Ottawa offers money for Peace region trials

Research funding of $520,000 for crop trials in British Columbia’s Peace River region has been announced by the federal agriculture department.

Climate shifts and volatile weather patterns could expand the province’s crop production region, and this funding will support research trials into new crops and varieties for the next two years.

Those crops include lentils, dry beans and winter wheat, as well as canola and flax, which will be tested for their resilience to the Peace country’s latitude.

“The Peace River region places tremendous environmental stresses on the crops growing here, from cold soil conditions at plant to highly variable growing seasons due also to our northern latitude,” Clair Langlois, research manager for the B.C. Grain Producers Association, said in a news release.

“This work is very important to determine which crops and varieties can handle the kinds of environmental stresses and climate variability of our region.”

Langlois said his group’s field variety trials are among the largest and most northern outposts for crop research on the Prairies.

“This is a tremendous example of a successful working relationship between plant-breeders and crop producer associations,” he said in the release.

The money will be channeled through the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program, which is delivered in B.C. by the Investment Agriculture Foundation.

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