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The University of Saskatchewan Crop Development Centre Presentation to Sask Flax Development Commission Dorothy Murrell Managing Director, CDC

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Crop Development Centre. The University of Saskatchewan Crop Development Centre Presentation to Sask Flax Development Commission Dorothy Murrell Managing Director, CDC January 12, 2009. Crop Development Centre. The Crop Development Centre is a field crop research organization

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Crop Development Centre

The University of Saskatchewan

Crop Development Centre

Presentation to Sask Flax Development Commission

Dorothy Murrell

Managing Director, CDC

January 12, 2009


Crop Development Centre

The Crop Development Centre

is a field crop research organization

which seeks to improve economic returns for farmers

and the agriculture industry of western Canada

by improving existing crops,

creating new uses for traditional crops,

and developing new crops.


Crop Development Centre

Or: all great ideas boil down to hard work.


Crop Development Centre

History of CDC

  • Began in 1971 at the U of S with funding from National Research Council and Saskatchewan Agriculture
  • Core group in 70s included Ron Bhatty, Larry Gusta, Al Slinkard, Gordon Rowland, Brian Fowler, John Burdall, Brian Rossnagel
  • Formed to provide long term and continuous genetic improvement to the farmers of Saskatchewan
  • Focused on existing and new crop development, with a strong agronomic and extension component
  • Has continued to the present day on SMA base funding, funding from private and public sources, & infrastructure support from U of S
cdc scientists
Sabine Banniza

Pulse pathologist

Pierre Hucl

Bread wheat & canaryseed breeder

Curt McCartney

Cereal pathologist

Curtis Pozniak

Durum & high yielding

wheat breeder

Gordon Rowland

Flax breeder

Brian Rossnagel

Barley and oat breeder

Tom Warkentin

Pea breeder

Bunyamin Tar’an (SPG)

Chickpea breeder

Bert Vandenberg (AFIF Chair)

Lentil and bean breeder

CDC Scientists

Crop Development Centre

related scientists
Kirstin Bett (U of S)

Bean breeder

Bob Bors (U of S)

Small fruit breeder

Ravi Chibbar (Canada Research Chair)

Genomics, Carbohydrates

Bruce Coulman (U of S)

Forage breeder

Brian Fowler (U of S)

Winter wheat breeder

Bryan Harvey (Prof. Emeritus)

Six-row barley breeder

Rick Holm (U of S)

Weed Scientist

Mike Nickerson (SMA Research Chair)

Protein Quality & Utilization

Xiao Qiu


Martin Reaney (SMA Research Chair)


Graham Scoles (U of S)

Molecular Geneticist

Steve Shirtliffe (U of S)


Bob Tyler (U of S)

Grain Scientist

Related Scientists

Crop Development Centre


Crop Development Centre


General Breeding Goals

  • High yield
  • Disease resistance
  • Appropriate maturity
  • Lodging resistance
  • End-use quality to meet industry standards
  • Specialty traits

Crop Development Centre

CDC Outputs

  • Varieties
  • Germplasm
  • Technology
  • Basic research and pre-breeding
  • Training – undergraduate and graduate programs, technical
  • Technology transfer

Crop Development Centre


  • the relationship between two or more people or organizations that are involved in the same activity
  • cooperation between people or groups working together
  • an organization formed by two or more people or groups who work together for some purpose
  • a company set up by two or more people who put money into the business and share the financial risks and profits”

Crop Development Centre

CDC Partnerships

  • Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture base funding of 21.5%
  • Other funding from:
    • ADF, NSERC, Genome Prairie, CFI, U of S
    • Sask Pulse Growers, WGRF, SFDC, SCDC, SODC; Ducks Unlimited, Alberta Pulse Growers
    • BASF, Brandt Industries, CanOat, Canterra Seeds, Cargill, FP Genetics, Grain Millers, Morris Industries, Paterson Grain, Parrish & Heimbecker, Prairie Malt, Quaker, Sapporo, SeCan, Viterra
    • 40:40:20 ratio

Crop Development Centre


  • Flax
    • A strong western Canadian success story
    • 40% of world production
    • $300 million to farm gate annually
  • CDC Program
    • 70% of acres
    • CDC Vimy, CDC Bethune, CDC Sorrel
    • CDC Bethune $472 million 2003-07
    • Long term partnerships with growers, seed companies, provincial government

Crop Development Centre


  • New developments
    • Increased focus on basic science: molecular mapping and marker development for seed quality, straw fibre and agronomic traits
    • A search for yield
    • Specialty oil breeding – high oleic, high and low linolenic acids
    • Herbicide tolerance discussion
    • All based on research and funding partnerships across institutional and political boundaries

Crop Development Centre

Flax Partnerships

  • Research and breeding projects are all based on partnerships across institutional, sector and political boundaries
    • Sask Flax Development Commission
    • SeCan
    • NAPGEN (PBI)
    • TUFGEN (Genome Canada)
flax opportunities
Flax Opportunities

Crop Development Centre

  • Maintain and increase the economic value of western Canada’s flax industry
    • Oil
    • Fibre
    • Nutraceutical / functional
    • Food and Feed
flax challenges
Flax Challenges

Crop Development Centre

  • Agronomics – yield, weed control
  • Local and global competition
  • Adhoc Project Funding
    • Slow decision making
    • Administrative burden and cost

Crop Development Centre


Grains Innovation Lab


Crop Development Centre

Crop Development Centre

Creating superior genetics

for western Canadian farmers