Seed World

Feds Announce Investment in Research to Promote More Diverse Crop Rotations on Farms

The federal government has announced up to $5.7 million to the Canadian Field Crop Research Alliance (CFCRA) through the AgriScience Program – Clusters Component, an initiative under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership, to promote more diverse crop rotations on farms.

The Cropping Systems Cluster, led by CFCRA, will develop the characteristics and practices to encourage diverse crop rotations for soybean, corn and oat. The research aims to reduce business risk for farmers by developing crops that are resilient to climate change and weather stresses, protect against losses caused by diseases and insects, and are profitable for producers overall. This will be achieved by developing oat varieties with improved traits for Eastern and Western Canada, as well as improving soybean varieties for short-season production environments in Canada.

Research activities will also explore how diverse crop rotations can play a central role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and how better genetics, land management, and fertilizer use can improve nitrogen use efficiency to protect the environment.

With climate change having a direct impact on producers, crop diversity is vitally important to keeping our agriculture sector healthy, productive, and competitive. This funding will help researchers explore the benefits of crop rotations and encourage producers to integrate soybean, corn and oat crops into their farms, said Lawrence MacAulay, minister of agriculture and agri-food.

“The Canadian Field Crop Research Alliance applauds the Government of Canada’s investment in vital agricultural and food industry research. The Cropping Systems Cluster will target soybean, corn and oat, emphasizing disease resistance enhancement, crop variety improvement, and integration of cover crops,” added Wade Hainstock, president of the CFCRA.

“The research outcomes will support diverse crop rotations that can reduce GHG emissions, improve environmental resiliency and grow the economic stability of the Canadian grain sector.”