Grain Research Laboratory Annual Program Report 2022

GRL 2022 annual report

Director's message

It is my pleasure to share with you the 2022 Grain Research Laboratory Annual Program Report. We had another productive and successful year even as we continued to work and manage our activities in the context of COVID-19. Most of our employees continued working on site while taking measures to protect their health and safety. A new flexible hybrid work model that allowed for a blend of onsite and remote work was implemented in the fall to support those who had been primarily teleworking. The engagement and collaboration of employees resulted in a successful transition to a post-pandemic work environment, which was greatly appreciated.

We concluded our consultation with producers, other members of the grain sector and employees on the research and science-based activities carried out at the Canadian Grain Commission. The responses were compiled into a report which was made available on our website. The consultation helped us identify trends and challenges in the grain sector that could affect the direction of our research. We used the feedback to start on a science strategy that will help us meet the current and future needs of the grain sector.

We also implemented a robust science integrity policy to ensure that our research processes adhere to the strictest ethical principles, promoting transparency, accountability, and reliability in all our scientific endeavors. Guidelines were developed in support of the policy and numerous staff presentations were made.

An important highlight of 2022 was the 95th anniversary of the Harvest Sample Program. The program began in 1927 as a survey of protein levels in wheat and has evolved to include all 21 grains regulated by the Canadian Grain Commission. In 2022, over 10,000 samples of grain were received from producers allowing us to provide valuable information on the quality of crops.

This year’s report highlights some of the innovative grain research projects taking place in our labs. We studied the relationship between protein content and bread wheat functionality, and looked at how grain size and shape affect the dehulling performance of oats. We developed a way to produce cost-effective reference standards for cyanogenic glycosides in flaxseed and designed new methods for measuring functional properties of pulses. Our labs also conducted a study to verify the accuracy of our protein calculations, showed how processing can reduce the amount of chemical contamination in wheat, used DNA profiling to monitor grain quality and increased the efficiency of DNA-based methods for detecting genetically modified plants.

We are excited to continue our work in 2023. We will keep adapting and finding new and innovative ways to conduct and promote our research for the benefit of Canada's grain sector. Thank you for taking the time to read this report and I invite you to share your comments and thoughts with us. We look forward to your feedback.

Highlights from 2022

Quality reports
In 2022, we published 39 quality reports on the preliminary data and the final assessment of 10 different types of grain.

Harvest Sample Program
2022 marked the 95th anniversary of the Harvest Sample Program. This program has expanded over the years and now accepts all 21 grains regulated by the Canadian Grain Commission. In 2022 we received 10,238 samples from grain producers.

Fusarium survey reports
Each year we report on the quality of crops as well as the incidence and severity of Fusarium damaged kernels in Canada Western Red Spring and Canada Western Amber Durum in samples submitted to the Harvest Sample Program.

Advancements in agricultural science
These short articles written in plain language provide the grain sector and the general public with some of our latest findings and show how they impact Canadian producers.

  • Awards and recognition

    In 2022 our scientists and labs received a number of awards for their contributions to grain research. The Grain Research Laboratory is committed to pursuing scientific excellence by using and adhering to internationally recognized standards, methods and processes.

    Dr. Marta Izydorczyk

    Presidential award, Cereals & Grains Association
    Dr. Izydorczyk was elected president of the Cereals & Grains Association in 2019. She served as president elect in 2019 and 2020, as president in 2020 and 2021, and as immediate past president in 2021 and 2022. The presidential award is in appreciation and recognition of Dr. Izydorczyk contributions and services to the organization.

    Dr. Bin Xiao Fu

    Fellow, International Association of Cereal Science and Technology
    Dr. Fu was recognized for his contributions to wheat quality research and method development, which benefits quality improvement of wheat staple foods such as bread, pasta, and Asian noodles. He is the 5th Canadian to be awarded this honour, and the 3rd scientist from the Grain Research Laboratory.

    Dr. Sheryl Tittlemier

    Edith A. Christensen Award for Outstanding Contributions in Analytical Methodology, Cereals & Grains Association
    Dr. Tittlemier was recognized for developing and evaluating analytical tools to measure pesticide residues in grains and investigating the fate of glyphosate during milling and bread making.

    Dr. Sean Walkowiak

    Outstanding Young Scientist Award, Canadian Phytopathological Society
    This award recognized Dr. Walkowiak for having made an outstanding contribution to plant pathology in Canada through superior research accomplishment and practical application of scientific or technological expertise.

    Oilseeds Program

    Top prize in gas chromatography analysis, American Oil Chemists’ Society
    For the second year in a row, Dr. Véronique Barthet and her team were awarded the top prize in the International Laboratory Proficiency Program. By winning first place in chromatography analysis, our Oilseeds lab ranks first in the top 10% of labs analyzing fatty acids.

    Dr. Daniel Perry

    Mentor Who Matters, Germination magazine
    Dr. Daniel Perry, who retired from the Grain Research Laboratory after 21 years, was selected as a mentor that mattered for developing and sharing with colleagues his methods for routine DNA-based testing.

  • Outreach and sharing of expertise

    In 2022, we shared our expertise and research results in many different ways. Our staff published articles in peer-reviewed journals, attended scientific conferences and hosted seminars. We met with stakeholder groups from across Canada and around the world and participated in agricultural tradeshows.

    We also used social media to connect with producers and other members of the grain sector. We promoted our programs and people, shared up-to-date information about our services and research, and responded to questions and concerns. Grain Research Laboratory staff were involved in 4 Twitter takeovers that demonstrated our methods and equipment to producers and other followers of the Canadian Grain Commission account.

Previous Annual Program Reports

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