A new study out of Western Canada claims the return on wheat breeding is $33 for every dollar invested.
The authors said they considered only the impact on yield, not other factors such as insect and disease control achieved via other methods such as pesticides and the benefits from adopting improved management practices.
Farmers support wheat breeding via checkoffs.
The organizations involved are members of the Canadian Wheat Research Coalition (CWRC). They are the Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission, Alberta Wheat Commission, and Manitoba Crop Alliance, along with the Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF), and the Saskatchewan Winter Cereals Development Commission (SWCDC).
“This study clearly indicates that farmer investment in public breeding programs is working and is providing substantive returns to farmers,” said Fred Greig, chairman of the CWRC and Manitoba Crop Alliance representative.
“Our measure is conservative because we don’t include many other potential benefits. It does provide a very defendable estimate because we can measure it accurately,” said Gray.
“Wheat yields are something that everybody sees. They understand that the new varieties are better than the older varieties, yielding better, and improved yields are the key trait that delivers value back to the producer.”
Grain Farmers of Ontario contributes to wheat breeding programs here.