January 13, 2016

Government Invests More Than $1.5 Million in Wheat Research

Today, Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart committed more than $1.5 million to six projects geared at advancing one of the most important crops in Saskatchewan.  The investment is part of the province’s $5 million commitment to support wheat research and development projects through the Canadian Wheat Alliance (CWA).

The projects receiving funding will explore ways to improve wheat growth and optimize stem strength to increase yields.  They will also focus on variety improvements as well as practices and applications to control Fusarium Head Blight.

“Research is critical to ensuring our producers can continue to grow high-yielding, high-quality crops,” Stewart said.  “We know our province has a significant role to play in providing quality food to a growing global population and Saskatchewan is determined to remain a leader in wheat research.”

Industry and government partners are providing additional funds for these projects.  Nearly $1.7 million is being invested by the Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission, the Alberta Wheat Commission, Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions, the Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association, Western Grains Research Foundation and the Global Institute for Food Security.

“Investing producer dollars in research is vital to advance the industry,” Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission Chair Bill Gehl said. “Research and development will facilitate variety development, improve practices and increase quality and yields, opening new doors for producers and ensuring a strong future for wheat farmers in Saskatchewan and across Western Canada.”

The CWA is a co-ordinated approach to undertake approximately $97 million in research and development projects.  This important network combines the expertise of the National Research Council of Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Government of Saskatchewan and the University of Saskatchewan.

In 2012, Premier Brad Wall announced a commitment of $10 million to wheat research at the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture Wheat Summit, with $5 million earmarked for the CWA.  With today’s announcement the Government of Saskatchewan has invested $4.3 million of its $5 million CWA commitment.

The Government of Saskatchewan’s CWA investment is provided through the Agriculture Development Fund (ADF).

Since 2007, the Government of Saskatchewan has invested $23.4 million in wheat research through the ADF.