A $2.2 million investment in 11 winter wheat research and development projects is expected to help farmers access its untapped market potential.

The Alberta Wheat Commission is investing $150,000 into the projects and that is being matched by funding from Agriculture and Agri Food Canada under its Growing Forward 2 Agri Innovation program.

Dr. Brian Beres from the AAFC Lethbridge Research Station will be the research lead on the projects in cooperation with Ducks Unlimited Canada.

In a statement, the Vice President of the Alberta Wheat Commission Kevin Auch says winter wheat is already a high yielding class  with good milling properties, however the amount acres grown in Western Canada is not reflective of the market potential.

“By building on the agronomic groundwork of this class, farmers will have added incentive to grow winter wheat because of the returns it will offer,” says Auch.

Regional Agrologist of Ducks Unlimited Canada, Paul Thoroughgood says winter wheat has become one of the highest net income producing crops across the prairies.

“Agronomic research conducted in this study, including fertility, disease and weed management, stand establishment and lengthening the fall seeding window, will help more farmers realize the benefits of including winter wheat in their cropping system,” says Thoroughgood.

The projects other funding partners are Ducks Unlimited Canada, Saskatchewan Winter Cereal Development Commission, Winter Cereals Manitoba, Western Grains Research Foundation, Koch Fertilizer Canada ULC, Agrium, and Dow Agro Sciences.