News

WGRF Commits $500,000 to 10 New Research Projects

January 10, 2017 at 12:15 PM

Through a continuing co-funding partnership with the Agriculture Development Fund (ADF) and other producer commodity groups, Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) is pleased to announce over $500,000 of new funding for 10 crop-related research projects.

“Producers are committed to investing in agricultural research,” says WGRF Board Chair, Dave Sefton. “WGRF is pleased to be supporting 10 new promising research projects in almost all crops, that will likely lead to improved crop production for western Canadian producers. Co-funding partnerships like the one between WGRF and ADF help maximize the investment we as producers make. The WGRF Endowment Fund is used to fund crop research projects that benefit all producers through improved agricultural systems, technology and agronomic practices.”

Some of the projects receiving funding include: management of stored crops, improvement of flax and pulse varieties, enhancing blackleg resistance, investigating optimal inputs for lentils, integration of agronomy and breeding to reduce disease in fall rye. 

A full listing of projects will be posted on the WGRF website once research contracts are in place.

“WGRF established this funding partnership with ADF in 2013,” said Garth Patterson, WGRF Executive Director. “Since that time WGRF has invested over $12.7 million into over 100 research projects in partnership with ADF and crop commissions. Our ability to reach out to and work with other research funders and grower groups is one of WGRF’s greatest strengths.”

Call for Letter of Intent – Integrated Crop Agronomy Cluster

December 21, 2016 at 04:03 PM

Funding organizations from across Canada are participating in the development of a national Integrated Crop Agronomy Cluster for submission to the next federal Agriculture Policy Framework (APF), the successor to the current Growing Forward 2 programming.

The research priorities of the Funding Organizations and the process for submission are included in the attached documents:

1)     Request for Letter-of Intent Integrated Crop Agronomy Cluster

2)    Letter of Intent Form – Integrated Crop Agronomy Cluster

DEADLINE: February 8th, 2017

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact:

Pat Flaten
Research Program Manager
(306) 975-0207
PatFlaten@westerngrains.com

or

Matthew Czerwinski
Project Manager
Canadian Field Crop Research Alliance
(519)-767-0212
mczerwinski@gfo.ca

Call for Letter of Interest – Canadian National Wheat Cluster

November 18, 2016 at 02:23 PM

Funding organizations from across Canada are participating in the development of a Canadian National Wheat Cluster for submission to the next federal Agriculture Policy Framework (APF), the successor to the current Growing Forward 2 programming.

The Funding Organizations supporting this Request for Letter of Interest include the Alberta Wheat Commission, the Canadian Field Crop Research Alliance (whose members include Grain Farmers of Ontario, Producteurs de grains du Québec, Atlantic Grains Council, and SeCan Association), Ducks Unlimited, Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association, Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission, Saskatchewan Winter Cereals Development Commission, Western Grains Research Foundation and Winter Cereals Manitoba Inc.

The research priorities of the Funding Organizations and the process for submission are included in the attached documents:

1)       Request for Letter of Interest – Canadian National Wheat Cluster

2)      Letter of Interest Template Form – Canadian National Wheat Cluster

DEADLINE: December 15th, 2016

If you have any questions please feel free to contact:

Gina Feist
Research Program Manager
(306) 975-0201
GinaFeist@westerngrains.com

Western Canadian Barley Producers Invest $2.4 Million in Barley Breeding

September 07, 2016 at 08:46 AM

Alberta Barley, the Saskatchewan Barley Development Commission (SaskBarley), the Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association (MWBGA) and the Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) are pleased to announce a commitment of more than $2.4 million over five years to the barley variety development program at the University of Saskatchewan Crop Development Centre (CDC).

“Producers have played an important role in funding barley variety development,” says Dave Sefton, WGRF Board Chair. “Since 1995 producers have invested almost $15 million into barley variety development through the Western Grains Research Foundation. Renewing our agreement with the CDC and having all of the prairie barley commissions and associations investing together is an important step to ensuring producers continue to get good value for their check-offs.”

CDC has released more than 70 malt, feed and food barley varieties since 1971, including Harrington, CDC Copeland and CDC Austenson. In the past five years alone, the program has released new malting varieties, including CDC Clear (2011), CDC Bow (2014), CDC Platinum Star (2014) and TR12135 (to be named CDC Fraser), in 2015.

