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WGRF has established relationships with provincial agriculture funding bodies in western Canada and other producer commodity groups to review proposals submitted to these organizations and co-fund in three priority areas. Researchers interested in applying for funding, please click on Funding Priority Research Areas for more details.

Current Research Projects Funded

Oats: Improve the Gastrointestinal Health of Horses

Lead Researcher: Prairie Oat Growers Association
Total Funding: $110,000
Start Date: 2015
Project Length: 1 Year  

Objective: To demonstrate that the addition of whole oats to the equine diet positively impacts equine health by reducing or preventing gastrointestinal leakiness and markers of subsequent subclinical inflammatory response.

Producer Benefit: The Western Canadian agricultural industry will benefit through the improved market potential for Canadian oats in the United States.

Evaluating the Effect of Simulated Hail Damage on Soybean Maturity, Yield and Quality

Lead Researcher: Kristen Podolsky, Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers
Total Funding: $43,660
Start Date: 2015
Project Length: 3 Years  

Objective: Produce novel, region specific data that is imperative for crop adjusting procedures and risk management programs.

Producer Benefit: Ensuring appropriate crop insurance adjusting procedures are used in Manitoba will improve risk management programs and support continued growth of the soybean industry in Manitoba.

Optimal Nitrogen and Phosphorus Management for Flax

Lead Researcher: Christopher Holzapfel, IHARF
Total Funding: $89,000
Start Date: 2015
Project Length: 3 Years  

Objective: To evaluate the yield response of flax to various rates and combinations of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer.

Producer Benefit: Improved nitrogen, phosphorus and sulphur fertilizer recommendations for flax grown under a range of environmental conditions.

Scale up and validation of a low-cost paper-based test for mycotoxins

Lead Researcher: Maria DeRosa, Carleton University
Total Funding: $99,937
Start Date: 2016
Project Length: 3 Years  

Objective: A recently completed WGRF-funded project developed a simple, inexpensive, paper-based test for mycotoxins. In order to move to on farm, grain elevator and/or processors testing, this test must be scaled up, tested in raw and processed grain matrices, and field validated. Thus, our overall objective is to move the test from the laboratory to the field.

Producer Benefit: The industry needs less expensive, reliable technologies to manage the entry of mycotoxins into the value chain. The proposed research seeks to provide a simple, low-cost, robust assay for mycotoxin detection on-farm, at the elevator, or at the processors.

Development of Hormone Based Genomic Tools to Accelerate Wheat Breeding for Enhanced Preharvest Sprouting Tolerance

Lead Researcher: Dr. Belay Ayele, University of Manitoba
Total Funding: $116,000
Start Date: 2015
Project Length: 3 Years  

Objective: Development of wheat cultivars with improved tolerance to preharvest sprouting (PHS), emphasizing the need of developing innovative genomic tools for efficient and directed wheat breeding to improve PHS tolerance.

Producer Benefit: The genomic information and the methods generated from this project will have a valuable contribution in accelerating wheat breeding for improving other agronomic traits and the incorporation of PHS tolerance into other economically important cereal crops.

Western Canadian Oilseed Flax Cooperative Trials 2015 – 2016

Lead Researcher: Dr. Helen Booker, University of Saskatchewan
Total Funding: $150,000
Start Date: 2015
Project Length: 2 Years

Objective: Collect data for the support of varietal registration of oilseed flax lines.

Producer Benefit: The information generated from the cooperative testing system ensures that all new varieties that are registered meet or exceed the currently available varieties.  The data allows producers to make informed choices about new flax varieties most suited to their operations.

Application and Evaluation of Genomic Selection for Improving Fusarium Head Blight Resistance and Lowering Deoxynivalenol Accumulation in Two-row Malting Barley

Lead Researcher: Dr. Dilantha Fernando, University of Manitoba
Total Funding: $73,100
Start Date: 2015
Project Length:  3 Years

Objective: To develop genomic tools that will improve the selection process for the development of fusarium head blight (FHB) resistant and low deoxynivalenol (DON) barley varieties.  

Producer Benefit: Farmers growing FHB resistant barely varieties will reduce their reliance on pesticides and lower their production costs.  

Enhancing Wheat Midge Resistance in Spring and Durum Wheat

Lead Researcher: Dr. Alejandro Costamagna, University of Manitoba
Total Funding: $69,250
Start Date: 2015
Project Length:  3 Years

Objective: Research has discovered that Sm1- based wheat midge resistance in the variety Shaw functions better than other Sm1-based midge resistant varieties. This project will study the genetic differences between Shaw and Goodeve to determine the basis of this variation.

Producer Benefit: This will translate into new varieties with improved Sm1 wheat midge resistance in the future.

Development of Hormone Based Genomic Tools to Accelerate Wheat Breeding for Enhanced Preharvest Sprouting Tolerance

Lead Researcher: Dr. Belay Ayele, University of Manitoba
Total Funding: $116,000
Start Date: 2015
Project Length: 3 Years  

Objective: Development of wheat cultivars with improved tolerance to preharvest sprouting (PHS), emphasizing the need of developing innovative genomic tools for efficient and directed wheat breeding to improve PHS tolerance.

Producer Benefit: The genomic information and the methods generated from this project will have a valuable contribution in accelerating wheat breeding for improving other agronomic traits and the incorporation of PHS tolerance into other economically important cereal crops.

Western Canadian Oilseed Flax Cooperative Trials 2015 – 2016

Lead Researcher: Dr. Helen Booker, University of Saskatchewan
Total Funding: $150,000
Start Date: 2015
Project Length: 2 Years

Objective: Collect data for the support of varietal registration of oilseed flax lines.

Producer Benefit: The information generated from the cooperative testing system ensures that all new varieties that are registered meet or exceed the currently available varieties.  The data allows producers to make informed choices about new flax varieties most suited to their operations.

Application and Evaluation of Genomic Selection for Improving Fusarium Head Blight Resistance and Lowering Deoxynivalenol Accumulation in Two-row Malting Barley

Lead Researcher: Dr. Dilantha Fernando, University of Manitoba
Total Funding: $73,100
Start Date: 2015
Project Length:  3 Years

Objective: To develop genomic tools that will improve the selection process for the development of fusarium head blight (FHB) resistant and low deoxynivalenol (DON) barley varieties.  

Producer Benefit: Farmers growing FHB resistant barely varieties will reduce their reliance on pesticides and lower their production costs.  

Enhancing Wheat Midge Resistance in Spring and Durum Wheat

Lead Researcher: Dr. Alejandro Costamagna, University of Manitoba
Total Funding: $69,250
Start Date: 2015
Project Length:  3 Years

Objective: Research has discovered that Sm1- based wheat midge resistance in the variety Shaw functions better than other Sm1-based midge resistant varieties. This project will study the genetic differences between Shaw and Goodeve to determine the basis of this variation.

Producer Benefit: This will translate into new varieties with improved Sm1 wheat midge resistance in the future.

Influence of Genotype, Weather and the Growing Environment, and Crop Management on Gluten Strength and the Sustainability of CWRS as a Premium Wheat Class

Lead Researchers: Harry Sapirstein and Paul Bullock, University of Manitoba

Total Funding: $1,283,882
Start Date: 2015
Project Length: 4 Years  

Objective: The research will  investigate the nature of CWRS wheat gluten strength variation in milling grade samples in relation to genotype, and environmental factors both abiotic (weather) and biotic (FHB and wheat midge), and the influence of select and widely used crop management practices (application of fungicide and insecticide) to mitigate the effects of those biotic factors

Producer Benefit: Solidify and enhance the value of the CWRS wheat class and its value in world markets.
Crop Sequencing of Large Acreage Crops and Special Crops

Lead Researcher: William May, AAFC
Total Funding: $125,790
Start Date: 2015
Project Length: 4 Years  

Objective: To determine the best fit of special crops into crop sequences.

Producer Benefit: The effect of crop sequences and crop rotation is important agronomic information that is lacking and will help producers decide where these crops best fit in a crop sequence to optimize the special crops and other crops they grow.

Integrated Crop Management for High Yielding Flax Production

Lead Researcher: Chris Willenborg, University of Saskatchewan
Total Funding: $138,365
Start Date: 2015
Project Length: 3 Years  

Objective: To improve flax yield via improved agronomy and weed management.

Producer Benefit: Provide new herbicide options for flax crops, which should limit yield loss and increase grower profit.

Development of Crested Wheatgrass Lines with Improved Forage Nutritive Value

Lead Researcher: Bill Biligetu, University of Saskatchewan
Total Funding: $69,808
Start Date: 2015
Project Length:  3 Years

Objective: Develop later maturing crested wheatgrass lines with high forage yields and improved forage quality.

