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20 new ag research projects in the works

The Canadian government plans to grow innovation in the ag industry

By Jennifer Jackson

Lawrence MacAulay, Canada’s minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced the federal government will fund 20 new farming sector research projects across the country, according to an April 21 government release.

Researchers associated with the new projects will study and test new agricultural practices to assist farmers in adapting their operations to climate change obstacles, and improving soil and water quality on-farm.

“Canadian farmers are great stewards of the land and the environment,” MacAulay said in the release. “These new investments are part of the government's commitment to address climate change and ensuring our farming sector are world leaders in the use and development of clean and sustainable technology and processes.”

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Funding for the projects comes from the $27 million, five-year long Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program (AGGP). The program prioritizes research in cropping systems, livestock operations, water usage in agriculture and agro-forestry. 

MacAulay made the announcement Apr. 21 – one day before Earth Day – at the University of Alberta (UA), one of the institutions receiving research funding. UA researchers will use $3.7 million for three projects regarding the environmental impacts of cereal crop production, different cattle grazing systems, and shelterbelts.

Further east, scientists from the Dalhousie University (Dal) in Nova Scotia received $1.7 million to support research surrounding soil’s health, its carbon storing capacity and its supply of nitrogen, according to a Dal release.

These 20 new research projects will contribute to building the Canada’s reputation as a global food leader, as mentioned in the minister of finance’s economic report, according to David Gray, dean of the faculty of agriculture and principal of the Dalhousie Agricultural Campus.

“In (the economic) report, the Federal government aspires to global leadership in agri-food such that Canada will become the trusted global leader in safe, nutritious and sustainable food for the 21st century,” he said in the Dal release. “The Faculty of Agriculture is proud to work with our government toward this vision through our leading-edge teaching and research.”

Canada’s farmers have lately been the subject of positive government attention; from the 2017 Federal Budget to the minister of finance’s Path to Prosperity Report released earlier this year, the government is recognizing agriculture as a crucial component to Canada’s economy. 


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