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News last update:14 Jan 2016

Canada: Major investment in winter wheat research

Parliamentary Secretary Pierre Lemieux announced an investment of up to $422,000 to the Ontario Cereal Industry Research Council (OCIRC) to research winter wheat gluten quality.

This research will benefit the Ontario wheat industry by identifying traits that will help build new markets for winter wheat through enhanced milling and more product uses. The goal of this research is to help farmers benefit from the development of new, locally adaptable winter wheat varieties that can meet the changing preferences of buyers.

Today's investment is made through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's AgriInnovation Program, a five-year, up to $698 million initiative under Growing Forward 2. The Program's industry-led research and development stream supports pre-commercialization research, development and knowledge transfer leading to innovative agriculture, agri-food, and agri-based practices, processes, and products.

Quick facts
•    Ontario grows 73% of Canada's winter wheat with a market value of over $500 million.
•    Founded in 2004, the OCIRC is a not-for-profit organization that includes seed companies, producers, millers and processors.
•    Under Growing Forward 2, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is investing $12.5 million in a new wheat research cluster, in addition to an industry contribution of $12.7 million. This cluster will build on an earlier AAFC investment of $8 million under Growing Forward by continuing breeding trials that are already under way.
•    AAFC is also a partner in the Canadian Wheat Alliance (CWA), led by the National Research Council Canada. With $97 million in funding and support over the first five years, the CWA will advance research that will improve the profitability of Canadian wheat producers.

"Winter wheat is a significant contributor to Ontario's economy and innovative investments like this will drive growth and productivity in the sector. This research is expected to increase the value of winter wheat and expand market opportunities for Canadian producers," Parliamentary Secretary Pierre Lemieux said.

"OCIRC's members view this project as strategically very important to maintaining our competitive position in winter wheat in Ontario, one of our leading cash crops. We are very pleased with the research team that has been attracted to the University of Guelph to enable this project to be undertaken. Advancing our understanding of and application of protein functionality in winter wheat will enable our sector to be more innovative in processes and products," added Henry Olechowski, President of the Ontario Cereal Industry Research Council.

Source: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada


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