(Calgary, Saskatoon, Carman) – The Canadian Barley Research Coalition (CBRC), a collaboration between Alberta Barley, the Saskatchewan Barley Development Commission (SaskBarley), and Manitoba Crop Alliance (MCA), has committed more than $1.5 million over five years to a core barley breeding agreement with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC).
The agreement ensures that western Canadian farmers will have continued access to premium barley varieties from AAFC for years to come.
CBRC was officially formed earlier this year, with the goal of facilitating long-term investments aimed at improving profitability and competitiveness for western Canadian barley farmers. CBRC also assumed responsibility for farmer funding of barley varietal development from the Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF), which includes working with AAFC to ensure adequate funding is in place to deliver improved genetics and profitability for barley farmers.
“This new phase of funding will allow the continuation of ‘core’ activities for AAFC’s barley breeding programs, which aim to design new varieties that have the best sources of disease and insect resistance, are designed for western Canadian growing conditions and will deliver high quality traits for end users,” says Jason Skotheim, Chair of the CBRC and SaskBarley.
“This funding will support the development of new two-row malting varieties that are adapted to Western Canada and have improved yields, stronger straw, and higher kernel plumpness, test weight and kernel weight,” Skotheim says. “They will also have improved disease resistance, including for fusarium head blight and traits specifically designed to appeal to the evolving needs of the malting industry.”
“Public barley breeding is crucial to Canada’s agriculture sector and the barley varieties AAFC has produced to date are a tremendous return to the farmer investment in this program. This next round of investment will further leverage our check-off investments by developing varieties that will allow our farmers to stay competitive globally, especially in the malting barley world, and reduce farmer business risk.”
Jason Skotheim, SaskBarley Chair
“Manitoba Crop Alliance knows how important it is to continuously work on the improvement of barley varieties so that western Canadian farmers are able to remain competitive. We’re excited to invest in
this collaboration and are looking forward to learning about the varieties that are developed out of this funding agreement.”
Fred Greig, Manitoba Crop Alliance Chair
“We are pleased to be collaboratively investing with our fellow Prairie barley commissions and AAFC in varietal development. This investment ensures western Canadian farmers future access to improved, high-quality barley varieties. This core breeding agreement will attribute to new barley varieties providing farmers with stronger agronomic packages, plus superior end-use quality traits for the malting sector.”
David Bishop, Alberta Barley Chair
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