Sask. livestock research receives funding

Saskatchewan and Ottawa today announced $7.5 million for livestock and forage research in the province.

Of the total, $4.1 million will flow through the Agriculture Development Fund to 24 research projects. The remainder is operating funding for the Prairie Swine Centre and the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization.

“Through ADF, producers benefit from research into new forage varieties, improved livestock feeding systems and management of animal diseases that drive industry growth,” said Saskatchewan agriculture minister David Marit.

The project topics include water quality, cost of production animal health and forage production.

They include projects involving bees, bison, beef cattle, swine, poultry, dairy cattle and sheep.

One project is looking at how removing sulfates from water sources improves cattle health. Another will use watering bowls to study antimicrobial resistance. And a third will look at using production and financial data to make management decisions.

The Saskatchewan Alfalfa Seed Producers Development Commission is a new industry partner this year and is participating in co-funding forage research, including development of salt-tolerant alfalfa.

The partners, including the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association, the Saskatchewan Forage and Seed Development Commission, SaskMilk and AlbertaMilk are contributing about $324,000 to the research projects.

Prairie Swine Centre chief executive officer Murray Pettitt said the support from ADF will directly benefit Saskatchewan’s pork value chain.

“In the past 15 years our research program has contributed an average return on investment of $4.10 per pig per year to the industry,” he said in a news release. A full list of the funded projects can be found at www.saskatchewan.ca by searching Agriculture Development Fund.

Contact karen.briere@producer.com

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