National priorities laid out for Canadian wheat research

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Canada’s wheat industry, working together with the federal government, laid out its priorities for research in a national report unveiled at press conference in Saskatoon on Tuesday.

Led by Cereals Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the 2017 Canadian Wheat Research Priorities Report is being described as the first time the wheat industry has come together to establish priorities for research. Farm groups, federal and provincial governments, exporters, processors and public research institutions where all involved in the multi-year effort.

The report identifies and focuses on five priority areas for the next five years: improving wheat yield, improving yield reliability or stability, increasing sustainability, improving food safety (for example by reducing mycotoxins), and being able to respond to consumer needs by developing a feedback mechanism from purchasers to researchers.

“Research and technology development is a competitive advantage for Canadian agriculture. The development of a national vision shared by the entire value chain – from the field to customers – is a critically important tool that will help us maintain and develop this advantage,” says Cam Dahl, President of Cereals Canada.

“We’re really pleased how the research chain has come together,” he notes, in the interview below.

So how will this report be put into action to benefit wheat industry stakeholders, including producers?

To start, it will help funders focus research and evaluate ongoing research, and whether it’s focused on customer needs, for example, says Dahl.

“This isn’t a one-time report. It has measurable objectives and there’s going to be an at least annual evaluation process on the research that’s been conducted, what the outcomes are, where they fit with our goals,” he says. “This will help keep our innovation projects focused, and it’s that ongoing evaluation that may prove in the long run to be the most valuable part of this project.”

You can read the 20-page report here.

Cam Dahl joined Kelvin Heppner on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the release of the national wheat research priorities report:

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