SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwired - Jan. 16, 2014) - Viterra Inc. ("Viterra") and the Crop Development Centre (CDC) in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan are pleased to announce that Viterra is investing $5 million to enhance the CDC's success in wheat research and breeding.
The five-year agreement, which builds on a longstanding partnership between Viterra and the college, focuses on development of wheat and durum varieties with enhanced yield, improved resistance to disease and insect pests, and improved quality characteristics for the marketplace.
"As Canada's grain industry leader, we continue to forge strong partnerships that build on our commitment to research and development for the benefit of our customers and Western Canadian agriculture," said Kyle Jeworski, Viterra's President and CEO for North America.
"Viterra's long and successful history of collaboration with the CDC has resulted in several innovative and high-performing seed varieties. By strengthening our relationship, we aim to support new wheat and durum varieties that have desirable quality specifications for our customers around the world, while providing farmers with more options to maximize the value of their crops."
The funding will support the nationally and internationally recognized wheat breeding programs at the CDC led by Pierre Hucl and Curtis Pozniak. The researchers will set the breeding priorities, and Viterra will provide industry knowledge to ensure the CDC breeding is responsive to an evolving global marketplace.
"This significant investment from our longstanding partners at Viterra will enhance our capacity to provide innovative solutions for Western Canadian farmers and agri-businesses while helping to address food challenges around the world," said Karen Chad, U of S Vice-President Research.
"This exciting collaboration is a further testament to the outstanding quality of our agricultural research, a signature area of the University of Saskatchewan."
With greater capacity for variety development and research trials across Western Canada, CDC researchers will be able to significantly increase the number of varieties developed and commercialized, providing increased choice for producers. Using the latest breeding tools, development time will be reduced for a greater number of varieties.
"The CDC is delighted with this level of investment from a great Saskatchewan company with whom we've enjoyed a 20-year successful history of wheat research collaboration," said Kofi Agblor, CDC managing director.
"This funding affirms CDC's reputation for working effectively with private sector companies and is good news for Saskatchewan producers who will see the benefits of this research in improved wheat varieties on their farms."
The estimated cost of developing a single new wheat variety is between $500,000 and $1-million. Wheat crops contribute $11-billion annually to Canada's economy.
Viterra is Canada's grain industry leader, supported by the expertise of its people, a superior network of assets, and unrivalled connections to world markets. Headquartered in Regina, Saskatchewan, our commitment to agriculture goes back nearly 100 years, partnering with farmers to market and move their crops to areas of need around the world. Our continued focus on operational excellence throughout North America allows us to efficiently handle, process, distribute and transport grains and oilseeds. We provide further value to our partners through a wide variety of contracting and risk management tools to help them realize the full potential of their crops. For more information on Viterra in North America, please visit www.viterra.com. Viterra is part of the Agricultural Business Segment of Glencore.
About the U of S Crop Development Centre
Located within the College of Agriculture and Bioresources, the Crop Development Centre is Saskatchewan's world-class plant breeding institute. With funding from the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, Western Grains Research Foundation, and many private and public sector partners, the CDC develops varieties of spring wheat, durum, canary seed, barley, oat, flax, pea, lentil, chickpea and dry bean for the economic benefit of Western Canadian farmers and agricultural industry members. Since its inception in 1971, the CDC has released more than 400 new plant varieties.