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Letter to University of California supporting Agriculture and Food Research Institute grant proposal on wheat research

July 1, 2010

Jorge Dubcovsky
Department of Agronomy and Range Science
University of California, Davis
One Shield Ave.
Davis, CA 95616

Dr. Dubcovsky,

The North American Millers Association is pleased to encourage you and your colleagues in your grant proposal ‘Improving barley and wheat germplasm for changing environments.’ US wheat and barley planted acres and yields are far below those for corn and soybeans. In order to increase the availability and quality of wheat grown in the US, a concerted effort is needed towards the development of new varieties that can adapt to fluctuations in weather and be water and nitrogen efficient.

Importantly, your comprehensive plan applies new technical innovations to wheat and barley breeding in the US. When coupled with your intention to train a significant number of new plant breeders, we are hopeful that US wheat and barley breeding can be revolutionized as a result of this AFRI grant. The milling industry is gravely concerned about wheat production acreage that is being lost to corn and soybeans. Your goals of new gene discovery, high throughput genotyping, improved databases, and training of graduate students will provide wheat and barley with the improved efficiencies in breeding that other crops already enjoy.

Your record of leadership of the Wheat CAP puts you in an excellent position to lead this effort. We are pleased to participate in the advisory panels for the grant and look forward to having the opportunity to advise and review the research by the colleagues participating in this project. We are also currently considering funding a proposal from the USDA-ARS Wheat Quality Labs that would leverage this research by adding additional funds to characterize the quality attributes of the lines evaluated in this project.

Best wishes for success in your research efforts.


Jim Bair
Vice President

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