Minister MacAulay announces investment to keep Canada's crop sector on cutting edge

News release

January 15, 2019 – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Canadian field crop farmers are working hard to ensure the sector remains vibrant and strong. The crop sector is a key contributor to Canada's economy, representing $25 billion in farm gate receipts, $21 billion in exports and supporting thousands of jobs across the country while expanding markets for the sector's safe, high-quality products.

Today, Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced a federal investment of up to $39.3 million to four science clusters including barley, wheat, diverse field crops and soybean under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. These investments include an additional $28.4 million in contributions from industry, for a total investment of $67.7 million.

These new Clusters will drive innovation and discovery in the Canadian field crops sector over the next five years:

  • The Barley Cluster ($6.3 million) aims to improve productivity in the science and technology of using barley for food and increase disease resistance. The Cluster will be led by the Barley Council of Canada.
  • The Diverse Field Crop Cluster ($13.7 million) focusses on variety development, crop protection, production agronomy and value added practices to support diverse crop growth. The Cluster will be led by Ag-West Bio Inc.
  • The Wheat Cluster ($13.9 million) aims to deliver higher-yielding wheat varieties to producers, and to develop the next generation of Fusarium Head Blight resistant varieties. The Cluster will be led by the Canadian Wheat Research Coalition.
  • The Soybean Cluster ($5.4 million) will help Canadian soybean crops become more resilient and productive, increase the geographic range for growing crops and benefit the environment. The Cluster will be led by the Canadian Field Crop Research Alliance.


"The government of Canada is proud to work side-by-side with industry to help keep the Canadian field crops sector on the cutting edge. Demand for our field crops continues to grow and these investments in innovation and research will help position our farmers to grow top quality products sustainably, while meeting consumer demands at home and abroad for years to come."

- Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

"Crop diversity is essential for keeping Canada's agricultural ecosystem healthy and productive. The Diverse Field Crops Cluster research will develop these high-potential crops, and the markets to go with them. Farmers will have more high-value crops to choose from. The Diverse Field Crop Cluster will deliver both economic and environmental benefits for Canada."  

- Mike Cey, Ag-West Bio Director of Corporate Initiatives

"The investment by the federal government in the Canadian National Wheat Cluster will maintain the high quality of Canadian wheat and lead to new opportunities for producers. This collaboration between government, producers and industry will allow for greater innovation in variety development and agronomic practices that will keep wheat production strong across the country."

- Terry Young, Chair, Canadian Wheat Research Coalition

"The Canadian barley industry is very appreciative of the Government of Canada's support of the National Barley Research Cluster under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. Ongoing investment in barley research and innovation to improve varieties, production practices and utilization is vitally important to the continued sustainability and profitability of the barley value chain."

- Brian Otto, Chair, Barley Council of Canada

"Canadian soybeans continue to set a gold standard globally for quality, traceability, taste, and sustainable production.  Continued research investment in enhanced crop performance that helps grow and secure Canada's soybean market share worldwide is imperative. We are thrilled to see the Canadian government recognize the importance of research in soybean and other crop production to benefit Canadian farmers. Today's announcement is a great step in helping Canada maintain its global reputation for high-quality, sustainably grown crops."

- Salah Zoghlami, President, Canadian Field Crop Research Alliance

Quick facts

  • The Canadian field crop sector is vibrant and strong, driving $25 billion in farm gate receipts with $21 billion in exports.

  • The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3 billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen the agriculture and agri-food sector. 

  • The Partnership includes programs and activities to enhance the competitiveness of the sector through research, science and innovation. Through the AgriScience Program, a five-year, $338 million initiative, the government is supporting leading edge discovery and applied science, and innovation driven by industry research priorities.

Associated links


Katie Hawkins, Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
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