Producer Benefit: Crested wheat grass is a deep rooted bunch grass that is tolerant of drought and the extreme winter temperatures of the Prairies. It also has early emergence that allows for early spring grazing and a shorter winter feeding period. The new crested wheatgrass varieties will benefit livestock producers and forage seed growers.

Can Enhanced Efficiency N Fertilizers Mitigate Against N Losses in Single-Pass Seeding Operations?

Lead Researcher: Richard Farrell, University of Saskatchewan
Total Funding: $270,475
Start Date: 2015
Project Length:  4 Years

Objective: Evaluate the benefits of EEF technologies and related 4R Nutrient Stewardship practices to the agriculture industry.

Producer Benefit: Research will address significant gaps in the development of Best Management Practices (BMPs) to limit losses of nitrogen from both irrigated and dryland cropping systems.

Aster Yellow Disease in Spring Wheat: A Benchmark Characterization and Cultivar Assessment

Lead Researcher: Pierre Hucl, University of Saskatchewan
Total Funding: $95,220
Start Date: 2015
Project Length: 3 Years  

Objective: Providing a detailed description of the development of symptoms of Aster yellow diseases in wheat overtime, depending on the wheat growth stage, soil moisture and the number of AY-infected leafhoppers feeding on the wheat at the time of infection.

Producer Benefit: The information related to the expression of AY symptom in wheat will be of great use for growers and agronomists in order to identify AY disease in wheat. A pamphlet containing pictures of AY disease symptom will be published and available online.

Development of New Hybrid Bromegrass Lines with Improved Forage Yield and Regrowth.

Lead Researcher: Bruce Coulman, University of Saskatchewan
Total Funding: $69,000
Start Date: 2015
Project Length: 4 Years  

Objective: To combine the vigor and productivity of hybrid brome with the faster regrowth of meadow brome.

Producer Benefit: The improvement in forage productivity, regrowth, and seed production, and adaptation of hybrid brome will contribute to the economics of beef production by improving feed production per unit area and lowering the cost of seed.

Evaluation of Management Strategies to Control Insecticide Resistant Populations of Colorado Potato Beetle

Lead Researcher: Ron Hemmersbach, Peak of the Market
Total Funding: $25,640
Start Date: 2015
Project Length:  3 Years

Objective: To evaluate insecticide management strategies including a combination of registered seed treatments in furrow and or foliar insecticides for the control of Colorado potato beetle (CPB) and other potato pests like aphids and leafhoppers.

Producer Benefit: Growers will gain knowledge on effective strategies to manage CPB. The knowledge will allow producers to implement an insect management strategy.

Screening of Coriander and Caraway Germplasm for Resistance to Blossom Blight

Lead Researcher: Sabine Banniza, University of Saskatchewan
Total Funding: $137,150
Start Date: 2015
Project Length:  4 Years

Objective: Identify the predominant fungal and bacterial species of pathogens associated with blossom blight in caraway and coriander, and confirm their contribution to the disease.

Producer Benefit: Spice crops such as coriander and caraway represent an opportunity for growers in Saskatchewan to diversify into production of high value speciality crops. Identification of the primary pathogens will bring focus to screening efforts and guide future breeding for improved resistance.

Breeding for Resistance to Leaf Blotch Pathogens in Saskatchewan Oat

Lead Researcher: Aaron Beattie, University of Saskatchewan
Total Funding: $86,815
Start Date: 2015
Project Length:  3 Years

Objective: Isolation of leaf blotch pathogens from commercial oat fields will be collected to evaluate the virulence spectrum of these pathogens. The effect of temperature, moisture/humidity, inoculum concentration and plant growth stage will be studied to develop an indoor screening technique.

Producer Benefit: Research focused at improving oat resistance to these leaf blotch pathogens will increase the desirability of Saskatchewan oat varieties to producers and millers through reduced yield losses and maintenance of good grain test weight.

Ecology of Swede Midge Host Plant Interactions

Lead Researcher: Juliana Soroka, AAFC
Total Funding: $107,000
Start Date: 2015
Project Length:  4 Years

Objective: Examine host range of swede midge mechanisms of tolerance responses, and determine the reaction of both susceptible and resistant hosts.

Producer Benefit: Knowledge of host plant susceptibility/resistance factors will aid the canola industry in management of swede midge, a new and potentially devastating pest of crucifers in western Canada. The ultimate aim of the research is to discover practical means of host plant resistance to the pest.

Growing Winter Annual Forages in Mixtures: Assessment of Agricultural Impacts in a Semiarid Environment

Lead Researcher: Michael Schellenberg
Total Funding: $72,410
Start Date: 2015
Project Length:  4 Years

Objective: Assess the agricultural and ecological benefits of integrating a winter forage polyculture into normal crop production. Provide producers and researchers detailed information on forage yield, forage quality, and soil nutrient changes.

Producer Benefit: Winter seeded polycultures can potentially play an integral role in maintaining the economic and environmental sustainability of today’s agricultural industry. Intercropping alone allows for lower inputs through reduced fertilizer and pesticide requirements while increasing the productivity of the land with improved soil nutrient cycling.

Development of Synthetic Food Bait Traps to Monitor Multiple Cutworm Pests and Minimize Bee by-catch

Lead Researcher: Maya Evenden, University of Alberta
Total Funding: $52,347
Start Date: 2015
Project Length: 3 Years

Objective: The overall objective of this work is to develop a synthetic food-based monitoring tool for noctuid (cutworm and armyworm complex) pests in the Prairie Provinces. This research will result in the development of a lure that is attractive to both sexes of pest species but does not attract significant numbers of bee pollinators.

Producer Benefit: Monitoring for cutworms and other pests will be more efficient and effective for producers as a result of this research.

Effect of Soil Temperature at Different Planting Dates, and Residue Management, on Soybean

Lead Researcher: Ramona Mohr, AAFC
Total Funding: $49,550
Start Date: 2014
Project Length: 4 Years

Objective: To determine the effect of soil temperature at different planting dates on soybean growth, yield and quality and to determine the effect of residue management on soybean growth, yield and quality.

Producer Benefit: The introduction of early-maturing soybeans has significantly increased soybean production in many regions of Manitoba.  However, frost and near-freezing temperatures in spring and fall remains a risk for soybean production, particularly in “non-traditional” production areas. Potential may exist to reduce the risk associated with frost and/or near-freezing conditions through management. 

Impact of Travel Speed and System Configuration on the Air Turbulence Around the Nozzles of an Agricultural Sprayer

Lead Researcher: Hubert Landry, Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute   
Total Funding: $161,219
Start Date: 2015
Project Length: 1 Year

Objective: The general objective of the project is to study the impact of the travel speed of a field sprayer on the air turbulence at the nozzles.

Producer Benefit: Sprayer-applied agricultural inputs (fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides) represent a high operational cost for Saskatchewan agriculture. Developing the knowledge required to understand the impact that high-speed sprayer operation has the potential to maximize the efficacy of those inputs, reducing costs and increasing profitability as a result.

Efficacy of Multispecies of Perennial Forage Crops for Weed Control

Lead Researcher: Eric Lamb, University of Saskatchewan     
Total Funding: $19,673
Start Date: 2015
Project Length: 2 Years

Objective: To evaluate the benefits of increased species diversity in annual and perennial forage mixtures for low-input weed suppression.

Producer Benefit: Determining the necessary trait composition for effective weed suppression will provide economic and environmental benefits by identifying weed supressing plant mixtures which will result in reduced input costs and reduced negative environmental impact via reduced outflow of undesirable chemical from fields.

Improving the Quality Package of High Anthocyanin Wheat: From Field to Consumer

Lead Researcher: Pierre Hucl, University of Saskatchewan   
Total Funding: $105,311
Start Date: 2015
Project Length: 3 Years

Objective: The project will create new knowledge in the area of pigment stability in raw and processed purple wheat. Such information is essential in processing purple wheat. The project will also result in the delivery of improved anthocyanin-pigmented wheat based on anthocyanin composition and stability.   

Producer Benefit: More work on the development of CDC Primepurple wheat as a functional food ingredient should help promote purple wheat and improve its ranking to diversify the grain industry. It also potentially offers more wheat choices for the agriculture business and food processors.

Comparison of Barley Forage with Highest, Intermediate, Lowest Digestible Fibre (NDF) with Corn Fibre in High Production Dairy Cattle

Lead Researcher: Peiqiang Yu, University of Saskatchewan   
Total Funding: $70,150
Start Date: 2015
Project Length: 3 Years

Objective: To develop alternative feeding strategies based on NDF digestibility to efficiently utilize new developed forage barley and forage corn in sustainable dairy system for improving animal production and health. To increase basic knowledge of the nutritional relevance of forage barley and corn and to apply this information to the production of high quality feeding programs and to aid forage barley and corn breeding programs.

