The governments of Canada and Manitoba have invested more than $365,000 in five new research projects in Manitoba, including one intended to help reduce the risk of a common, costly and potentially fatal infection in dairy cattle.

The research projects are funded through the Growing Innovation - Agri-Food Research and Development Initiative (ARDI), and focus on a range of issues affecting Manitoba’s agriculture industry.

The funded projects are:

  • $180,000 to XiteBio Technologies Inc. to determine whether bacteria living near the roots of wheat and barley can be used to help control the damage caused by fusarium head blight, a serious fungal disease that affects crop yield and quality
  • More than $61,000 to Dairy Farmers of Manitoba (DFM) to identify more effective prevention and control programs for mastitis, a costly disease affecting dairy cattle
  • $50,000 to CanaMaize Seed to develop and perform yield trials on a non-genetically modified soybean that is high yielding and suitable for Manitoba’s shorter growing season
  • More than $47,000 to the University of Manitoba to evaluate prairie cordgrass as a potential source of biomass energy as compared to other perennial grasses, with the goal of developing a breeding program in Manitoba
  • Nearly $27,000 to Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers to conduct the fifth general weed survey in Manitoba since the 1970s and the third herbicide-resistant weed survey since the 1990s, as the results will help measure changes in the number and type of weed populations and assess weed management strategies.

Mastitis is the most costly disease affecting the dairy industry, resulting in decreased milk yields, lower milk quality, higher veterinary treatment costs and the loss of animals. The project will study the microorganisms in dairy cows’ mammary glands during various points of lactation to determine the most effective times to prevent and control mastitis infections.

In total, industry partners have contributed another $374,000 to these five projects.

“An investment in research is an investment in the future of Manitoba’s agriculture industry,” said Ralph Eichler, Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development. “It’s exciting because these research projects are led by farmers and the broader agricultural industry, the people who are best positioned to identify the problems that need solutions and the opportunities we should pursue.”

Funding for research, innovation

ARDI funds industry-led research and development focused on crops, livestock, environment and food.

The federal and provincial governments are investing $176 million in Manitoba under Growing Forward 2, a five-year, federal-provincial-territorial policy framework to advance the agriculture industry, helping producers and processors become more innovative and competitive in world markets.

Dairy Farmers of Manitoba is committed to producing milk according to the highest standards of quality and is totally financed by and represents all dairy farmers in the province. Established in 1974, they are responsible for managing the supply of milk in the province, representing the interests of Manitoba dairy farmers at the provincial and national level, developing and implementing advertising and promotional programs, and delivering nutrition and dairy agriculture education programs. All dairy farms in Manitoba are family owned and operated.