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Government invests more than $4.8 million for agriculture research in Manitoba

May 24, 2019  By Top Crop Manager

The Canadian and Manitoba governments invested more than $4.8 million for 22 agricultural projects under the Ag Action Manitoba Research and Innovation Activity Stream.

“Our government has an ambitious agenda for Canadian agriculture that starts with smart investments like this, which will demonstrate health benefits of Western crops to Canadians and international consumers,” said Dan Vandal, member of Parliament for Saint-Boniface – Saint Vital, on behalf of federal agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau.

The University of Manitoba’s department of plant sciences received funding for a variety of projects such as:

  • Cover crops and cropping systems innovation for Manitoba
  • Tools for optimized plant spatial arrangement for wheat production in Manitoba
  • Linking malt quality defects with traits of Fusarium species and with malt microbiomes
  • Breeding and development of intermediate wheatgrass as a perennial grain crop for Western Canada
  • Building soil health on farmed clay soil in Manitoba

The University of Manitoba’s department of soil science received funding for a project on a biobed for managing pesticide rinsate with on-farm testing under Manitoba conditions.

Other key recipients of the announced funding are the Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association Inc. and the Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers. The following projects have been approved for funding:

  • Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers
    • Development of tools and techniques to manage extreme moisture
    • Enhancing pre-harvest sprouting tolerance in wheat
  • Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers
    • Building knowledge and achieving genetic improvements to overcome the effect of drought and salinity on soybean
    • Defining pathogen-related soil quality targets for annual legumes to pursue through crop rotation
    • Development of an integrated weed management package to mitigate and manage glyphosate-resistant weeds in soybean
    • Development of a superior Rhizobium species strains to support biological nitrogen fixation in dry bean

Other recipients of funding include the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), Cytophage Technologies Inc., Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance, Function Four Inc. (using embedded sensors, machine learning and AI to optimize production), Morden Research and Development Centre with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and the St. Boniface Hospital Research Centre.

Researchers at the St. Boniface Hospital Research Centre will be receiving more than $650,000 to conduct four separate studies on the economic and health-related effects of flaxseed and flax milk. Areas of study include the effect of flax milk on chemotherapy side effects experienced by breast cancer patients, how flax milk can improve arterial hypertension, how memory and cognition are affected by flaxseed, and comparing the effects of fish oil to flax oil.

“We are excited by the opportunity to determine if flax can significantly help in the fight against disease and create an economic impact to boost Canadian agribusiness,” said Dr. Grant Pierce, executive director, St. Boniface Hospital Research. “The opportunity to collaborate with major flax companies in Manitoba, like Pizzeys’ Ingredients, gives us another exciting opportunity to produce important information that will advance the flax field.”

The Ag Action Manitoba Research and Innovation Activity Stream provides grant funding for researcher and industry-led projects that contribute to the development of agricultural knowledge and skills and improve the competitiveness and sustainability of Manitoba’s agriculture, agri-food and agri-product sectors.


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