CSU inks $20M partnership for wheat research

FORT COLLINS — Colorado State University on Thursday announced that it will receive $20 million in funding over the next 10 years from the Colorado Wheat Research Foundation and the Colorado Wheat Administrative Committee to collaborate on research and commercialization.

The agreement bolsters the longstanding relationship between CSU’s wheat-breeding and genetics program and the state’s network of wheat growers that has led to the development of 38 unique wheat varieties since 1963, school officials said.

Colorado boasts some 2.3 million acres of wheat fields, with 70 percent of Colorado-grown wheat varieties developed at CSU.

In addition to CWRF and CWAC, the agreement pulls in the Colorado Seed Growers Association on the collaboration.

Working with those groups over the years has seen CSU provide solutions to many wheat-growing challenges, developing wheat varieties that are resistant to drought and tolerant of herbicides. The partnership has also helped the industry address the issues of invasive plant diseases and insects and address changing consumer demands for bread and other products.

Research expected from the new partnership is expected to yield suitable rotational crops for wheat-based cropping systems, as well as development of improved winter wheat suited to Colorado climates.

“Solidifying our partnership with CWRF and CWAC will allow us to advance our collaborative effort in researching wheat – a Colorado agricultural staple,” CSU vice president for research Alan Rudolph said in the school’s release.