Press Releases

AWC announces more than $2.6 million in wheat research funding through the Wheat Cluster 

The Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC) is pleased to announce more than $2.6 million in funding for 22 cutting edge wheat research projects aimed at improved farm profitability through variety development, pathology, agronomy and pre-breeding. 

Projects are being funded as part of the Canadian National Wheat Cluster, a five-year federal matching program under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. The Wheat Cluster is worth nearly $25 million in combined government and industry funding. Wheat Cluster funding was announced this morning by the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. 
Farmers can look forward to new varieties that could better resist western prairie heat and drought stress, new biotechnologytools that will strengthen wheat breeding, and an innovative winter wheat agronomic package aimed at improving sustainability on the Canadian prairies, among a host of other high value projects.  
“This announcement is good news for farmers,” said Terry Young, AWC’s research chair and Canadian Wheat Research Coalition (CWRC) chair.  “We see tremendous benefit in research projects that provide significant value to western Canadian farmers and will improve our competitive advantage.”
AWC’s funding is being administered by the CWRC as part of the commission’s partnership with Sask Wheat and Manitoba Wheat and Barley. The CWRC was formed by the three western Canadian wheat commissions to coordinate their approach to funding variety development and assume responsibility of the public institution core breeding agreements currently funded by the Western Grains Research Foundation. The Wheat Cluster is the CWRC’s first investment. 
A full listing of AWC-funded projects are listed in the backgrounder below. Additional funders include the Canadian Field Crop Research Alliance (CFCRA), Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association (MWBGA), Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission (SWDC), Saskatchewan Winter Cereals Development Commission (SWCDC), Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) and Winter Cereals Manitoba Inc. (WCMI). 
Media Contact: 
Victoria Decker 
Communications Manager 
Alberta Wheat Commission




AWC Contribution


Science Coordination


Improving yield, yield stability and Grade protection in Western Canadian Spring Wheat Cultivars – An Integrated approach- Pierre Hucl, University of Saskatchewan


Breeding field ready Canada Western Red Spring cultivars for the Eastern Prairies- Santosh Kumar, AAFC Brandon


Developing Canadian Western Red Spring Wheat Varieties for Northern Areas- Santosh Kumar, AAFC Brandon


CWRS Western Prairies for drought and heat stress- Richard Cuthbert, AAFC Swift Current


Breeding Improved Canada Western Amber Durum Cultivars- Yeufeng Ruan, AAFC Swift Current


Development of improved field ready CWRW wheat cultivars for western Canada- Robert Graf, AAFC Lethbridge


Winter wheat breeding and germplasm development for disease resistance- Anita Brule Babel, University of Manitoba


Breeding improved CPS_red cultivars- Richard Cuthbert, AAFC Swift Current


Development of Canada Prairie Spring - Red (CPSR) Cultivars for Western Canada- Harpinder Randhawa, AAFC Lethbridge


Development of Field-Ready Cultivars of Canada Western Soft White Spring (CWSWS) Wheat- Harpinder Randhawa, AAFC Lethbridge


Pre-Breeding Platform for Canadian Wheat Improvement- Curt McCartney, Sylvie Coutier, AAFC


Pre-breeding and development of breeding tools to diversify disease resistance in bread wheat- Colin Hiebert, AAFC Winnipeg


Application of Biotechnological Tools to Wheat Breeding- Ron Knox, AAFC Swift Current


Pyramiding Oviposition Deterrence and Sm1 to control Wheat Midge- Ale Costamagna, University of Manitoba


Investigating crop management options to lessen the impact of fusarium head blight in wheat- Kelly Turkington, AAFC Lacombe


Knowledge and Technology Transfer