The ability of legumes to self-fertilize by fixing nitrogen from the air is well-known. Developing this ability in grains, however, could radically change Canadian cereal crop production. Such an innovation has the potential to diminish input costs and decrease environmental impact, but making it happen is a complex and challenging task. Alicja Ziemienowicz, a research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Lethbridge Research and Development Centre, is working to solve this tricky biological puzzle. While her research began in 2014, and has yielded impressive results, it could be more than a decade from now until we see nitrogen-fixing grains blowing in the wind.
With more than a handful of classes to choose from, deciding what wheat to put into the ground can be a tough decision. Farmers need to constantly look at their growing conditions, soil and climate type, market potential, and if it’s needed as a crop rotation to break up pest and disease cycles. Three Hills-area farmer and writer Sarah Weigum asked three Alberta farmers: How do you decide what type of wheat to plant?
Wheat is Canada’S major commodity crop, and one of the most popular food crops in the world—yet for the last 20 years, research has lagged and production has decreased. A new research alliance is bringing together some of the superpowers in Canadian genetic research and cereal development to fill the gap and ensure future competitiveness of Canadian wheat farmers.