AG Notes

Manitoba Beef Producers poll members

Manitoba Beef Producers is surveying members about activities, services, risks and opportunities.

The organization is trying to reach as many producers as possible, as well as all sectors involved in beef production.

Kelwin Consulting is handling the survey, which will forward summarized results only to MBP. Surveys will be destroyed once results are analyzed.

The survey can be found in the March issue of Cattle Country or online at www.surveymonkey.com/s/MBP-Needs-Survey.

For more information, contact the MBP office at 800-772-0458.

Potato research gets funding

Potato research and development is receiving $1.8 million in federal funding.

Scientists at Agriculture Canada’s Potato Research Centre in Fredericton, N.B., will lead the collaborative research effort with industry partners.

Researchers from Canada, France and New Zealand will use new discoveries about potato DNA, microbial life in the soil and insect behaviour to find better ways to measure the health and quality of potato plants and tubers.

DNA sequencing will also be used to study potato common scab.

The research goal is to help potato farmers predict and prevent yield losses in their fields and in storage.

Wash bays to Improve biosecurity

Blue Water Wash in Blumenort, Man., will receive $825,000 from the federal and Manitoba government to expand and redevelop its truck-washing facilities to improve biosecurity in the livestock industry.

The facilities in Blumenort and Brandon will be the first of their kind in North America.

The funding will allow Blumenort to add five state-of-the-art drive-through washing bays, a baking bay and an undercarriage washing system. Brandon will add a baking bay. Both facilities will generate about 20 new jobs.

The wash bays will clean hard-to-reach areas on trucks while the baking bay will sanitize vehicles, trailers and other equipment using temperatures of 71 C.

Blue Water Wash currently washes livestock trailers for more than 430 farm sites each week. Demand for these services has increased by 40 percent a year.

Drought, flood funding

The Alberta Federation of Agriculture has received $1.3 million in federal funding to develop a new simulation model to predict the effects of overland flooding and drought.

Simulation hydrologic models and maps could also help predict the likelihood and impact of future water patterns. The data collected could better predict the risk of flooding, which eventually could aid in creating new overland flooding insurance products for producers.

One possible scenario would use the simulation to predict cases in which excess moisture occurs on land unable to absorb or safely divert water away from at risk areas. The model could also be transferred to benefit urban areas that have water-related issues.

The funding came from the AgriRisk initiative.

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