Press Releases

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, CANTERRA SEEDS and Alberta Wheat Commission announce new partnership aimed at improving Canadian Prairie Spring wheat varieties

(Lethbridge, Alberta) – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), CANTERRA SEEDS, and the Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC) are pleased to announce a partnership aimed at combining the strengths of producers, along with the public and private sectors, to create improved Canada Prairie Spring Red (CPSR) wheat varieties for farmers.

With a total contribution of $3.4 million over five years from AAFC, CANTERRA SEEDS and AWC, this public/private/producer partnership, or 4-P, will strengthen Dr. Harpinder Randhawa’s Canada Prairie Spring Red (CPSR) breeding program at Lethbridge Research Centre.

"The Government of Canada is proud to join with CANTERRA SEEDS and AWC as we take another major step forward for wheat breeding in Canada," said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "Each of these partners bring their own skills and resources to drive competitive new Canadian Prairie Spring wheat varieties for producers across the Prairies."

Through combined expertise, this collaboration will streamline the development and commercialization of CPSR wheat at AAFC Lethbridge Research Centre (LRC), benefiting Alberta farmers and Western Canada as a whole. The 4-P builds on the passing of the Agricultural Growth Act (Bill C-18) which enables an environment more conducive to investment in plant breeding.

"Our goal is to bring products to market that will help grow farmers’ profitability and competitive edge," said Kent Erickson, Chairman, Alberta Wheat Commission. "Providing the producer perspective on agronomic characteristics will ensure that wheat varieties coming from the LRC program meet the needs of growers."

AWC will receive a share of royalties on new varieties resulting from the program to be used for future CPSR research and development.

"In our evolving marketplace, we often hear talk of the need for true partnerships between public breeders, private companies and farmers," said David Hansen, President and CEO of CANTERRA SEEDS. "We are proud to bring this public/private/producer partnership to fruition."

CANTERRA SEEDS will provide additional technical and field-testing capacity for the CPSR material from AAFC Lethbridge, and increased funding and support for the program as a whole. These collaborative efforts will also factor in input from Alberta’s wheat producers.

In addition to a financial contribution and significant field-testing capacity, CANTERRA SEEDS will also provide links to the entire value chain, a deeper understanding of end-user requirements and broad experience in seed production and commercialization. In exchange, CANTERRA SEEDS will receive the first right of refusal on a stream of future CPSR varieties from the program, a class of wheat with an unrealized potential in evolving food markets – particularly in Asia.

CANTERRA SEEDS currently works with a wide range of varieties from AAFC’s various breeding programs, including the CPSR varieties AC™ Conquer VB and AAC Crusader.

Owned by western Canadian seed growers and agricultural retailers, Limagrain, Ceres Global Ag and private investors, CANTERRA SEEDS is committed to sourcing genetically superior seed products that deliver agronomic and economic benefits for producers, while also meeting end-user needs. With a versatile portfolio of cereals, pulses and canola, CANTERRA SEEDS seeks opportunities that allow for mutual success in the agriculture industry.

The Alberta Wheat Commission is a producer-directed organization dedicated to improving the long-term profitability of Alberta’s 14,000 wheat producers.


Media Contact

Andrea Hilderman
Marketing Manager
P. 204.988.9765  l  C. 204.793.0058

Victoria Russell
Communications and Events Coordinator
Alberta Wheat Commission
P. 403.219.7906  l  C. 403.813.6956