A total of $2.2 million is going to be spent over the next four years on winter wheat agronomic research in Western Canada, with the money coming from the federal government and several producer-funded and industry organizations.
Lethbridge MP Jim Hillyer announced the federal commitment of $1 million to the Alberta Wheat Commission on Tuesday. The commission itself is also investing $150 thousand in the winter wheat initiative. Other funding partners include Ducks Unlimited Canada, the Saskatchewan Winter Cereals Development Commission, Winter Cereals Manitoba and the Western Grains Research Foundation, as well as Koch Fertilizer Canada, Agrium Inc., and Dow AgroSciences.
“Winter wheat is already a high yielding class with good milling properties, but the amount of acres grown in Western Canada do not reflect the market potential,” said Kevin Auch, vice-chair of the Alberta Wheat Commission.
11 studies will be conducted across the winter wheat growing areas of Western Canada, with projects looking at the use of growth regulators, pest control, input management and expanding the seeding window.
“In recent years, winter wheat has consistently been one of the highest net income producing crops in Prairie Canada,” said Paul Thoroughgood, regional agrologist with Ducks Unlimited. “Agronomic research conducted in this study, including fertility, disease and weed management, stand establishment and lengthening the fall seeding window, will help more farmers realize the benefits of including winter wheat in their cropping system.”
“We have a long-term vision for winter wheat – and that is to increase profit” – Kevin Auch, AWC vice-chair pic.twitter.com/C7aOtgbcuJ
— Alberta Wheat (@albertawheat) March 17, 2015