Update on agriculture research in Alberta

On March 30, Alberta’s Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Honourable Devin Dreeshen, announced a new vision for provincial agriculture that will see Alberta farmers and ranchers determine the priorities that will guide research funding and program decisions. The Minister announced that an arm’s length organization, Results Driven Agriculture Research (RDAR), will be established to bring together the diverse groups involved in ag research.

RDAR identified 33 farmer-governed organizations that will make up its Class A voting membership. It also identified Class B non-voting members representing research institutions, universities and colleges.

The RDAR board of directors will consist of a minimum of nine and a maximum of 11 members, with up to seven directors elected from candidates nominated by the Class A members and up to four directors elected from candidates nominated by the board. This will ensure a broad cross-section of skills, regional representation and competencies to effectively govern RDAR. There will be four standing committees: governance, research, communications and engagement, and finance and audit.

Alberta Canola research committee chair John Mayko is on the RDAR advisory committee

With a small board representing the vast livestock and cropping industries that make up Alberta agriculture, RDAR has established an advisory committee that will be an important part of RDAR’s governance framework. The advisory committee will keep the RDAR board aware of industry trends and developments and will connect the RDAR board and staff with the farmer and rancher community to ensure alignment of research priorities.

The advisory committee will recommend research priorities to the board, advise the board on key emerging industry issues, provide advice to RDAR on policy, procedures and performance and review RDAR performance metrics annually and the value of its research investments.

To ensure that the advisory committee represents all aspects of agriculture in Alberta, members will be drawn from over 40 organizations and can be comprised of up to 50 representatives.

Alberta Canola has been actively involved in the RDAR establishment process and Alberta Canola research committee chair John Mayko is on the RDAR advisory committee.

Alberta Canola’s new research projects for 2019-20

Alberta Canola FundingTotal Project
Establishing the importance of canola-derived long chain
n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on immune development.
Dr. Catherine Field, University of Alberta
Identifying key predators and their role in canola insect pest suppression.
Dr. Boyd Mori, University of Alberta
Suitability and efficacy of chaff lining for weed control in Western Canada.
Dr. Breanne Tidemann, Agriculture and Agri Food Canada
Biological control of lygus plant bugs in established
and emerging crops.
Dr. Hector Carcamo, Agriculture and Agri Food Canada
Monitoring the canola flower midge with pheromone-baited traps.
Dr. Boyd Mori, University of Alberta
Pre-breeding lines combining canola quality with sclerotinia
resistance, good agronomy and genomic diversity from PAK93.
Dr. Sally Vail, Agriculture and Agri Food Canada
Evaluating the effect of canola seeding rate and seed size seeded into wheat stubble in flea beetle damage and population.
Dr. Maria Angelica Ouellette,
North Peace Applied Research Association
Improving heat and drought resistance in canola (Brassica napus)
through regulating diacylglycerol acyltransferase activity.
Dr. Gavin Chen, University of Alberta
Clubroot pathotype surveillance and research.
Dr. Stephen Strelkov, University of Alberta


Funding in Core Areas since 2012Alberta
Canola Funding
Project Cost
Matching funds
New Product/New Uses$1,287,081$2,085,157$1.62
Canadian AgriScience Canola Cluster
25 projects over 5 years


KEEP UP TO DATE. Receive the latest news, media releases and daily
grain prices when you subscribe to the Alberta Canola Connections Newsletter. Visit albertacanola.com/subscribe today.

Canola Digest - Science Edition 2020