Yield Expected to Become Top Research Priority Fuel By Increased Feed and Biofuel Demand

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 2246. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.
calendar icon 14 September 2006
clock icon 3 minute read
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Farm-Scape, Episode 2246

A cereal grain researcher with the University of Manitoba predicts yield will become the top priority as researchers work to develop the wheat varieties that will meet a growing demand for grain from the livestock and biofuel industries.

"How Are Cereal Breeding Programs Working to Ensure a Secure Feed Grain Supply for the Future" will be one of the topics examined Tuesday morning in Winnipeg during the opening session of the 27th Western Nutrition Conference.

Dr. Anita Brûlé-Babel, with the University of Manitoba department of plant science, notes there is a number of factors causing concern for the feedgrain industry right now.

One of the concerns is the expansion of the livestock industry and the greater demand that's imposed on feedgrains for the purpose of feeding animals but we also see an emerging ethanol industry which will be trying to source similar types of grains for ethanol and, in particular in western Canada wheat based ethanol production will be the primary feedstock that will be used for ethanol production.

With the expansion also of the primarily corn based ethanol in the US even the availability of corn to import into southern Manitoba. for instance, will be a concern in the future.

There are predictions in the US that they will become a net importer of feed grains themselves as the ethanol industry progresses within their own country.

That is part of the reason why there is some concern in terms of availability of good feedstocks at reasonable prices for the feed industry."

Dr. Brûlé-Babel suggests, if your going to produce a grain for either an industrial use or for a feed use, you want to be able to produce a reasonably high yielding crop because the price producers can get for that crop will be lower than for a hard red spring milling quality.

She notes another goal is improving fusarium head blight resistance because fusarium produces toxins in the grain that make them unsuitable for certain animal feeds.

Staff Farmscape.Ca

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