Government of Canada invests nearly $2 million in oat cultivar development

The federal government has announced an investment of $1,982,915 for the Prairie Oat Growers Association (POGA) to improve varieties for the Canadian oat industry.

August 27, 2019 – Regina, Saskatchewan

The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, and the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, announced an investment of up to $1,982,915 for Prairie Oat Growers Association to improve oat varieties for the Canadian oat industry.

“The Canadian grain industry constantly innovates to remain strong and competitive,” said the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “By supporting cutting-edge research in the oat industry, we are proud to help Prairie producers overcome the agronomic challenges they face today.” 

The project aims to develop new oat cultivars suited for production in Western Canada. The cultivars developed will have end-use quality identified by the industry, and will carry genetic resistance to major diseases, pests and adverse environmental and changing climatic conditions.

“A profitable oat industry benefits producers, processors and consumers, and gives farmers one more crop for their rotation,” said the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and Member of Parliament for Regina-Wascana. “Scientific innovations in the crop, such as the development of oat varieties with better agronomic traits, are an important way to grow the industry.”

The project is funded through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership’s AgriScience Program, which aims to advance the growth and profitability of the sector by accelerating innovation through support for pre-commercial science activities and cutting-edge research.

“The breeding work being done in Brandon at the AAFC location would not be possible without the continued support of the Government of Canada and all the industry funders including AustGrains, Emerson Milling, FP Genetics, General Mills, Grain Millers, POGA, Richardson International and SeCan,” said POGA’s President, Jenneth Johanson. “In order to ensure oats remain a viable and competitive option for our producers in Western Canada (and continues to support a significant value added industry), continued investment in varietal improvements is essential. The investment is a true demonstration of the collaboration of the oat industry and its dedication to continue to deliver this healthy, safe and nutritious product into the homes of consumers across the globe.”

Justine Lesage
Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
613-404-1168 (mobile)

Media Relations, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario


  • Canada produces about 3 million tonnes of high quality oats each year, and is the largest exporter of oats in the world. Western Canada represents nearly 90% of Canada’s oat production.
  • The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3 billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen the agriculture and agri-food sector.
  • The AgriScience Program is a five-year, $338 million initiative which supports leading edge discovery, applied science and innovation driven by industry research priorities.