WGRF Invests Record $21.4 M for Wheat and Barley Breeding

The Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) and Agriculture and Agri-food Canada (AAFC) announced today that they have renewed their long standing partnership in wheat and barley breeding. WGRF will invest $20 million into wheat breeding and $1.4 million into barley breeding at AAFC Research Centres in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta over the next five years. This represents the largest ever industry investment into research at AAFC.

“Producer check-offs have played a vital role in funding long term research. It takes on average ten to thirteen years for a new variety to become commercially available,” says Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay. “Breeding programs require long-term stable funding in order to operate effectively and this is exactly what WGRF funding has provided.”

“The substantial investments made by producers into wheat and barley breeding since 1994 has aided in the development of the most popular varieties grown on the prairies today, says Dr. Keith Degenhardt, WGRF Vice-Chair. “Varieties like Lillian, Strongfield, Carberry, and Unity VB have offered not only higher yields but improved end use properties, and better disease and insect resistance compared to those previously grown in farmers’ fields.”    

“WGRF’s leadership role in developing both western and national approaches to funding wheat and barley breeding means that producers continue to get good value for their check-offs,” says Garth Patterson, WGRF Executive Director. “This commitment marks the 35th anniversary of WGRF investing in research to benefit western Canadian producers.”

WGRF has been investing farmer’s wheat and barley check-off dollars into breeding research since 1994. WGRF would like to thank Minister MacAulay and the Government of Canada for their continued partnership and investment in wheat and barley breeding.