Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

December 21, 2010 13:00 ET

Government of Canada Investment in Oat Research to Benefit Prairie Growers

YORKTON, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - Dec. 21, 2010) - The Government of Canada is investing in research to help growers in Canada reap the benefits of growing oats. Member of Parliament Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton-Melville), on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, announced today that the Prairie Oat Growers Association (POGA) will receive $1.8 million to develop new oat breeding varieties tailored to the Prairie environment that will improve crop yields and quality.

"Investments in research and innovation help our farmers capitalize on new opportunities," said MP Breitkreuz. "Oat is a nutritious and versatile crop that can be used to develop value-added products and this research will unlock new opportunities for farmers to market their grains."

Oat is adaptable to many different Canadian environments, making it a viable crop option for many farmers. New information about the growing number of health benefits of oats has increased production in Canada. Research will focus on enhancing oat cultivars for Western Canada. Improved varieties with better resistance to plant diseases and that can withstand unpredictable climate conditions will lead to increased yields and profits for growers.

"This Federal Government investment will co-fund and enhance a wide range of oat research and development," said Bill Wilton, President of POGA.

"Development projects, including gene marker exploration and identification will provide short cuts towards finding and developing beneficial traits which will benefit the oat industry and the producers who grow the crop," added Jack Shymko, Chairman of the POGA Research Committee.

The prairie provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba on average produce about 90 percent of Canada's oats, the majority of that being grown in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. In 2009, oats provided over $350 million in farm cash receipts to these western provinces.

This investment comes from the Developing Innovative Agri-Products initiative, which is delivered by the Growing Forward framework under the Agri-Innovations program, a $158 million five-year program announced to support industry-led science and technology projects.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    Meagan Murdoch
    Press Secretary