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Government of Canada adds to their investment in crop diversification research

June 3, 2024  By Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada press release


The federal government’s support for increasing crop diversity continues with an investment of more than $8.1 million to Ag-West Bio Inc. through the AgriScience Program – Clusters Component, an initiative under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership. This initiative seeks to promote diverse crop rotations with small acreage crops that are able to withstand drought, heat, and soil nutrient deficiency.

“There is no doubt that our farmers are among the first to feel the impacts of climate change. That’s exactly why we’re supporting this important research to increase the yield and profitability of diverse field crops and make the sector more resilient,” said the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

Ag-West Bio will manage the Diverse Field Crops Cluster, a coordinated group of organizations representing small acreage crops. “Ag-West Bio is grateful for this continued support of the Diverse Field Crops Cluster (DFCC),” said Karen Churchill, president and CEO of Ag-West Bio, in a press release. “The goal with DFCC is to give farmers viable alternatives to include in their rotations, which will help create an agricultural ecosystem that is more profitable while also being more resilient to climate change. By pooling resources, DFCC can advance these crops much faster.”

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The DFCC 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 and improve genetic resiliency, yields, and disease resistance in rotation crops such as mustard, flax, and sunflower.

“We’re pleased to support research that builds on the Prairies’ extensive agricultural know-how,” said the Honourable Dan Vandal, minister responsible for PrairiesCan. “Applying that knowledge to a wider range of crops creates new sources of value, and jobs in rural areas. This project brings together partners with a shared purpose who can draw upon local assets and strengths across our region. Not one government, industry, or organization can do it alone. Investments like this one, supporting the Green Prairie Economy, are a step towards our goal to transition to a stronger, sustainable economic future together.”

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