Wheat projects get $750,000

The Alberta Wheat Commission is investing nearly $750,000 in five wheat-related research projects in Alberta and Ontario, the commission announced this week.

The investments are part of AWC’s commitment to provide western Canadian wheat farmers with innovative tools and solutions that improve crop performance and profitability.

“Investing in research is a key priority for AWC as it ensures farmers have access to tools and technology that will improve efficiencies, as well as innovative ways to solve some of the challenges we face during the growing season,” said commission chair Kevin Auch.

“I look forward to seeing the results of these projects and extending the outcomes to farmers.”

The five projects will take place at field research institutions in Alberta and Ontario.

The projects are funded through the Ag Funding Consortium, a partnership of 13 organizations.

The five projects will examine:

  • beneficial management practices for hail damaged crops;
  • advanced monitoring programs for assessing and understanding stripe rust in Western Canada;
  • improved water use efficiency for better yield and drought tolerance;
  • new, low-cost testing technology for mycotoxin detection;
  • new tools to improve wheat yields under normal and abiotic stress conditions.

Other funding partners include the Western Grains Research Foundation, Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission and Alberta Innovates – Bio Solutions.

AWC’s investment triggered an additional $622,000 from other funding partners.

The AWC is a producer-funded research commission that collects levies on each tonne of wheat produced in the province and uses the revenue to support wheat-related research projects that benefit farmers and the wheat industry.

In 2014-15, the commission collected $6.4 million in refundable producer levies and issued refunds to growers worth $285,000.

The commission invested roughly $2.4 million in research and market development activities.

Adminstrative costs and salaries for commission staff cost about $900,000.

The commission reported a budget surplus last year of slightly less than $2 million.

Net assets as of July 31, 2015, were estimated at $8.35 million, including $4.9 million in cash, $1 million in accounts receivable, and $2 million in restricted investments.

A copy of AWC’s latest annual report can be viewed on-line at www.albertawheat.com/about/annual-reports-and-strategic-plan.

Additional details on the commission’s latest research funding announcement can be viewed at www.albertawheat.com/media/press-releases.

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