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GFO: Research Priorities 2011- The Benefit For Corn, Soybean and Wheat Farmers

Investment in research is a long-term strategic initiative of the Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO) for the benefit of all corn, soybean and wheat farmers. Ontario’s grain farmers have sponsored and participated in decades of practical research that has resulted in economic gains for Ontario farmers. The GFO Research Committee selects and funds projects that target the most important issues in grain production in Ontario.

Within the current Research Priorities document you will find the topics listed first by Overall Research Priority Areas, which are then sub-divided into sections of Key Priorities and specific priorities by crop. With the amalgamation of the three founding organizations to become GFO, we now hope to address all three crops through the overall priority areas: Market Development and Quality; Breeding and Genetics; Agronomy and Production; and Diseases and Insects. Within each of these sections we will endeavor to meet the research requirements of corn, soybean and wheat farmers.

1. Market Development and Quality

Key Priorities

  • Evaluate grain marketing strategies and methods to assist Ontario farmers in maximizing their returns
  • The use of corn, soy and wheat in bioproducts or for industrial/alternative uses
  • Rapid, inexpensive and accurate testing and grading technology to measure characteristics that affect quality and value of
  • corn, soy and wheat
  • Development of new food uses for corn, soy and wheat
  • Development of identity preserved markets for corn, soy and wheat


  • Development of value-added opportunities including traits that contribute to human health


  • Tools for rapid mycotoxin testing that are applicable for use at grain elevators and on the farm
  • Factors contributing to grain quality issues and determining how to meet markets for specific end uses
  • Development of IP systems to ensure proper channeling of wheat classes and subclasses

2. Breeding and Genetics

Key Priorities

  • Develop genetic resistance to diseases and insect pests significant in Ontario, including use of genetic modification for integration of traits into multiple-pest resistant lines
  • Breeding for traits that improve the plant’s ability to counteract the negative effects of environmental stress such as temperature stress and water stress
  • Breeding for specific markets and quality traits
  • Performance trials to assess variety performance


  • Development of genetic tolerance to Fusarium
  • Breeding for cold tolerance and new value-added traits that could lead to premium markets
  • Improved management of new hybrids including topics of population density, nitrogen use efficiency/fertility


  • Development of new varieties with new traits designated to specific end uses
  • Breeding for resistance to insect and disease pests, including soybean cyst nematode (SCN), root rots, white mould, rust, aphids, etc.
  • Continued development of conventional varieties and food quality soybeans with superior agronomic performance


  • Specific development of genetic tolerance to Fusarium in spring and winter wheat
  • Breeding new classes of wheat for Ontario (e.g. Durum, hard white)
  • Improve wheat quality for specific end uses

3. Agronomy and Production

Key Priorities

  • The effects of crop rotations and the parameters of soil health on production of corn, soybeans and wheat, particularly in terms of current intensive management practices
  • Nitrogen application rates, timings, and methods as well as sources of nitrogen including cover crops and other organic sources
  • Weed management topics including cost-effective strategies, environmental stewardship and emerging problem weeds including controlling and monitoring herbicide resistance
  • The effects of biomass removal on soil health, fertility, micronutrients, organic matter, erosion and sustainability
  • Evaluating the accuracy of fertilizer recommendations in light of current intensive management practices (such as seed treatments, fungicides, etc), and higher yields including nutrient and micronutrient management
  • Impacts of seeding date, rate, depth, seeding techniques and tillage systems
  • Development of efficient production techniques that combine several management factors that interact to improve production

4. Diseases and Insects

Key Priorities

  • Improve application rates, methods, and timing for control of insects and disease
  • Emerging insect and disease risks or those forecasted for the future, such as UG99 stem rust in wheat, soybean rust and climate change issues
  • Improved disease and insect diagnostics including control thresholds, accurate identification and scouting tools


  • Current and new chemical control strategies for Fusarium as well as other mycotoxin sources, and Gibberella stem and ear rot
  • Management and control of Western Bean Cutworm
  • The role of refuge management in insect and disease control
  • Management of corn diseases such as anthracnose leaf blight, northern leaf blight, Gibberella ear rot, etc.


  • Focus on management of soybean insects including aphids, spider mites, bean leaf beetle etc.
  • Management of soybean diseases (Phytophthora, Sclerotinia, Rhizoctonia, Phomopsis, Fusarium solani, Asian soybean rust etc.)
  • Management and control of soybean viruses (soybean mosaic virus etc.)
  • Management and control of SCN


  • Improved Fusarium management in spring and winter wheat
  • Wheat rust management research including stripe, leaf, and stem rust

Source: Grain Farmers of Ontario

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