July 12, 2018 – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Canada's productive agricultural lands are an important asset for our hardworking
farmers, a strategic resource essential for maintaining global food security and
the sector's continued profitability. Over the last 35 years, Canada's average crop
area per farm has doubled, accounting for over 90 million acres in 2016, or nearly
60 percent of total farm area. Research plays a critical role in sustaining and
managing Canadian crop production.
Today, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay, announced an investment
of up to $6.3 million in funding to the Western Grains Research Foundation for a
five-year Integrated Crop Agronomy Cluster under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership,
AgriScience Program. With an added industry contribution of up to $2.7 million,
up to $9.0 million will be directed to agronomy research into multi-crop, integrated
crop production that will help keep farmers on the leading edge.
Agronomy, or the science and practice of crop production and farmland management,
brings together knowledge of how plants, soils, insects, microorganisms and climate
interact with each other in a given area. Research completed under this science
cluster will focus on resiliency to climate change, improving the sustainability
of crops in multi-crop, whole-farm cropping systems, and knowledge and technology
transfer. This is the first AgriScience Cluster focussed solely on agronomy research.
Today's announcement is part of Minister MacAulay's 'Growing Canadian Agriculture'
tour, where he will meet with farmers, processors and industry leaders, as well
as participate in rural agricultural events across the country, to hear ideas on
how to capture new growth opportunities for the sector.
"Research and innovation are vital to growing and sustaining Canadian crop production.
Demand for our grains and other field crops continues to grow around the world and
the Government of Canada is working hard to help farmers meet that demand, today
and for years to come, through strategic investments in science and cutting edge
research." - Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
"Producers face many agronomic challenges that cut across multiple crops. The focus
of this Cluster is to use an integrated approach to study agronomic issues for everything
from soil health, crop rotations, adapting to climate change and dealing with threats
such as weeds, insects and disease. The research projects included address many
of these agronomic challenges and will aim to find solutions to production threats,
as well as further develop sustainable and resilient cropping systems. " - Dr. Keith
Degenhardt, Chair of the Research Committee, Western Grain Research Foundation
- Canadian field crops accounted for 158.7 million acres in 2016, with 2017 crop receipts
totalled $34.1 billion.
- The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3 billion investment by federal,
provincial and territorial governments to strengthen the agriculture and agri-food
sector. The Partnership builds on Growing Forward 2, the previous five-year agreement
that ended on March 31, 2018.
- The Partnership includes programs and activities to enhance the competitiveness
of the sector through research, science and innovation. Through the AgriScience
Program, a five-year, up to $338 million initiative, the government is supporting
leading edge discovery and applied science, and innovation driven by industry research
Follow the Minister on his tour on Twitter: @AAFC_Canada, #GrowingCanAg