GFM Network News


Soybeans. (Alfribeiro/iStock/Getty Images)

China building world’s largest seed bank

Larger facility a bid to boost food security

Beijing | Reuters — China will complete a new national crop germplasm bank this year, the agriculture minister said Wednesday, to boost the country’s capacity to develop new crop varieties and enhance food security. The bank has a designed capacity of 1.5 million copies, almost four times the existing one, and will be the world’s […] Read more

The research will use wild wheat relatives and industry-leading genomics to better understand wheat’s genetic potential.

Wild wheat research gets funding

Reading Time: < 1 minute Alberta Wheat and its Prairie counterparts are putting more than $1.9 million into development of higher-yielding, stress-resistant wheat varieties. The funding is part of a $11.2-million investment from Genome Canada, Ag Canada, the Western Grains Research Foundation and industry partners. The research will utilize wild wheat relatives and elite germplasm along with industry-leading genomic techniques […] Read more


New tool could speed up crop breeding

New tool could speed up crop breeding

Reading Time: < 1 minute Alberta’s barley breeders now have access to both phenomic (field trial) and genomic data in one place. “The phenomic data is in the hands of the breeder, but the genomic data is generated through lab work,” said provincial researcher and biostatistician Rong-Cai Yang, who developed a new software program called the Barley Breeding Platform (BBP). “Usually […] Read more

man tending to a potato plant

This spud’s for you — breeders develop new low-glycemic potato

Low-glycemic potatoes don’t cause a big spike in insulin, which makes it suitable for diabetics

Reading Time: 2 minutes There’s a new spud in town, and it’s made to suit Canada’s growing number of diabetics. The new and as yet unnamed potato has a lower-glycemic-index potential, improved digestibility, and can be enjoyed without creating a big spike of sugar and insulin in the body. “As part of improving the food attributes, we’ve been more […] Read more


Germplasm technician Laura Hoge shows how it’s done during a hands-on plant-breeding demonstration at the recent Lacombe Field Day.

A lesson in (barley) emasculation

Reporter's notebook: Pollination and plant breeding at Lacombe Field Day

Reading Time: 2 minutes The more I learn about plant breeding, the more I feel I missed my true calling in life. And a recent attempt at crossing two barley plants at the Lacombe Field Day only fuelled my secret ambition. I worked with Laura Hoge, a germplasm technician at Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, in a machine shed […] Read more