The Making of Wheat Warriors: Canadian Wheat Stands Out
Wheat is a vital part of Canada's agriculture industry, so protecting these crops involves warrior-like work by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), especially when it comes to a new threat: Ug99. Ug99 is a potentially devastating wheat-stem rust that's been wreaking havoc on wheat supplies around the globe. To date, Canada has been lucky, as the disease hasn't been identified in North American crops.
Scientists at the Morden Research and Development Centre are playing a proactive role in protecting our wheat crops by identifying genes that are resistant to Ug99. This research is ongoing, with resistant genes being discovered across the country that can be used in wheat breeding programs. Canadians are big consumers of bread, pasta and other wheat products, and Canada is a major exporter of wheat, so their work is critical to protecting our food supply and our economy.
The preventative work of AAFC is also providing benefits far beyond our borders, with seed samples of resistant Canadian varieties being sent to wheat breeders in the United States and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT).
- In 2016, approximately 60% of our wheat (including durum) was exported abroad, contributing over $6 billion to our economy.
More facts in a snapshot
Consult We Grow a Lot More Than You May Think to learn facts on the agriculture and agri-food sector in Canada.
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