Michelle Rempel, minister of state for Western Economic Diversification and MP for Calgary Centre, was on hand at Carman, Man., today to announce federal support for the purchase of specialized agricultural equipment to seed and harvest soybean and corn research test plots.
Western Economic Development Canada’s (WD) investment of $242,000, through the Western Diversification Program, will enable the Manitoba Pulse Growers Association, in partnership with the Manitoba Corn Growers Association, to undertake agronomic research. This work will result in improved crop productivity and yields, allowing farmers to capitalize on the increase in domestic and international market demand, while reducing production risks, according to the government press release.
The funding will be put towards a row-crop seeder and combine, says Roxanne Lewko, executive director of the Manitoba Pulse Growers Association. The equipment will be used in research projects headed up by Dr. Yvonne Lawley at the University of Manitoba.
“(This research is) resulting in best management practices that farmers can use. Agronomic research provides incredible value to farmers and this funding commitment reflects the government’s recognition of that indicates the importance of this type of work in the future,” says Lewko.
Soybean acres have climbed to an estimated 1 million in Manitoba for the 2013 growing season. It’s estimated corn acres sit above 340,000 for this year, an increase of nearly 25% from 2012. Both crops are enjoying growing planting rates across Western Canada.