$6-Million agreement to boost canola research
By Canola Council/Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
An agreement between a grower organization in Western Canada and the federal government will see $6.0 million made available to better coordinate large scale research to improve canola production.
November 12, 2008
A new $6-million federal government-grower group agreement is paving the way for better coordination of larger scale canola agronomy research projects by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) researchers across western Canada. The Prairie Canola Agronomy Research Program (PCARP) is the result of an agreement involving Canola Council of Canada, along with the Alberta Canola Producers Commission (ACPC), the Manitoba Canola Growers Association (MCGA), the Saskatchewan Canola Development Commission (SCDC), and AAFC. “The Canadian agriculture industry, and especially our farmers, are innovators and entrepreneurs,” said federal agriculture Minister, Gerry Ritz. “This ground-breaking program combines government with industry to ensure that Canadian canola will remain one of our most valuable crops." The investment of grower dollars in this agreement demonstrates just how much growers value AAFC agronomy research, according to Clarence Assenheimer, chairman of ACPC’s research committee. “This new agreement builds on the huge success of ACPC’s previous 10 year commitment to research with AAFC. With our $1 million dollar investment, we saw tremendous gains in canola agronomy research that has enhanced the sustainability of this industry,” he says. “It is great to see this current agreement include collaboration with Saskatchewan and Manitoba growers and researchers.” A newly-established management committee is responsible for ensuring that all projects fit with the research direction of each of the three provincial grower groups. A canola agronomy workshop is planned for 2009, which will allow for research updates and discussion, as well as refinement of research priorities for the upcoming year. “Being able to leverage grower dollars through AAFC program funding means more money can be directed to better canola agronomy projects,” says Wayne Bacon, SCDC’s research chair. “Our money not only goes further, but we also have a hand in directing what type of projects are done.” The canola industry has a strong commitment to science and recognizes the need to develop new solutions to health, environment and production issues in order to meet the goals of Growing Great 2015, its ambitious plan to achieve 15 million tonnes of sustained market demand and production. “Farmers are integral to the success of this industry so there is tremendous value in investing in research that will provide practical solutions to production issues that growers face,” says JoAnne Buth, President of the Canola Council of Canada. “This agreement is a great example for Canadian Agriculture of how committed collaboration between growers and government can help move an industry towards its goals,” says Barry Chappell, MCGA research chair.