July 4, 2010
Colorado wheat growers have indicated their top priority for Colorado Wheat Administration Committee assessment in research.
CWAC has emphasized that priority by not only increasing the research investment at Colorado State University by nearly 500%, but also by establishing a research fund reserve in case a poor crop year decreases assessment sustainability.
"Additional funding from the increased check-off has allowed dramatic changes in the breeding program," says Richard Starkebaum, CWAC president from Haxtun, Colo. "From the addition of new field trials, the implementation of a drought, of high temperature stress tolerance research, and he use of DNA molecular marker screening technology to develop new traits more quickly, we are able to continue to support a world-class breeding program at CSU."
For fiscal 2009-10, CWAC established base funding for CSU wheat research in the amount of $387,000, not including additional grant-in-aid funding of $41,172 from industry partners. Royalties from the sale of Colorado Wheat Research Foundation seed varieties developed the CSU Wheat Breeding program contribute another $265,969.
In addition, CWAC established a separate reserve of $400,000 to ensure continuous and uninterrupted funding of this research.
Wheat varieties developed by CWAC funded research rank high in yield and in the variety survey of wheat planted by farmers. The yield advantage of new varieties such as Hatcher has put millions of dollars into farmers' pockets. Colorado basis and prices have improved as customers have begun to appreciate the enhanced quality of Colorado wheat.
The wheat breeding program in Colorado includes a $65,000 outlay for development of drought and high temperature tolerance traits in wheat varieties; $50,000 for the marker-assisted selection program; $25,000 for the Targeted Induced Local Lesions in Genomes program which studies a breeding technique based on the mutation induction technique used to create Clearfield technology, and $16,000 to probe wheat quality improvement.
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