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Crop Genetic Improvement

Approximately $8 billion of farm cash receipts in Saskatchewan are derived directly from the sale of crops. Saskatchewan has more than 40 per cent of the arable cropland in Canada and is a major producer and exporter of wheat, barley, oat, flax, canola, pulse crops, canaryseed and mustard.

This theme area focuses on improvement of the agronomic and quality characteristics of pulse crops, cereals and flax for food, feed and industrial uses.

A second objective focuses on diversification within these crops to develop new market classes that add value and provide the basis for value-added processing and industrial development within the province.

Download the The Program Framework for the SRP Chairs at the Crop Development Centre

The seven SRP Chairs in the Crop Genetic Improvement theme are:

CWRS Wheat, Specialty Wheats and Canaryseed Breeding and Genetics - Dr. Pierre Hucl

  • Goals:
    • To develop cultivars adapted to Saskatchewan with improved yield-maturity relationships, quality and disease resistance.
    • To incorporate and evaluate new and existing sources of Fusarium Head Blight resistance.
    • To introduce and evaluate unique wheat germplasm for use in developing cultivars for Saskatchewan.

Durum and High-Yield Wheat Breeding and Genetics - Dr. Curtis Pozniak

  • Goals:
    • To increase diversification, sustainability and profitability of wheat production in Saskatchewan
    • To support expanded food, industrial and feed processing industries in the province through the development of improved wheat varieties

Barley and Oat Breeding and Genetics - Dr. Aaron Beattie

  • Goals
    • To improve agronomic traits including disease resistance, maturity, lodging resistance and shattering, enhanced yield potential and improved stress tolerance.
    • To improve quality traits: enhance desirable quality parameters, reduce undesirable quality factors and modify chemical composition to foster development of new uses for barley and oat and their components.

Flax Breeding and Genetics - Dr. Helen Booker

  • Goal - To create flax cultivars for Saskatchewan with improved agronomic, quality and market traits.

Field Pea Breeding and Genetics - Dr. Tom Warkentin

  • Goal - To develop early maturing, high yielding field pea cultivars with resistance to powdery mildew, mycosphaerella blight and lodging with acceptable quality for export and domestic food and feed markets.

Cereal and Flax Crop Pathology - Dr. Randy Kutcher

  • Goal - To increase understanding of disease biology, pathogenic variation, disease epidemiology and host-pathogen relationships in Fusarium Head Blight of cereals, cereal seedborne and leaf diseases, wheat rusts and flax diseases such as wilt, powdery mildew, pasmo and rust.

Pulse Crop Pathology - Dr. Sabine Banniza

  • Goal - To develop disease management strategies and pulse crop resistance to pathogens.

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