Research and Development

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Does the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) fund research and development?
  • CWB has provided significant funding for research and development over the years. There is a long list of specific projects that have been supported that include funding for the University of Alberta's Agri-Food Discovery Centre, the University of Manitoba's Grain Storage research facility and the creation of an agricultural economics chair at the University of Saskatchewan, as well as funding for many other projects.
  • In addition, CWB provided annual funding for graduate research fellowships in each of the three Prairie provinces.
  • It also provided undergraduate scholarships and bursaries.
  • All of this activity was funded from CWB's special account, which is made up of uncashed producer cheques and interest (see page 86 of the CWB 2010-2011 annual report).
  • In the past, CWB has administered the research check-off for board grain for the Western Grains Research Foundation.
Will this research and development funding continue in the future?
  • Going forward, CWB will not be able to play the same role in funding research, but will certainly be open to any opportunities to participate in projects where they can see a commercial benefit.
What organizations are involved in research and development?
  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) has 19 research centers across Canada. These centers carry on significant research on sustainable and profitable crop production systems. This includes breeding crop varieties with improved yield, quality, disease and insect resistance. Work is also done on developing production systems that will contribute to reducing costs of production, increasing value and sector competiveness.
  • Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD) does ongoing research at its Field Crop Development Centre in Lacombe, Alberta and at numerous sites around Alberta.
  • The Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) has created a partnership between farmers and researchers with funds obtained in a check-off program. Approximately $4 million per year is invested in research at AAFC’s research sites in Western Canada, the Crop Development Centers at the Universities of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and ARD’s Field Crop Development Centre in Lacombe.
  • The Alberta Barley Commission, in concert with the Alberta Crop Industry Development Fund (ACIDF), the Alberta Agriculture Research Institute and other industry players, has funded research for barley.
  • Private agriculture companies are also involved in plant breeding and research, as well as are numerous other commissions and agencies.
  • The Saskatchewan and Manitoba ministries of agriculture are involved in wheat and barley research in their respective provinces.
  • ACIDF is an independent, not-for- profit company operating under the direction of 15 crop industry organizations. ACDIF is managing $8 million in funding to support market development, research and extension activities of vital interest to growers, processors and buyers of Alberta crops.
  • The Agricultural Research and Extension Council of Alberta, in addition to the work done in each of the regions, oversees province-wide initiatives including the Sustainable Grazing Mentorship Program, regional variety trials, integrated pest management and risk management strategies in wheat and other cereals, the GPS Industrial Monitoring Project and the Alberta Forage Industry Network.
  • The Alberta Winter Wheat Producers Commission and the Alberta Soft White Wheat Producers Commission are leading efforts to form a new Alberta Wheat Commission. Financial forecasts for the proposed Commission estimate annual revenue of $3.5 million based on a refundable check-off rate of $0.70/tonne. In current plans being shared with wheat producers, some $3 million a year would go to research and market development priorities. By leveraging check-off funds with funds from organizations focused on wheat research and market development, such as the WGRF and ACIDF, up to $12 million per year could be used for wheat-specific research.
  • The Canada Grain Act requires the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) to undertake, sponsor and promote research related to grains. The CGC’s Grain Research Laboratory conducts research in support of the grain quality assurance system to address emerging issues and permit the effective marketing of Canadian grain in the interests of producers and the Canadian grain industry. The Grain Research Laboratory researches methods to measure grain quality and safety, new quality and safety factors, and grain standards
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Neil Blue.
This document is maintained by Erminia Guercio.
This information published to the web on June 7, 2012.
Last Reviewed/Revised on June 22, 2018.