Beef, forage research receives Sask. funding

The Saskatchewan and federal governments announced $3.5 million in beef and forage research funding this week.

The amount is down considerably from last year, but provincial agriculture minister Lyle Stewart said the 2016 total was unusually high because of some unique projects.

The University of Saskatchewan will receive the lion’s share of the funding at $2.46 million, followed by the Western Beef Development Centre at $482,527.

Agriculture Canada, Prairie Diagnostic Services, Prairie Swine Centre and the Royal Saskatchewan Museum will also receive money.

Beef and dairy will receive $1.6 million, hogs will receive nearly $900,000 and poultry and other species will receive nearly $300,000. Forage projects will receive $636,600.

The Agriculture Development Fund board selects the projects, and Stewart said the members always do a good job of choosing those that are relevant.

“There’s a project to research bovine respiratory disease, which is an expensive disease for the industry,” Stewart said. “There’s one to explore ergot in feed and particularly how that affects bull fertility.”

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Forage research will include developing varieties that are better adapted to the northern Prairies.

Industry organizations are also contributing $280,000 to several projects. The funders include the Western Grains Research Foundation, the Saskatchewan Barley Development Commission, the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association and SaskMilk.

SCA chair Ryan Beierbach said the organization is happy to do so.

“To me research is one of the top things that keeps us competitive with the nations that we compete with in the market,” he said.

Contact karen.briere@producer.com

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