Producer Benefit: Information will be produced for the diary feed formulation and dairy industries on critical insight into ruminant livestock digestive mechanisms underlying relatively new genotypes of barley and corn forage and their silages. These economic benefits are strongly anticipated to the Saskatchewan forage and dairy industry.

New Insights into Natural Air Grain Drying

Lead Researcher: Ron Palmer, Indian Head Agriculture Research Foundation (IHARF)   
Total Funding: $284,970
Start Date: 2015
Project Length: 3 Years

Objective: To develop a fan control strategy using natural air that results in the safe storage of grain, that is efficient and results in less fan running time, and that results in more uniform drying of grain.

Producer Benefit: Reducing the risk of grain spoilage and preventing revenue loss with on-farm storage.

Biocomposite Commercial Initiative with Crop Residue (Straw) and Agricultural Waste Products (Grain Bags) for Shercom Industries

Lead Researcher: Denise Stilling, University of Regina
Total Funding: $120,175
Start Date: 2014
Project Length: 3 years

Objective:To develop an innovative biocomposite material consisting of agricultural crop residue (primarily flax straw), reclaimed tire crumb and plastics from used grain bags to design a commercially successful biocomposite product.

Producer Benefit:  Producers would receive a secondary income stream from flax production, simultaneously eliminating disposal and related management challenges with this crop residue.  This also has environmental benefits in reduced flax burning.

Phosphorus Fertilization Beneficial Management Practices for Soybeans in Manitoba  

Lead Researcher:  Don Flaten, University of Manitoba
Total Funding: $64,653
Start Date: 2014
Project Length: 2 Years

Objective: To refine the 4Rs nutrient management concept (right source, right rate, right place and right time) to help Manitoba soybean producers optimize phosphorus fertilization. In addition the project will determine the effect of long term phosphorus and cadmium management practices on soybean yield and concentrations of cadmium in soils and soybeans. 

Producer Benefit: To help soybean producers optimize phosphorus fertilization.

Microbial Modifying Properties of Pea Seed Coat and Their Role in Improved Intestinal Integrity

Lead Researcher:  Benjamin Willing, University of Alberta
Total Funding: $51,750
Start Date: 2014
Project Length: 2 Years

Objective: This project aims to elucidate the effect of pea seed coat fractions on the gut microbiota in more detail to establish the role microbiota play in anti-diabetic effects.

Producer Benefit: This research will deliver new insight into the benefit of pea seed coat supplementation in the human diet, providing expanded opportunities for use as a functional food.  It will also identify characteristics of peas that can be optimized through cultivar selection and development.

Deployment Of Tepary Bean Genetics To Improve Stress Tolerance In Common Bean

Lead Researcher:  Kirstin Bett, University of Saskatchewan
Total Funding: $86,642
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 4 Years

Objective: To identify and transfer stress tolerance related genes from tepary bean to common bean, leading to the development of common bean varieties with improved abiotic stress tolerance.

Producer Benefit: Extending the range of specialty pulse crops, such as dry bean, thereby increasing the diversity and the value of markets available to producers and processors.

Examination of Milling Performance and Flour Quality of Barley and Wheat Blends

Lead Researcher:  Ashok Sarkar, CIGI
Total Funding: $18,000
Start Date: 2014
Project Length: 1 Year

Objective: To determine the parameters to successfully co-mill various blends of barley and wheat at the same time to improve milling performance with minimal mill changes.  In addition, the flours generated will be generated for analytical and nutritional properties.

Producer Benefit:  This project will address concerns from the milling industry and have the potential to increase the commercial capacity for food barley. 

Nutrient Content and Release From Soybean Residues in Comparison to Other Pulse Crops in Saskatchewan

Lead Researcher: Jeff Schoenau, University of Saskatchewan
Total Funding: $62,590
Start Date: 2014
Project Length: 3 years

Objective: To determine the plant nutrient content, uptake and composition of the residue of soybean grown under Saskatchewan conditions and the contribution that the residue makes to nutrition and yield of following cereal and canola crop in comparison to pea and lentil.

Producer Benefit:  Information on nutrient uptake and removal by soybean, and release rates of nutrient from soybean stubble under Saskatchewan conditions is necessary to develop more accurate fertilizer recommendation for the soybean and the crops that will be grown on the soybean stubble in rotation.

Direct Assessment of the Release of Fixed N in the Rhizosphere of Pea, Lentil, Chickpea and Faba Bean

Lead Researcher: Richard Farrell, University of Saskatchewan
Total Funding: $67,230
Start Date: 2014
Project Length: 3 years

Objective: To examine the beneficial role that pulse crop residues have in improving the N supply to a subsequent cereal crop and in mitigating N2O emissions relative to fertilized wheat.

Producer Benefit:  Maximizing N-fixation while minimizing N losses through leaching and N2O gaseous emissions will ensure the long-term economic and environmental sustainability of cropping systems in Saskatchewan.

Responding to Climate Fluctuations: Development of a Rhizobium Collection 

Lead Researcher: Diane Knight, University of Saskatchewan
Total Funding: $81,908
Start Date: 2014
Project Length: 3 years

Objective: To develop a well-defined collection and database of rhizobia strains collected from Saskatchewan soils as well as to conduct a systematic assessment of the rhizobia strains to identify the range of hosts that they nodulate as well as the range of environmental conditions in which they are effective.

Producer Benefit: Position the Saskatchewan pulse industry to more easily respond to environmental stresses that compromise the effectiveness of existing rhizobial inoculants and to easily access and select rhizobial strains for new legume crops introduced to the province.

Optimizing Pesticide Efficacy:  A Study of Spray Deposition into Canopies

Lead Researcher: Tom Wolf, AgriMetrix
Total Funding: $62,200
Start Date: 2014
Project Length: 3 years

Objective: To identify the factors that govern the deposition and penetration of fungicide sprays in a variety of crop canopies. To discover optimal application methods for placing fungicide sprays into broadleaf and grass canopies and to validate promising new application methods with field efficacy results under commercial conditions.

Producer Benefit: To discover and communicate the most effective means of applying fungicide so that the product effectiveness and crop yield are maximized.

Management of Volunteer Glyphosate-resistant Canola in Glyphosate-resistant Soybean Crops

Lead Researcher: Chris Willenborg, University of Saskatchewan
Total Funding: $88,471
Start Date: 2014
Project Length: 3 years

Objective: To provide herbicide options for soybean growers to manage glyphosate-resistant (GR) canola volunteers in GR soybean crops and to determine the effectiveness of seeding date and seeding rate in managing GR canola volunteers in GR soybean crops.

Producer Benefit: It is anticipated that this project will substantially improve soybean growers’ ability to manage GR canola volunteers in GR soybean  thereby diversifying crop rotations in Western Canada.

Prototyping an Online Radio Frequency (RF) Disinfestation Unit: a Step Towards Industrial Applications

Lead Researcher: Oon-Doo Baik, University of Saskatchewan
Total Funding: $86,725
Start Date: 2014
Project Length: 2 years

Objective: To develop an RF heater prototype to disinfest stored grains in the prairies of common insect pests as a first step towards implementing this novel technique to the industrial level.

Producer Benefit:  Creation of a “portable” easy to use field device that uses RF to disinfest  grain as an alternative to use of pesticides and fumigants

A Reverse-Introgression and Genomics Strategy to Develop and Characterize Chickpea Germplasm for Yield and Climate-Resilience Traits

Lead Researcher: Bunyamin Taran, University of Saskatchewan
Total Funding: $188,611
Start Date: 2014
Project Length: 3 years

Objective: Introduce wild diversity into phenology-normalized backgrounds suitable to western Canadian environment so that it is amenable for trait assessment and use in breeding for western Canada; characterize the material by systematic phenotyping under western Canadian environment, and develop a predictive network of genotype-phenotype associations that explicitly identifies and quantifies the contributions of agronomically useful alleles

Producer Benefit: This project will foster breeding of high-yielding, climate-resilient chickpea within the context of producer and consumer-preferred traits such as seed quality, reduced inputs due to climate resilient nitrogen fixation, and biotic/abiotic stress resistance.

Drying Fuel Alcohols and Natural Gas with Biosorbents Based on Agricultural By-Products

Lead Researcher: Catherine Niu, University of Saskatchewan
Total Funding: $47,820
Start Date: 2014
Project Length: 3 years

Objective: Formulate high performance biosorbents from agricultural by-products for drying fuel alcohols, and natural gas in a pressure swing adsorption (PSA) process.

Producer Benefit:  The Saskatchewan agricultural and other relevant industries will be expected to enhance their profit by selling their waste biomass.

