The governments of Canada and Manitoba will invest more than $366,000 in organic grain research at the University of Manitoba.
This new initiative will be funded through Growing Forward 2 (GF2), a five-year (2013-18) policy framework for Canada’s agricultural and agri-food sector. GF2 is a $3 billion dollar investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments and the foundation for government agricultural programs and services. GF2 programs focus on innovation, competitiveness and market development to ensure Canadian producers and processors have the tools and resources they need to continue to innovate and capitalize on emerging market opportunities.
The funding, provided through the Grain Innovation Hub, will be used to replace field equipment used by the university’s organic research program, including cultivators for grains, corn and beans, a comb-cutter, manure spreader, seeder and tractor. Governments will also help support two years of organic research at the university, totaling $50,000.
“Organic agriculture is a growing opportunity for many Manitoba farmers,” said Ralph Eichler of Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development. “This strategic investment in equipment and infrastructure will ensure the university continues to produce research that is relevant to producers who are interested in pursuing organic cereals, oilseeds and pulse crops.”
The University of Manitoba is celebrating 25 years of organic research, which began in 1992 with Canada’s first study to compare organic and conventional crop production. Since then, researchers have explored many aspects of organic grain agronomy including weed and fertility management, cereal crop breeding for organic production and reduced tillage management.
The Grain Innovation Hub was announced by the Canada and Manitoba governments in May 2014. Its goal is to leverage $33 million in government and industry funding to ensure Manitoba remains a leader in grain research, production and processing.
The federal and provincial governments are investing $176 million in cost-shared programming in Manitoba under GF2.