Canada backs Saskatchewan livestock research

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

Ranchers are always looking to improve their production
Ranchers are always looking to improve their production
The Canadian federal government has announced a C$3.4m in funding for 23 livestock and forage research projects in the province of Saskatchewan.

News was given by the federal agriculture minister Gerry Ritz and the Saskatchewan agriculture minister Lyle Stewart, who also said funding for the projects would be provided through the Saskatchewan Agriculture Development Fund (ADF).

According to Ritz, Saskatchewan is a world-leading province in agricultural research. “The Agriculture Development Fund and work done in the province’s research institutions help producers innovate to strengthen our economy here in Saskatchewan and across Canada,”​ he said.

Livestock and forage projects due to benefit from the funding include a new forage barley for beef and dairy producers; the development of oral and needle-free vaccines for calves; health analysis of sheep in the province; research into new nutritional feeds for piglets; and improvement of the energy value in high-protein feed, among others.

Ritz added that the original funding will help leverage an further C$3.1m in third-party projects funding. Earlier in the month, it was also announced there would be a further C$6.5m in funding from the federal and provincial governments for crop-related research projects, which brings a combined total of ADF investments to around C$10m for crop, livestock and forage research.

Of the funding, Stewart said: “Research is vital to the future of our industry and ranchers across Saskatchewan will benefit from these projects. Our government’s continued commitment to innovation will help our producers remain competitive and will continue to ensure Saskatchewan produces safe, reliable agriculture products.”

There will also be the continuation of annual operational funding from ADF to the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organisation (VIDO), the Prairie Swine Centre and the Western Beef Development Centre, which will receive C$300,000, C$330,00 and C$395,000 respectively.

Investment in the area is part of the country’s record C$20.4m provincial agriculture research budget in 2012, which will continue into 2013. The investment is an increase of more than 50% since 2007.

Chair of Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association Mark Elford highlighted that the funding was a positive for livestock and forage research. He said: “Cattle producers value this research and it is important to the future of the cattle industry.

“Ranchers are always looking to improve their production, and the research projects announced today will test ideas that will help them achieve this goal.”

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