A key research announcement coming out of Saskatchewan will benefit producers across the prairies.
Agriculture Minister David Marit announced a total of $17.6 million in crop-related research in 2023.
Examples of the individual research projects being funded include exploring the diversity of Fusarium root to species infecting pulse crops, insect response to climate change and ag inputs across the prairies, economic salinity remediation strategies for agriculture water using innovative desalinization minerals and a nutritionally balanced pulse-oilseed protein-based beverage.
Funding is coming through the federal/provincial Agriculture Development Fund, with $4.5 million co-funded by 13 industry partners throughout Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.
Those industry partners include Alberta Wheat Commission, Alberta Barley Commission, Alberta Canola Producers Commission, Manitoba Crop Alliance, Manitoba Canola Growers, Saskatchewan Barley Development Commission, Saskatchewan Canola Development Commission, Saskatchewan Forage Seed Development Commission, Prairie Oat Growers Association, Saskatchewan Cattlemen's Association, Saskatchewan Pulse Growers, Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission and the Western Grains Research Foundation.
The announcement includes $10.3 million in funding for 49 crop-related research projects and $7.2 million for the U of S Crop Development Centre to help cover operating costs over a five-year period.
The operating funds support the work of eight CDC scientists, grain quality testing, and field operations.
Wheat Breeder and CDC Director Dr. Curtis Pozniak says the funding is key.
"You know, if you think of the innovation pipeline of research, you have to have that funding to support those ideas, that then can flow into variety development. Research is not a one-year thing, it's four or five-year projects that were announced today, that really leverage the past research that's been done. That's really a priority for our growers. I mean, we talk to growers, we understand their needs, and we focus our research activities on developing proposals that are important to the profitability of our growers. So having multi-year funding allows us to maintain that momentum, so that we can continue the research that's required to make sure profitability is at the at the top of the page."
A total of 19 USask researchers were awarded $6.8 million to support 29 innovative crop-related projects, ranging from using plant-derived ethanol and biodiesel to reduce plastic waste, to developing nutritionally balanced milk using pulse and oilseed protein, to tackling a root rot problem in lentils.
A complete list of all projects receiving funding through the ADF program can be found here.