The 2018 Durum Summit was sold out in Swift Current on Thursday, with about 290 people taking part in the event.

Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart told the group that the Province’s high-quality durum is in demand adding they see the importance of investing in crop-related research.

He commented on two durum related projects receiving funding through the ADF Crop Research Program.

"We're looking at an integrated approach for enhancing fusarium resistance in durum, and researching post-harvest dome protection strategies, for not only durum but also for western spring wheat and barley."

In 2016 Saskatchewan exported 3.5 million metric tonnes of durum, which accounted for about 32% of the Worlds Durum Exports.

Dr. Curtis Pozniak is a Durum Breeder at the U of S Crop Development Centre and was in Swift Current for the Durum Summit.

He talked about some of the key traits end use millers and customers are looking for in durum.

"The colour of pasta is very important, so we have been focusing quite intensely on improving that and making sure that we can maintain the pasta colour," he said. "We're also working on looking at ways to improve the dietary fibre of durum grains so that it results in a more healthy product."

He notes they are also working on building Insect and Disease Resistance in potential new varieties siting key concerns relating to Fusarium Head Bligh

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