$5.5 million announced for 34 livestock and forage-related projects

On day two of the Saskatchewan Beef Industry Conference being held at Regina, Sask, provincial agriculture minister David Marit, announced more than $5.5 million will be going towards 34 livestock and forage-related research projects through Saskatchewan’s Agriculture Development Fund (ADF) and the Strategic Field Program (SFP).

Both programs are supported through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP), a five-year, $388 million investment in strategic initiatives for Saskatchewan agriculture by the federal and provincial governments.

“By funding research here in Saskatchewan, we’re not only committing to the biosciences sector, we’re investing in the future of our producers and agribusinesses,” Marit says.  “ADF support is granted to projects that focus on areas of concern to Saskatchewan producers, and by supporting this research we’re investing in the future of our industry.”

Although not at the event, federal Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister, Lawrence MacAulay says, “This funding will allow for vital advancements in agricultural research that will support new discoveries in our livestock and forage industries that will benefit farmers, producers, and agribusinesses in Saskatchewan and all across the country.”

Research funding from ADF, is awarded on a competitive basis and will go towards projects that create future growth opportunities and enhance the competitiveness of the industry. Past projects that have been funded by ADF include:

  • Enhancements to biosecurity,
  • Improved vaccines, and
  • Breeding forage varieties specific to Saskatchewan conditions

This year, projects supported will examine a variety of areas of interest to producers, including: developing enhanced biosecurity and animal welfare measures for livestock in transit by improving the design of the trailers they are transported in, determining if ear-tip necrosis in pigs is an infectious disease, and monitoring post-fire recovery of forages on native grasslands.

Under the SFP, funding is available for field level demonstrations along with the evaluation of targeted practices and technologies, which will support extension delivery while advancing the objectives of the industry. According to the release, the initial project supported under this program will be confirming guidelines for beef cattle consumption of sulphate in drinking water.  The research is being conducted at the University of Saskatchewan’s Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence (LFCE).

“This project is exactly the type of work the Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence is designed to support – tackling the challenges of the agriculture sector,” says Kris Ringwall, director of LFCE.  “The research will provide clear and meaningful results that are science-based.  Livestock producers, by incorporating the new guidelines into their operations, will be expanding their management options and, in turn, increasing the livestock sector’s revenue.”

In addition to funds committed by the federal and provincial governments, the ADF program is also supported by industry groups and other organizations.  Livestock and forage projects are also receiving more than $320,000 in funding from the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association, the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board, Alberta Beef Producers, the Saskatchewan Canola Development Commission and the Saskatchewan Forage Seed Development Commission.

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