Canadian University Receives Gov’t Funding to Study Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Practices for Cattle Sector
December 13, 2011 | Jessica Vernabe
The Canadian government has invested in a study by the University of Manitoba that aims to examine how green agriculture technologies can boost profitability for Canadian farmers, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada announced.
Government officials, on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, announced an investment of $3 million, which will allow the university to study cost-effective greenhouse gas mitigation practices for the cattle sector. The project is being funded through the Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program. The program is a $27-million initiative focused on the development of on-farm technologies that lessen the impact of greenhouse gases. Funding will be provided to partners across Canada, who will help investigate new mechanisms, tools and approaches.
“Our Government’s top priority is the economy, and Canada’s agriculture industry plays a vital role in helping to keep our economy strong,” said Vic Toews, Canada’s minister of public safety and the university’s regional minister. “This project will help the agriculture industry improve its environmental performance while benefiting our economy and ensuring Canadian farmers stay competitive in the global marketplace.”
The study will focus on the greenhouse gas-related effects in three main areas, according to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Those areas are described as “converting crops from perennial to annual grasslands, long-term crop rotations of 10 years, and allowing cattle to graze during the winter rather than keeping them in a confined area.”
The results will be used to create new beneficial management practices that farmers can adopt, potentially improving their feeding efficiency. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada cited that between 2 and 12 cents of the energy of feed consumed by livestock is lost as a greenhouse gas.
The Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program is the Canadian government’s first contribution to the Global Research Alliance. The alliance is an international network that consists of more than 30 member countries that aim to make new greenhouse-gas mitigation technologies and management practices available to farmers.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada offers information, research and technology, and policies and programs that are designed to help achieving environmentally sustainable agriculture, according to its website.