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Young Plant Scientists are Creating the Crops of the Future

The three recipients of this year’s Canadian Plant Breeding Innovation (CPBI) Scholarship have one big thing in common — they’re doing important work on a number of major crops that could ensure a brighter future for pea, durum and soybean in Canada.

On this week’s Seed Speaks, host Marc Zienkiewicz was joined by 2023 scholarship recipients Jérôme Gélinas Bélanger (McGill University), Loveleen Kaur Dhillon (University of Saskatchewan) and Ritesh Kumar Yadav (University of Manitoba).

The scholarships — part of the CPBI Awards program which also includes Seed of the Year and the Plant Breeding and Genetics Award — are made possible through a slate of great sponsors. On board as sponsors this year are Alberta Wheat and Barley commissions, C&M Seeds, Canadian Seed Growers Association, FP Genetics, Germination, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Richardson, Sask Wheat, SeCan, Warburtons, Western Grains Research Foundation and Seeds Canada.

Bélanger, 35, is known as an ambitious, original and highly independent researcher who had his own idea to start a PhD research project aimed at identifying novel genes involved in the early flowering/maturity of soybeans using CRISPR-Cas9 and QTL mapping. Currently, his project aims to understand how to develop extra-early soybean varieties to enable cultivation in Canadian regions such as northern Saskatchewan and Alberta.

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Using Weather Forecasts to Grow a Crop

Video: Using Weather Forecasts to Grow a Crop

BY: Ashley Robinson

Growing a crop isn’t easy. There’s a lot of variables involved, a major one being weather. And while you can’t control weather, you can use weather forecasts to help you make informed decisions regarding your crop. This could include application of insecticide, herbicide or fungicide treatments, scheduled irrigation or swathing your crop.

On the Nov. 29 episode of Seed Speaks, we’re taking a closer look at how you can use weather forecasts to grow the best possible crop. We’re joined by Chris Manchur, agronomy specialist for eastern Manitoba with the Canola Council of Canada (CCC); David Clay, distinguished professor of soil science at South Dakota State University; and Wade Kent, senior principal digital agronomist for Nutrien.

Manchur provides agronomic advice and support to growers and agronomists in Manitoba. He’s also the sclerotinia stem rot lead for the CCC and helps to manage canola research and innovation through funding programs such as the Canola Agronomic Research Program and the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership. Manchur received his bachelor of science degree in plant biotechnology and master of science in RNA interference-based next generation fungicides at the University of Manitoba.

Clay is the past president of the American Society of Agronomy, and Corn Councils Endowed Chair in Precision farming. He has spent over 30 years investing soil health, has published and been awarded numerous awards and is a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy.

Kent is located in North Central Iowa and farms corn and soybeans with his dad in his spare time. He spent his undergraduate and graduate career at Iowa State University and University of Minnesota studying agronomy, crop physiology, and soil science. At Nutrien, Kent works in the digital and precision landscape focusing on bringing together agronomy and technology to improve efficiency, profitability, and sustainability of Nutrien Ag Solution’s customers.

Join us on Nov. 29 at 12 p.m. CST on Seed World U.S., Seed World Canada, Seed World Europe and the Alberta Seed Guide’s Facebook pages, Seed World U.S.’s LinkedIn page and Seed World Group’s YouTube to watch the discussion.