WGRF Research Priorities

It is important that the research outcomes benefit western Canadian field crop producers. WGRF is targeting multi-crop research, with emphasis on whole farm sustainability, resiliency and efficiency of crop production systems in the areas of variety development, production and post production. 96% of WGRF’s current commitments are in the areas of variety development and production. This is expected to continue. All field crops are eligible as components of a multi-crop proposal however priority will be given to crops most common in western Canada.

Production (Agronomic) Research from a Multi-Crop Perspective:
The following broadly describes field crop production issues from an integrated crop and whole farm perspective, with emphasis on cross-commodity benefit. Outcomes are expected to have a significant impact on producers’ long-term sustainability from the perspectives of natural resources (soil, water, air) and economics. It is anticipated that a systems approach, including multidisciplinary research whenever required, across a broad geographic region with multiple sites, will be required to reflect sub-regional differences.

Adapting to climate change examples:

  • Resilient cropping systems for volatile weather reflecting wetter, drier, and warmer weather conditions
  • Crop protection in a more variable climate including:
    • disease monitoring and management, forecasting and alerts;
    • insect monitoring and management, forecasting and alerts;
    • weed monitoring and management;
    • pesticide resistance – monitoring, forecasting and management strategies;
    • multidisciplinary approach to pest control, including crop rotation management

Mitigating climate change examples:

  • Soil health aspects (sustainable crop production practices that maintain or enhance soil health; understanding and harnessing soil microbe-plant interactions)
  • Agronomic methods to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from crop production systems
  • Further development of agronomic practices to increase carbon sinks

Production Efficiency examples:

  • Economics of management decisions including risk and reward analysis and tools for short and long-term sustainability
  • Fertilizer use efficiency (nutrient application guidelines and recommendations)
  • Land use efficiency (increasing yields and profitability per acre through integrated crop production management strategies to fully compliment the genetic potential of seed inputs)
  • Water use efficiency (practices that maintain sufficient water for crop use at key growth stages)

Variety Development Research from a Multi-Crop Perspective:
The following broadly describes field crop variety development issues from an integrated crop and whole farm perspective, with emphasis on cross-commodity benefit. Outcomes are expected to have a significant impact on producers’ long-term sustainability. While a specific crop may be utilized as the “test crop”, the technology/advancement should be applicable to multiple crops.

  • Genomics examples: bioinformatics tools to analyze genomic data.
  • Resistance examples: sequencing of disease isolates to understand factors affecting virulence in multi crops.
  • Breeding tools examples: new methodology for increased efficiency in the production of double haploids for use in multiple crops.

Post Production Research from a Multi-Crop Perspective:
The following broadly describes field crop post production issues from an integrated crop and whole farm perspective, with emphasis on cross-commodity benefit. Outcomes are expected to have a significant impact on producers’ long-term sustainability by increasing the demand for, and/or the value of the crop. While a specific crop may be utilized as the “test crop”, once implemented the technology/advancement should be applicable to multiple crops.

  • Storage examples:
  • Technologies to reduce storage pests
  • Technologies to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of monitoring storage conditions
  • Utilization examples:
  • Testing or enhancement of product development technologies to increase demand for western Canada crops (i.e. extrusion, fermentation)
  • Detection examples
  • Screening technologies for rapid detection of toxins and pathogens

Crop Specific Research for Intermediate Crops  
WGRF will consider research applications specific to intermediate crops in the areas of variety development, production and post production. For 2018 the eligible intermediate crops are: corn, soybean, fababean, sunflower, mustard, canaryseed, oats, flax, and winter cereals.

For more information please contact:

 

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

 

Joelle Harris, B.S.A., PAg
Research Program Manager
(306) 975-1230
JoelleHarris@westerngrains.com

 

 

Gord Androsoff M.Sc., PAg
Research Program Manager
(306) 975-0099
GordAndrosoff@westerngrains.com 

 

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