Latest articles


Where to next for soft white wheat?

Brewers and bran markets are still buying, but the heady days of the 1990s are gone

Two years ago, word spread early in the summer of an unexpected premium for soft white winter wheat, once a powerhouse in cereal production in Ontario. It wasn’t that pastry chefs or bakers had awakened to the benefits of home-grown soft white wheat, it was just that a new Kellogg’s plant in Mexico had miscalculated […] Read more


Something old for something new

This century-old malt barley variety is set to launch a renaissance in the brewing sector

The key to branding any product is to start with a good story, and the recently re-instated registration of OAC21, a six-rowed malting barley, is a “feel good” story, particularly with Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017. On its own, OAC21 isn’t expected to ever become a huge opportunity for Ontario farmers, but maybe it doesn’t […] Read more



Detecting spoilage before it starts

An adaptation of cancer-screening technology offers a better and safer way to check for grain bin moisture, with a bonus of theft detection

An electromagnetic imaging technique originally designed to detect breast cancer tumours is now being adapted for a totally different use — locating spoiled grain in bins. The research project at the University of Manitoba uses electromagnetic imaging (EMI) to create a 3D profile of a bin, showing pockets of moisture which can overheat and spoil. […] Read more




Cutting down on the salt

Bakers at Cigi are showing international customers how to bake bread with less sodium

The bakers at the Canadian International Grains Institute (Cigi) are hearing the same message as the rest of us: Cut down on the salt. “The aim of Cigi’s pilot bakery is to replicate what the industry does,” says Yvonne Supeene, head of baking technology. “We reduced the salt level in all bread formulations, and in […] Read more


Building a complete protein package

Bringing wheat and pulses together for healthier baked products — a formula for new opportunities

As more innovative uses for pulses are explored in response to global demand for healthier food products, Canadian pulse producers may look forward to increasing demand for their crops. Together with Warburtons, the U.K.’s largest bakery brand, the Canadian International Grains Institute is undertaking its most comprehensive investigation into quality characteristics and functionality of pulses […] Read more



Crown rust comes after oats

Part of the management challenge comes from its sources and its choice as a cover crop

In a production agriculture world where corn and soybeans have dominated the scene for much of the last 25 years, oats are supposedly one of the forgotten crops. There have been attempts to revive the grain’s standing, including the formation of the Oat and Barley Council of Ontario back in the early 2000s, as well […] Read more


Soft white spring wheat spreads east

Ethanol drives new demand while research adapts SWSW to new regions

Until relatively recently, there were few producers outside the irrigation belt of southern Alberta who had ever heard of, much less planted, soft white spring wheat (SWSW). However, backed by 50 years of research, the wheat class is suddenly showing a new potential to be grown on more acres and in more areas, and for […] Read more



Is climate change making leaf diseases worse?

Durum quality took a beating last year, and climate change could see more of the same

It is difficult — even impossible — to define the precise relationship between climate change and disease incidence and severity in Western Canada. But new research from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Swift Current Research and Development Centre is contributing a few pieces to the puzzle. Research scientist Myriam Fernandez says breeding for resistance to the […] Read more


The more you spend, the less they work

If you want to keep using herbicides, give them an occasional rest and try a winter cereal or a heavier seeding rate

Neil Harker says that when you no longer have the big hammers in the tool box, it’s time to use the little ones. For the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) weed scientist, wild oat herbicides are the big hammers, and the little ones are integrated weed management practices. Harker says that although western Canadian producers […] Read more