Health and Performance Benefits of a Pulse-based Diet for Soccer Players During Regular Season Play

Lead Researcher: Philip Chilibeck, University of Saskatchewan
Total Funding: $30,855
Start Date: 2014
Project Length: 1 years

Objective: To examine performance effects of a pulse-based diet for soccer players compared to their regular diet and to determine the health benefits of a pulse-based diet in soccer players.

Producer Benefit:  This research has potential to continue to deliver the message that pulses can be used as a performance-enhancing food by soccer players and other endurance athletes.

Development of a Registration System for Mustard Cultivars in SK.

Lead Researcher: Daryl Males,  Mustard 21 Canada Inc.
Total Funding: $69,000
Start Date: 2014
Project Length: 1 year

Objective: To generate merit data to fast track the development of new mustard varieties.

Producer Benefit:  New species of mustard will significantly increase the opportunity for producers to grow mustards in Saskatchewan.

Cool Pea Leaves : Leaf Traits to Improve Yield Stability in Stress

Lead Researcher: Rosalind Bueckert, University of Saskatchewan
Total Funding: $135,342
Start Date: 2014
Project Length: 3 years

Objective: To characterize the effect of leaf type, leaf size, cuticular wax thickness, stem and tendril thickness and leaf color in mitigating heat and drought stress. 

Producer Benefit:  Breeders will use this knowledge to develop improved pea varieties with leaf/canopy traits that increase crop yield. 

Steps Toward Breeding for Improved Nitrogen Fixation in Pea

Lead Researcher: Tom Warkentin, University of Saskatchewan
Total Funding: $187,775
Start Date: 2014
Project Length: 3 years

Objective: To collect and evaluate pea germplasm from the world gene banks to assess biological nitrogen fixation (BNF), biomass, and yield production in symbiosis with different rhizobia strains.  The most promising germplasm with be crossed with the best Saskatchewan pea cultivar(s), and evaluated for BNF and productivity.     

Producer Benefit: Pea lines with high BNF and high grain yield will become available for future breeding programs. Increased pea BNF will improve the crop grain yield and result in high soil nitrogen for the succeeding crop in rotation. 

Developing near-isogenic Brassica Napus Lines for Differentiating Pathotypes of Plasmodiophora Brassicae

Lead Researcher: Fengqun Yu, AAFC-Saskatoon
Total Funding: $80,000
Start Date: 2014
Project Length: 4 years

Objective: To develop germplasm of ten canola lines, each with a single unique resistance gene to clubroot pathotypes. The research will also focus on validation of markers for the identification of clubroot resistant genes with different modes of action  in canola.

Producer Benefit: The development of new canola varieties with more durable resistance to clubroot through the stacking of  resistance genes with different modes of action.

Development of a Flax Breeding Database: a Gateway to Novel Breeding Strategies

Lead Researcher: Helen Booker, University of Saskatchewan
Total Funding: $312,400
Start Date: 2014
Project Length: 3 years

Objective: To develop a database that will contain well integrated and organized information on flax genomics, breeding and production, and provide a user-friendly interface to facilitate information searches.

Producer Benefit:  The database will assist private and public plant breeders to shorten the time for new breakthroughs and improved varieties.

Genomic Strategies to Improve Field Survival of Winter Cereals and Stabilized Yield

Lead Researcher: Ravindra Chibbar, University of Saskatchewan 
Total Funding: $159,749
Start Date: 2014
Project Length: 1 year

Objective: To develop and validate genomics strategies for improved low temperature tolerance in cereals.

Producer Benefit:  Development of new winter wheat and rye germplasm with enhanced low temperature tolerance and field survival.

Western Canadian Oilseed Flax Cooperative Trials

Lead Researcher: Linda Braun
Total Funding: $50,000
Start Date: 2014
Project Length: 1 year

Objective: To support cooperative testing for varietal registration of new flax varieties.

Producer Benefit: The development of new profitable oilseed flax varieties for the Prairies.

Protecting Saskatchewan Agriculture – Characterization of New Sources of FHB Resistance.

Lead Researcher: Steve Haber, AAFC
Total Funding: $65,000
Start Date: 2014
Project Length: 3 years

Objective:  The use of genomic strategies to improve the disease resistance traits (with emphases on Fusarium Head Blight (FHB) and Wheat Streak Mosaic Virus (WSMV) of contemporary elite wheat germplasm adapted for Saskatchewan.

Producer Benefit:  The development of adapted, high-quality wheat germplasm that is much better protected from the threat of losses to quality, yield and potential food safety posed by FHB and WSM.

The Role of Genetics, Growth Habit and Cultural Practices in the Mitigation of Fusarium. 

Lead Researcher: Brian Beres, AAFC-Lethbridge
Total Funding: $150,000
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 3 Years

Objective: To improve understanding of the interaction between genetics and fungicides to Fusarium mitigation; increase winter and spring wheat yield potential; increase yield stability of winter and spring wheat in Fusarium affected areas of the Prairies; and d) improve the consistency of winter and spring wheat quality and safety for milling markets.

Producer Benefit:  The mitigation of Fusarium not only would add economic benefits to all stakeholders along the value chain, but it would also contribute to the consistent and safe supply of milling quality wheat to the Canadian Wheat Board and to our export country customers.

Evaluation of Field Pea and Faba Bean Germplasm for Alberta Growers

Lead Researcher: Robyne Bowness,  Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development- Lacombe
Total Funding: $90,107
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 5 Years  

Objective: To identify superior pulse varieties suitable for Alberta which will increase production per acre at a similar cost resulting in a reduction in cost per unit of product.

Producer Benefit: This information will allow producers to select the best performing pulse variety for their growing environment.

Biology and Management of Glyphosate-Resistant Kochia

Lead Researcher: Robert Blackshaw, AAFCLethbridge
Total Funding: $84,525  
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 3 Years

Objective: The proposed research will benefit farmers by providing new information on the most efficacious and cost effective alternatives herbicides to control kochia in preseed, chemfallow, in-crop, and postharvest applications.

Producer Benefit: The research findings of this project will provide information to producers and the agricultural industry on best management practices for glyphosate-resistant kochia.

Improving Sclerotinia Disease Control in Edible Beans and Canola

Lead Researcher: Dr. Michael Harding, AARD
Total Funding: $107,021
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 4 Years  

Objective: To evaluate non-traditional methods for improving control of Sclerotinia diseases.

Producer Benefit:  A number of fungicides, including newly registered products, are available for control of  scerotiorum diseases however no independent, unbiased evaluation of these products has been conducted in Alberta.

Supporting Continued Development of Clubroot Resistant Canola and Early Detection of Clubroot Outbreaks

Lead Researcher: Dr. Michael Harding, AARD
Total Funding: $38,094
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 5 Years

Objective: Enhance clubroot surveillance in southern Alberta to allow early detection of new infestations. Maintenance of a clubroot nursery in a naturally-infested, irrigated commercial field in Southern Alberta where canola lines and varieties can be evaluated for clubroot resistance.

Producer Benefit: Continued development and testing of clubroot resistance in new canola lines and varieties.

Night spraying: Fungicides

Lead Researcher: Ken Coles, Farming Smarter
Total Funding: $67,114
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 3 Years  

Objective: This project will provide detailed information from a systematic, science-based approach on the effects of night spraying using fungicides currently registered in Alberta on common cereal and canola diseases.

Producer Benefit:  A better understanding of the link between local weather conditions before, during and after spraying and fungicide efficacy could significantly increase net revenue to producers while minimizing the wasteful use of fungicides and potential damaging effects.

Aster Yellows and Swede Midge – New Threats to Prairie Canola Production

Lead Researcher: Dr. Chrystel Olivier, AAFC Saskatoon
Total Funding: $130,811
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 3 Years

Objective: To investigate Aster Yellows and swede midge.

Producer Benefit:  The Generate information that Prairie canola producers can utilize to minimize the economic impact of these two new production threats. The main deliverables of these projects will consist of the list of canola cultivars that are less susceptible to AY, as well as data on biology, epidemiology and bionomics on the two pests and preliminary economic thresholds.

Analysis and Monitoring of Leptosphaeria Maculans Race Dynamics in Western Canada for Effective Blackleg Resistance Management Strategies

Lead Researcher:  Dr. Gary Peng, AAFC-Saskatoon
Total Funding: $50,595
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 4 Years

Objective: To provide industry an up-to-date L. maculans race profile across the prairies. To monitor and analyze the blackleg pathogen population, and provide critical insights into pathogen race dynamics to guide cultivar selection and rotation. To detect new races of L. maculans that are capable of overcoming a specific set resistance genes

Producer Benefit:  Up to date information on L. maculans race structure and distribution on the prairies will be provided on a yearly basis. This information is critical to developing blackleg resistance management plans with varieties carrying specific R genes, including judicious crop rotations to allow destruction of pathogen inoculum in crop residuals, rotation of varieties with different specific R genes, and/or combining race-specific resistance with race non-specific quantitative resistance.

