(Calgary, Alberta) March 17, 2015 – Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC) is pleased to announce an investment of $150,000 in 11 winter wheat-related research and development (R&D) projects that will build on agronomic practices to improve returns for farmers. The combined investment from all funding partners is $2.2 million over four years.
With matched funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) under their Growing Forward 2 Agri-Innovation Program (AIP), the projects will focus on closing gaps in agronomic knowledge that will encourage Canadian farmers to access the untapped market potential of winter wheat.
“Winter wheat is already a high yielding class with good milling properties, but the amount of acres grown in Western Canada do not reflect the market potential,” says Kevin Auch, vice-chairman, Alberta Wheat Commission. “By building on the agronomic groundwork of this class, farmers will have added incentive to grow winter wheat because of the returns it will offer,” Auch added.
The research studies will be conducted across winter wheat growing regions of Western Canada, including several in Alberta. These projects include pest control issues, input management, expanding the seeding window and the use of crop growth regulators.
Research will be led by Dr. Brian Beres at the AAFC Lethbridge Research Station in cooperation with Ducks Unlimited Canada.
“In recent years, winter wheat has consistently been one of the highest net income producing crops in Prairie Canada,” says Paul Thoroughgood, regional agrologist for Ducks Unlimited Canada. “Agronomic research conducted in this study, including fertility, disease and weed management, stand establishment and lengthening the fall seeding window, will help more farmers realize the benefits of including winter wheat in their cropping system.”
Other funding partners for these projects include Ducks Unlimited Canada, Saskatchewan Winter Cereals Development Commission, Winter Cereals Manitoba and Western Grains Research Foundation, Koch Fertilizer Canada ULC, Agrium Inc., and Dow AgroSciences.
The Alberta Wheat Commission is a producer-directed organization representing the interests of and serving as a single voice for all of Alberta’s 14,000 wheat producers.
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