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Canada Committing Record $21M to Develop Better Grain Varieties

Canada’s Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), in partnership with the Western Grain Research Foundation (WGRF) have announced a collaboration that will dedicate a record $21 million to fund research to develop improved varieties of wheat and barley through 2020.

This investment, which is the largest such commitment on record, will support research in plant pathology, physiology, entomology, and grain quality that will result in varieties of wheat and barley that will be more resistant to diseases such as Fusarium Head Blight, will be more resistant to pests, excessive rain and drought, and will support the development of genetic markers for breeding selection.

"Wheat and barley contribute billions of dollars annually to Canada's economy,” said Lawrence MacAulay, Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “This substantial investment in wheat and barley variety development will advance innovation, giving Canadian grain farmers a competitive edge to meet world demands for food and feed."

The AAFC is Canada’s leading developer of what varieties, and is the source of 80% of insured durum what acres and 66% of hard red spring wheat acres in the country. Together, the AAFC, with the WGRF, its largest financial partner, have been working together on the advancement of wheat and barley varieties since 1994.

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