Diverse Field Crops Cluster




What is the Diverse Field Crops Cluster?

The Diverse Field Crops Cluster (DFCC) is an agri-science cluster whose purpose is to support the research and development of high-potential, special crops: flax, camelina, canaryseed, sunflower, hemp, quinoa and mustard.


Aligning Industry and Research Stakeholders

Ag-West Bio

Led by Ag-West Bio and with funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food’s Canadian Agricultural Partnership program and industry partners, DFCC aligns industry and research stakeholders to seize market opportunities and accelerate the acreage and market returns of these crops. Diversifying the cropping mix will help extend rotations, break disease and pest cycles, and insulate producers from the volatility of commodity price cycles.


Four Million Acres by 2023

These seven crops are grown on about 2.5 million acres across Canada, with a farm gate value of approximately $685 million. Because of their smaller acreage, they have been under-represented in R&D efforts. Working together, these crops can grow their value proposition from the farm gate through to the end user. Through the DFCC initiative, these crops are projected to reach four million acres by 2023, with a farm gate value of $1.5 billion.


Advancing the agriculture industry through research

The DFCC brings the relevant crop associations and private sector interests, with limited industry resources, together to plan and execute a significant program of research and industry advancement.

This includes developing and evaluating adapted varieties that are highly productive and viable business options in a farmer’s rotation. The knowledge to use these crops, in the most productive manner— in areas that vary both in climate and soil type— will strengthen agriculture sustainability overall.

The crop species represented by DFCC can benefit substantially from technologies already implemented in other crops.

These technologies include:

  • Genetic mapping

  • Molecular markers for traits

  • Genome wide association studies

  • Genome selection

  • Hybrid seed systems

  • Rotational value

  • Fertility and pest management

  • Processing functionality of these species to create higher value products, and jobs in rural areas.


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