Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau has announced $2.6 million in federal funding for the Canadian Forage and Grassland Association (CFGA) to support three projects that will assess and improve alfalfa growth using artificial intelligence and develop a carbon offset system for grasslands.

Some of the funding announced July 19 will also be used to develop a Canadian grassland carbon offset system.

The three projects have had funding allocated to them in the following breakdown:

  • Up to $998,185 to develop a tool to improve yield and forage nutritive value from alfalfa fields using artificial intelligence;
  • Up to $996,190 to develop a tool to assess and improve alfalfa’s winter survival rates with artificial intelligence and persistence, by combing data and remote imagery with A.I.; and,
  • Up to $621,572 to develop an assurance system for farmers to produce and sell carbon offsets, contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and retention of Canada’s grasslands

CFGA expects that more than 12,000 acres of grasslands will be protected by land conservation agreements, and 10,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent will be saved through third-party verified carbon offset credits.

“The Canadian Forage and Grassland Association is very excited about this funding from AAFC’s Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program,” says Cedric MacLeod, executive director at CFGA. “Alfalfa is an important ingredient that feeds many other agriculture sectors in Canada, and this funding will help provide forage producers with valuable decision-support tools to help alfalfa crops thrive.”

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