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CFCRA Oat Project; Activity 1: Breeding, genomics and agronomy research to improve oat yield and quality

Principal Investigators: Weikai Yan and Nick Tinker
Research Institution: Ottawa Research & Development Centre, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada
Project Start: April 2018
Project End: March 2023

Funding Partners: 
Funding for the Oat 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 oat millers across Canada.


  • Develop new oat cultivars with improved grain yield and quality
  • Identify optimal agronomic practices to achieve high and stable grain yield and quality
  • Enhance current oat breeding procedures in both the Ottawa and Brandon breeding programs with genomic selection
  • Screen advanced oat breeding lines for crown rust resistance
  • Enhance information and germplasm exchange among North American oat breeding programs through a joint testing and genotyping network referred as ENCORE
  • Develop a multi-faceted approach to data and knowledge management that enhances all objectives of this project and benefits world-wide pre-competitive oat research


  • The development of new oat cultivars with improved resistance to crown rust will provide oat growers in eastern Canada with high yielding and reliable oat cultivars that can be used as food, feed, or cover crop.
  • The development of new oat cultivars that meet the desired levels of beta-glucan content will provide consumers with healthier and more nutritious oat products from the oat milling industry.
  • The development of agronomic recommendations (i.e., nitrogen management and seeding rate) for oat production areas across Canada

Activity Summary:
This project will improve Canadian oat grain yield and quality through a comprehensive set of objectives that will: develop new oat cultivars, enhance genomic selection processes in breeding programs, develop crown rust resistance methods and develop new germplasm for oats. This activity will also explore agronomic practices to achieve high and stable grain yields and quality across the entire country.