About the Western Grains Research Foundation
Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) is a farmer funded and directed non-profit organization investing primarily in wheat and barley variety development to benefit western Canadian producers. Through investments of over $86.5 million WGRF has assisted in the development and release of more than 158 new wheat and barley varieties over the past twenty years, many of which are today seeded to large portions of the cropland in Western Canada. WGRF also invests in research on other western Canadian crops through the Endowment fund. Since 1981 the Endowment Fund has supported a wealth of innovation across Western Canada providing over $26 million in funding for over 230 research projects.
WGRF was created in 1981 by several western Canadian farm organizations plus a representative from Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) to administer the $9 million in producer dollars turned over by the federal government from the discontinued Prairie Farm Assistance Act (PFAA), a forerunner of today’s crop insurance program. WGRF was created with the vision of being a research funding organization that would partner with research providers. WGRF began administering the Wheat and Barley Check-offs during the 1993-94 crop year.
WGRF supports many public research programs and projects from across Western Canada, with both long-term and short-term agreements. Each dollar invested is leveraged to attain additional government funds that match or double the investment made by producers.
The Endowment Fund supports research across all crop types, looking specifically at projects that show potential for farmer benefit and demonstrate scientific merit. This fund is set-up to look at the long-term stability of crop research in Western Canada.
Check-off dollars are invested into wheat and barley breeding research through long term agreements with public institutions. Breeding agreements target increasing yield, improving disease and insect resistance, developing special adaptational characteristics and improving overall quality.