By Top Crop Manager
RDAR and Genome Alberta, with the Government of Canada and Alberta Agriculture, forestry and rural economic development, announced $5.1 million in funding through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) for agriculture genomics projects. This investment is leveraged 2.5 times with other non-government funding for a total investment of $12.1 million.
“Genomics research has practical real-world application that is contributing to building a more sustainable agriculture sector in Canada,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, minister of agriculture and agri-food, in a statement. “From developing new tools, improving the quality of food we eat, to breeding more resilient crops – our genomic researchers are the heart of advancing science and innovation so that our farmers in Alberta have the tools they need to be successful.”
This investment supports 14 projects that will apply genomics to address challenges and opportunities across Alberta agriculture, including livestock (bees, beef, dairy, pork), crops (wheat, canola, potatoes) and soil health. Projects encompass RDAR’s producers’ directive to invest in projects powering competitiveness, profitability and productivity; sustainability; and market development. All of the projects have an extension component to transfer research outputs from researchers to producers and consumers.
Examples of the funded research projects include:
- applying precision genomics to select more resilient dairy cows;
- breeding clubroot resistant canola
- measuring soil health using meta-genomics;
- genomic selection of protective agents to combat bacterial pathogens in pigs; and
- using genomic data to help protect the health of Alberta livestock.