Crop Research



The Crop Research teams support the Alberta agriculture industry, which is one of the strongest in the world. We do this by helping the sector develop crop varieties that resist biotic stresses like plant disease and abiotic stresses like drought and cold. We are also leaders in development of new industries, particularly fibres from industrial hemp and flax. We are also Canada’s most experienced cannabis research team, with a track record of over a decade in marijuana safety testing and in the agronomy and industrial application of fibre hemp.

Crop research at InnoTech is conducted by two teams: Crop Development and Management and Crop Pathology and Biotechnology.

The Feedstock Development program works with industry, government and others by facilitating the profitability and sustainability of Alberta’s $4.4 billion crop industry, with an emphasis on crops canola, cereals, cannabis and flax. Applications include food, bioactive compounds and fibres. Our capabilities include a large growth chamber facility; greenhouses; and fully-equipped molecular biology, plant pathology and biochemistry laboratories certified by CFIA and Health Canada, located on a 600-acre research farm. We have the only pilot-scale fibre processing and decortication plant in North America.

Key services

  • Water and nutrient use efficiency screening services to enhance the productivity of Alberta crops
  • Plant transformation and tissue culture services
  • Environmental DNA isolation and analysis
  • Fully integrated fibre crop development “from seed to final product”
  • Plant disease mitigation tools, including plant-pathogen phenotyping and genotyping
  • Pathogen inocula for resistance testing
  • Development of nanotechnology-based sensors
  • Cannabis testing
  • Crop disease resistance testing and fungal inocula
  • Flax
  • Industrial hemp
  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • Strategies for improving water use efficiency and crop productivity