Livestock research gets $3.4 million

Provincial, federal cost share | Saskatchewan ag minister says investment will help meet ag goals

The federal and Saskatchewan governments are contributing $3.4 million to 23 livestock and forage research projects in the province.

Sixty percent of the money is from Ottawa and 40 percent from the province.

Federal agriculture minister Gerry Ritz, who made the announcement at the Saskatchewan Beef Industry Conference in Saskatoon Jan. 23 with Saskatchewan agriculture minister Lyle Stewart, said innovation and research continue to be fundamental tools that allow producers to expand their businesses and help meet a rising global demand for protein.

“You are what you eat, especially when it comes to the livestock sector,” he said.

“So to come up with new and better varieties of forage, it drives competitiveness, it drives innovation.… A recent study showed that every dollar invested in research puts $46 back in producer’s pockets. That’s a good return.”

Stewart said a strong and expanding livestock and forage industry is critical to achieving provincial goals in farm production and exports.

“Investing in research will allow us to reach the ambitious goals we have set for the agriculture industry in this province,” he said.

Stewart said DNA testing for cattle is becoming increasingly important. It is one of the projects to receive funding.

“I think we lead the world in breeding cattle in this province and hence the large number of foreign buyers at shows like Agribition to see our genetics,” he said.

“It’s a huge win for the livestock industry, both in terms of better feed products and in many cases more economic ones.”

Livestock and forage projects receiving funding this year include:

  • New forage barley for beef and dairy producers.
  • Development of oral and needle-free vaccines for calves.
  • Analysis of sheep health in the province.
  • New nutritional feeds for piglets.
  • Improving the energy value in high-protein feed.
  • DNA testing technologies for cattle.
  • Improved production manage-ment tools for cow-calf operations.
  • Development of new vaccines for poultry.
  • Field-testing a vaccine against chronic wasting disease.

The recent money will leverage an additional $3.1 million in third party project funding.

Earlier this month, the federal and provincial governments announced $6.5 million for crop-related research projects, making the total 2013 funding nearly $10 million for crop, livestock and forage research.

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