Assessment of Secondary Effects of Strobilurin Fungicides on Pulse Crops in Saskatchewan

Lead Researcher: Sabine Banniza, University of Saskatchewan
Total Funding: $84,378
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 3 Years

Objective: To investigate the secondary effects of two widely used commercial formulations of strobilurin fungicides, Headline (Pyraclostrobin) and Quadris (Azoxystrobin), on pulse crops through experiments in the field and under controlled conditions, and develop recommendations for their field application.

Producer Benefit: Independent, quantitative field data on the effects of Headline and Quadris applications on disease severity and yield as well as secondary effects like lodging, greening / maturation, will be generated for Saskatchewan growing conditions, and will be supported by data from Ontario with low disease pressure.

The Effect of Seeding Rate and Seed Size on Lentil Diseases, Weeds, Yield and Profitability 

Lead Researcher: Dr. Steven Shirtliffe, University of Saskatchewan
Total Funding: $65,850
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 4 Years

Objective: Determine the interaction of disease control methods (fungicide) with seeding rate in different lentil seed size classes on plant diseases and yield in lentil. Determine the effect of seeding rate (plant population) in different seed size classes of lentil. Determine the effect of seeding rate (plant population) and row spacing on seed yield and plant disease in lentil.

Producer Benefit: This research is multidisciplinary in nature and will determine the optimum agronomic practices for yield, plant diseases, weed suppression and profit.

Novel Cultural and Mechanical Weed Control for Flax

Lead Researcher: Dr. Steven Shirtliffe, University of Saskatchewan
Total Funding: $124,315
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 4 Years

Objective: To develop novel weed control methods for organic flax production

Producer Benefit:  New knowledge that will allow for successful production of organic and low-input flax in Western Canada. Furthermore the novel weed control systems developed in this project will allow other crops to benefit because if a system can successfully control weeds for flax production then other crops should be easier.

Towards Generating Multiple-Fungal Disease Resistance in Lentil

Lead Researcher: Sabine Banniza, University of Saskatchewan  
Total Funding: $158,312
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 5 Years

Objective: The project aims to use the latest genomics approaches to identify genes conferring resistance to all three major diseases in lentils: anthracnose, ascochyta and stemphyllium.

Producer Benefit: Marker assisted selection for disease resistance would provide benefits to the breeding program by saving time, space and labour in the breeding process, and by making the process independent of disease nurseries that are weather dependent.

Development of Improved Markers for Mycosphaerella Blight Resistance in Pea

Lead Researcher: Dr. Tom Warkentin, University of Saskatchewan
Total Funding: $118,055
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 3 Years

Objective: To use the latest molecular genomics resources to fine-tune the identification of genes related to mycosphaerella disease resistance in peas.

Producer Benefit: Markers developed in this project will facilitate the development of pea varieties with improved mycosphaerella blight resistance.

Extent of Infestation and Potential for Eradication of Clubroot at Sites in Saskatchewan

Lead Researcher: Bruce Gossen, AAFC-Saskatoon
Total Funding: $49,790
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 3 Years  

Objective: The project will help researcher’s gain further understanding of clubroot disease in canola under various soil depths. This may lead to the development of new control measures as well as assess the feasibility of using soil fumigants to reclaim clubroot-affected areas.

Producer Benefit: Development of a treatment that would eradicate clubroot from small infestations would benefit producers by preventing substantial losses in revenue and cropping options resulting from wider distribution of the infestation via farming operations.

Development of a Pollination Control System in Ethiopian Mustard

Lead Researcher: Kevin Falk, AAFC-Saskatoon 
Total Funding: $98,764
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 3 Years

Objective: To improve the yields of the potential Ethiopian mustard (Brassica carinata) hybrids to meet market standards and to promote better adaptability to Saskatchewan growing conditions.

Producer Benefit: Improved Ethiopian mustard varieties will help to expand the growing area into the drier regions of Saskatchewan and western Canada to give producers the option to grow an industrial oilseed crop, a first in Canada.

Deployment of Tepary Bean Genetics to Improve Stress Tolerance in Common Bean

Lead Researcher: Kristin Bett, University of Saskatchewan
Total Funding: $86,642
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 4 Years  

Objective:  The project aims to develop genetic improvement of common beans by transferring drought, heat- and cold-tolerant genes from tepary beans using both conventional and molecular breeding approaches.

Producer Benefit: Extending the growing area for specialty pulse crops, such as dry bean, can increase the diversity and the value of markets available to producers.

Developing Unique Herbicide Tolerant Brassica carinata and Brassica juncea Germplasm

Lead Researcher: Kevin Falk (replacing Eric Johnson), AAFC-Saskatoon   
Total Funding: $215,050
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 3 Years  

Objective: To address the lack of weed management options in mustards and to try to find solutions in both Carinata and Juncea canola by screening of a large mutagenized population for tolerance to different herbicides under both greenhouse and laboratory conditions.

Producer Benefit:  Providing mustard growers with more herbicide options to help in managing weeds in these two crops (Mustard – oriental and brown; Carinata).

Expression QTL Mapping of Durable Resistance of Brassica Napus to Blackleg

Lead Researcher: Dr. Hossein Borhan, AAFC-Saskatoon      
Total Funding: $160,121
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 3 Years

Objective: To improve durable resistance to blackleg of canola through marker-assisted breeding and direct manipulation of key defense genes.

Producer Benefit: Growers will benefit from the development of canola with resistance to blackleg through higher yields and reduced fungicide production costs.

Generating New Sources of Clubroot Resistant Brassica Napus from B. rapa and B. Oleracea

Lead Researcher: Dr. Fengqun Yu, AAFC-Saskatoon 
Total Funding: $70,014
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 2 Years

Objective: To identify and map novel highly resistant genes to clubroot. 

Producer Benefit: Clubroot resistant genes will be identified and introgressed into canola germplasm leading to the development of varieties with durable resistance to this disease.

Development of a Rapid Detection Method for Sclerontinia Stem Rot Inoculum to aid Disease Risk Assessments and Fungicide Spray

Lead Researcher: Dr.  Stephen Strelkov, University of Alberta                  
Total Funding: $42,333
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 2 Years

Objective: To develop and refine sampling protocols to rapidly and quantitatively detect Sclerontinia DNA from canola flowers.

Producer Benefit: The development of a specific sclerotinia detection technique will provide a fast and efficient method to estimate the level of sclerotinia inoculum during the flowering period allowing producers to make more informed spraying decisions.

Toward a Strategy for Reducing the Spore Density and Dissemination of Clubroot of Canola

Lead Researcher: Dr. Sheau-Fang Hwang, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development                     
Total Funding: $127,500
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 4 Years

Objective: To continue to provide the tools and information necessary to successfully battle clubroot in western Canada by providing a better understanding of the distribution and dispersion of clubroot.

Producer Benefit: Provide producers with tools to track down and slow the spread of clubroot on the Canadian prairies.

Development of Semiochemical-based Monitoring of the Pea Leaf Weevil

Lead Researcher: Dr. Maya Evenden, University of Alberta                   
Total Funding: $45,331
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 3 Years

Objective: This project will establish the potential for pheromone based monitoring of the pea leaf weevil and lead to the development of a commercially available monitoring tool. This tool can be used to monitor established populations and to detect the spread of the pea weevil in the Prairie Provinces. 

Producer Benefit: Monitoring populations of pea leaf weevil to determine if insecticide seed treatment is necessary the following spring will reduce pre-emptive insecticide use and reduce production cost and environmental impact. 

Improving Weed Management for Saskatchewan Growers

Lead Researcher: Dr. Chris Willenborg, University of Saskatchewan                                   
Total Funding: $82,742
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 3 Years

Objective: To assist in the maintenance and core technical research support of the weed science research program at the University of Saskatchewan.

Producer Benefit: The results generated by this research will help producers make more informed decisions about weed management ultimately contributing to higher crop yields and improved profitability.

Emergence Timing and Management of Cleavers in Saskatchewan Canola Crops

Lead Researcher: Dr. Chris Willenborg, University of Saskatchewan                   
Total Funding: $63,335
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 3 Years

Objective: To aid growers in managing cleavers by characterizing the germination and emergence characteristics of cleavers populations in Saskatchewan. A greater understanding of the recruitment biology is crucial because it will guide grower management and in particular, the timing and type of herbicides applied.

Producer Benefit: The results of this project will provide some core information to develop best management practices for managing cleavers in canola.

