Posted on 12/11/2011, 10:58 am, by mySteinbach.ca

Canadian farmers will benefit from a partnership between the Government of Canada, industry and universities across Canada to boost producer profitability through green agriculture technologies. The Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety and Regional Minister for Manitoba, on behalf of Agricultural Minister Gerry Ritz, announced an investment of nearly $3 million to the University of Manitoba to study cost-effective greenhouse gas mitigation practices for the cattle sector.

“Our Government’s top priority is the economy, and Canada’s agriculture industry plays a vital role in helping to keep our economy strong,” said Minister Toews. “This project will help the agriculture industry improve its environmental performance while benefiting our economy and ensuring Canadian farmers stay competitive in the global marketplace.”

The University of Manitoba will use the investment to study greenhouse gas-related effects in three priority areas: converting crops from perennial to annual grasslands, long-term crop rotations of 10 years, and allowing cattle to graze during the winter rather than keeping them in a confined area. Results of this research will lead to the development of new beneficial management practices (BMPs) that will have a substantial impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the cattle sector. Farmers who adopt these new BMPs can also benefit economically from improved feeding efficiency because two to 12 per cent of the energy of feed consumed by livestock is lost as a greenhouse gas.

“This investment will ensure our world-class innovators at the University of Manitoba will be able to explore new methods to reduce greenhouse gases which will have economic as well as environmental benefits,” said President and Vice-Chancellor David Barnard. “We welcome this partnership and thank the Government of Canada for supporting the work of our outstanding researchers.”

Funding for this project is through the Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program (AAGP), a five-year, $27-million initiative that focuses on the development of on-farm greenhouse gas mitigation technologies. The AGGP will provide funding to various partners across Canada to investigate innovative mechanisms, tools and approaches to provide real solutions for the agriculture sector.

The AGGP represents Canada’s initial contribution to the Global Research Alliance, an international network of more than 30 member-countries that will coordinate and increase agricultural research on greenhouse gas mitigation and make new mitigation technologies and beneficial management practices available to farmers. For more information on the Global Research Alliance, visit www.globalresearchalliance.org.