The governments of Canada and Manitoba are investing more than $1.6 million in eight research projects dealing with a wide range of issues facing crop producers.

The announcement was made this morning by Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler at the CropConnect conference in Winnipeg.

“Prairie crops are an important economic driver for Canada,” said MacAulay. “Our government is proud to work together with the province and the industry to support research that helps our grain industry grow and prosper. This investment will help farmers increase production while addressing risks that could impact their crops.”

Project funding is provided through the Grain Innovation Hub.

“Manitoba’s crop producers and the entire grain industry stand to benefit from the results of these important, timely and targeted research initiatives,” said Eichler. “Through the Grain Innovation Hub, we are able to invest in areas that are either of greatest concern or show the greatest opportunity for agriculture. By partnering with producers and industry, we are creating opportunities for long-term growth and sustainability in Manitoba.”

The funded organizations and projects include:

-D.L. Seeds Inc., to purchase specialized equipment needed to improve genetic disease resistance in canola (nearly $135,000);

-Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association (MWBGA), for four projects focused on reducing the contamination caused by fusarium head blight (FHB) in wheat, developing a commercial malting barley variety with improved pre-harvest sprouting tolerance, developing better nitrogen fertilizer management strategies for high-yielding spring wheat, and identifying the most efficient and environmentally friendly strategies to reduce the damage caused by FHB in spring wheat (nearly $590,000);

-151 Research Inc. and their partners – the University of Manitoba Electromagnetic Imaging Lab, the University of Manitoba’s Canadian Wheat Board Centre for Grain Storage Research and the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute – to test remotely-monitored 3D imaging and grain drying systems able to dry grain to the desired temperature and moisture content ($189,000);

-Canadian Triticum Applied Genomics 2 Project, a partnership of industry, government and Canada’s genomics agencies, to conduct research at the federal agricultural research station in Morden to identify and clone wheat genes responsible for higher yields and resistance to a variety of environmental stressors ($390,000); and

-SeCan, to develop a semi-dwarf wheat variety for the eastern prairies with higher yields, improved disease resistance and strong straw ($300,000).
Industry partners will contribute another $4 million toward these research projects.

“Cereal crops remain the underpinning for economically sustainable crop production in Manitoba,” said MWBGA chair Fred Greig. “We appreciate this support to fund research that defends and drives increased profitability for wheat and barley.”

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