January 24, 2018

Governments Invest $6.3 Million in Livestock and Forage Research

Today Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay and Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart announced $6.3 million in funding for 24 livestock and forage-related research projects through Saskatchewan’s Agriculture Development Fund (ADF).

In addition, the governments are committing $2 million over two years through ADF to the Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence (LFCE) at the University of Saskatchewan to support operations and ongoing research.

“Our government strongly supports research projects that help further innovation in Saskatchewan’s world-class agriculture and agri-food sector and create well-paying paying jobs for the Canadian middle class,” MacAulay said.

“Investing in research and innovation helps ensure that Saskatchewan remain a competitive and world-class agricultural research hub,” Stewart said.  “Saskatchewan farmers and ranchers benefit from the knowledge and tools developed by this research.”

ADF research aims to increase productivity and address issues relevant to Saskatchewan agriculture.  Through ADF, farmers and ranchers benefit from research in areas such as new forage varieties, improved livestock feeding systems and management of animal diseases.

This year’s projects include:

  • Researching new vaccine strategies to help prevent pink eye, which will help mitigate significant economic costs to Saskatchewan cattle producers as well as reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance;
  • New knowledge on integration of DNA paternity and genomic program information that will enable beef producers to make better breeding decisions; and
  • A study into the physiology behind forage-efficient beef cows and the development of better selection tools for the cow/calf industry.

Several industry groups provided additional funding for the projects.  The Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association, the Saskatchewan Barley Development Commission, SaskMilk and the Saskatchewan Forage Development Commission committed $186,500.

“We are proud to invest in and support projects that will improve all areas of production,” Saskatchewan Cattleman’s Association Chair Ryan Beierbach said.  “The outcomes of these projects strengthen our producers and our beef industry overall.”

“The LFCE links together all aspects of the livestock value chain to improve production here at home, across the country and abroad,” U of S College of Agriculture and Bioresources Dean and LFCE steering committee member Dr. Mary Buhr said.  “Investment from government allows the LFCE to strive toward its goal of being a leader in developing research, people, tools and techniques for healthy, sustainable and competitive growth in the livestock and forage industries of Saskatchewan and Canada.”

ADF funding is part of the $26.8 million the Government of Saskatchewan committed to agriculture research in the 2017-18 provincial budget.  Funding is provided under the federal-provincial-territorial initiative, Growing Forward 2.

In July 2017, federal, provincial and territorial ministers of agriculture reached agreement in principle on the key elements of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five-year $3 billion investment that will set a solid foundation for the future of Canada’s farmers and food processors, and continue to help them grow, innovate and prosper.

The partnership, which will replace Growing Forward 2, is set to launch on April 1, 2018.  Earlier this month, the governments announced $7.7 million for 30 crop-related research projects.

For more information, including a complete list of all funded projects, please visit www.saskatchewan.ca and search “Agriculture Development Fund.”