AWC - Funded Research

Spotlight on AWC-funded Research

AWC invests in research projects that maximize crop performance. Check out Spotlight on Research, our new publication that highlights AWC-funded projects aimed at boosting your bottom line.

Investing in research that makes sense for farmers 

Click the icons below or type a keyword in the search bar to view AWC-funded research related to your on-farm challenge. Visit our Why invest in research page to learn more about how AWC’s value-added research investments  result in better returns for farmers.    

Investigating crop management options to lessen the impact of fusarium head blight in wheat

The importance of using an integrated approach to lessen the FHB issue has been emphasized to prairie producers and industry over the last 10 years. Unfortunately, producer experiences over the last several years have shown that even when using a…

2017 Alberta Weed Survey

Weed surveys of annual crops have been regularly conducted in the Prairie Provinces since the 1970s. The objectives of this project are to conduct a general and a herbicide-resistant weed survey in Alberta in 2017. The project will document shifts…

The population structure of Fusarium pathogens of small grain cereals, their distribution and relationship to mycotoxins

Fusarium head blight (FHB) is a fungal disease affecting cereal crops in Canada that reduces productivity and produces mycotoxins in the grain. This fungal disease is caused by a number of Fusarium species. In Canada, Fusarium graminearum is considered…

Harrington Seed Destructor Evaluation at Field Scale in Alberta

Herbicide resistance is increasing in severity across the Prairies. New weed management techniques are needed. Harvest Weed Seed Control (HWSC) is a form of weed control from Australia focussed on managing seeds dispersed by combines. The Harrington…

Development of a multiplex RT-immunoPCR assay and biosensor for the early detection of airborne fungal spores in cereal crops

This project aims to develop a rapid and sensitive method to identify and quantify multiple disease-causing airborne fungal spores in producers’ fields. The method uses antibody-coated microspheres coupled with PCR amplification, to take advantage…

Pesticide impact on soil microbiome: an opportunity to identify microbial candidates for inoculation and field bio-augmentation

This project aims to study the impact of pesticides on soil microbiome under cereal production and identify/isolate microbes thriving under pesticide use and investigate their potential as pesticide degraders. Soil microbes from long-term rotation…

Revisiting the Value of Early Fungicide Applications in Wheat

Fusarium head blight and leaf diseases have become a serious threat to Alberta wheat growers. To manage leaf disease, some growers apply a sub-lethal rate of fungicide tank-mixed with herbicide at early growth stages. Growers consider this as a convenient,…

An efficient system to identify virulence patterns of stripe rust in Canada

Stripe rust is a destructive disease of wheat worldwide; combated mainly through growing resistant varieties. Because rust changes in virulence over a short period of time, constantly looking for non-defeated resistance sources is critical. This is…

Identifying resistance to tan spot disease in winter and durum wheat

Tan spot is a destructive foliar disease of wheat that can damage growing plants anytime during crop development causing millions of dollars in losses. It affects nearly all common and durum wheat cultivars available to Canadian farmers; however,…

Effector based screening for leaf spot complex in Canada

Wheat leaf spot disease complex is widespread across western Canada, and is composed of several fungal pathogens. Two diseases predominate mainly, tan spot and Stagonospora blotch. Each disease is caused by one fungal pathogen and each pathogen produces…

Nanocarrier technology for the next generation of cereal seed Treatments

Our aim is to develop seed coat technology containing nanocarrier complexed RNAi for the suppression of smut and bunt diseases in cereals. Such technology will reduce our dependency on toxic fungicides, resulting in healthier soil microbiomes. This…

Beneficial insects in Prairie crops: quantifying the value and vulnerability of biological pest control

Crop fields support hundreds of insect species, the vast majority of which are not pests. "Beneficials" eat pest insects and weed seeds, pollinate crops, and cycle nutrients. However, most insecticide use targeted at pests harms beneficials and the…

Upcycling a defeated disease resistance R gene of wheat

Given the limited number of effective stripe rust resistance genes available and the ability of the stripe rust pathogen to evolve and defeat current resistance genes, the future looks grim for deployment of effective and sustainable resistance in…

Expansion of in vitro selection to develop FHB and leaf spot resistant wheat and barley

Plant diseases are responsible for at least 10% of yield losses in global food production. Incidence and severity of two important cereal crop diseases, Fusarium head blight (FHB) and tan spot, are increasing with the impacts of climate change. FHB…

Managing wireworms in southern Alberta wheat fields with crop rotations and beneficial insects

Wireworms are a soil-dwelling pest that attacks wheat seeds and seedlings. The pest has re-emerged as a problem across Canada in wheat and other crops such as potato. This project will contribute to the integrated pest management (IPM) in Alberta…

Fusarium graminearum in Alberta wheat and corn: how bad is it really?

Fusarium graminearum is a regulated pest listed on the Alberta Pests Act. There is evidence that the distribution and severity of F. graminearum in Alberta is increasing. It is difficult to accurately pinpoint F. graminearum distribution from seed…

Biology and control of foxtail barley

Foxtail barley is a difficult to control weed that can be managed within a competitive crop rotation, but location in saline areas tends to decrease crop competition, making growers more dependent on chemical control. This research project proposes…

Fighting rust fungal crop threats through integrated genomics research

This 4 year project will analyze 60 Canadian wheat genomes, combined with comparative analysis of available stem and stripe rust information, to select for important virulence factors against wheat. These genomic information will allow for future…

Development of synthetic food bait traps to monitor multiple cutworm pests and minimize bee by-catch

This 3 year proposal aims to develop a trap to monitor cutworms (a pest species that damages several Canadian crops). The goal of this research is to create a food-based lure to attract both sexes of multiple species of cutworm, but not bee pollinators.…

An integrated approach to FHB Management in Alberta

This proposed research will investigate an integrated approach to disease management using readily-adoptable agronomic practices alone or in combination to identify management practices that have the greatest impact on FHB severity and losses in southern…

Coordinated surveillance, forecasting and risk warning systems for field crop insect pests of the prairie ecosystem

Insect pest of field crops in western Canada fall into three categories: (i) native insects such as grasshoppers ( all crops), wheat stem sawfly (cereals), lygus (broadleaf crops); (ii) invasive alien species such as wheat midge (wheat and triticales),…

Performance and cost of field scouting for weeds and diseases using imagery obtained with an unmanned aerial vehicle

Civilian uses for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are rapidly expanding as the technology is becoming more affordable. Today’ s most common UAVs for professional use are capable of payloads of 1-5 kg, have flight times of 15-30 min. and ranges…

Use of antifungal lipids in crop protection

This project aims to determine whether antifungal lipids are an economically viable alternative to current fungicides in crop protection. Based on the high specific activity of these hydroxy fatty acids, improved control of phytopathogens by antimicrobial…

Biology and Management of Glyphosate-Resistant Kochia

In 2012 and 2013 numerous other fields were confirmed to contain glyphosate-resistant kochia in Alberta and south-western Saskatchewan. There are >50 confirmed glyphosate-resistant kochia sites at this time. Thus, it is quite evident that glyphosate-resistant…