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$2.7M to go to USask CDC barley breeding activities

By: Kara Oosterhuis

September 15, 2020

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The Canadian Barley Research Coalition (CBRC) — which consists of Sask Barley, Alberta Barley, and the Manitoba Crop Alliance — is investing $2.7 million over five years in the University of Saskatchewan’s (USask) Crop Development Centre (CDC) through a core breeding agreement to develop barley varieties with improved agronomics, disease resistance, and end-use quality.

The CDC is known for its research excellence in developing high-performing crop varieties. CBRC interim chair Jason Skotheim says the agreement with the CDC will ensure that western Canadian barley farmers will have access to new and improved barley varieties over the next five years.

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“This investment into the CDC breeding program will produce deliverables that will allow our farmers to stay competitive,” Skotheim says. “The last round of producer funding provided to the CDC saw the registration of two new malting varieties, one feed variety, and one hulless variety. In the next five years, we expect another three varieties to be released. This will have major benefits to our farmers.”

This kind of funding is imperative to keep a multi-million dollar breeding program like the CDC going, and helps continue to create new markets and opportunities for a wide variety of crop producers.

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“We are very pleased with the long-term funding from the CBRC and appreciate the confidence they have in our program,” explains CDC barley breeder, Aaron Beattie. “We look forward to continuing to deliver improved varieties to the Canadian barley industry and providing value to all within the value chain.

The organization will also provide funding for qualifying regional projects that align with the variety development and agronomic priorities.

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