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Crop Biotech Update

Giving Winter Wheat Research a Boost with a $475,000 investment in Canada

August 3, 2012

Canada's Winter Cereals Sustainability Action program, a joint initiative by Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) and Bayer CropScience established in 2009, has already provided wheat farmers with higher yields as well as more efficient use of crop input products. To expedite the process in developing new winter wheat varieties, the two partners has invested a new $475,000 to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's (AAFC) winter wheat research program.

At the AAFC's Lethbridge Research Center, the funds will be used to purchase equipment needed to increase laboratory capacity to conduct molecular marker screening. As such, the test plants will no longer be needed to be grown to maturity to determine gene expression and desired traits, reducing time and resources in varietal breeding.

"This is good news for wheat growers," says Paul Thoroughgood, DUC regional agrologist. "With the recent changes to marketing in Western Canada, farmers are looking more and more to higher yielding classes of wheat, like winter wheat, to improve their productivity per acre. This investment helps ensure that the science is keeping up with that increasing demand.

The news release can be viewed at