SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN, CANADA – World demand for food is growing and innovation will help Canadian farmers and food processors meet that demand. The Canadian government is supporting science and innovation in key growth industries, including agriculture, to secure Canada’s competitive edge in global markets, increase returns for Canadian farmers, and strengthen Canada’s middle class.

The Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and Cereals Canada released the
2017 Canadian Wheat Research Priorities Report. Wheat research priorities were developed through a national collaboration of farmers, federal and provincial governments, private development companies, public research institutions, exporters, and processors to identify the priority areas of research that public, private and producer groups should focus on for the next five years in order to ensure the strength and growth of the wheat industry in Canada.

Canada produces an average of 30 million tonnes of wheat each year and is the worlds’ largest producer of high-protein milling wheat.

Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. 
“Canada is one of the world’s top five wheat exporters with an average of C$7 billion exported annually,” said Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “This report is a great example of how collaboration between the Government of Canada, Cereals Canada and the sector can be used to identify wheat research priorities that will help respond to the evolving business needs of producers, increase agricultural sustainability and ensure top-quality products for consumers at home and abroad.”

The research priorities focus on improving wheat yield and reliability, increasing sustainability, and improving food safety such as reducing mycotoxins. Research also will increase the ability to respond to consumer needs by developing a way to capture consumer preferences and provide this information directly to researchers and purchasers.

“Agriculture and Agri-food Canada’s science and innovation play a fundamental role in helping industry respond to evolving funding needs, changing producer and consumer demands, and overall sustainability and competitiveness of the sector,” said Gilles Saindon, associate assistant deputy minister of AAFC. “This collaborative work helps focus our efforts to the areas that matter most.”

Innovation plays a significant role in the agriculture industry and Canada’s economy. It is estimated that every dollar invested in wheat research delivers a net return to producers of twenty dollars.

“Research and technology development is a competitive advantage for Canadian agriculture,” said Cam Dahl, president of Cereals Canada. “The development of a national vision shared by the entire value chain – from the field to customers – is a critically important tool that will help us maintain and develop this advantage.”