Research Themes


The crop members have worked together to develop four research themes for DFCC:


Theme 1: Variety Development

The most critical factor for emerging crops is the availability of adapted germplasm that performs well under current cropping conditions. New breeding technologies will be used to produce adapted, high-yielding varieties that reduce risk and provide returns to growers.

Theme 1 Outcomes

  • Development of hybrid technologies

  • Incorporation of yield, disease resistance and quality traits into breeding lines

  • Development of molecular maps and establishment of gene marker traits

  • Development of new varieties eligible for registration and commercialization

Theme 2: Crop Protection

This theme encompasses the pre-breeding work that will result in herbicide resistant varieties, and for assessing the efficacy of commercial herbicides in new crops.

Theme 2 Outcomes

  • Development of mustard and carinata varieties with resistance to Group 2 herbicides and expanded crop rotation options.

Theme 3: Production Agronomy

Diverse crops and their place in crop rotations have not been adequately researched compared to major grain, oilseed and pulse crops. Basic research information on cropping agronomy, crop management practices and potential accumulation of heavy metals in grains will be investigated as ways to reduce the risks of growing new crops.

Theme 3 Outcomes

  • Diverse crop performance measured in different Canadian regions

  • Scientific information and optimization of crop rotational practices for diverse crops

  • Better understanding as to how crops accumulate heavy metals and development of mitigation measures

Theme 4: Value Added

Diverse crops have important, valuable and unique components and functional properties that need to be further explored, resulting in new applications to increase industrial and consumer usage. Ingredients derived from these crops – such as whole grains, flours, healthy oils, unique proteins, starches, and fibres – offer the potential for development of new value-added products and processing activities to be used in conventional and novel food and beverage products, in functional foods and natural health products and in livestock and companion animal products to meet the emerging global market demand for higher value foods.

Theme 4 Outcomes

  • Demonstration of the efficacy, safety and quality of hemp ingredients as livestock feed to gain novel feed approval

  • Processing value of diverse crops as ingredients (e.g. mustard and canary seed) and impact on food quality and safety