Front Page

Front Page

Profitable, Productive Wheat

Wheat in the hand

Canada is a major wheat producing nation. Wheat crops contribute $11B annually to Canada’s economy. However, Canadian wheat crops are impacted by changing climate conditions, as well as diseases and pests, resulting in a continued need to produce increasingly productive and resilient varieties of high-quality wheat.

Canadian Wheat Alliance (CWA)

CWA represents an unprecedented 11-year commitment among Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the University of Saskatchewan, the province of Saskatchewan and the National Research Council Canada, to support and advance research that will improve the profitability of Canadian wheat producers. CWA will align their complementary areas in six high-priority research areas. CWA also welcomes the engagement of both the public and private sector.

The CWA is focused on the acceleration of trait development to  reduce losses due to drought, heat, cold stress, diseases and reduce fertilizer requirements, and ultimately increasing the rate of genetic gain incorporated into new wheat varieties.


Accelerating Variety Development

  1. Genomics Assisted Breeding (GAB)
    To improve genomic resources for faster gene discovery and novel identification and validation

  2. Wheat Improvement through Cell Technologies (WICT)
    To improve the efficiency of the doubled haploidy system for multiple genotypes

Sustainable Yields – Coping with Variable Climates

  1. Enhanced Fusarium and Rust Tolerance (EFRT)
    To characterize disease resistant genes and to breed novel varieties for durable fusarium and rust resistance

  2. Improving Wheat Productivity under Conditions of Abiotic Stress (Abiotic stress project)
    To improve plants with drought, heat and cold tolerance

Increased Productivity and Sustainable Profitability

  1. Targeting Developmental Pathways to Improve seed Yield and Crop Performance (Development project)
    To discover and deploy genes associated with performance and seed yield

  2. Beneficial Biotic Interactions (BBI)
    To enhance nutrient use efficiency and improve plant health through modified microbial communities


CWA will undertake R&D projects that will improve the yield of Canadian wheat varieties by reducing losses from drought, heat, cold and diseases. The targeted specifications for new Canadian spring and winter wheat varieties include:

  • Increase yield on a per acre basis
  • Increase in resiliency to climate stresses and diseases
  • Shorten and improve the efficiency of the wheat breeding cycle
  • Reduce the nitrogen fertilizer requirements