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CFCRA Corn Project; Activity 1: Development of short season, cold tolerant, disease resistant corn inbreds

Principal Investigator: Lana Reid
Research Institution: Ottawa Research & Development Centre, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada
Project Start: April 2018
Project End: March 2023

Funding Partners: 
Funding for the Corn Project is provided by the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada AgriScience Program through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, with industry support from the Canadian Field Crop Research Alliance (CFCRA) whose members include: Atlantic Grains Council; Producteurs de grains du Quebec; Grain Farmers of Ontario; Manitoba Corn Growers Association; Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers; Saskatchewan Pulse Growers; Prairie Oat Growers Association; SeCan; and FP Genetics.  Additional industry funding beyond the core CFCRA members is provided by organizations representing the Canadian fertilizer industry.


  • Development and release of early maturing cold tolerant corn inbreds with emphasis on the 1800-2000 CHU market.
  • Development of corn inbreds with improved disease resistance to gibberella ear rot (GER), northern corn leaf blight (NCLB), Goss’s wilt, common rust, and eyespot.


  • The expansion of corn acreage by the release of new genetics and technology for growing corn in early maturity regions of less than 2800 crop heat units (CHU)
  • The improvement of corn yields and grain quality by reducing the incidence and severity of the major diseases, especially those contaminating the grain with mycotoxins
  • Improve yield and quality of the grain, and knowledge, will help corn growers to select appropriate resistant hybrids

Activity Summary:
This activity will use conventional corn breeding methodology enhanced by double haploid inbred production and specialized screening techniques for cold tolerance and disease resistance to develop early maturing cold tolerant corn inbreds with improved disease resistance to Gibberella ear rot, northern corn leaf blight (NCLB), Goss’s wilt, common rust and eyespot. Multiple yield trials in Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec, Ontario and PEI will be conducted annually. Disease nurseries for GER, NCLB, rust and eyespot will be conducted in Ottawa and one new nursery will be established, in Manitoba for Goss’s wilt. Annual surveys for current and emerging diseases will be conducted to continue to guide the inbred development program on which diseases to put more resources into and to scout for new/emerging diseases.