GFM Network News


Since 2013, the University of Alberta’s wheat-breeding program has developed 14 new wheat varieties for western Canadian farmers.

Renowned U of A wheat-breeding program hanging on — for now

It’s now cranking out new varieties but government cuts threaten program’s revival, says top breeder

Reading Time: 3 minutes Further cuts to post-secondary institutions could lead to the “canola-ization” of wheat breeding. And that’s not a good thing, says one of the country’s top wheat breeders. “I think farmers would say the canola experience is a mistake — letting private enterprise take it over,” said University of Alberta professor, Dean Spaner. “Effectively, they’re breeding […] Read more

University of Alberta wheat breeders supported

University of Alberta wheat breeders supported

Reading Time: < 1 minute 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 […] Read more


U of A gets more funding from grains foundation

U of A gets more funding from grains foundation

Reading Time: < 1 minute The University of Alberta is getting a research plot seeder and combine for its wheat-breeding program thanks to a $289,000 grant from the Western Grains Research Foundation. The program focuses on development of hard red (CWRS) and high-yield (CPS) spring wheat varieties, and also conducts research into genetics of disease resistance, nitrogen-use efficiency in wheat, […] Read more

‘Genomic atlas’ a boon for wheat breeders

‘Genomic atlas’ a boon for wheat breeders

Reading Time: < 1 minute An international team of nearly 100 researchers led by the University of Saskatchewan has sequenced the genomes for 15 wheat varieties. “By having many complete gene assemblies available, we can now help solve the huge puzzle that is the massive wheat pan-genome and usher in a new era for wheat discovery and breeding,” said project […] Read more


(Jack Dykinga photo courtesy ARS/USDA)

Prairie wheat commissions to collaborate on research funding

The Prairie provinces’ three wheat commissions are set to take a team approach to research funding through a new not-for-profit body. The Alberta Wheat Commission, Sask Wheat and the Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association on Tuesday announced the formation of the Canadian Wheat Research Coalition (CWRC) to “facilitate long-term investments aimed at improving profitability […] Read more

(Jack Dykinga photo courtesy ARS/USDA)

Minogue: Wanna start a cereal seed company?

It’s clear from where the Prairies’ cereal growers’ groups sit that it’s time for farmers to get more involved in wheat and barley breeding — and they have a new report in hand suggesting ways to do so. Options in the report, from the newly-formed Wheat and Barley Variety Working Group, range from improving the […] Read more