The federal government is allocating $1.8 million to the Prairie Oat Growers Association (POGA) to develop new oat breeding varieties tailored to the Prairie environment that will improve crop yields and quality.
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.
“Development projects, including gene marker exploration and identification will provide shortcuts 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.
Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba on average produce about 90 per cent of Canada’s oats, the majority of that being grown in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
CWB scholarships awarded
Farmers who never got around to cashing their grain cheques are helping youth pursue their post-secondary education.
Funds from unclaimed producer cheques and interest earnings that are not part of the Canadian Wheat Board pool accounts have been annually distributed as scholarships to post-secondary agriculture students across Western Canada since 1976.
This year’s recipients from Manitoba are: Megan Kemp of Pilot Mound, Amy Smith from Gladstone, Tayo Stobbe of Boissevain, Sally Parsonage of Baldur, Devon Remus of Emerson, Lauren Erickson of Gimli, Kelvin Friesen of Morden, Araelya George of Virden, Kathryn Lepp of Brandon, Mark Guenther of Plum Coulee, Cindy Desrochers of Mariapolis, Tyle Podolsky of Tolstoi, and Steven Strick of Inwood.