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$12 million crop research projects include new markets, disease control

Most of the funds will stay in Saskatchewan
agronomist in field
An agronomist in a field. (Shutterstock)

Joint federal/provincial announcement of $12 million for 44 projects in crop research has focused on adding value to crops and disease protection.

Among canola projects, $360,000 funds research into molecular basis for resistance to sclerotinia, while $247,000 will research extraction of vitamins and bio-actives from canola crush byproduct.

A $357,000 project will work on a gene editing program to improve canola resistance to club root.

And $519,000 goes to developing practical oilseed products including canola sugar, canola ethanol and hull fuel.

Under cereals, one $99,000 project will try to develop a triticale variety with wheat-like baking qualities.

A $373,000 project will work on novel technologies for controlling herbicide resistant wild oats in wheat, while $269,000 will go to develop a line of spring wheat carrying a hairy glaume trait for midge resistance.

The breeding of milling oat varieties with better quality and disease resistance will cost $1.25 million.

Chickpea research involves $360,000 to work on emulsifier functions to standardize the process and develop new food products. A $433,000 project seeks to use wild chickpea traits to improve yield of cultivated chickpeas.

A $115,000 project seeks to increase value of wrinkled peas by extracting proteins and starches while a $275,000 plan seeks genetic improvement of protein and seed quality in peas.

A $2.4 million project on yellow peas will work on a three per cent increase in protein content to 26 per cent, improved amino acid profile and more rapid genomic tools to help speed use of these benefits.

Considering hemp protein and oil powders for functional food use will take $200,000, while value added processing of protein and starch from canary seed gets $200,000.

And $570,000 funds a broad defence protecting crops that have no genetic or chemical resistance against aschochyta blight and aphanomyces root rot.

Federal and provincial funds were augmented with $3.6 million from seven partners that included Western Grains Foundation, $1.75 million; Saskatchewan Canola Development Commission, $604,000; and the Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission, $550,000.

Most of the funds stay in Saskatchewan, with $8.4 million to the University of Saskatchewan alone and $2.1 million to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada researchers.

Of the $12 million, pulse crops received $5.7 million with $2.9 million for oilseeds and $2 million for cereals.
Ron Walter can be reached at

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