Minister MacAulay announces investment for Western Grains Research Foundation to grow the agronomy sector


Source: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Today, the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, announced an investment of over $4 million to the Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) under the AgriScience Program – Clusters Component, part of the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

Agronomy, or the science and practice of crop production and farmland management, brings together knowledge of how plants, soils, insects, microorganisms and climate interact with each other in a given area. The Agronomy Cluster will deliver innovative research and knowledge transfer resulting in more resilient, productive crops and increased yields.

WGRF makes investments in crop research to benefit western Canadian grain farmers. One of the priority areas for WGRF is funding integrated crop agronomy. To reach this goal, the WGRF has established six cross-cutting research priorities: weed management, disease management, insect pest management, plant nutrition, response to weather variability and climate change, and sustainable resource management.

It’s expected that the research activities in this Cluster will generate a better understanding of the relationship between soil moisture conditions and the productivity and profitability of management strategies in western Canada, increase economic returns through developing and optimizing site-specific cropping systems in Western Canada, and facilitate the adoption of a biovigilance-based approach to weed mitigation in the Canadian prairies.

The Cluster consists of research activities in each of the AgriScience program priority areas: Climate Change and Environment, Economic Growth and Development, and Sector Resilience and Societal Changes.


“Agronomic practices that support resilient and profitable crop production are vital to our sector and to Canada’s economy. This important research that will be done across the country through this cluster will help to give farmers better solutions to the agronomic challenges they face, while improving profitability and incorporating climate-friendly practices to keep the sector well-positioned for the future.

– The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“Opportunities and challenges in crop production cannot always be addressed by studying individual crops in isolation, it is important to include the interaction of crops within a cropping system. This Cluster provides WGRF the opportunity to continue funding multi crop agronomic research that will ultimately provide farmers valuable insight and tools as they tackle widespread agronomic challenges.”

– Laura Reiter, chair, Western Grains Research Foundation

Quick facts

  • The principal field crops sector produced an estimated 96.2 million tonnes of grains, oilseeds, pulses and special crops in 2022, on seeded area of 31.5 million hectares (77.8 million acres).
  • The sector generated approximately $39.0 billion in farm cash receipts in 2022, up from $32.3 billion in 2021.
  • In 2021, there were 65,135 principal field crop farms in Canada according to the Census of Agriculture, representing 34.3% of all farms.
  • The AgriScience Program, under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership, aims to accelerate innovation by providing funding and support for pre-commercial science activities and research that benefits the agriculture and agri-food sector, and Canadians.
    • The Clusters Component, under the AgriScience Program, supports projects intended to mobilize industry, government and academia through partnerships, and address priority national themes and horizontal issues.
    • The application intake period is closed.
  • The Western Grains Research Foundation is a farmer-funded and farmer-directed non-profit organization investing in agricultural research that benefits western Canadian producers.