International Wheat Congress attracts 900 scientists

Being held in Saskatoon, plenary sessions to be streamed live

askatchewan Premier Scott Moe, Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark and University of Saskatchewan President Peter Stoicheff will open the 2019 International Wheat Congress in Saskatoon on Monday, July 22 at TCU Place.

With almost 900 registrants, the July 21-25 meeting is believed to be the largest gathering of wheat researchers ever held. Scientists and policy-makers from more than 50 countries will focus on the future of wheat in helping to avert a global food security crisis by 2050.

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A portion of the registration fees has been used to sponsor scientists from developing nations by reimbursing them for registration and travel costs.


More than 80 speakers will discuss the latest advances in wheat research, including wheat improvement, sustainability, yield protection, and nutrition, safety and human health. The meeting is expected to underscore the role of Saskatchewan and Canada as leaders in wheat research, according to Curtis Pozniak, chair of the local organizing committee.

Highlights will include:

" 8:30 am to 9:10 am July 23, PLANT GENETICS AND THE FUTURE OF FOOD by Pamela Ronald, Distinguished Professor, Department of Plant Pathology and the Genome Center at the University of California, Davis.
Ronald was named a National Geographic Innovator and one of Grist’s 50 innovators who will lead us toward a more sustainable future. She received the USDA National Research Institute Discovery Award, the Louis Malassis International Scientific Prize for Agriculture and Food, and the Tech Award for innovative use of technology to benefit humanity. She was named one of the world’s most influential scientific minds by Thomson Reuters and one of the world’s 100 most influential people in biotechnology by Scientific American.
* 2 pm, July 23: Canada’s Science and Sport Minister Kirsty Duncan will make a major national announcement of funding for agricultural research, including significant funding for USask-led projects.

Other sessions of special interest to media include:

* 9:30 am to 10:20 am, Monday, July 22: CREATING A SUSTAINABLE FOOD FUTURE: WHAT IS THE ROLE OF CROP BREEDING? Timothy Searchinger, Senior Fellow, World Resources Institute

*10:20 am to 10:50 am Monday, July 22, HARNESSING THE POWER OF PARTNERSHIPS FOR GLOBAL WHEAT RESEARCH AND FOOD SECURITY Martin Kropff, Director General, CIMMYT, Global Wheat Program

* 3:10 pm Monday, July 22, Wheat Safety, Nutrition and Human Health Valerie Lullien-Pellerin, Research Director at INRA in France.
* 9:50 am to 10:10 am Wednesday, July 24: PROSPECTS OF HYBRID WHEAT BREEDING FOR A SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE Patrick Thorwarth of the University of Hohenheim in Germany.

All plenary sessions will be streamed live on the web and social media platforms.

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