Press Releases

Sask Wheat and AWC invest over $2.2 million in wheat research

The Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission (Sask Wheat) and the Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC) are investing a combined $2.2 million in innovative wheat research projects which will benefit farmers with improved varieties, agronomic practices, and post-harvest strategies.
 
Sask Wheat is investing over $2.07 million in 11 projects and the AWC is investing over $138,000 in two projects through the Agriculture Development Fund (ADF) process. The ADF, a program offered by the federal and provincial governments through Growing Forward 2, funds projects that provide growth opportunities and enhance the competitiveness of the agriculture industry. In total, these 11 projects were able to leverage over $5.1 million in funding from all sources, as other funding organizations are able to supplement the funding provided through the ADF.
 
The funded projects range in focus from nitrogen fertilizer use and soil health to drying grain while in storage. As fusarium head blight (FHB) remains a major issue for wheat farmers across the Prairies, three projects will be studying FHB management and resistance while another will examine post-harvest strategies to reduce a toxin caused by FHB. Durum producers will note that four of the projects are either focussed on, or have a significant component devoted to, improving the disease resistance and milling potential of durum.
 
“Sask Wheat is pleased to collaborate with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture and the Alberta Wheat Commission in funding these valuable projects,” said Sask Wheat Chair Laura Reiter. “The investments we are making on behalf of farmers will lead to innovations in disease resistance management practices that will benefit wheat farmers and all those along the value chain.”
 
“AWC sees tremendous value in these collaborative investments with Sask Wheat,” said Kevin Bender, AWC Chair. “Results of both projects have benefits for all Canadian farmers and could lead to improved management practices that in-turn increase profitability.”
 
A full listing of the projects being funded is in the backgrounder below. Project summaries are available on the Sask Wheat website in the research section.
 
Media Contacts:
 
Dallas Carpenter
Communications Manager 
Sask Wheat
dallas.carpenter@saskwheat.ca
306-220-7003

Victoria Decker
Communications Manager
Alberta Wheat Commission
vdecker@albertawheat.com
403-219-7906 
 
Backgrounder
 
Project: A genetic and genomics approach to improving the milling potential of durum wheat
Lead Researcher: Dr. Curtis Pozniak (University of Saskatchewan)
Sask Wheat Funding: $458,816
Total Project Funding: $458,816
 
Project: An integrated approach for enhancing fusarium head blight resistance in durum
Lead Researcher: Dr. Curtis Pozniak (University of Saskatchewan) and Dr. Ron Knox (Agriculture and Agri Food Canada)
Sask Wheat Funding: $449,786
AWC Funding: $108,695
Total Project Funding: $1,499,592
 
Project: Deployment of adult plant resistance genes for durable stripe rust and leaf rust resistance in Canadian durum wheat
Lead Researcher: Dr. Pierre Fobert (National Research Council, Canada)
Sask Wheat Funding: $311,547
Total Project Funding: $311,547
 
Project: Post harvest DON reduction strategies for Canadian Western Spring Wheat, durum and barley
Lead Researcher: Dr. Rex Newkirk (University of Saskatchewan)
Sask Wheat Funding:$86,250
Total Project Funding: $305,000
 
Project: Scale-up production and field-testing of biological agents for controlling fusarium head blight in wheat
Lead Researcher: Dr. Vladimir Vujanovic (University of Saskatchewan)
Sask Wheat Funding:$62,004
Total Project Funding: $429,443
 
Project: Fusarium head blight resistance to triazole fungicides in Western Canada
Lead Researcher: Dr. Pierre Fobert (National Research Council, Canada)
Sask Wheat Funding: $98,185
Total Project Funding: $421,278
 
Project: Marker assisted pyramiding of pleiotropic and novel resistance loci to stripe and other rust diseases in adapted CWRS wheat
Lead Researcher: Dr. Richard Cuthbert (Agriculture and Agri Food Canada)
Sask Wheat Funding: $422,400
Total Project Funding: $804,000
 
Project: Developing a soil health assessment protocol for Saskatchewan producers
Lead Researcher: Dr. Kate Congreves (University of Saskatchewan)
Sask Wheat Funding: $37,820
Total Project Funding: $194,435
 
Project: Revisiting nitrogen fertilizer recommendations for Saskatchewan: Are we measuring the right soil nitrogen pool?
Lead Researcher: Dr. Farrell Richard (University of Saskatchewan)
Sask Wheat Funding: $35,526
AWC Funding: $30,000
Total Project Funding: $233,915
 
Project: Monitoring SOC on commercial direct-seeded fields across Saskatchewan - Phase 4
Lead Researcher: Gerry Burgess (Saskatchewan Soil Conservation Association)
Sask Wheat Funding: $41,055
Total Project Funding: $323,875
 
Project: Defining best management practices for using supplemental heating with natural air drying
Lead Researcher: Dr. Joy Agnew, Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute (PAMI)
Sask Wheat Funding: $66,810
Total Project Funding: $161,200