Environmental ag research programs get federal funding

Twenty new research projects across Canada, involving climate change mitigation, soil and water conservation, will have access to $27 million over five years from the federal agriculture department.

Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay announced the funds April 21 at the University of Alberta.

The funds are held within the Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program (AGGP), which aims to create technologies and practices to help the agriculture sector adjust to climate change.

The U of A itself will receive $3.7 million for three projects “that will explore the environmental footprint of different cereal crops, cattle grazing systems and shelter belts,” said a government news release.

“Canadian farmers are great stewards of the land and the environment,” said MacAulay in the news release.

“These new investments are part of the government’s commitment to address climate change and ensuring our farming sector are world leaders in the use and development of clean and sustainable technology and processes.”

The U of A projects include development of a new grazing system for ranchers, investigating the use of perennial cereals and evaluating the environmental impact of shelter belts and hedgerows.

The other 17 projects span the country, from the University of British Columbia’s studies on greenhouse gas emissions from blueberry, potato and forage crops to research on willow tree carbon sequestration in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

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