Gluten quality studied in Ont.

Ottawa is spending more than $400,000 to fund a research project that will examine gluten quality in Ontario winter wheat.

Pierre Lemieux, parliamentary secretary for agriculture minister Gerry Ritz, made the funding announcement Jan. 7 in Guelph, Ont.

The government is committing $422,000 to the project, which will be conducted by the Ontario Cereal Industry Research Council (OCIRC).

Lemieux said the research will benefit the Ontario wheat industry by identifying traits associated with enhanced milling properties.

It could open up new markets for Ontario winter wheat by identifying new products and increasing use of the crop by processors and food manufacturers.

It’s also hoped that the research will spur the development of new, locally adapted winter wheat varieties that can meet buyers’ changing preferences.

A new winter wheat initiative is also being launched in Western Canada, aimed at boosting production and supporting prairie farmers who want to grow the crop.

Bayer CropScience, Ducks Unlimited and Richardson International set up the Western Winter Wheat Initiative on the premise that winter wheat is a valuable crop for Western Canada.

The launch of the new organization was scheduled to take place Jan. 31 at the Saskatchewan Winter Cereals Development Commissions’ annual general meeting in Saskatoon.

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