Research roundup

FIND OUT WHAT’S NEW IN THE WORLD OF RESEARCH

In this special edition of Research Roundup, we profile one of the research organizations Grain Farmers of Ontario is an active member of.


Spotlight on the CFCRA
Josh Cowan
The Canadian Field Crop Research Alliance (CFCRA) is a not-for-profit entity founded in 2010 with an interest in advancing the genetic capacity of field crops in Canada, particularly soybean, corn, wheat, barley, and oat. The Alliance is comprised of provincial farm organizations and industry partners, including: Grain Farmers of Ontario; Fédération des producteurs de cultures commerciales du Québec; Manitoba Pulse Growers Association; Manitoba Corn Growers Association; Atlantic Grains Council; SeCan Association; and PepsiCo Foods Canada.

The CFCRA recently announced the results of a three-year (2010-2013) research project “Advancing Canadian Field Crops through Breeding for Production Efficiency, Pest Resistance, and Consumer Quality.”  It was an industry and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) collaboration under the Developing Innovative Agri-Products (DIAP) initiative of the Growing Canadian Agri-Innovations Program under Growing Forward 1 (GF1). The project, a $5.7 million research investment, was completed in March 2013 and engaged both AAFC scientists and scientists working in Canadian universities and other public research centres.

The overarching goal of this public research program was to provide Canada’s soybean, corn, wheat, barley, and oat producers with continued access to enhanced genetics for high-yielding, disease and insect pest resistant varieties while also addressing the needs of the market for value-added traits that deliver higher levels of nutrition and improved processing attributes. Promising varieties developed through this research program are being commercialized in Canada.

INNOVATION HIGHLIGHTS:
Corn
Five licensed inbreds have been released and requested by the seed corn industry and two have improved resistance to Gibberella ear rot and eyespot.

Soybean
29 licensed varieties (nine food grade and 20 dual-purpose food grade/ oilseed varieties) with improved characteristics including high yield, soybean cyst nematode (SCN) resistance, and value-added qualities (natto- and tofu-specific soybeans).

Winter Wheat
Three licensed soft red winter wheat varieties with improvements in disease resistance, processing attributes, and improved yield.

Spring Wheat
Two licensed varieties with improved yield, processing quality, and disease resistance.

Barley
13 lines supported for registration and available for license with improved feed quality, resistance to Fusarium, and yield.
 
Oat
Five licensed varieties with improved yield, quality, and disease resistance.

Improved breeding tools and techniques for the target crops, especially in the area of early-maturity in soybeans, moisture and disease resistance in corn, and Fusarium resistance in wheat were also developed during the research project.

NEXT STEPS
To build on the success of this DIAP project, the CFCRA is now investing in two five-year Cluster projects under the Growing Forward 2 AgriInnovation Program (2013-2018). These projects will continue to provide Canada’s soybean, corn, wheat, oat, and barley producers with access to enhanced genetics for high-yielding, disease-resistant varieties while also addressing the needs of the market for value-added traits that deliver higher levels of nutrition and improved processing attributes.

The $10.3 million “Canadian Field Crop Genetics Improvement Cluster” led by the CFCRA in collaboration with AAFC will target genetic improvement in Canada-wide soybean and grain corn, and eastern Canadian oat and barley specialized for the climate and target markets of Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada.

The $25.2 million “National Wheat Improvement Program” led by the Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) in collaboration with the CFCRA, Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC), and AAFC will target genetic improvement in Canada-wide winter and spring wheat. •

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THE ONTARIO GRAIN FARMER magazine strives to be the number one source of information for our province’s grain farmers. With a balanced mix of production, marketing, technology, research, and general interest articles, we provide farmers with valuable information in an easy-to-read format. As the flagship publication of Grain Farmers of Ontario, the Ontario Grain Farmer is a magazine that is made by farmers, for farmers. The magazine is an important tool that supports the organization’s vision to drive the Ontario grain industry to become a global leader.