Feds renew commitment to wheat, barley research

Federal government announces $21.4 million in funding over the next five years for wheat and barley research. File / Global News

SASKATOON – The federal government has renewed its commitment to wheat and barley research. The announcement was made Monday morning in Saskatoon.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, along with the Western Grains Research Foundation, announced they will invest $20-million in wheat breeding, with another $1.4 million going to barley breeding.

“Wheat and barley contribute billions of dollars annually to Canada’s economy,” said Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay, who added the funding could help develop more productive crops.

“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.”

READ MORE: Livestock and forage research in Sask. gets record-setting boost

The funding is the largest ever industry investment into this type of research, which will include crop disease, enhancing insect resistance, drought and flooding, and plant breeding selection.

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“I could also produce resistant seed that will be resistant to certain insects and handle those problems better,” said MacAulay.

“This is what the agriculture sector does in order to put the proper seed in place, and that’s what we want because it puts those dollars directly into our country and that’s what’s important.”

The funds, derived from farmer check-offs on wheat and barley sold in Western Canada, will cover research projects in Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba.

Joelle Tomlinson contributed to this story

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