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
- Grain Farmers of Ontario
- Producteurs de grains du Québec
- Saskatchewan Winter Cereals Development Commission ($185,000)
- Winter Cereals Manitoba ($100,000)