32 per cent coming from Alberta and 15 per cent from Manitoba for the 2018-19 production year. Additional agreements with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and other public breeding institutions are expected to be signed and announced in 2020.

Media Contacts:

Cole Christensen
Communications Manager
Manitoba Crop Alliance
403-589-3529

Dallas Carpenter
Communications Manager
Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission
306-653-7967

Paula Campbell
Communications and Events Coordinator
Alberta Grains
587-832-1190

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  • News Releases

Innovations in Wheat Expected from Cross-Country Funding Collaboration

January 15, 2019 (Calgary, AB; Saskatoon)– Canadian wheat farmers will see significant benefits through the newly announced Canadian National Wheat Cluster. Worth nearly $25 million over five years, projects funded through the Wheat Cluster address common issues that farmers face and will lead to improved varieties and agronomic practices.

The Wheat Cluster was announced this morning by the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (AAFC). Funding for the Wheat Cluster will come from AAFC through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership’s AgriScience program and 10 producer and private organizations from across Canada. The Wheat Cluster will be administered by the Canadian Wheat Research Coalition (CWRC), which includes the Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission (Sask Wheat), the Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC), and the Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association (MWBGA).

“The CWRC is proud to be the host of the new Canadian National Wheat Cluster,” said Terry Young, Chair of the CWRC and AWC director. “This is a unique partnership of organizations, from the federal government to producer commissions from across Canada. We hope to provide Canadian wheat farmers with the technology and information they need to improve their farming operations while maintaining Canada’s reputation for providing quality wheat for markets around the globe.”

“The new iteration of the Wheat Cluster leverages research capacity from across Canada to improve the performance of the various eastern and western Canadian wheat classes grown from coast to coast.” said Salah Zoghlami, President of the CFCRA. “This research will improve the adaptability and value of wheat in crop rotations, and will ensure a competitive and sustainable crop option for farmers to enable them, and the value chains they supply, to produce and market a world-class commodity.”

The funders of the Wheat Cluster include:

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada ($13.9 million)
  • Alberta Wheat Commission ($2.6 million)
  • Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission ($3.1 million)
  • Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association ($932,000)
  • Western Grains Research Foundation ($2.5 million)
  • Canadian Field Crop Research Alliance (CFCRA) ($1.6 million)
    • Atlantic Grains Council
    • SeCan
    • Grain Farmers of Ontario
    • Producteurs de grains du Québec
  • Saskatchewan Winter Cereals Development Commission ($185,000)
  • Winter Cereals Manitoba ($100,000)

Media Contacts:

Cole Christensen
Communications Manager
Manitoba Crop Alliance
403-589-3529

Dallas Carpenter
Communications Manager
Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission
306-653-7967

Paula Campbell
Communications and Events Coordinator
Alberta Grains
587-832-1190

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