Transformations and Fate of Seed-Placed Sulfur Fertilizers in Saskatchewan Soils

Lead Researcher: Jeff Schoenau, University of Saskatchewan                      
Total Funding: $31,378
Start Date: 2014
Project Length: 2.5 Years

Objective: To determine the fate of different sulfur fertilizer forms in Saskatchewan soils, with emphasis on identification of specific forms of sulfur that are formed that vary in their plant availability and susceptibility to loss.

Producer Benefit: Through a better documentation of the sulfur forms that arise in Saskatchewan soils when different sulfur fertilizer types are added, better recommendations can be made to growers as to the most appropriate and cost effective sulfur fertilizer for their crop.

Glyphosate-Resistant Kochia Survey in Manitoba

Lead Researcher: Dr. Hugh Beckie, AAFC Saskatoon                   
Total Funding: $14,950
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 1 Year

Objective: To determine the distribution and abundance of glyphosate-resistant Kochia in southern Manitoba

Producer Benefit: Detection and grower awareness are the key prerequisites for effective resistant weed management. By alerting growers at an early stage to the presence of glyphosate resistant kochia, they can increase the adoption of preventative and control measures to reduce the evolution and spread of the resistant Kochia.

Post-registration Assessment of Spring Wheat Varieties Response to Fusarium Head Blight

Lead Researcher: Pamela de Rocquigny, Manitoba Crop Variety Evaluation Team (MCVET)                      
Total Funding: $21,080
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 2 Years

Objective: To provide additional post-registration information on reaction of current and new varieties to Fusarium Head Blight.

Producer Benefit: Improve grain producers’ competitive ability and profitability by providing them with more accurate information of variety reactions to FHB so they make the appropriate variety choices for their farms.  It will also help seed growers make better choices for investment in seed production and will provide them with information that will help promote seed sales. 

Analysis and Monitoring of Leptosphaeria Maculans in Western Canada for Effective Blackleg Resistance Management Strategies

Lead Researcher: Dr. Gary Peng, AAFC-Saskatoon
Total Funding: $81,200
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 4 Years

Objective: This project will analyze the current race structure of L. maculans and monitor potential changes in the pathogen population across canola production regions in western Canada. Profiling race structure in severely diseased fields will help analyze the cause and detect potentially “new’ pathogen races capable of overcoming the resistance genes in the cultivar.

Producer Benefit: The information gathered can help producers in selecting appropriate canola cultivars and allows them to take proactive steps regarding crop management to deal with blackleg.

Genetic Analysis for the Improvement of Assisted Selection in Chickpea

Lead Researcher: Bunyamin, Taran, University of Saskatchewan
Total Funding: $156,946
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 2 Years

Objective: To examine the genetic variation of existing resistance genes controlling ascochyta blight resistance in chickpea and to understand their defence mechanism. The project will also identify new genes responsible for conferring resistance to ascochyta blight in chickpea.

Producer Benefit: This research will ultimately benefit growers through improved ascochyta blight resistant chickpea varieties.  Overall the output of the proposed research will enhance the competitiveness, profitability and sustainability of the pulse industry in Western Canada.

Improving the Nutritional Value of Oat Through Increasing the Level of Water-soluble Beta-glucan

Lead Researcher: Xiao, Qiu, University of Saskatchewan
Total Funding: $165,000
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 3

Objective: The project aims to improve the nutritional value of current oat varieties by increasing the level of water-soluble beta-glucan using molecular approaches. Beta-glucans are known to be associated with reducing cholesterol levels and the risk of cardiovascular diseases in humans.

Producer Benefit: Research focused at improving the beta-glucan content of oat will benefit oat producers by increasing the desirability of their product to both the oat industry and consumers. 

Strategically Blended High-Fat Pellets for Pregnant Beef Cows Derived from by Product Feeds

Lead Researcher: John McKinnon, University of Saskatchewan
Total Funding: $76,120
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 3 years

Objective: To evaluate the effects of supplementing mature beef cows during the second and third trimester of pregnancy with a high fat pellet derived from by-product feeds and using flax or canola as fat sources.

Producer Benefit: This project has potential to add value to a wide range of grain, pulse and oilseed producers as well as cattle producers.

Use of Canola Meal as a Protein Source in Pelleted Starter Mixtures for Dairy Calves

Lead Researcher: Dr. Gregory Penner, University of Saskatchewan
Total Funding: $60,500
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 3 Years

Objective: Evaluate the effectiveness of canola meal as a protein source in pelleted starter mixtures for newborn calves and to determine suitable methods of increasing canola meal digestibility and palatability. To compare canola meal and soybean meal in terms of their effectiveness to stimulate gastrointestinal development in calves at weaning.

Producer Benefit: Strategies to enhance utilization of canola crushing by-products (canola meal, glycerol) have a great potential to benefit the canola industry by increasing marketing opportunities.  If the study determines positive effects, the livestock sectors utilizing these by-products will also benefit via enhanced health and performance of calves around weaning.

Addressing the Challenges of Growing Canary Seed

Lead Researcher: Dr. Pierre Hucl, University of Saskatchewan
Total Funding: $495,000
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 4 years

Objective: To develop shorter canary seed cultivars that would improve harvest index and potentially increase yield stability of the crop in Western Canada; evaluate the benefits of using fungicides to control Septoria leaf mottle disease in canary seed; and add molecular resources in canary seed to assist breeders in early selection of potential breeding lines.

Producer Benefit: Improved canary seed cultivars that could potentially increase yield stability of the crop in Western Canada.

Can Dietary Omega-3 Fatty Acids Replace Antibiotics in Starter Feeds for Piglets?

Lead Researcher: Laura Eastwood, Prairie Swine Centre Inc.
Total Funding: $51,750
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 2 years

Objective: To determine if feeding sows diets enriched with omega-3 fatty acids can replace the use of antibiotics in starter diets when piglets are weaned at either 3 or 4 weeks of age. To determine if altering sow nutrition by including omega-3 fatty acids will produce healthier piglets at weaning, and how those piglets perform when compared to pigs fed a starter diet containing antibiotics.

Producer Benefit: Improving piglet health through the use of omega-3 fatty acids will increase the use of flaxseed by hog producers, thus not only benefiting the swine industry, but the flax industry also.

Effect of Genetics and Environment on the Quality and Utilization of Faba Bean Four and Protein Concentrates

Lead Researcher: Dr. Michael Nickerson, University of Saskatchewan
Total Funding: $33,000
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 3

Objective: The goal of this project is to examine how genetics and environment affect quality and utilization of faba bean protein concentrates.

Producer Benefit: Success of this project could lead to the establishment of quality standards for faba bean seeds based on protein performance/functionality and intended use in more value-added processes/applications. The results will aid growers and processors in selection of faba beans based on cultivar-environment conditions and help accelerate value added faba bean processing (e.g., protein concentrates) in the province through the identification of optimal processing conditions (by air classification).

Effect of Varietal Differences in Wheat Quality on Processing of Low Sodium Breads

Lead Researcher: Dr. Michael Nickerson, University of Saskatchewan
Total Funding: $122,100
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 3 year

Objective: In preparation for regulation-induced changes to the baking industry in relation to reducing sodium levels in bread, to develop industry-ready strategies for combating dough stickiness in the processing of low sodium white breads and to gain a greater understanding of wheat quality among different varieties under testing conditions more suited to low-salt application.

Producer Benefit: Includes improved variety selection by industry (i.e. selection of specific varieties less prone to stickiness). A more competitive Canadian baking industry that competes in a global market. Success with respect to the latter will result in significantly increased demand for Saskatchewan wheat flours, benefiting growers, milling companies and, ultimately, bakers.

Assessment of Vascular Function and Inflammatory Biomarkers of Cardiovascular Disease Risk by Canola and Flax Oils

Lead Researcher: Dr. Peter Jones, University of Manitoba
Total Funding: $96,154
Start Date: 2013
Project Length:  1 year

Objective: Preliminary results from a previous study “The Canola Oil Multicenter Intervention Trial (COMIT)” showed a significant positive correlation between five unsaturated fatty acids consumption and reduction of inflammatory biomarkers. This project will expand on the original COMIT study to address more questions besides the original hypotheses providing a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms and cardioprotective effects of each of the oils.

Producer Benefit: This project will further clarifying the metabolic and physiological responses of various fatty acid classes. The resulting data and the publications will enhance the visibility of the healthy dietary oils produced in Western Canada.

Obtaining High CWRS Wheat Yields While Maintaining Baking Quality

Lead Researcher: Dr. Pierre Hucl, University of Saskatchewan
Total Funding: $204,600
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 4 years

Objective: The objective of this project will be to determine whether very high yielding, lower-protein CWRS wheat prototype lines can maintain acceptable dough strength levels under high-protein producing growing conditions.

Producer Benefit: The results of this project will be knowledge that can be used in developing policies around spring wheat cultivar registration and investment in wheat breeding.

