Manitoba winter wheat in good shape

Group pushes for national wheat research strategy

Commodity News Service Canada — Despite heavy rains throughout July, Manitoba’s winter wheat is in good condition moving into desiccation, the head of an industry group says.

The Manitoba winter cereals group is also preparing for an upcoming government program by working alongside other Canadian wheat commissions.

“Everybody is still pretty happy. The winter wheat can handle a lot of wetness, and it sucks up a lot of moisture,” said Jake Davidson, executive director at Winter Cereals Manitoba Inc.

Davidson added that the province’s winter wheat producers are getting ready to desiccate, and harvest will start in August.

In the Red River Valley, harvest is expected to start at the beginning of August, with western areas following in subsequent weeks.

National research strategy

The Manitoba winter cereals group has met with the Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF), in advance of Growing Forward 3,  Canada’s next agricultural policy framework.

Federal, provincial and territorial governments are currently working together to develop the next agricultural policy framework to launch April 1, 2018, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada said on its website.

“We’re trying to consolidate wheat and winter wheat research across Canada into one big project,” Davidson said. “We’re a year and a bit out, but you’ve got to be prepared for these kind of things.”

In this new round of funding, the WGRF is looking to include wheat commissions in the west and east, said Gina Feist, its research program manager.

The foundation is putting together a national research strategy, to submit next year, and will release information about its highest priorities later this year.

“We’ve had some of the initial planning meetings of bringing a bid together, and we’ve been looking forward to a call from researchers in the next couple months,” Feist said.

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