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Press Releases

RDAR funds Alberta regional variety trials — providing Alberta producers with access to crop and variety performance data

Edmonton, Alberta — RDAR, The Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) and Alberta Oat Growers Commission are pleased to announce a $782,400 investment in Alberta Regional Variety Trials (RVT). This project will put verified variety data into the hands of Alberta producers, enabling them to make the best crop decisions for their farm operations. RDAR’s funding contribution for this research project is valued at $582,300 over three years.

“Every farmer knows how different varieties can perform from one stretch of the province to the next” says Alberta Agriculture and Irrigation Minister Nate Horner. “Regional variety trials are small in size, but large in impact These trials and the data they generate will help producers across Alberta make more informed decisions.” 

RVTs are independently conducted field trials on small test plots at multiple sites across Alberta. These trials compare the performance of newly registered wheat, barley, oat, flax, and triticale varieties with the performance of well-known cultivars. RVTs are essential to crop producers because they provide variety performance data collected using standardized protocols across multiple geographies and soil types.

“RVT data supports Alberta crop producers in making decisions on which new varieties to grow based on their performance across Alberta.” says Clinton Dobson, RDAR Research Director. “RDAR Investment in this research project will help Alberta producers access reliable RVT data and recognize the economic value of agronomic and disease traits such as yield potential, lodging risk, days to maturity, and disease and pest resistance associated with new varieties.”

In 2021, The Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC) assumed coordination of Alberta RVT trials. AWC will continue to manage Alberta’s cereal and flax RVT system ensuring high-quality, reliable RVT data for Alberta farmers to use when adopting new varieties.

“The farmers we represent at the Alberta Wheat Commission view research and extension programming as the foundation of the organization’s mandate,” says Greg Sears, Alberta Wheat Commission chair. “We are proud to lead the province’s wheat regional variety trials to bridge the gap between prairie-wide breeding programs and extending cultivar performance in Alberta’s diverse production areas.”

Variety trials amalgamate data and help researchers develop crop varieties that are resistant to climate stressors and more efficient in using resources to reduce their environmental impact.

The use of adapted crops and varieties to suit many different Alberta growing zones is a climate-smart practice that can strengthen the ability of Alberta’s agro-ecosystems to respond to climate stresses and reduce the risk of total crop failure. The outcomes of this RVT project will help support the success and sustainability of Alberta’s agriculture industry.

“WGRF has a long and successful history of funding variety development,” says Dr. Keith Degenhardt, WGRF Board Chair. “We understand how important it is for farmers to have reliable variety trial data when selecting a new variety for their farm. WGRF is pleased to contribute $194,100 to the Alberta Regional Variety Trials. I would also like to applaud the other funders and collaborators on establishing a beneficial partnership to continue this important work.”

The results of the RVTs are published in the Alberta Seed Guide and are available at

RDAR’s mandate is to target strategic investments in producer-led, results-driven agriculture research to power Alberta’s competitiveness, profitability, productivity, and sustainability. As a not-for-profit corporation, RDAR’s funding comes from the Government of Alberta, the Government of Canada, and Alberta’s Government through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership program. 

The Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) is a farmer-funded and farmer-directed non-profit organization investing in agricultural research that benefits western Canadian producers.

Alberta Oat Growers Commission
The Alberta Oat Growers Commission (AOGC) was established by the provincial government in 2012. AOGC uses the producer funds for oat research and market development to enhance the profitability of oats for growers and increase their value to the customer.

RDAR Media Inquiries
Janada Hawthorne
Communications Lead
RDAR (Results Driven Agriculture Research)