Sask. wheat growers contribute to research

The Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission will contribute $3.6 million to 23 research projects that received funding under the province’s Agriculture Development Fund program in 2020.

SaskWheat collects producer checkoffs on wheat that is produced and sold in the province. The checkoffs are invested on behalf of the province’s wheat producers into priority areas that include wheat research, farmer advocacy, market development and extension activities.

“The ADF funding process allows producers to be involved in important research that will build long-term, sustainable growth for the industry,” said SaskWheat chair Brett Halstead, a grain grower from Nokomis, Sask.

“We are pleased to partner with the Government of Saskatchewan and collaborate with other ADF co-funders to invest in new opportunities for wheat producers and strengthen the future of Canadian agriculture.”

The ADF is one of the province’s primary sources of agricultural research funding.

Research projects that are supported under the ADF program receive funding from federal government and provincial governments.

Some ADF projects may receive additional support from co-funding organizations, including provincial producer commissions such as SaskWheat.

ADF projects that will receive co-funding from SaskWheat beginning this year include those related to fusarium head blight and ergot resistance, next generation fungicides, fungi and deoxynivalenol (DON) diagnostic tools, integrated pest management strategies for kochia, identification of genome structural variants for trait improvement, and grain protein and yield studies in durum and Canada Western Red Spring wheat varieties. Since 2014, SaskWheat has committed more than $12.9 million to projects through the ADF program.

SaskWheat’s mission is to provide financial support for activities that contribute to profitable and sustainable wheat production for Saskatchewan growers.

In the seven-year period ending July 31, 2020, the organization has committed more than $42 million to 161 research projects. That included research commitments of $23 million on 27 projects last year alone.

Nonetheless, SaskWheat’s equity position continues to grow.

In 2019-20, the organization collected nearly $6.18 million more than it spent, thanks to larger-than-expected revenues and lower-than-budgeted expenditures, partly due to COVID-19 restrictions.

As of July 31, 2020, unrestricted equity held by SaskWheat was valued at approximately $31 million.

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