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Canada, Saskatchewan announce $5.5m in livestock research

Initial project will confirm guidelines for beef cattle consumption of sulfate in drinking water; other projects include livestock transport and ear-tip necrosis in pigs.

Canadian officials announced Jan. 17 more than $5.5 million in funding for 34 livestock and forage-related research projects through Saskatchewan’s Agriculture Development Fund (ADF) and the Strategic Field Program (SFP).

ADF and SFP are supported through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five-year, $388 million investment in strategic initiatives for Saskatchewan agriculture by the federal and provincial governments, an announcement from the government of Saskatchewan said.

“Our government supports the growth of an innovative, competitive and market-oriented Canadian agriculture sector,” Canada's Minister of Agriculture & Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay said. “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.”

“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,” Saskatchewan agriculture minister David Marit added. “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.”

Support from ADF is awarded on a competitive basis to projects that create future growth opportunities and enhance the competitiveness of the industry.

ADF-funded projects have gone on to create new knowledge and technologies that benefit farmers and ranchers, food processors and agribusinesses, the province said. From enhancing biosecurity to improved vaccines to breeding forage varieties beneficial for Saskatchewan soil, the projects supported through the ADF aim to improve Saskatchewan agriculture.

Under SFP, funding is available for rigorous field-level demonstrations and/or the evaluation of targeted practices and technologies that will support extension delivery while advancing the objectives of the industry.

The initial project supported under this program will confirm guidelines for beef cattle consumption of sulfate in drinking water. The research is being conducted at the University of Saskatchewan’s Livestock & Forage Centre of Excellence.

“This project is exactly the type of work the Livestock & Forage Centre of Excellence is designed to support: tackling the challenges of the agriculture sector,” Livestock & Forage Centre of Excellence director Kris Ringwall said. “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.”

ADF projects supported this year 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, the province reported.

In addition to funds committed by the federal and provincial governments, ADF is also supported by industry groups and other organizations. Further, the livestock and forage projects are receiving more than $320,000 from the following organizations: Saskatchewan Cattlemen's Assn., Saskatchewan Pork Development Board, Alberta Beef Producers, Saskatchewan Canola Development Commission and Saskatchewan Forage Seed Development Commission.

“These investments will benefit the beef sector, and a prosperous beef sector will help grow Saskatchewan's economy,” Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Assn. chair Rick Toney said. “We want to build upon the industry’s competitiveness by advancing beef and forage production methods through research and innovations.”

For more information, including a full list of funded projects, visit www.saskatchewan.ca and search “Agriculture Development Fund.”

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