Developing premium varieties of Winter Wheat to improve farmers’ bottom line.

Speaking at Farming Smarter’s WheatStalk in Lethbridge, Agriculture and Agri-Food research scientist Dr. Rob Graf says he is excited about a research project, which is showing promise after about 15 years of work.

“Developing red winter varieties with a quality profile similar to our red spring wheat,” said Graf.

The research scientist says they are still about a decade away from having this in the hands of farmers.

However, when they do get it to them, it will help their bottom line.

“From the standpoint of developing what I would call a premium quality winter wheat,  the idea if we can hit that Canada Western Red Spring target, of course, that is the class of wheat in western Canada that garners the best price.”

“If we can achieve that in winter wheat the hope would be that type of price would be available to farmers as well in a winter wheat type.  Combined with that 25 per cent yield advantage or more, that winter wheat the bottom line should be good for that type of wheat.”

Graf says these varieties will raise the bar even higher for winter wheat.

On top of this, Graf says they are really concentrating on improved disease resistance.

“For Alberta, we concentrate on stripe rust resistance as well as Fusarium Head Blight, Wheat Curl Mite Resistance to give us resistance to Wheat Streak Mosaic.”