Government of Saskatchewan awarding C$3.5M to 26 livestock, forage-related research projects to help improve feed quality, grazing methods, disease control

SASKATOON, Saskatchewan , January 18, 2012 (press release) – Today, Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Bob Bjornerud and Member of Parliament Brad Trost (Saskatoon-Humboldt), on behalf of federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, announced $3.5 million in livestock and forage-related research funding from the Saskatchewan Agriculture Development Fund (ADF). This funding is being awarded to 26 livestock and forage-related research projects. This is the third highest amount of ADF research funding ever awarded for livestock and forage-related projects.

In addition, annual operational funding will continue to be provided from ADF to the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization ($300,000), the Prairie Swine Centre ($330,000) and the Western Beef Development Centre ($395,000).

"The livestock and forage sectors continue to be a valuable part of our agriculture industry and provincial economy," Bjornerud said. "This research funding will lead to long-term benefits for producers, who are continually looking at new innovations and technologies to meet a growing demand for their products."

"Innovative solutions help make our livestock producers more competitive, which results in a stronger economy," Trost said. "We're pleased to continue to partner with the Government of Saskatchewan to support these types of projects."

Livestock and forage-related research projects receiving funding in 2012 include:

genetic improvements to forage crops;
analyzing corn grazing methods to extend the grazing season;
analyzing mineral levels in pastures to determine mineral supplement programs;
controlling prevalent and emerging diseases in poultry, cattle and swine;
pellet quality, diet analysis and nutritional enhancements for cattle and bison;
improving radio frequency identification tag retention in cattle; and
improving feed intake and growth of piglets.

"We appreciate this research funding to benefit cattle producers," Saskatchewan Cattlemen's Association Chair Jack Hextall said. "Improving feed quality, grazing methods, disease control, and tag retention in cattle will ultimately lead to increased returns at the farm gate."

"These research projects will lead to new innovations and technologies to help cow-calf producers improve their production, lower costs and increase profits," Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association President Harold Martens said.

"We are pleased the federal and provincial governments are providing this research funding to address important issues in the hog industry such as disease control, feed technology and improved production," Sask Pork Chair Jay McGrath said.

"Research is vital to the future of our industry and we appreciate this funding to improve forage production in Saskatchewan," Saskatchewan Forage Council President Aaron Ivey said.

This research funding is in addition to the $8.3 million recently announced for crop-related research projects. In total, approximately $11.8 million in 2012 ADF funding is being provided for 60 crops, livestock, forage and other agriculture-related research projects.

ADF provides funding to help institutions, companies and industry organizations conduct research, development and value-added activities that will benefit Saskatchewan farmers and ranchers. A complete list of all projects is available at www.agriculture.gov.sk.ca/ADF.

This ADF funding is being provided under the federal-provincial Growing Forward framework.

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