Today, Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart and Member of Parliament Kelly Block for Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar, on behalf of Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, announced nearly $4.2 million in funding for 27 livestock and forage research projects.
“Saskatchewan producers know the importance of investing in agricultural research,” said Block. “The livestock projects announced today will help producers innovate, which in turn will strengthen our economy here in Saskatchewan and across Canada.”
“Our government is committed to supporting agriculture research,” Stewart said. “The funding provided through the Agriculture Development Fund results in innovations that lead to increased productivity and profitability for our producers.”
Projects receiving funding will:
Develop new vaccines;
Improve yield and marbling in beef cattle;
Develop new, sustainable forage legumes;
Improve fertility and reproductive efficiency in livestock;
Research the effect ergot-contaminated feed has on cow-calf operations; and
Develop feed for optimum performance in livestock.
Support for these projects is provided through the Saskatchewan Agriculture Development Fund (ADF) and is part of a record $27.7 million provincial agricultural research budget in 2013-14. Earlier this month, the federal and provincial governments announced $7 million in funding for 46 crop-related research projects, bringing this year’s total ADF investment to nearly $11.2 million.
This investment in agriculture research will help achieve goals set out in the Saskatchewan Plan for Growth, which includes establishing Saskatchewan as an international leader in biosciences, increasing crop production and increasing provincial agriculture exports by $5 billion by 2020.
“Research is important to help the Saskatchewan beef industry grow and remain competitive,” Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association CEO Craig Douglas said. “Today’s investment will help cattle producers get the most from their animals and the land they manage; maintain profitability; and ensure environmental stewardship is a top priority.”
“Cow-calf producers look forward to learning from the projects that are receiving funding from the Agriculture Development Fund,” Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association President Harold Martens said. “We know continued investment in research leads to long-term benefits for our industry.”
“Swine research projects have translated into tremendous advances in animal health and production over the past decade,” Sask Pork Chair Florian Possberg said. “Today’s announcement of additional research funding for livestock and forage will have a positive impact on producers and the research community.”
“Investments in forage research are key to encouraging growth and development in our industry,” Saskatchewan Forage Council President Aaron Ivey said. “Forages are the base of many sectors within the agricultural industry and improvements in forage crops have far-reaching impacts for agriculture in general.”