Does it pass the smell test? In an effort to protect wheat from one of its most virulent pests, researchers are gauging the reactions of the tiny insect to the scent of thousands of varieties.
Canada participates in a web of global food supply chains that is one of humanity’s greatest trade success stories. We remarkably enjoy products from across the globe due to the expertise of farmers, processors, logistics companies, retailers and many others that comprise this complex system.
From weevils to midges, beetles to spiders, professor and entomologist Boyd Mori examines the secret
life of bugs. He leads a team of researchers with the University of Alberta’s Agricultural and Ecological
Entomology Group. Focused on integrated pest management, the team analyzes the inner workings of
insect ecosystems. This burgeoning area of study focuses on the battles between pests and beneficial
insects within agriculture.
Recently, I gave a talk about the future of agriculture. The most difficult segment was addressing how our sector balances individuality with its dependence on systems. Systems are now part of every conversation and “systems thinking” is all the buzz.
With early snowfalls having impacted harvests in recent years, the time couldn’t be better for Dean Spaner’s wheat breeding program to hit its stride. A University of Alberta professor and plant breeder, Spaner focuses on bringing high-yielding but early-maturing wheat varieties to market. It’s a natural fit for the northernmost wheat breeding program on the continent.