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WGRF funds equipment and infrastructure for IHARF


March 17, 2021
By Western Grains Research Foundation

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As part of its $32 million Capacity Initiative, the Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) recently announced a $727,470 investment in equipment and infrastructure for the Indian Head Agricultural Research Foundation (IHARF) located in Indian Head, Sask.

This funding will assist IHARF in acquiring processing and analytical equipment, field equipment, a tractor, a drone, multiple weather stations, a plot-combine and a drying shed.

“Having the necessary equipment in place is an important step in expanding research capacity,” says Keith Degenhardt, WGRF board chair. “The purchase of this equipment will allow IHARF to expand operations now and in the future while also increasing the speed at which results and information can be disseminated.”

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IHARF and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) have shared resources for over 25 years, but currently the applied agronomic research programs operated by both parties are at maximum capacity at Indian Head. IHARF has grown to annually cropping over 1,200 acres, conducting 45-60 small-plot research and demonstration projects, leading research with growers on their own farms, and hosting extension events.

“We are very grateful to WGRF for making this investment in our program,” says Danny Petty, IHARF executive manager. “By providing the building blocks to allow IHARF to expand its operations, not only will we be able to increase our small-plot research program, but we’ll be able to expand our work on-farm with growers continuing research and validating results by farmers in a field-scale setting.”

“Funding for equipment and infrastructure can be difficult for producer-directed research associations to access,” says Garth Patterson, WGRF executive director. “WGRF’s investment in IHARF will pay off for farmers over the next few decades.”

In total, twenty-four Phase 2 Capacity Initiative applications were approved by WGRF.