The federal government has announced a commitment of $7 million under the Growing Forward 2 framework for the Canadian Field Crop Research Alliance to lead a research cluster to help producers better compete in global markets. The funding will be matched with another $3.3 million by industry.
The “Canadian Field Crop Genetics Improvement Cluster”, a five-year, $10.3 million initiative, will bring together researchers from the public and private sectors to enhance the genetics of grain corn, soybeans, oats, and barley in order to produce high-yielding, low input, disease-resistant varieties, says the Grain Farmers of Ontario. The project will also help producers better respond to consumer demand for foods with specific nutritional benefits and increase their competitiveness in global markets.
“The Canadian Field Crop Research Alliance (CFCRA) thanks the federal government for the increased investment in this important project,” says Crosby Devitt, Chair of CFCRA. “This five-year plant breeding initiative addresses the unique climates and specialized markets across Canada. We look forward to the development and release of improved corn, soybean, barley, and oat varieties desired in our regions and down the value chain.”
The research cluster will support what industry has identified as the highest priority research, done by the country’s leading experts. While industry leadership and investment is key to the success of the initiative, by tapping into the expertise of scientists based in research centres across the country, the cluster will benefit from their work in developing improved varieties that address the needs of the market for value-added traits that deliver higher levels of nutrition and improved processing attributes. AAFC researchers will collaborate on several priorities, including providing Canada’s field crop growers of soybeans, corn, oats and barley with enhanced varieties with higher yield, lower input, and greater disease resistance.
The Canadian Field Crop Research Alliance (CFCRA) is a not-for-profit entity founded in 2010 with an interest in advancing the genetic capacity of field crops in Canada. CFCRA is an alliance of provincial farm organizations and industry partners, including: Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO); Fédération des producteurs de cultures commerciales du Québec (FPCCQ); Manitoba Pulse Growers Association (MPGA); Manitoba Corn Growers Association (MCGA); Atlantic Grains Council (AGC); SeCan Assocation (SeCan); and PepsiCo Foods Canada, a business unit of PepsiCo Canada ULC.