New Forage Barley Cultivars for Beef and Dairy Producers

Lead Researcher: Bruce Coulman, University of Saskatchewan
Total Funding: $52,800
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 3 years   

Objective: The focus of this project will be on the development of new forage barley cultivars using conventional breeding and field research techniques.

Producer Benefit: The results of this project will be new cultivars of forage barley with higher yield and nutritive value. Beef and dairy producers will use these cultivars for silage and green feed production. Beef producers will also use these cultivars for fall and winter grazing following swathing in the early fall.

Combination of Genomics with an Innovative In Vitro Screening Method for Fusarium to Develop Fusarium Head Blight Tolerant Cereal

Lead Researcher: Dr. Ravindra Chibbar, University of Saskatchewan
Total Funding: $240,714
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 3 years   

Objective: The results of this project will be the creation of new culture and screening methods leading to the development of germplasm and FHB resistant wheat cultivars.

Producer Benefit: The development of wheat cultivars with the highest resistance to FHB.

Achieving the Best Resistance to Clubroot Disease in Canola by Pyramiding Multiple Effective Resistance Genes

Lead Researcher: Dr. Genyi, Li, University of Manitoba
Total Funding: $34,500
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 3 years 
Objective: Developing new canola germplasm by combining multiple effective resistance genes through molecular marker development and marker assisted selection.

Producer Benefit: The development of canola cultivars with the highest resistance to the present Canadian clubroot pathogen isolates.

Agronomic Management of Organic Forage Grass Seed Crops

Lead Researcher: Dr. Martin Entz, University of Manitoba
Total Funding: $16,744
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 2 years

Objective: This project will provide practical agronomic information on how to manage perennial (orchardgrass and tall fescue) and winter annual (perennial ryegrass) organic forage seed crops, with a special emphasis on nitrogen supply. 

Producer Benefit: One of the challenges in organic grass seed production is fertility. Supplying nitrogen by growing green manure crops, intercropping legumes, and/or grazing livestock in grass seed stands may improve the productivity of these crops. This would be a benefit to existing forage seed producers and could also attract new growers to this industry. Organic forage seed production practices could also be used by conventional forage seed growers to reduce costs and enhance productivity.

Residue Management for Corn in Manitoba

Lead Researcher: Dr. Yvonne Lawley, University of Manitoba
Total Funding: $18,716
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 2 years

Objective: To conduct on-farm experiments focused on new residue management strategies for corn in Manitoba.  The objectives of the proposed research is to compare the impact of standard tillage to vertical and strip tillage on corn residue decomposition, soil characteristics, and subsequent crop performance under the soil and climatic conditions in the major corn growing areas of Manitoba.

Producer Benefit: The results of this research will enable farmers to make informed decisions about the adoption of new tillage practices for corn residue management that could reduce their primary production costs. It will also help farmers make more informed decisions about new equipment options for corn residue management.

Evaluation and Demonstration of New Biopesticides for Use in Stored Potatoes

Lead Researcher: Dr. Doug Waterer, University of Saskatchewan
Total Funding: $39,600
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 3 years

Objective: To compare and demonstrate the relative efficacy of the new generation of biopesticides relative to standard agrichemicals as means of managing sprouting and controlling disease in stored seed and table potatoes.

Producer Benefit: While the new generation of bioproducts/biopesticides appears to have potential benefit for potato growers in Saskatchewan, none of the products are actually being used in the industry due to a lack of efficacy information relevant to Saskatchewan conditions. This project is designed to help fill that information gap by utilizing locally appropriate storage practices, potato cultivars of greatest importance to local growers, and focusing on diseases of specific relevance to the industry in Saskatchewan.

Pyramiding Stripe, Stem and Leaf Rust Genes into Bread Wheat

Lead Researcher: Dr. Dean Spaner, University of Alberta
Total Funding: $150,000
Start Date: 2013
Project Length: 3 Years

Objective: To use information on stripe rust resistance in spring wheat to pool multiple resistance to stripe, leaf and stem rusts; and other diseases. Discover markers associated with unknown genes conferring stripe rust resistance in spring wheat.

Producer Benefit: Results obtained from this project will add to the current knowledge of mechanisms involved in disease resistance, and will be of practical use in wheat breeding. Improving disease resistance would add value to the industry via sales through national and international sales.

Potential Vernalization Response and Crop Development of Canary Seed

Lead Researcher: Dr. Pierre Hucl, University of Saskatchewan
Total Funding: $155,018
Start Date: 2012
Project Length: 3 Years

Objective: The primary objective of this project is to determine whether canary seed has a vernalization requirement. A vernalization (cold treatment) requirement, in spring cereals can lead to yield instability under certain growing conditions. In addition the researcher will study the crop growth and development of canary seed in order to provide better crop staging information.

Producer Benefit: This project will help understand the under-lying causes of the yield instability in canary seed and whether it is possible to reduce the large swings in the crop’s grain yield.

FHB Resistant Oat for FHB Prone Eastern Prairie Region

Lead Researcher: Aaron Beattie, University of Saskatchewan
Total Funding: $180,000
Start Date: 2012
Project Length: 3 Years

Objective: To maintain domestic and export markets for Western Canadian oat growers.  This will be done by screening germplasm for resistance, identifying markers associated with FHB resistance (to assist breeding FHB resistant varieties) and survey FHB prevalence, severity and mycotoxins in commercial fields.

Producer Benefit: To produce future oat varieties with better FHB resistance that will help Western Canadian growers produce a quality and safe oat product to protect their role in supplying oat products to the domestic and US markets.

Improving Farinograph Absorption of CWRW Wheat by Screening for Pentosan Content

Lead Researcher: Dr. Harry Sapirstein, University of Manitoba
Total Funding: $161,540
Start Date: 2012
Project Length: 2 Years

Objective: To significantly improve farinograph absorption (FA) of CWRW wheat. FA is a standardized measure of flour water absorption and is one of the most important bread making quality determinants. The research focus is to evaluate the relationship between FA and pentosan content of CWRW wheat measured by a small scale screening test.

Producer Benefit: Improving FA of CWRW wheat would enhance marketing opportunities and revenue.

More Information WGRF Project – Farinograph Absorption

Coordinated Monitoring, Forecasting and Risk Warning Systems for Field Crop Insect Pests

Lead Researcher: Jennifer Otani, AAFC-Beaverlodge
Total Funding: $45,000
Start Date: 2012
Project Length: 3 Years

Objective: To coordinate an insect monitoring program designed to keep the Canadian agriculture industry informed of the risks to crop production from pest species and to highlight and conserve their natural enemies.

Producer Benefit: The proposed project will develop & implement a region-wide monitoring program designed to keep the agriculture industry informed of the risks to crop production from insect pests. The data will also contribute to the development of future beneficial management practices.

Developing Molecular Markers for Determining Race Structure of Leptosphaeria Maculans in Western Canada

Lead Researcher: Dr. Hossein Borhan, AAFC-Saskatoon
Total Funding: $224,250
Start Date: 2012
Project Length: 3 Years

Objective: To generate DNA markers from the genome of Leptosphaeria maculans, the causal agent of blackleg disease of canola. The researcher will identify markers for known avirulence genes which exist in L. maculans population in Western Canada and tag other potential avirulence/virulence genes inferred from the Leptosphaeria genome sequence.

Producer Benefit: information about the Leptosphaeria genome will be important for developing canola cultivars with effective resistance to blackleg and will help producers to choose a resistant variety best suited to their location.

Aptamer-Based TLC Technology for Mycotoxin Detection in Grains

Lead Researcher: Dr. Maria DeRosa, Carleton University
Total Funding: $225,000
Start Date: 2012
Project Length: 3 Years

Objective: To develop low-cost, easy-to-use mycotoxin tests using a combination of a new technology called aptamers and established techniques of thin layer chromatography and dipstick assays.

Producer Benefit: Mycotoxins, such as DON, OTA and Fumonisin pose an immediate threat to profitable cereal grain production in Canada. New regulatory maximum limits for OTA and DON in grains and grain-based foods are being implemented to manage risks posed by chronic/acute dietary intake. Producers require a fast, reliable testing technology that is simple and inexpensive enough to be used on site without special expertise.

More Information WGRF Project – Mycotoxin Test

Natural Air Grain Drying: Testing an Automatic Controller for Managing Bin Aeration Fans

Lead Researcher: Christopher Holzapfel, Indian Head Agricultural Research Foundation
Total Funding: $206,747
Start Date: 2012
Project Length: 3 Years

Objective: To determine if calculating the water holding capacity of the air as a function of its temperature and relative humidity can be used as a control point for the operation of aeration fans.

