Seed money for tougher, more prolific crops
Chicken Little Farm in St-Isidore was the venue for a big funding announcement for crop production last week.
Glengarry-Prescott-Russell MP Francis Drouin highlighted the federal government's investment of up to $5.4 million to the Canadian Field Crop Research Alliance under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership's AgriScience Program.
This investment, which includes an additional $3 million from industry, will help soybean crops become more resilient and productive, increase the geographic range for growing crops and benefit the environment.
He also announced an additional investment of $4.1 million over five years to the Canadian Field Crop Research Alliance (CFCRA), funded under the AgriScience Program. This additional funding supports two national oat and corn projects.
The oat project will develop new oat varieties, enhance breeding efforts and recommend new agronomic practices to help improve productivity, stability of yields, consistency, and quality.
The corn project will develop germplasm that is more disease resistant and adaptable to cooler growing regions. The project will also focus on new nitrogen strategies that will help enhance productivity and environmental performance for farmers across the country.
“Innovation in the Canadian agricultural sector has helped make our country a leader in producing safe, high quality products. I am pleased to be here today to highlight these investments that will enhance the sustainability of the field crops sector, while delivering economic benefits and create good job opportunities in Ontario and all of Canada,” says Mr. Drouin.
“Demand for food continues to increase as the global population rises. The CFCRA welcomes the investment by the Canadian government in important areas of research for agriculture and the food industry. The funding for the soybean cluster, oat project, and corn project, will lead to more resilient, productive, and high quality soybean and oat varieties as well as new corn inbreds for Canadian farmers, and will improve best practices for sustainable crop production that will keep our grainbased foods and feed healthy, of high quality, and increase yields to meet global demand,” says Salah Zoghlami, President of the Canadian Field Crop Research Alliance.
The crop sector is a key contributor to Canada's economy, representing $25 billion in farm gate receipts, $21 billion in exports and supporting thousands of jobs across the country while expanding markets for the sector's safe, high-quality products.
In 2016, the farm gate value of Canadian soybean, oats and corn was $5.39 billion, with over $900 million of sales in Ontario.
The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3 bil- lion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen the agriculture and agri-food sector.
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, $338 million initiative, the government is supporting leading edge discovery and applied science, and innovation driven by industry research priorities.
GFO pleased with province
Meanwhile, Grain Farmers of Ontario has congratulated Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, on changes to the Commodity Loan Program. The provincial government has extended the repayment schedule for the Commodity Loan Program, as well as increasing the funding cap from $120 million to $200 million in a two-year pilot. The program supports farmers between harvest and payment during the retail process of grain production. This allows farmers to have flexibility in their operations.
COLOURFUL BARN: This cheerful three-gable barn at Donald and Diane Roy's farm on the 5th Concession of North Lancaster consists of the farm’s original timber-frame 50-foot x 20-foot barn built by Ovila Gareau in the early 20th century and a large pole barn addition, a 50-foot x 60-foot shed that creates the “T” footprint of the building. The original section in front had a single-hinged barn door now replaced by two steel ones, and stalls for two cows, a horse and a sow. With help from barn restoration contractor Denis Laferrière, a new steel beam replaces several of the old supporting posts in the original barn and cables pull the building into square. An interesting detail, Mr. Roy used reclaimed wood from a century-old dismantled silo to reinforce the trusses in the old section. The Roys bought the scenic property in 1995. It includes their home, a fine old farmhouse they have lovingly renovated.