News Releases

News Release - Canada and Manitoba

September 23, 2016

GOVERNMENTS INVEST IN NEW EQUIPMENT AND RESOURCES FOR ORGANIC GRAIN RESEARCH



GLENLEA—The Canada and Manitoba governments will invest more than $366,000 in organic grain research at the University of Manitoba. Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler and Terry Duguid, member of Parliament for Winnipeg South, on behalf of Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay, announced this new initiative will be funded through Growing Forward 2 and will to help mark National Organic Week, which runs Sept. 17 to 25.

“Organic agriculture is a growing opportunity for many Manitoba farmers,” said Eichler. “This strategic investment in equipment and infrastructure will ensure the university continues to produce research that is relevant to producers who are interested in pursuing organic cereals, oilseeds and pulse crops.”

The funding, provided through the Grain Innovation Hub, will be used to replace field equipment used by the university’s organic research program, including cultivators for grains, corn and beans, a comb-cutter, manure spreader, seeder and tractor. Governments will also help support two years of organic research at the university, totalling $50,000. 

“As Canada celebrates National Organic Week, the Government of Canada is proud to support research that enhances competitiveness by providing farmers with the information they need to meet the ever-growing consumer demand for organic foods, both locally and around the world,” said Duguid.

The University of Manitoba is celebrating 25 years of organic research, which began 1992 with Canada’s first study to compare organic and conventional crop production. Since then, researchers have explored many aspects of organic grain agronomy including weed and fertility management, cereal crop breeding for organic production and reduced tillage management. 

“This critical support of infrastructure allows our researchers to continue their already significant exploration of organic crop production,” said Dr. Digvir Jayas, vice-president (research and international) and distinguished professor, University of Manitoba. “Through long-term comparative trials and innovative participatory plant breeding, Dr. Martin Entz and his team are leading the way in natural systems agriculture.”

The Grain Innovation Hub was announced by the Canada and Manitoba governments in May 2014. Its goal is to leverage $33 million in government and industry funding to ensure Manitoba remains a leader in grain research, production and processing.

The federal and provincial governments are investing $176 million in cost-shared programming in Manitoba under Growing Forward 2, a five-year, federal-provincial-territorial policy framework to advance the agriculture industry, helping producers and processors become more innovative and competitive in world markets. For more information, visit www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture under Growing Forward 2.

For more information about the U of M Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, visit www.umanitoba.ca/afs. A new video highlighting the achievements of a quarter-century of organic research at the university also launched this week. A link is posted at www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture under What’s New.

For more information on Manitoba’s agricultural programs and services, follow the Twitter account at www.twitter.com/MBGovAg.

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