CFCRA Corn Project; Activity 2: Cross-Canada agronomic and environmental benefit of advanced 4R nitrogen management of grain corn

Principal Investigator: Mario Tenuta
Research Institution: University of Manitoba
Project Start: April 2018
Project End: March 2022

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.

Objective:

  • Determine if advanced 4R N management for QC, ON, and MB conditions changes the most economical rate of nitrogen (MERN) and improves grower return on investment (ROI)
  • Determine if advanced 4R N management for QC, ON, and MB conditions reduces N losses to the environment
  • Determine if a novel practice of single vs double injection bands in combination with depth placement and N source reduce N losses and increase corn grain yield in ON
  • Develop advanced grower tools for in-season nitrogen rate determination

Impacts:

  • Provide evidence for adjusting N rates for profitability and environmental stewardship depending on 4R management intensity
  • Develop tools for growers to tune in-season N application rates.


Activity Summary:

This activity will develop advanced 4R (Right Source, Right Rate, Right Time, and Right Place) nitrogen management strategies for Canadian corn producers that enhance productivity and environmental performance (nutrient leaching and GHG emissions) for nitrogen-intensive corn production. This activity meets an important need to increase the use efficiency of nitrogen fertilizers to hold or reduce nitrogen fertilizer rates in grain corn without decreasing yields. This activity also aims to meet key priorities of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and N losses from agriculture and enhancing knowledge transfer to farmers and industry. Overall, the aim is to provide evidence for adjusting N rates for profitability and environmental stewardship depending on 4R management intensity and development of tools for growers to tune in-season N application rates.

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.

Objectives: 

  • 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.

Impacts:

  • 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. 

Canadian Field Crop Genetics Improvement Cluster, Activity 5: Short season soybean improvement

Principal Investigator

Elroy Cober

Research Institution

Ottawa Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)

External Funding Partners

This project is part of the $10.3 million Canadian Field Crop Genetics Improvement Cluster funded by the Canadian Field Crop Research Alliance (CFCRA) and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) through the Industry-Led Research and Development Stream of the Growing Forward 2 AgriInnovation Program. Grain Farmers of Ontario is a founding member of the CFCRA.

Project Start

April 2013

Project End

March 2018

Objectives

  • Develop soybeans with adaptation to 2300 to 2800 crop heat unit areas of Canada with high yield.
  • Develop lines with specialty traits including moderate to high protein, isoflavone levels to serve market requirements, high gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and low cadmium accumulation.
  • Develop tests to measure tofu texture in silken and pressed tofu; protein solubility; and components isoflavones and GABA
  • Develop tests and identification of resistance for Pythium and Phytophthora root rots.

Impact

  • The improvement of food-type soybean for short season areas of Canada will allow for expansion of specialty soybean and greater market access.
  • The enhancement resistance of food-type soybean to Pythium root rot will allow producers to grow specialty soybean in eastern Canada.
  • The development of food-type soybean with specialty traits will enhance Canada’s competitiveness in the global market.

Scientific Summary

Soybean is an important crop in Canada and is grown from Alberta to the Maritime Provinces. The short season areas in Canada are the areas of expansion for soybean. While the main crushing market for varieties is well served by private industry, the public sector still has an important role in providing specialty varieties. Since approximately one-third of the crop is exported to value-added international markets, specialty varieties have an important role in the soybean industry. In specialty soybean development, seed composition and end-use functionality are emphasized through traits such as protein level and quality, sugar composition, reduced cadmium content, water absorbing traits, steamed bean texture, and tofu quality, including texture. End-use function traits are critical for premium soyfood markets in Asia which are served by the identity preserved system, since each variety is evaluated for product function. However, diseases still constitute a great constraint to soybean production with the most economically important diseases in eastern Canada being soybean cyst nematode (SCN), white mold, root rots caused by Phytophthora, Pythium, Fusarium, Rhizoctonia, and Phomopsisseed decay. Losses in yield to either disease can be >30% in an epidemical year.

This project will deliver varieties adapted to the short season areas of Canada. While specialty traits and stress tolerance or resistance are important traits, these traits must be combined in a soybean variety package which is agronomically competitive. As a result it is important to yield test across a range of locations in short season areas of Canada to identify high yielding varieties. Protocols will be developed which will allow for efficient screening of end-use or seed composition traits in breeding lines. Protocols will also be developed to screen for root rot tolerance or resistance.