The federal and Saskatchewan governments announced $7.5 million in funding for livestock and forage research in 2021 through the Saskatchewan Agricultural Development Fund (ADF) on Wednesday.

The $7.5 figure includes more than $4.1 million for 24 livestock and forage-related research projects, and nearly $3.5 million in operational funding for the Prairie Swine Centre and the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) at the University of Saskatchewan.

“Through the ADF, producers benefit from research into new forage varieties, improved livestock feeding systems and management of animal diseases that drive industry growth,” noted Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Marit. “This year’s projects will expand the growth potential of the industry by exploring topics such as water quality, cost of production, diagnostics supports, animal health, forage production, quality and breeding.”

The 24 projects were selected based on the extent to which they’re expected to create future growth opportunities and enhance the competitiveness of Saskatchewan’s agriculture industry.

As an example, one project led by Kerri Finlay will look at how removing sulphates from agricultural ponds improves cattle health. Dr. Murray Jelinski will lead a project using watering bowls to study antimicrobial resistance, while the province says Kathy Larson will lead a project that will examine how cow/calf producers are using production and financial data to make management decisions on their operations.

In addition to the federal and provincial funds, nearly $324,000 for these projects is coming from the following partners: Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association, Saskatchewan Forage Seed Development Commission, Saskatchewan Alfalfa Seed Producers Development Commission, SaskMilk and Alberta Milk.

“Saskatchewan alfalfa seed producers are pleased to be able to participate in the co-funding of important forage research projects, including development of a salt-tolerant alfalfa cultivar adapted to western Canada,” said Saskatchewan Alfalfa Seed Producers Development Commission Director of Research Wayne Goerzen.

According to the University of Saskatchewan, the Prairie Swine Centre will receive $1.9 million and VIDO will receive $1.58 million. A total of 19 individual research projects through the university were also awarded approximately $3 million, including almost $332,000 for forage crop breeding development at the Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) at USask.

The annual ADF livestock funding announcement followed the $9.8 million crop-focused ADF announcement earlier this month. The ADF is funded under the five-year Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP).

Download the Saskatchewan government’s complete list of ADF-funded livestock and forage projects here.

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