As part of its $32 million Capacity Initiative, WGRF is pleased to announce a $284,000 infrastructure investment to support the University of Alberta Breton Plots.

“We are pleased to provide funding for increased capacity at the University of Alberta Breton Plots,” says, Dr. Keith Degenhardt, WGRF Board Chair. “WGRF has made it a priority to build agriculture research capacity at Canadian public research institutions. The research conducted at the Breton Plots continues to help answer important scientific and agronomic questions,” says Degenhardt.

Operating for 90 years, the University of Alberta Breton Plotsare one of longest running crop rotation trials in North America.

“With this funding from WGRF we are able to purchase assets (plot combine, front-wheel assist tractor) and build equipment storage that complement existing infrastructure, greatly increasing the capacity for the Breton Plots,” says Dr. Miles Dyck, Associate Professor in Soil Physics as well as Academic Lead and Chair of the Breton Plots Management Team.

“The Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences is very grateful to WGRF for this important investment,” says Dean Stanford F. Blade, PhD, P.Ag., Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences, University of Alberta. “Our Faculty is a major contributor to the success of Alberta’s agriculture and food sectors through training great undergraduate/graduate students and conducting high-impact research. The funding allocated by WGRF will directly contribute to the further success of the Breton Plots.”

“WGRF realized a number of years ago that in order to fund world class crop production research there needs to be the capacity to carry the research out,” says Garth Patterson, WGRF Executive Director. “That’s really what our capacity initiative is about, identifying the gap, 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.

For more information, contact:

Mike Espeseth

Communications Manager                                              

Western Grains Research Foundation               



The Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) is a farmer-funded and farmer-directed non-profit organization investing in agricultural research that benefits western Canadian farmers. WGRF is the largest producer funder of field crop research in Canada. Since 1981, WGRF has funded more than $200 million of research in field crops of interest to western Canadian farmers.

In recent years, the agricultural community has expressed concerns about the status of capacity for crop-related research in Western Canada. WGRF heard these concerns and has committed $32 million to accelerate and expand crop research.

Phase 1 of this initiative was focused on expanding human resources. WGRF supported the Universities of Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan in their vision to establish Research Chairs.

In 2019, WGRF initiated Phase 2 of its capacity-building initiative, a competitive, proposal-based process to expand the tools (infrastructure and tangible assets) necessary to accelerate crop research for the benefit of field crop farmers in Western Canada.

WGRF is projecting over $53M of research funding over the next four years for new and ongoing initiatives. This includes the Phase 1 and Phase 2 Capacity Initiatives, Five Research Clusters, and funding for both new and ongoing research projects.