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Fed money provided for carbon sequestration research

Fed money provided for carbon sequestration research

$3.2 million in funding from Government of Canada and Saskatchewan earmarked for research on carbon sequestration in forage and pasture lands.

By Andrew Joseph,; Image by Merio from Pixabay

The Government of Canada and the provincial government of Saskatchewan have invested $3.2 million in funding towards research on carbon sequestration in perennial forage and pastures.

The announcement was made by Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau and Saskatchewan Minister of Agriculture David Marit on May 30, 2022.

Funding for the investment was approved via the Strategic Research Initiative (SRI) which advances research to address complex challenges faced by the agriculture and agri-food sectors.

The SRI is funded through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five-year, $3 billion investment by federal, provincial, and territorial governments that supports Canada's agriculture, agri-food and agri-products sectors. This includes a $2-billion commitment that is cost-shared 60 per cent federally and 40 per cent provincially/territorially for programs that are designed and delivered by provinces and territories, including a $388-million investment in strategic initiatives for Saskatchewan agriculture.

“Carbon sequestration is important to help mitigate the effects of climate change. This research will improve our understanding of the best practices for managing our grazing systems, and ensure producers will be well positioned to further contribute to the sector’s long-term sustainability,” stated Bibeau.

The funding is for a project run by Dr. Angela Bedard-Haughn of the University of Saskatchewan and Dr. Cameron Carlyle of the University of Alberta that will operate over the next five years.

The team will examine soil carbon stocks in perennial forage systems across Saskatchewan, and investigate the link between producer management practices and carbon stores to identify practices that promote carbon sequestration.

One of the outcomes of the project will be maps providing an accurate estimate of carbon in Saskatchewan’s pasture and rangelands.

The project is co-funded by the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association which contributed $100,000 to the total amount and a $25,000 in-kind commitment.

"The carbon economy must be built on a credible foundation. Despite a lot of activity, there still needs to be this baseline building on hay and grassland,” explained Arnold Balicki, Chair, Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association. “This should help cattle producers credibly participate in whatever the carbon opportunity is. Meanwhile cattle producers will continue managing their land for productivity along with the biodiversity and carbon sequestration that are intrinsic to grazing cattle.”

Added Saskatchewan Ag Minister Marit, “Our agriculture industry is grounded in best practices, and this project will add to it by confirming how we can mitigate climate change by managing our grazing systems. This is the kind of ag-related research we continually encourage and prioritize in Saskatchewan to keep our producers competitive, sustainable and working toward a future we can count on.”

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