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Marquis Wheat

Marquis Wheat

When experimental farms were first established, their goal was to create a variety of wheat that grew well in Canada. A scientist named Sir Charles Saunders used a process called plant breeding to create a variety of wheat that had a shorter growing season. He named the new variety Marquis wheat in 1904.

An image of Charles Saunders sitting down looking at closely at wheat plants on an experimental farm.

Charles Saunders is known as the creator of Marquis wheat.

Marquis wheat’s shorter growing season and better baking properties meant that it escaped the killing frosts and made better bread. It took Charles Saunders 5 years of research at the Indian Head Experimental Farm to confirm that Marquis wheat was better than other varieties.

In 1909, Marquis wheat was made available to farmers and quickly became the main wheat grown in Western Canada. Marquis wheat was the most popular wheat variety until Red Hard Spring Wheat was developed in 1987. Hard Red Spring wheat is a type of Wheat primarily used for flour.

An illustrated image of Sir Charles Saunders standing in a wheat field.

Charles Saunders spent many years researching Marquis wheat, and ended up discovering its shorter growing season and that it produced better bread.

Scientists have been heroes in developing crops that will be successful on the Prairies!