Alberta Wheat and its Prairie counterparts have pledged $2 million over five years for the University of Alberta’s wheat-breeding program. U of A researchers will focus on Canadian Western Red Spring and Canadian Prairie Spring Red.
The aim is to develop three to five registered varieties with traits of early maturity, shorter straw stalk, and resistance to stripe rust and fusarium head blight. All are key priorities for northern Alberta’s Parkland region, the Canadian Wheat Research Coalition said in a release.
The program, led by wheat breeder Dean Spaner, also calls for delivering one to three germplasm distributions and training a minimum of three graduate students. Early maturity is a key trait for producers in more northern parts of the province, said Alberta Wheat chair Todd Hames.