Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

October 17, 2014 16:36 ET

Harper Government Invests in Crop Research and Development

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwired - Oct. 17, 2014) - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Member of Parliament Kelly Block (Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar) today announced an investment of up to $2.16 million to the Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) to address the crop sector's need for improved crop research and development.

This project aims to better understand the interactions among crops, soils, environment and economics, and how to grow crops effectively and profitably while respecting the environment and its biodiversity.

Industry researchers, in collaboration with Agriculture Canada, will focus on several priorities including determining the effects of rotational crops to develop crop management strategies that are beneficial to both the environment and producers, as well as studying the effective control of fungal diseases through timely applications. Other research activities will look at the interaction among plants and other soil microorganisms and develop ways to improve the efficiency of cropping systems through the use of different inoculants. Researchers are also working to develop mobile phone apps which can be used for the integrated pest management of weeds, insects and diseases.

Quick facts

  • Founded in 1981, the Western Grains Research Foundation is a non-profit organization investing in agricultural research that benefits western Canadian producers.
  • A previous research investment of $8.2 million under the grains cluster resulted in a number of key findings, including the effect on yields from seeding patterns, land recovery rates, and testing yields with various crop rotations.
  • This investment is made through the Industry-led Research and Development stream of Agriculture Canada's AgriInnovation Program, a five-year, up to $698-million initiative under Growing Forward 2.


"The future of Canadian agriculture depends on a solid foundation of scientific research and adoption of the best crop production methods. Industry-driven projects like this one help strengthen our crop sector and ensure that Canada remains a leader in both crop production and agricultural innovation while helping to create jobs across the agricultural industry."

- Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz

"Research in agronomy is a vital link to integrating cutting-edge machinery and advanced plant materials to fully realize genetic gains and increasing crop yields. Working closely with various stakeholders in the industry, WGRF has developed the Systems Approach to Crop Sustainability Proposal that will generate practical information that farmers can apply to their operations and increase profitability."

- Dave Sefton, Western Grains Research Foundation Board Chair

Additional links

Growing Forward 2 (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)

AgriInnovation Program (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)

Western Grains Research Foundation

Contact Information

  • Jeff English
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz

    Media Relations
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Follow us on Twitter: @AAFC_Canada