GFM Network News


New malt varieties are being developed that nearly match the yields of feed and that will create new interest in barley, says breeder Aaron Beattie.

Wheat research coalition inks first major agreement

THE CWRC has committed over $9.6 million to the Crop Development Centre at the University of Saskatchewan

The Canadian Wheat Research Coalition (CWRC) has committed more than $9.6 million over five years to a ‘core breeding agreement’ with the Crop Development Centre (CDC) at the University of Saskatchewan. The funding will support the development of new spring wheat cultivars. The research dollars will increase field-based breeding activities, the disease nursery and disease

Why is canola winning acres and not wheat?

The percentage increase in yields for both are about the same leaving some to speculate it’s more about demand than genetics or private versus public variety development

Wheat needs more research money to compete with crops like canola. That’s the message organizers delivered at the first consultation meeting on two new proposed royalty options in Winnipeg Nov. 16. “Cereals are necessary in crop rotations to prevent pest and disease pressures from emerging,” a government slide presentation said. “However, due to declining profitability


Thanks to public breeding, Western Canadian wheat yield gains due to improved seed varieties increased 0.7 per cent per year between 1991 and 2012.

Editorial: Getting it right

It’s early in the winter farm meeting season but already seed royalties are promising to be one of the year’s evergreen topics. That’s hardly surprising, after all, seed is a fundamental building block for any grain farm. It’s also something that’s seen a lot of changes over the past few decades. Most of the crops

AAFC funds Crop Agronomy Cluster

The cluster consists of eight research activities ranging from soil health to herbicide resistance and climate change adaptation

Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay recently announced $6.3 million for the Western Grains Research Foundation for a five-year ‘Integrated Crop Agronomy Cluster.’ The WGRF said the cluster has been established because Canadian farmers face agronomic challenges that cut across multiple crops, and there are gaps in multi-crop and systems approaches to agronomic research. The

Lowe Farm farmer Butch Harder told the seed growers’ meeting he opposes additional royalties for cereal breeders, calling the plan a “seed tax.”

The ‘value capture’ conundrum

A proposal to better compensate cereal breeders will almost certainly cost farmers more 
either when they buy seed or when they deliver grain to the elevator

Some call it a cereals ‘seed tax’ while others say it’s an investment in improved varieties. Either way, Canadian farmers face paying more for new varieties, or when they deliver the crop, if one of two proposed new “value capture” models is implemented by the federal government in 2019. “We want Canada to continue to


Single checkoff coming for wheat growers

The new system will fund both wheat variety development and Cigi, say the provincial wheat groups

Wheat growers can expect to see a simplified checkoff system in the coming crop year. Beginning August 1, 2017, they’ll see checkoffs for the provincial associations combined with the transitional checkoff for funding variety research and market development. Those funds, collected through the temporary Western Canadian Deduction (WCD) checkoff, have since 2012 funded the Western

Looking closer at the wheat checkoff change

Farmers won’t see much difference on the elevator driveway, but what about Cigi and the WGRF?

For farmers it’s going to mean a single checkoff line on their grain ticket. For groups like the Canadian International Grains Institute (Cigi) and the Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) the changes will be more involved. Having a direct role in funding these groups may lead to more farmer input into their governance. Read more: Single

Public and private wheat breeding was discussed by a panel at the 3rd Canadian Wheat Symposium in Ottawa Nov. 23. The participants were (l) Ontario farmer Henry Van Ankum, Marcus Weidler, Bayer CropScience, Garth Patterson, Western Grains Research Foundation, 
Jim Anderson, wheat breeder, University of Minnesota and Rob Graf, a winter wheat breeder with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Public or private? Both are needed, say wheat breeders

Canada’s wheat breeding remains almost all public, while other jurisdictions 
have gone all private or to a mixed model


[Updated: Jan. 9, 2016]: Making wheat a more competitive crop requires public and private breeder co-operation — and getting a return on investment from farmers buying seed. That was the consensus among panellists discussing wheat breeding at the 3rd Canadian Wheat Symposium here Nov. 23. “My observation would be that ultimately farmers are going to


Wheat acreage decline connected to demographics, economics

Making wheat more productive won’t likely boost plantings, but it will help keep the crop in farmers’ rotations, says the WGRF’s Garth Patterson

As wheat plantings decline in Western Canada and elsewhere, some say the fix is transferring the innovation in crops such as canola, soybeans and corn. But there are other factors at play, says Garth Patterson, executive director of the Western Grains Research Foundation. “The markets aren’t treating wheat as favourably as some of the other