The federal government has announced new funding for grain research in western Canada focused on a number of topics.

Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, announced the investment of over $4 million to the Western Grains Research Foundation.

That will go towards the WGRF's AgriScience Program – Clusters Component, part of the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

The government said in its release that the Agronomy Cluster will deliver innovative research and knowledge transfer resulting in more resilient, productive crops and increased yields.

“Agronomic practices that support resilient and profitable crop production are vital to our sector and to Canada’s economy. This important research that will be done across the country through this cluster will help to give farmers better solutions to the agronomic challenges they face," said MacAuley, "While improving profitability and incorporating climate-friendly practices to keep the sector well-positioned for the future."

One of the priority areas for the WGRF is funding integrated crop agronomy. To reach this goal, the WGRF has established six cross-cutting research priorities: weed management, disease management, insect pest management, plant nutrition, response to weather variability and climate change, and sustainable resource management.

The government is expecting that the research activities in this Cluster will generate a better understanding of the relationship between soil moisture conditions and the productivity and profitability of management strategies in western Canada, increase economic returns through developing and optimizing site-specific cropping systems in Western Canada, and facilitate the adoption of a biovigilance-based approach to weed mitigation in the Canadian prairies.

“Opportunities and challenges in crop production cannot always be addressed by studying individual crops in isolation," said Laura Reiter, Chair for the Western Grains Research Foundation, "It is important to include the interaction of crops within a cropping system. This Cluster provides WGRF the opportunity to continue funding multi crop agronomic research that will ultimately provide farmers valuable insight and tools as they tackle widespread agronomic challenges.”