Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

March 17, 2015 12:47 ET

Harper Government Invests to Expand Winter Wheat Acreage

LETHBRIDGE, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - March 17, 2015) - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Member of Parliament for Lethbridge Jim Hillyer, on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, today announced an investment of $1 million to the Alberta Wheat Commission to develop an innovative, low-cost way to increase winter wheat production in western Canada.

This project will evaluate new varieties that offer greater yield, quality and consistency, and develop best management practices that promote healthier winter wheat, enabling producers to diversify their operations. It will also provide producers with information and tools about winter wheat production which will help them address agronomic challenges.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada researchers will collaborate with industry on a number of activities, including research into new controls to address weed problems, new cultivars, and enhanced crop production through better residue management.

Quick facts

  • The Alberta Wheat Commission's role is to increase the long-term profitability of all Alberta wheat growers through funding innovative research, market development and promotional activities, producer education programs, and policy development.

  • This investment will help improve crop yield, quality, and consistency. It will also provide producers with pest and nutrient management strategies for winter wheat and help them to adapt to changing weather patterns or severe weather events.

  • Home to a third of Canada's wheat crop, Alberta wheat brings in $2.26 billion to the farm gate and another $2.3 billion in exports.

  • This investment is made through Growing Forward 2's AgriInnovation Program, a five-year, up to $698-million initiative designed to accelerate the pace of innovation by supporting research and development activities in agri-innovations and facilitating the demonstration, commercialization and/or adoption of innovative products, technologies, processes, practices and services.

Quotes

"Winter wheat has become one of the most profitable field crops in western Canada. This project will enable producers to increase their winter wheat acreage, helping them to diversify their businesses and grow their revenues."

- Member of Parliament Jim Hillyer

"Winter wheat has untapped market potential on the world stage. Through our investment in research and development, we aim to build on the agronomic groundwork of this class to continue growing its market value. Our end-goal is better returns for farmers."

- Kevin Auch, Vice-Chair, Alberta Wheat Commission

Additional links

- Growing Forward 2 (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)

- AgriInnovation Program (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)

- Alberta Wheat Commission

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Contact Information

  • Emily Hogeveen
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    613-773-1059

    Media Relations
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    613-773-7972
    1-866-345-7972

    Victoria Russell
    Communications and Events Coordinator
    Alberta Wheat Commission
    403-219-7906