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Federal investment in canola research will help drive sustainable growth of the sector

The federal government’s new investment of over $9 million in canola research will play a key role in driving sustainable growth of Canada’s canola industry and its contribution to the Canadian economy, says Canola Council of Canada (CCC) vice president, crop production and innovation, Curtis Rempel.

“Innovation is key to unlocking the next level of canola’s success, and continued partnership on research is an essential part of that,” said Rempel, speaking at a news conference where Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay announced the new Canola AgriScience Cluster funding under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership. “Through research focused on canola agronomy and genetics, we are poised to drive further resilience and growth in our sector, as well as build on our strong track record of environmental sustainability.”

When federal funding is combined with contributions from Alberta Canola, SaskCanola, Manitoba Canola Growers, the Ontario Canola Growers Association and industry, the total investment in research and innovation will be more than $17 million over five years. Under this funding partnership, a total of 17 projects will be carried out in collaboration with public research institutions across Canada.

Canola has a strong history of using innovation in ways that are positive for the environment and our economy. It’s been the number one source of farm crop revenue over the past 20 years and generates $29.9 billion worth of economic activity for Canada each year.

“Alberta Canola, SaskCanola and the Manitoba Canola Growers are committed to innovation, investing nearly $3.5 million over five years in the Canola AgriScience Cluster,” says Charles Fossay, a canola grower from Starbuck, Manitoba and chair of Manitoba Canola Grower’s research committee. “This research will help us confront recent production challenges, increase yields and further canola’s contribution as a climate solutions provider.”

The 17 projects encompass all links in the canola value chain, including genetics, crop production, processing and export. The research is expected to:

  • Enhance understanding and application of advanced 4R nutrient management practices to increase yield and profitability while reducing nitrous oxide emissions and sequestering more carbon
  • Expand understanding of how canola can mitigate climate change
  • Expand efforts in developing robust genetic resistance against key canola pathogens and pests
  • Strengthen economic advantages for the grower through yield improvements, optimizing inputs, and reduced risk from pests, pathogens and environmental changes
  • Enhance understanding of canola meal’s impact on reducing emissions in dairy production and its nutritional value in aquaculture markets

The Canola Council’s agronomy team will turn research results into tangible recommendations that can be adopted by growers, industry and academia, and utilize innovative strategies to disseminate beneficial management practices. The knowledge and technology transfer strategy will also continue to draw on findings and evaluate the economic impact from the past three iterations of the Canola AgriScience Cluster program, beginning in 2009.

“It’s a dynamic time for the canola industry, with opportunities in the food, feed and fuels spaces,” says Chris Davison, CCC president and CEO. “Canola was born out of innovation – that spirit combined with investments in research will help ensure a successful, sustainable future for Canadian canola.”

Source : Canola Council

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