The Canadian Wheat Research Coalition, composed of the 3 prairie wheat commissions, has committed 2 million dollars over 5 years to a wheat breeding program at the University of Alberta.
The investment will fund research with a focus on developing new Canadian Western Red Spring and Canadian Prairie Spring red wheat varieties.
A top objective is to develop three to five registered wheat varieties with early maturity, shorter straw stalk, and resistance to stripe rust and Fusarium head blight.
These are key priorities of northern Alberta’s parkland region, where the program is located.
Since 2013, the University of Alberta wheat breeding program has registered 14 wheat varieties.
The new five year agreement reflects a significant increase from the previous agreement through the Western Grains Research Foundation.
SaskWheat chair Brett Halstead says his farm and thousands of others have benefitted from the breeding program in Alberta and it will improve farm profitability across the prairies.