As part of its $32 million Capacity Initiative, WGRF is pleased to announce a $288,550 investment in the Wheat Breeding Program (WBP) at the University of Alberta for a research plot seeder and combine.
“The wheat breeding program at the U of A is an important piece of the western Canadian wheat breeding network,” says Dr. Keith Degenhardt, WGRF Board Chair. “Reliable field equipment is essential to any breeding program. When equipment breaks down, not only is time lost, but the integrity of the yield and harvest quality information are compromised.”
The U of A WBP is led by Dr. Dean Spaner. The program focuses on development of hard red (CWRS) and high yield (CPS) spring wheat varieties, and also conducts research into genetics of disease resistance, nitrogen-use efficiency in wheat, and supports other winter wheat, spring wheat, barley and organic oat breeding programs.
“The purchase of a new plot seeder and combine will allow the WBP to continue to develop new and improved wheat varieties for western Canadian farmers,” says Dr. Dean Spaner. “WGRF has always been a strong supporter of our program, and we are grateful for this investment.”
“WGRF has made some substantial capacity investments at the U of A over the past two years,” says Garth Patterson, WGRF Executive Director. “The purchase of this new equipment, the previously announced infrastructure investment at the Breton Plots, and the establishment a Research Chair in Cropping Systems in 2020, totals more than $3.5 million WGRF has invested in building research capacity at the University of Alberta. That has been the goal of our capacity initiative, identifying the gaps, either in human resources or infrastructure resources, and then funding a solution.”
In total, twenty-four Phase 2 Capacity Initiative applications were approved by WGRF. Additional Capacity funding announcements will be made in the coming months.