Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau and Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Marit have announced a total funding of $17.6 million for crop-related research in 2023.
Invested through Saskatchewan’s Agriculture Development Fund (ADF), the announcement includes $10.3 million for 49 research projects, as well as $7.2 million in operational support over the next five years for the Crop Development Centre (CDC) in Saskatoon. Since being established in 1971, the CDC – a research organization with the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Saskatchewan – has released over 500 commercial crop varieties in over 40 different crop types.
“Climate change and severe weather conditions threaten farmers’ livelihoods,” Bibeau said. “We continue to invest in research and innovation so that producers have the tools they need to maintain and increase productivity despite the changing climate.”
“Saskatchewan is a consistent and reliable supplier of agriculture products to today’s growing and constantly changing global market, and investments like these enable us to be ready for the market of tomorrow,” Marit said. “Encouraging this kind of research and innovation is the first step to staying competitive. Staying competitive means Saskatchewan producers can and will remain the best there is at what they do – sustainably feeding the world.”
Examples of the individual research projects being funded include exploring the diversity of Fusarium root to species infecting pulse crops, insect response to climate change and ag inputs across the prairies, economic salinity remediation strategies for agriculture water using innovative desalinization minerals and a nutritionally balanced pulse-oilseed protein-based beverage.
An additional $4.6 million was contributed in support of this year’s research projects by the following industry partners:
- Alberta Wheat Commission
- Alberta Barley Commission
- Alberta Canola Producers Commission
- Manitoba Crop Alliance
- Manitoba Canola Growers
- Saskatchewan Barley Development Commission
- Saskatchewan Canola Development Commission
- Saskatchewan Forage Seed Development Commission
- Prairie Oat Growers Association
- Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association
- Saskatchewan Pulse Growers
- Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission
- Western Grains Research Foundation
“The continued support of the ADF is greatly appreciated,” Saskatchewan Pulse Growers Board Chair Trent Richards said. “The funding supports SPG’s new research investments that work to address top concerns and improve profitability and competitiveness of Saskatchewan pulse producers.”
Each year, on a competitive basis, the ADF awards support to projects focusing on research with the potential to create growth opportunities for provincial agriculture producers and enhance the sustainability and competitiveness of the industry in Saskatchewan. This annual investment helps generate new knowledge, information and technologies for producers and food processors, such as feed and nutrition information for ranchers and new crop cultivars and production information for farmers.
“For over 50 years, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture has been a strong supporter of the Crop Development Centre,” Director at the University of Saskatchewan’s Crop Development Centre Dr. Curtis Pozniak said. “We’re grateful for the renewed funding that supports our operations, and for the continued investment to support research and innovation in the province. The renewed investment announced today reaffirms the provinces’ commitment to the CDC’s mission to improve the profitability of western Canadian producers and to our continued vision of being a world-class crop improvement organization.”
The ADF is supported through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five-year, $3 billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen the national agriculture and agri-food sector. This includes a $2-billion commitment that is cost-shared 60 per cent federally and 40 per cent provincially/territorially for programs that are designed and delivered by provinces and territories, with a $388-million investment in strategic initiatives for Saskatchewan agriculture.