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Government of Canada invests $2.6 million to improve alfalfa growth and develop a grassland carbon offset system

Sawyerville, Quebec – The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced an investment of over $2.6 million to Canadian Forage and Grassland Association (CFGA) to support three projects that will assess and improve alfalfa growth using artificial intelligence and will develop a Canadian grassland carbon offset system. Alfalfa is a key forage crop producers rely on to capture and fix carbon, return nutrients to the soil and improve soil health.

Minister Bibeau made the announcement at the farm Bergerie Malvibois in Sawyerville, Quebec, one of the key data collection sites for the project.

Funding will be allocated as follows:

  • Up to $998,185 to develop a tool to improve yield and forage nutritive value from alfalfa fields using artificial intelligence. The tool will identify potential agronomic, climatic and soil-related factors affecting alfalfa yield. It will also predict potential yield and nutritive value loss through soil nutrient analysis and health diagnostics.
  • Up to $996,190 to develop a tool to assess and improve alfalfa’s winter survival rates with artificial intelligence and persistency by combining data and remote imagery with artificial intelligence.
  • Up to $621,572 to develop an assurance system for farmers to produce and sell carbon offsets, contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and retention of Canada’s grasslands. Canadian Forage and Grassland Association expects that more than 5,000 hectares of Canadian grasslands will be protected by land conservation agreements, and 10,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) will be saved through third-party verified carbon offset credits.

These projects will help farmers better understand alfalfa growth, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Government of Canada is committed to providing new and innovative means for farmers to improve the yields of their cover crops and building a sustainable agriculture sector.

Source : Government of Canada

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