AWC - Funded Research

Premium quality hard red winter wheat for western Canada

AWC Investment: $91,500

Research conducted by: Dr Robert Graf, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge

Start Date: March 1, 2018
End date: February 28, 2022


Winter wheat (WW) production in western Canada is much lower than current cultivars and agronomic practices would support. With higher grain yield than spring wheat and lower production costs, greater WW acreage could enhance profits, exports, land available for higher value crops, and reduce our agriculture footprint. To increase demand, farmgate price and acreage, WW quality will be improved, targeting Canada's world renowned CWRS end-use characteristics.



The objective is to develop over the medium term, winter wheat cultivars with CWRS-like end-use quality with yield, agronomics, and disease resistance competitive with current WW cultivars at the time of registration.

Benefits to industry:

It is anticipated that WW with quality similar to CWRS would increase demand, price and acreage substantially. Based on current cultivars and agronomic practices, reliable WW production on 1.5 to 2.0 million ha (3.7 to 5 million acres) across western Canada is feasible. Assuming similar production costs and no price differential between CWRS and WW, a relatively minor shift of 0.5 M ha (1.24 M acres) of spring to WW in western Canada is worth approx. $113.4 million to producers. Assume 25% yield advantage over spring wheat yield of 3.3 t/ha (49 bu/ac); CWRS price = $275/t ($7.48/bu). Greater WW production in western Canada would enhance exports, increase land availability for higher value crops, and reduce Canada’s agriculture footprint. WW stabilizes and enhances crop income, particularly when spring crop production is difficult. It also offers better erosion control, wheat midge and FHB escape, reduced herbicide use, earlier harvest/higher grades, spread of workload and equipment, risk mitigation, is wildlife friendly, an important climate change strategy, and could make a major contribution to feeding 9.2 billion people by 2050.