The Saskatoon-based Western Grains Research Foundation has signed a new five year wheat and barley breeding agreement with Agriculture Canada.
The Foundation will invest 20 million dollars into wheat breeding and 1.4 million dollars into barley breeding programs.
The funds come from farmer check-offs on wheat and barley sold in western Canada and represent the biggest ever industry investment in research at Agriculture Canada.
Garth Patterson, executive director of the Research Foundation, says the partnership will see research into such areas as wheat and barley diseases like fusarium, enhancing crop resistance to insects, drought and flooding, and developing genetic markers for plant breeding selection.
It takes an average ten to 13 years on average for a new variety to become commercially available.
A University of Saskatchewan study found for every check-off dollar invested in variety development of wheat returned over 20 dollars.