USask Livestock Research Receives Significant Investment to Advance Industry
SASKATOON – The Saskatchewan Agricultural Development Fund (ADF) will provide more than $ 6.5 million to support livestock research efforts at the University of Saskatchewan (USask).
This includes operational funding for the Prairie Swine Center (PSC) ($ 1.9 million) and the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) ($ 1.58 million). A total of 19 individual USask research projects also received approximately $ 3 million, including nearly $ 332,000 for the development of forage breeding at the Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) at the USask.
“This investment allows producers to connect directly to the work being done at the university and also allows new projects to move forward and influence the success of breeding operations,” said the vice president. USask researcher, Karen Chad. “Agriculture is one of our favorite fields, and we know that advances in research and technology are the foundation for economic growth in this vitally important sector in Saskatchewan.
The ADF program is supported by the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five-year investment of $ 388 million by the federal and provincial governments in strategic initiatives for the sector in Saskatchewan.
“This funding will directly benefit the Saskatchewan pork value chain,” said PSC CEO Murray Pettitt. “Over the past 15 years, our research program has contributed an average return on investment of $ 4.10 per pig / year to the Saskatchewan industry, and funds received from the Agricultural Development Fund enable the Prairie Swine Center to attract additional research funds for the benefit of Industry. ”
A total of nearly $ 7.6 million from ADF was announced on January 27 for 26 agricultural projects in Saskatchewan and across the country, complemented by an additional $ 323,000 from industry partners.
“We are grateful for ADF’s continued support,” said VIDO Director Dr Volker Gerdts. “Infectious diseases continue to threaten animal health and production. This funding helps ensure that our cutting-edge research and development benefits producers. ”
Acquire and apply knowledge ($ 1.9 million): The Prairie Swine Center will continue to generate and deliver new research results from our research programs in engineering, nutrition and ethology. These results will continue to support the success and sustainability (economic, environmental and social license) of the Saskatchewan pork industry.
Connection and communication with producers ($ 1.58 million): VIDO will aim to improve animal health and production through improved scientific communication, knowledge exchange and vaccine development. This ongoing project will help ensure the development and communication of solutions that benefit Saskatchewan producers and protect animals from infectious disease.
Improvement of forage crops ($ 332,000): Genetic improvements in bromine, an essential forage crop for livestock, have been poor due to the complexity of the genome and the lack of effective analytical tools. Led by molecular plant geneticist Andrew Sharpe, director of genomics and bioinformatics at GIFS, this project will produce a catalog of genetic variation in bromine as well as predictive models for the breeding process. The information obtained will have a direct impact on the ability of breeders to select the most nutritious bromine varieties that produce the highest yield.
Here are examples of other innovative crop-related projects with potential economic impact:
Decontamination of eggs without the use of chemicals ($ 260,000): US researchers Lifeng Zhang (engineering), Shelley Kirychuk (medicine) and Karen Schwean-Lardner (animal and poultry sciences) will develop chemical-free surface decontamination methods for table eggs. The proposed research will help the Saskatchewan egg industry to be economically, socially and environmentally sustainable.
Respiratory Virus Detection ($ 212,000): U.S. veterinary medicine professor and research chair Cheryl Waldner will explore how DNA sequencing can be used to better detect respiratory viruses in feedlot calves. This study will improve animal health while reducing risks and minimizing economic losses for beef producers. New diagnostic tools for respiratory viruses will inform how we control disease and assess the effectiveness of on-farm vaccination programs.
Relieving Pain When Castrating Cattle ($ 150,000): Assistant Professor Diego Moya of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine will assess the effectiveness of a new pain control mechanism during castration of calves of different ages. Using a combination of behavioral and physiological traits indicative of pain and discomfort, this research will help develop and promote a strategy that can be widely adopted by the cattle industry to improve the health and welfare of castrated calves.
Industry funding for USask projects of $ 258,000 is provided by a wide range of organizations and agencies including: Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association ($ 117,725), Saskatchewan Alfalfa Seed Producers ($ 85,000), SaskMilk ($ 31,504), Alberta Milk ($ 15,000) and Saskatchewan Forage Seed Development Commission ($ 9,130).
Read an information documentfrom the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture with details of all funded projects.
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