Producer Benefit: Potential energy savings could be substantial with a rapid payback for technology that can operate the aeration fans only when cooling and drying occurs. The proposed approach involves a low cost solution with a short payback time-frame for the producer. Proper grain storage is also necessary to avoid the development of the mycotoxin Ochratoxin A which will render grain unsuitable for human consumption.

More Information WGRF Project – Grain Aeration

Development and Implementation of a Triticum Technology Platform to Support Public Cereal Breeding Programs in Western Canada

Lead Researchers: Dr. Curtis Pozniak, University of Saskatchewan, Crop Development Centre, Dr. Francois Eudes, AAFC-Lethbridge, Dr. Brent McCallum, AAFC-Winnipeg.
Total Funding: $3,778,070
Start Date: 2012
Project Length: 5 Years

Objective: To develop genomic tools to enhance cereal breeding in Canada. To build on established knowledge and skills in isolated microspore culture to address the most critical limiting factors of this platform process, and to strengthen double haploid production units in the prairies. To develop durable multi-pathogen resistance to leaf rust, stem rust, stripe rust and powdery mildew in wheat cultivars.

Producer Benefit: Greater use of genomic technologies will mean faster, more accurate identification of the best genes available in seed germplasm to breed into varieties for commercial production. Doubled haploid technology accelerates the cycle of crop breeding. Together, these technologies can get improved varieties into farmers’ fields quicker and add to the producer’s bottom line.

Development of Baseline Data for Incidence and Levels of Ochratoxin in Milling Quality Cereal Grains Intended for Processing in Canada

Lead Researcher: Canada Grains Council
Total Funding: $120,000
Start Date: 2011
Project Length: 2 Years

Objectives: The objectives of this project are to 1) assemble a baseline database to establish incidence and observed levels of OTA and DON present in deliveries of milling quality wheat and oats to Canadian based processors, 2) develop operating characteristic curves for OTA for each of the flour classes of grain studies  to enable application day to day use of these curves to manage acceptance and rejection of shipments, 3) illustrate the correlation between commercially available ELISA analysis and commercially available HPLC and/or LC/MS, and 4) illustrate, if it exists, seasonal variation (during the crop year) in OTA and DON levels present in grain shipments to Canadian wheat and oat mills

Producer Benefit: Of importance for Western Canadian farmers is the knowledge of how much DON and ochratoxin is in the grain being delivered and how this may impact storage practices on farm.

Increased Crop Performance through Wheat-Mycorrhizal Interaction

Lead Researcher: Dr. Danny Singh, AAFC-Swift Current
Total Funding: $165,025
Start Date: 2011
Project Length: 3 Years

Objective: To produce nutrient use efficient wheat cultivars in order to reduce crop dependence on fertilizer, reduce farm input costs, and increase the value of Canadian wheat.

Producer Benefit: Canadian durum captures almost 50% of the world market. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) form symbioses with the roots of most plant species, including wheat. AMF offers numerous benefits to producers: efficient use of fertilizer and soil nutrients, drought and disease tolerance, greater N-fixation, and improved soil physical properties. Breeding for AMF symbiotic wheat could reduce the dependence of wheat and its rotation crops on fertilizers, leading to improved profitability and net farm income gains.

Pea Yield Formation in Warming Temperatures 

Lead Researcher: Dr. Rosalind Bueckert, University of Saskatchewan
Total Funding: $160,000
Start Date: 2011
Project Length: 3 Years
Objective: The goal is to look at nine varieties of pea, which cover Saskatchewan cultivars and potentially heat tolerant cultivars from Australia, and find out why pea has poor yield in warm summers on the prairies.

Producer Benefit: Pea yields are substantially reduced in warm summers. With a warming climate, the pea crop is going to be stressed more often, resulting in shorter times of growth and substantial reductions in yield amount and quality. Identifying the best traits to improve heat tolerance will result in new pea cultivars that can yield moderately or very well in warm summers. Due to lack of research in heat tolerance in the other pulses (except desi chickpea), the other pulse crops could benefit as well from knowing which traits worked well in pea.

Hormonal Regulation of Pre-harvest Sprouting in Wheat

Lead Researcher: Dr. Belay Ayele, University of Manitoba
Total Funding: $121,900
Start Date: 2011
Project Length: 3 Years

Objective: To identify genes controlling pre-harvest sprouting in wheat, and investigate the potential of molecular breeding approaches to accelerate incorporation and deployment of these genes into commercial wheat cultivars.

Producer Benefit: This research will provide powerful tools for breeders to develop new wheat cultivars with increased tolerance to Pre-harvest Sprouting (PHS) damage; thereby improving wheat yield and quality. The proposed research will also generate new information that will be valuable for controlling sprouting damage in other economically important cereal crops whose production is affected by PHS.

Genetic Analysis of Transgenes in Flax Germplasm

Lead Researcher: Dr. Helen Booker, University of Saskatchewan
Total Funding: $147,145
Start Date: 2011
Project Length: 3 Years

Objective: This research will contribute to the design of accurate GM testing and help to restore export markets for Canadian flax exporters.

Producer Benefit: This project will develop a more accurate test for detecting the presence of CDC Triffid in shipments for export and develop new knowledge regarding the inheritance of transgenes in flax. Confidence will be restored in export markets for Canadian flax. Additionally, GM seed will largely be eliminated from Canadian pedigree flax seed stocks.

Genetic Male Sterility Facilitated Recurrent Selection in Spring Wheat

Lead Researcher: Dr. Stephen Fox, AAFC-Winnipeg
Total Funding: $136,000
Start Date: 2011
Project Length: 3 Years

Objective: This project aims to better exploit genetic variability and knowledge for simultaneous improvement of yield, end-use quality, pest resistance and adaptability of new varieties.

Producer Benefit: A part from pest resistance, it is possible to improve through breeding almost every aspect of the profitability of wheat production. Characteristics such as yield potential, adaptation, seed dormancy and reduced likelihood of sprouting in the ears during wet seasons, seed protein content, milling and baking quality all have complex multigenic inheritance. This project attempts to develop more appropriate and effective alternative/ supplementary breeding strategies. The value for producers is found in the more timely production of new cultivars with desirable trait combinations.

Molecular Characterization of Low Temperature Tolerance in Cereals

Lead Researcher: Dr. Ravindra Chibbar, University of Saskatchewan
Total Funding: $151,800
Start Date: 2011
Project Length: 3 Years

Objective: To study Canadian, Scandinavian and Russian wheat and rye germplasms with varying levels of cold hardiness. The most effective genes will be identified and be recommended for introgression into Canadian wheat germplasm to increase their low temperature tolerance and winter survival.

Producer Benefit: Development of winter wheat cultivars with improved winter survival will provide producers with an alternative or complement to spring wheat production. The benefits from winter wheat are relatively low input cost, an environmentally friendly production system and high yield. Winter wheat generally yields significantly more than spring wheat, however high winter kill can eliminate this advantage.

Building Durable Clubroot Resistance in Canola

Lead Researcher: Dr. Gopalan Selvaraj, National Research Council of Canada
Total Funding: $134,912
Start Date: 2011
Project Length: 3 Years

Objective: To identify multiple clubroot resistance genes from diverse Brassica germplasm and to develop markers based on those genes for use in the production of canola varieties with durable clubroot resistance.

Producer Benefit: Yield loss and low quality seeds make clubroot a very serious emerging threat in canola farming. Clubroot spores survive winters, no chemical treatments exist, and genetic solutions are necessary. Knowing which variety contains what specific resistance gene, and having varieties with multiple resistance genes will give farmers much greater options in managing clubroot. The proposed work will assist non-GMO breeding while providing an option for GMO varietal development to meet future market demands as well.

Northern Adapted Flax Variety Development and Agronomy Program

Lead Researcher: Saskatchewan Flax Development Commission
Total Funding: $120,000
Start Date: 2011
Project Length: 3 Years

Objective: To ensure that as new better adapted flax varieties are developed, there is concurrent development of agronomic best management practices to ensure maximum production capability is realized.

Producer Benefit: Development of an agronomic package for northern flax varieties will ensure new varieties achieve their full genetic potential, resulting in reduced risk and increased productivity for flax production in the northern half of the grain belt and hence allowing flax to be a viable crop for producers of this region.

Net Blotch: Variability in Relation to Virulence, Resistance and Fungicide Sensitivity

Lead Researcher: Dr. Kelly Turkington, AAFC- Lacombe
Total Funding: $ 279,000
Start Date: 2010
Project Length: 4 Years

Objective: To conduct a prairie-wide assessment of the current status of the pathogens that cause netted and spotted net blotch of barley to determine: 1) their variability in pathogenicity, virulence, and molecular characteristics); 2) ability to overcome currently-used sources of resistance; and 3) any variation in the sensitivity of representative pathogen forms and isolates to the fungicides registered to manage net blotch