A pair of major wheat research announcements coincided with the Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission’s annual general meeting in Saskatoon on Wednesday.
Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart announced $1.5 million for six projects through the Canadian Wheat Alliance. Industry and government partners from across the prairies are also contributing $1.7 million to the genetic and agronomic research (further details on the projects can be found here.)
“We’re doing our part and the Wheat Commission is as well in trying to rejuvenate wheat research in Saskatchewan,” said the minister following the announcement, noting the funds are over and above the $7 million announced at CropSphere on Tuesday.
SaskWheat also announced a partnership with SeCan that will see the two parties contribute $3.5 million over ten years to the durum program at the University of Saskatchewan’s Crop Development Centre.
“The research being conducted by the CDC’s durum program has the potential to open new markets and strengthen Saskatchewan’s position as a world-leader in the production of quality, high-grade durum,” said SaskWheat chair Bill Gehl. “Farmers have been investing in the CDC for several years through the Western Canadian Deduction and WGRF. The additional investment by SaskWheat and SeCan will allow the CDC to expand the durum program and address issues critical to producers and end users.”
“Clearly the durum wheat breeding program at the CDC is poised for tremendous success in the next decade, and we are thrilled to be a partner in delivering this innovation to Canadian durum growers,” added SeCan general manager Jeff Reid.
The CDC will aim to develop durum varieties that are resistant to fusarium head blight, contain traits desired by mills and pasta processors, and produce higher yields.