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Alberta pioneers' carbon-neutral agriculture with Genomic Innovations

Alberta is charting new pathways in sustainable agriculture, setting the tone for carbon-neutral practices, and securing its position as a leader in Agri-innovations. A fresh round of investments in research from Alberta promises to reshape Canada's agricultural landscape.  

This venture is part of the Genome Canada-led Climate-Smart Agriculture and Food Systems initiative (CSAFS). It aims to minimize the carbon footprint of Canada's food production, thereby ensuring resilience, environmental sustainability, and economic growth. 

The spotlight shines on two transformative projects funded with over $13.1M. Firstly, we look at the "Climate Action through Grazing" initiative. Led by the University of Alberta and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, this project uncovers the role of livestock in achieving Canada's ambitious net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) targets by 2050.  

Grasslands and rangelands have tiny organisms in the soil that help in controlling carbon and greenhouse gases. By changing how cattle graze, we can help the soil store more carbon naturally. 

This not only supports the environment but also provides substantial economic benefits. An additional 32.5 Mt CO2 eq. storage could be facilitated using these practices, valuing at an estimated $5.5 billion. These strides will firmly place Alberta and Canada at the forefront of sustainable grazing. 

As Dr. David Bailey, CEO of Genome Alberta, mentioned, "Alberta is looking for innovation to move our Province towards a carbon-neutral economy by 2050". These initiatives underscore the potential of the agriculture sector in this journey. 

The second project focuses on developing a climate-resilient, low carbon footprint field pea. Global food demand is set to soar by 35-50% by 2050. Synthetic nitrogen fertilizers, despite their efficacy in boosting yields, contribute significantly to nitrous oxide emissions - GHG many times more potent than CO2.  

By growing more crops like field peas that help the soil take in nitrogen, we can reduce harmful gases. This project wants to make peas stronger and more profitable using new science methods. 

With these initiatives, Alberta is making a definitive move towards a sustainable agricultural future. It signifies a brighter, eco-friendly, and more productive era for Canada's food producers. 

Source : wisconsinagconnection

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