Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

July 07, 2005 12:21 ET

AAFC: Minister Mitchell Announces $27.65 Million in Wheat and Barley Research

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - July 7, 2005) - A renewed agreement between Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and the Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) will deliver greater opportunities for the Western Canadian wheat and Barley farmers, says Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Minister Andy Mitchell.

AAFC will invest $24.5 million in wheat research and $3.15 million for barley over the next five years, and the WGRF will provide an additional $12.5 million.

The agreement follows the original 10-year agreement signed in 1994, which saw producer check-off money invested in the development of new wheat and barley varieties suitable to Western Canada.

"This agreement underscores our commitment to bolster the competitive position of Canada's wheat and barley producers in international markets," says Minister Mitchell.

The wheat and barley research funded under this agreement will address specific business risk issues identified by the industry. For wheat, these include midge fly and fusarium in the Eastern Prairies; leaf diseases, stem fly, midge fly, heat and drought in the semi-arid regions; and sprouting in the Northern Prairie regions.

Barley research funding will focus mostly on developing two and six-row malting varieties, and about 30 per cent of the funds will be devoted to feed, forage and hulless food types.

"This partnership is important to western crop producers and all Canadians," says WGRF Chair Keith Degenhardt, a Hughenden Alberta Producer. "It provides a sound business plan for variety development, ensures producers are full partners in the process and lays the long-term groundwork for a stronger industry."

Some recent successes from the initial agreement include the hard red spring wheat variety, AC Superb, which yields 25 per cent higher than the check varieties, and AC Snowbird, a new hard white type that allows Canadian growers to compete with other countries in this new market. Barley research has yielded Millhouse, a variety that can be milled like wheat and blended into breads, bagels and noodles.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa
    Media Relations
    (613) 759-7972
    1 (866) 345-7972
    Minister Mitchell's office, Ottawa
    Elizabeth Whiting
    (613) 759-1059