We are extremely pleased to have the three provincial commissions joining WGRF in supporting barley breeding at the CDC, demonstrating continued producer support for research targeting improved yield, disease resistance, and malt quality,” Kofi Agblor, Managing Director of the CDC. “This funding provides stability to the program for maintaining long-term, highly qualified technical staff, as well as resources for marker development and use in the breeding program.”

“SaskBarley is proud to have provided leadership in bringing together the prairie barley commissions to invest in the barley breeding program,” says Jason Skotheim, SaskBarley Board Chair. “Through this investment, barley producers’ check-off dollars are being reinvested into breeding programs that will develop varieties that are more disease resistant, have greater yield, and provide greater profitability in years to come.”

“Manitoba barley growers are pleased to partner with barley producers across Western Canada to provide funding for variety development work that will improve the profitability and long term sustainability of barley,” said Fred Greig, MWBGA chair.

“The CDC’s team of researchers and technicians continually demonstrate that their work is world class, which makes it a good choice for Alberta’s barley farmers when selecting varieties,” said Mike Ammeter, Alberta Barley Board Chair.

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For further information, contact:

Trevor Bacque
Communications Manager
Alberta Barley
tbacque@albertabarley.com
403-219-6266

Delaney Seiferling
Communications Manager
Saskatchewan Barley Development Commission
dseiferling@saskbarleycommission.com
306-250-1099

Lori-Ann Kaminski
Research Manager
Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association
info@mbwheatandbarley.ca
204-745-8044
Mike Espeseth                                               
Communications Manager                
Western Grains Research Foundation                                                          
MikeEspeseth@westerngrains.com
306-975-0365                                   

Backgrounder

Producer check-offs on barley have been invested by the Western Grains Research Foundation into the barley breeding program at the CDC since 1995.

The CDC barley program is allocating funding towards breeding varieties in the following market classes: Two-row malting, Two-row general purpose, Two-row hulless (food/malt). All three classes have common objectives relating to agronomics, physical grain quality and disease. Malting and food barley varieties have additional specific quality objectives.

As of August 1, 2017, barley producers in Western Canada will see a change to the way their barley check-off is administered. The Western Canadian Deduction (WCD) that was established by the federal government in 2012 will expire as of July 31, 2017. It was established as a temporary transitional check-off on wheat and barley to provide stable funding for ongoing wheat and barley variety development. Provincial cereal organizations across Western Canada have been working together to assume the responsibilities of the WCD as of August 1, 2017.

WGRF Invests $800,000 for U of A Wheat Breeding

April 27, 2016 at 10:19 AM

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(Photo: Wheat breeder and professor Dean Spaner, foreground, and members of the wheat breeding research team at the U of A)

WGRF Invests $800,000 for U of A Wheat Breeding

The Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) and the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Agricultural, life & Environmental Sciences (ALES) announced that they have renewed their partnership in wheat breeding. WGRF will invest $811,587 into the wheat breeding program at the University of Alberta over the next five years.

“The wheat breeding program at the U of A’s Faculty of ALES is an important piece of the western Canadian wheat breeding network,” said Dave Sefton, WGRF Board Chair. “WGRF has been investing in wheat research at the U of A since 2005 and, over this time we have seen the program take some significant strides towards the development of new wheat varieties and germplasm for the parkland zone.”

“WGRF’s support has been integral to the success we’ve enjoyed,” said Dean Spaner, wheat breeder and professor. “This continued long-term investment demonstrates the value the wheat producers of western Canada place on our work, and is the base that attracts other investors. This announcement is a tremendous boost in confidence and responsibility, for which we are deeply grateful.”

“This investment over the next five years more than doubles the previous five year commitment by WGRF,” says Garth Patterson, WGRF Executive Director. “Over the last five years alone, the U of A Wheat Breeding Program has registered five improved CWRS varieties, released one germplasm line, and graduated five PhD and four MSc students. This exemplifies the great work being done at the U of A.”

“We are very proud of our wheat breeding program that helps western Canadian wheat growers grow healthier, higher-yielding crops,” said Dr. Stanford F. Blade, Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences. “We’re also very grateful for the confidence shown by WGRF, whose support plays a pivotal role in the success we’ve had with our program.”

The U of A breeding program focuses on Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS), Canada Prairie Spring Red (CPS-R) and the Canada Western General Purpose (CWGP) class. The goal of the program is to develop and select germplasm that will result in higher yielding varieties that are earlier maturing, have increased straw strength and protect the quality characteristics of the CPS and CWRS wheat.

