Research Project

The integration of spring wheat genetics and agronomics to mitigate risks associated with early plantings into cold soils

AWC contribution: $172,360


This investigation will determine if early plantings of cold tolerant cultivars coupled with optimum agronomics will extend the growing season and achieve or exceed attainable spring wheat yield with improved system stability.


To assess the feasibility of early plantings of spring wheat into cold soils, and elucidate the risks associated with this practiceTo determine if risk is mitigated through spring wheat cold tolerant genetics and cultural practicesTo develop a breeding tool that improves the rapid deployment of qualitative genes in to winter wheat

Benefit to producers:

This research will result in an improved understanding of the benefits associated with early plantings of spring wheat using cold tolerant cultivars and improved agronomic methods. If successful, new knowledge and an improved integrated production system for spring wheat producers that significantly reduces risk associated with early planting and earlier harvests leading to improved grain quality will benefit the entire wheat value chain will result. For plant breeders, a breeding tool that improves rapid deployment of qualitative genes into winter wheat will be developed.


Dr. Beres is a research scientist at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’ s Lethbridge Research Centre in Alberta. Dr. Beres started his career path as a teacher in southern Alberta after obtaining Bachelor’ s degrees in Education and Geography. However, the allure of scientific research, which he was exposed to as a summer student at AAFC, inspired him to change career paths whereupon he obtained a Master’ s and PhD from the University of Alberta. Dr. Beres established an agronomy program in 2000 and leads several multi-disciplinary projects developing innovative and integrated crop management systems. Dr. Beres publishes in the areas of agronomy and crop science and has been the author or co-author of 46 peer-reviewed research articles and 1 book chapter. He is a member and President-elect of the Canadian Society of Agronomy, active member of the American Societies for Agronomy, Crops and Soils, and currently serves as an Associate Editor for the Canadian Journal of Plant Science. Dr. Beres and his co-authors were the recipients of the 2013 Canadian Journal of Plant Science Best Paper Award. He maintains close ties with both producer organizations and several national and multinational private companies that have a stake in crop production systems and life sciences research. Dr. Beres has several international collaborations and represents Canada on the Research Committee of the International Wheat Initiative. Dr. Beres is the past-Chair of the Prairie Recommending Committee for Wheat, Rye, and Triticale and led this cross-sectorial group through a review of the current registration process to ensure any impediments to the pace of delivering new genetics to the marketplace were removed.

Read More