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Minister MacAulay announces investment in crop diversification research

Diversity in field crops creates an agriculture ecosystem that is profitable and resilient to climate change. Small acreage crops, like camelina, carinata, flax, mustard and sunflower, contribute to the resiliency of Canadian crop production thanks to their ability to withstand drought, heat, and soil nutrient deficiency.

To support research to increase crop diversity, today, the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced up to $8,124,319 to Ag-West Bio Inc. through the AgriScience Program – Clusters Component, an initiative under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

Ag-West Bio will manage the Diverse Field Crops Cluster, a coordinated group of organizations representing small acreage crops, with the goal of building capacity and increasing the acreage seeded to diverse crops.

Crop research is a key driver of innovation and advancement for producers, and it has the potential to generate long-term, sustainable economic growth for Canada's agricultural sector. The Cluster research activities aim to:

  • Benchmark the GHG emissions produced by diverse crops and understand how those emissions are impacted by nitrogen fertilizer use
  • Further develop new oilseed crops, such as camelina, that are more adapted to production on lower-quality land
  • Improve genetic resiliency, yields, and disease resistance in rotation crops such as mustard, flax, and sunflower
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