WGRF Welcomes Five New Directors at AGM

March 21, 2016 at 01:44 PM

The Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) welcomed five new directors at its Annual Meeting in Winnipeg on March 8th. Graeme Manness of Domain MB replaced Gerrid Gust as the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association nominee. Glenn Tait of North Battleford SK replaced Bill Gehl as the Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission nominee. Robert Misko of Roblin MB replaced Ray Askin as the Manitoba Wheat & Barley Growers Association nominee. Terry Young of Lacombe AB replaced Kevin Auch as the Alberta Wheat Commission nominee. Corey Loessin of Radisson SK replaced D’Arcy Hilgartner as the Western Pulse Growers nominee. Dave Sefton of Broadview Saskatchewan was re-elected as Chair and Dr. Keith Degenhardt of Hughenden, Alberta was re-elected as Vice-Chair.

“2015 was a remarkable year for WGRF,” said Dave Sefton Board Chair. “Last year WGRF invested $19.6 million into variety development and field crop research.  We are currently managing over 245 research commitments including core program funding for wheat and barley variety development as well as singular projects from the Endowment Fund. I would like to express my appreciation to the retiring Directors for their commitment to WGRF and dedication to agriculture research.”

“WGRF has experienced a lot of growth, over the past few years,” said Garth Patterson, WGRF Executive Director. “WGRF’s singular focus on funding crop research brings many diverse farm groups together to collaborate for the benefit of western Canadian farmers. WGRF is in an excellent position to continue this success for years to come.”

2016 WGRF Board of Directors

Dave Sefton, WGRF Chair, Broadview, SK 
Dr. Keith Degenhardt, WGRF Vice-Chair, Hughenden, AB
Bob Anderson, Dugald, MB
Corey Loessin, Radisson, SK,
Don Dewar, Dauphin, MB
Doyle Wiebe, Langham, SK
Dale Hicks, Outlook, SK
Glenn Tait, North Battleford, SK
Graeme Manness, Domain, MB
Jason Skotheim, Spruce Home, SK
Jason Lenz, Bentley, AB
Joe RennickMilestone, SK

Malcolm Odermatt, Fort St John, BC 
Mel SticklandRed Deer, AB
Robert Misko, Roblin, MB
Stewart Wells, Swift Current, SK
Terry Young, Lacome, AB
Todd LewisRegina, SK

WGRF Membership Organizations

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan
Alberta Barley Commission
Alberta Federation of Agriculture
Alberta Wheat Commission
BC Grain Producers Association
Canadian Canola Growers Association
Canadian Seed Growers Association
Keystone Agricultural Producers
Manitoba Wheat & Barley Growers Association
National Farmers Union
Prairie Oat Producers Association
Saskatchewan Barley Development Commission
Saskatchewan Flax Development Commission
Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission
Western Barley Growers Association
Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association
Western Pulse Growers    
Winter Cereals Canada

Research Tax Credits of 74% for Wheat and 73% for Barley

March 11, 2016 at 12:17 PM

WheatCalculator_iStock_000016180847Large

“The research tax credit rates for producers who contributed to the western wheat and barley check-offs in 2015 are: 74% for wheat and 73% for barley,” says Garth Patterson, Executive Director of the Western Grains Research Foundation.

The federal government’s Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) determines the annual eligible tax credit under its Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Program. This provides producers with the opportunity to get a tax credit for their check-off investments.

For more information on the process of claiming tax credits, please consult your accountant or the Canada Revenue Agency directly. For information on the federal SR&ED investment tax credit, visit http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/txcrdt/sred-rsde/clmng/clmngsrd-eng.html

WGRF Invests $5.2 Million for U of S Wheat Breeding

February 18, 2016 at 11:56 AM

cdc

The Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) and the University of Saskatchewan Crop Development Centre (CDC) announced today that they have renewed their long standing partnership in wheat breeding. WGRF will invest $5.2 million into the wheat breeding program at the Crop Development Centre over the next five years. 

WGRF and the CDC have had a collaborative agreement for long-term breeding of barley and wheat since 1995. Since then, the CDC has released and commercialized over 30 varieties of wheat and durum with improved agronomic performance and end-use qualities. 

“Farmers have been well served by this partnership with the CDC,” says Dave Sefton, WGRF Board Chair. “Farmer funding through the wheat check-offs has helped facilitate the development of dozens of well-known wheat and durum varieties, including CDC Verona, and CDC Utmost VB that offers wheat midge tolerance, to name just a few.”

