As part of its $32 million Capacity Initiative, WGRF is pleased to announce funding of $3.3 Million for field equipment and the enhancement of phenomics capacity at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC).
AAFC has six Research and Development Centres (RDC) and eight Research Farms (RFs) within the Prairie Region of Canada. AAFC plays an integral role in accelerating agricultural research and innovation in the region.
“WGRF’s Capacity Initiative provides an opportunity to continue the great partnership work happening at AAFC and enhance some of the equipment needed for field research programs,” says Dr. Keith Degenhardt, WGRF Board Chair. “AAFC is matching the $3.3 million dollar investment by WGRF, Prairie farmers will see the results of this investment through improved crop productivity and resource use efficiency.”
Equipment purchases will be made at multiple AAFC stations and research farms across western Canada including Brandon, Indian Head, Swift Current, Morden, Saskatoon, Lacombe, Lethbridge, and Portage La Prairie.
The equipment being purchased includes multiple plot seeders, combines, sprayers, swathers, irrigation equipment as well as field-based phenotyping equipment allowing for the automated measurement of plant characteristics such as height, nitrogen content, photosynthesis and other qualitative plant growth characteristics. The combination of equipment will benefit both variety development and agronomy research.
“WGRF is an important partner for AAFC research, we’re pleased producers see the value in our work and support our capacity to carry out research across the Prairies,” says Dr. Joyce Boye, Director General for AAFC’s Science and Technology Branch for the Prairie Region. “Some of the funds will be put towards data-based tools to speed up our ability to breed high priority crops that can withstand the extremes of a dryer climate.”
“To maintain scientific advances at the rate required by today’s producers, it’s important for prairie-based researchers to have the tools they need to stay ahead of the curve,” says Garth Patterson, WGRF Executive Director. “WGRF is pleased to be providing funds to help support the enhancement and refresh of equipment at AAFC research stations.”
In total, twenty-four Phase 2 Capacity Initiative applications were approved by WGRF. Additional Capacity funding announcements will be made in the coming months.