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Wheat and barley varietal research benefits producers

Arecent return-on-investment study commissioned by the Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) has estimated that investment in wheat and barley varietal research is providing producers with a very high return.

This study calculates that on average every producer checkoff dollar invested into wheat varietal research has returned $20.40 in value to the producer. Barley varietal research saw a return of over $7.56 for each producer dollar invested.

The value is realized when new wheat and barley varieties are released and adopted by producers in Western Canada. For example, new WGRF-supported varieties like Carberry, Muchmore, CDC Verona and all of the midge-tolerant wheats are higher yielding with improved disease and pest resistance.

Through WGRF, farmers have assisted in the development and release of more than 110 new wheat and barley varieties over the past decade and a half, many of which are today seeded to large portions of the cropland in Western Canada.

“The WGRF investment in variety development has earned a very high return for producers,” says Dave Sefton, WGRF board chair. “The return on investment of 36 per cent on wheat variety development and 28 per cent on barley variety development demonstrates that investing in research continues to be an excellent way for producers to improve their returns.

“WGRF invests over $6 million of producers’ dollars annually into breeding and crop research. As a regional organization WGRF brings the research spending power of all farmers in Western Canada together, maximizing the returns they see in crop research,” says Sefton.

“The popularity of WGRF-supported varieties and these high rates of returns show that producers have benefited substantially from their checkoffs and would benefit from increased investment in varietal research,” said Garth Patterson, WGRF executive director.

A full copy of the study can be found by visiting the WGRF website

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