“This funding builds on 20 years of collaborative research with western Canadian farmers through WGRF,” says Kofi Agblor, Managing Director of the Crop Development Centre.  “Renewed funding expands our research program in wheat to include the deployment of molecular tools to improve breeding efficiency as well incorporating agronomic and quality traits that are vital to making wheat a competitive crop for our producers”.

“WGRF is very excited about the productive pipeline of wheat varieties at the CDC,” says Garth Patterson, WGRF Executive Director. “WGRF renewing these long-term agreements helps create stability for the wheat breeding program, and allows the CDC to leverage additional dollars from different levels of government as well as other industry partners.” 

Backgrounder
WGRF is a farmer funded and directed non-profit organization investing in agricultural research that benefits western Canadian producers. WGRF is the largest producer funder of variety development and field crop research in Canada. For 35 years the WGRF Board has given producers a voice in agricultural research funding decisions. WGRF manages an Endowment Fund and the wheat and barley variety development check-off funds, investing over $19 million in research in 2015. 

The WGRF also provides CDC researchers with additional financial support for projects outside of these agreements. The projects involve research in areas such as plant pathology, gene sequencing and the development of new technologies that will allow plant breeders to develop new and improved cereal varieties more quickly and more efficiently.

Wheat breeding work supported by WGRF at the CDC will continue on the following four classes of wheat: Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS), Canada Western Amber Durum (CWAD), Canada Prairie Spring Red (CPS-R), Hard White Spring (CWHW).

WGRF Invests $1.9 M for Winter Wheat Breeding at the U of M

February 18, 2016 at 11:55 AM

The Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) and the University of Manitoba announced today that they have renewed their partnership in wheat breeding. WGRF will invest $1.9 million over five years into Dr. Anita Brûlé-Babel’s winter wheat breeding program and the fusarium head blight (FHB) nursery.   

The winter wheat breeding program will deliver improved varieties of Canada Western General Purpose (CWGP) and Canada Western Red Winter (CWRW) wheat to producers. The focus of the breeding program is on developing varieties that are disease resistant, semi-dwarf, high yielding, cold hardy and suited to the higher moisture regions of the eastern prairies.

In addition, WGRF funds also support a coordinated Fusarium head blight screening nursery. This nursery provides services to wheat breeding programs across western Canada and provides both early and late generation testing for cultivar registration.

“The release of new general purpose and winter wheat varieties from the U of M, as well as the release of FHB resistant cultivars such as Waskada and Carberry is evidence of the great work being done at the University of Manitoba,” says Dave Sefton, WGRF Board Chair.

 “I congratulate Dr. Brûlé-Babel on receiving this support,” says Dr. Digvir Jayas, Vice-President (Research and International) and Distinguished Professor at the University of Manitoba. “Her research program at the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences and that of the FHB nursery is to be commended. They continue to advance and aid western Canadian producers.”

“Maintenance of a coordinated FHB screening nursery will continue to provide benefits for the wheat breeding programs across western Canada,” says Garth Patterson, WGRF Executive Director. “Locating the nursery in a FHB prone region and making use of the infrastructure at the U of M supports a western Canadian approach to wheat variety development.”

Backgrounder

WGRF is a farmer funded and directed non-profit organization investing in agricultural research that benefits western Canadian producers. WGRF is the largest producer funder of variety development and field crop research in Canada. For 35 years the WGRF Board has given producers a voice in agricultural research funding decisions. WGRF manages an Endowment Fund and the wheat and barley variety development check-off funds, investing over $19 million in research in 2015. 

The University of Manitoba winter wheat program and germplasm development has two main areas of priority. To develop Canada Western General Purpose (CWGP) and Canada Western Red Winter (CWRW) wheat varieties that are disease resistant, semi dwarf, high yielding, cold hardy and suited to the higher moisture regions of the eastern prairies. The primary objectives of germplasm development is to focus on conducting inheritance and mapping studies related to FHB resistance. Of particular importance with this work is training of undergraduate and graduate students and development of the human resource capacity of Canada.

The primary objective of the coordinated nursery is for evaluation of breeding lines for reaction to FHB. Lines from all spring wheat breeding programs across western Canada will be tested as well as winter wheat lines from the University of Manitoba breeding program. In total up to 12,000 single row plots will be evaluated in the nursery.

 

 

 

 

WGRF Invests Record $21.4 M for Wheat and Barley Breeding

February 08, 2016 at 09:45 AM

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.