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Development of Long-Type Confection Sunflower Hybrids

Development of Long-Type Confection Sunflower Hybrids

  • Start date: 2018
  • Project Length: 2018-2023
  • Project Status: In Progress


Project Description – An initiative to develop and market new confection seed varieties for Canadian sunflower producers. The project has the goal to provide growers access to new seed varieties that have characteristics specifically suited for northern growing conditions.

The NSAC applied for continued funding towards the confection sunflower variety development program for an additional five years through the Diverse Field Crops Cluster. The Diverse Fields Crops Cluster is an agriscience cluster that supports the research and development of high -potential emerging crops: flax, camelina, canaryseed, sunflower, hemp, quinoa and mustard. On January 15, 2019 Minister Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) announced over $13 million in funding from AAFC through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership’s AgriScience Program. This investment, combined with industry contributions of nearly $11 million, brings the value of the cluster to over $24 million.

The NSAC was approved for matching funding over the five years at a total of $2.467 million dollars towards our variety development project. An investment of $1.233 million in funding from AAFC through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership’s AgriScience Program under the Diverse Field Crops Cluster, $235,125 over three years from Manitoba Agriculture through the CAP—Research & Innovation project (must re-apply in 2021) and $320,650 from Western Grain Research Foundation.

The overall objective of this research is to increase the profitability of growing sunflowers for Canadian producers. The first step in meeting the goal is to develop long-type confection hybrids with herbicide and disease resistance that have the seed type and quality demanded by the processing industry that can be successfully grown in Manitoba and expanded across Canada.

The project will be broken down into two activities:

  1. Summer and Winter Breeding Nurseries
  2. Canadian Testing Program

  • Summer and Winter Breeding Nurseries: To develop elite parent lines, possessing genes for tolerance to sulfonylurea herbicide (SU-7: non-transgenic), rust (R12) and downy mildew (PLARG) to provide a competitive production advantage to existing hybrids.
  • Canadian Testing Program: Produce testing seed, test and isolate adaptable confection sunflower hybrids for Canadian production that are high yielding and lodging resistant with improved dark, long type seed with shoulder width that are resistant to sulfonylurea herbicide, rust and downy mildew.
Manitoba Crop Alliance Funding:


Funding Partners:

Funded in part with Diverse Fields Crops Cluster, CAP – Research & Innovation and WGRF