GUELPH, ONTARIO, CANADA — Canadian Parliamentary Secretary Pierre Lemieux announced on Jan. 7 an investment of up to C$422,000 to the Ontario Cereal Industry Research Council (OCIRC) to research winter wheat gluten quality. 

This research will benefit the Ontario wheat industry by identifying traits that will help build new markets for winter wheat through enhanced milling and more product uses. The goal of this research is to help farmers benefit from the development of new, locally adaptable winter wheat varieties that can meet the changing preferences of buyers.

The investment is made through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) AgriInnovation Program, a five-year, up to C$698 million initiative under Growing Forward 2. Under Growing Forward 2, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is investing C$12.5 million in a new wheat research cluster, in addition to an industry contribution of C$12.7 million. This cluster will build on an earlier AAFC investment of C$8 million under Growing Forward by continuing breeding trials that are already under way.

“Winter wheat is a significant contributor to Ontario’s economy and innovative investments like this will drive growth and productivity in the sector,” Lemieux said. “This research is expected to increase the value of winter wheat and expand market opportunities for Canadian producers.

“OCIRC’s members view this project as strategically very important to maintaining our competitive position in winter wheat in Ontario, one of our leading cash crops. We are very pleased with the research team that has been attracted to the University of Guelph to enable this project to be undertaken,” said Henry Olechowski, president of the OCIRC. Advancing our understanding of and application of protein functionality in winter wheat will enable our sector to be more innovative in processes and products.”