As the climate warms, northern boreal regions are expected to become more important for agricultural production. This ecozone covers 35 per cent of Canada's total land area – including Newfoundland and Labrador. Agricultural activities currently contribute 10 per cent of Canada's greenhouse gas emissions. Project goals for “Low-Input Agriculture in Cool Climate Boreal Ecosystems” include:
- Determining the effects of various crop management systems on soil health, crop yield and quality;
- Reducing the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions in agricultural production;
- Investigating the effects of natural resource by-products – for example, waste generated from the forestry and aquaculture sectors – on soil health, crop yield and quality; and
- Investigating methods to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture, forestry, and other resource-based industries.
Eight graduate students from Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland are working with researchers and scientists from Fisheries and Land Resources, Natural Resources Canada, and Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Ltd., on three focus areas with projects relevant to agriculture in Newfoundland and Labrador, including:
- Evaluating the effects of crop rotation and nitrogen fertilizer additives in an effort to:
- reduce nitrogen fertilizer requirements;
- reduce losses due to leaching and greenhouse gas emissions;
- improve soil health, and
- ensure agricultural growth by adopting sustainable practices;
Source : Government of Canada
- Determining the suitability and potential use of natural resource waste in agriculture, including paper mill waste and fish sludge; and
- Demonstrating and communicating the benefits of improved management practices to increase awareness and adoption of practices.