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National Wheat Research Database a Crucial Resource for Growers, Scientists and Governments

Cereals Canada leads the National Wheat Research Database on behalf of the industry. The database includes details about ongoing research in Canada and allows farmers to access information about wheat varieties with higher yields, improved disease and insect resistance and improved ability to tolerate environmental conditions, all while meeting required quality standards.  

The database also allows for the evaluation of research activities by governments and research and funding agencies to easily compare projects and identify potential synergies, redundancies and gaps. 

“Currently, on the database, there are over 500 projects, which include both active and complete research projects occurring across Canada,” says Krista Zuzak, Cereals Canada crop protection and production director.  

Wheat research plot in Saskatchewan

Many current projects are focused on encouraging sustainable wheat production, including improved water use efficiency, agronomic practices and climate resiliency. Other research includes variety development for drought tolerance, heat stress tolerance and food safety. “The priorities are aligned with our value chain members and the strategic direction of Cereals Canada,” says Dean Dias, chief executive officer at Cereals Canada.  

“One example of the research that is funded is Richard Cuthbert’s program. He is trying to develop field-ready varieties of Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) wheat for farmers in the brown and dark brown soil zones (southern Alberta and southwestern Saskatchewan) that will respond to stresses in those regions—typically heat and drought,” says Zuzak.  

Approximately $90 million in funding has been allotted to wheat research since the launch of the database in 2018.  Based on 2020 and 2021 funding, there are 75 new research projects underway, all with the potential to improve performance and grower revenue. 

“Supporting new variety research is supporting farmers. Higher yields, better performance and comprehensive disease resistance packages are what farmers need to continue to be sustainable,” says cereals grain grower Henry Van Ankum, who farms near Alma, Ontario.  

Cereals Canada continues to review, update all active projects and report on each project back to the membership.

For more information on the National Wheat Research, please visit our Sustainability page.

For more information on the National Research Priorities see links below: