Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Bob Bjornerud and Member of Parliament Kelly Block (Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar), on behalf of federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, announced a record $8.3 million in crop-related research funding from the Saskatchewan Agriculture Development Fund (ADF). The record amount of funding is being awarded to 34 crop-related research projects.

"As the world population grows, research will be more important than ever to ensuring our producers have the tools they need to continue meeting the demands for safe, reliable agriculture products, both at home and abroad," Bjornerud said. "This record funding will support projects that will ultimately create long-term benefits for producers at the farmgate."

"This funding goes a long way to support research that is being done right here in Saskatchewan," Block said. "And innovation in agriculture strengthens the economy as a whole."

Crop-related research projects receiving funding in 2012 include:

  • improving yields and disease-resistance in wheat, barley and flax;
  • increasing lentil yields and marketability through fertilization and genetic analysis;
  • studying infrared technology to screen out fusarium-infected wheat and barley seeds;
  • nutritional and quality analysis of peas, oats and saskatoon berries;
  • increasing profitability for wheat and lentil producers through genetic developments;
  • reducing yield losses in pulse crops due to drought;
  • increasing flax seed size to improve yields;
  • identifying clubroot resistant genes in canola; and
  • identifying factors that cause blackleg disease in canola.

"Research is critical to the success of canola producers and we support these projects which will help improve farmers' profits," SaskCanola Chair Brett Halstead said. "SaskCanola thanks the federal and provincial governments for further supporting producers through this new research funding."

"The pulse industry in Saskatchewan continues to grow, thanks to continued investments in research and we appreciate this new funding to benefit producers," SaskPulse Chair Lee Moats said.

"This research funding will result in new innovations and technologies to improve production, increase returns at the farmgate, and help Saskatchewan wheat farmers remain competitive internationally," Western Canadian Wheat Growers Chair Gerrid Gust said.

"Research is a priority for barley producers and we appreciate this funding to help address disease issues, increase yields and grow our industry," Western Barley Growers Association Director Tom Hewson said. "This investment will also lead to additional funding from other research partners, which is good news for our entire industry."

ADF provides funding to help institutions, companies and industry organizations conduct research, development and value-added activities that will benefit Saskatchewan farmers and ranchers. A complete list of all approved projects is available at www.agriculture.gov.sk.ca/ADF.

This ADF funding is being provided under the federal-provincial Growing Forward framework.