By Erika Mathieu
Sunny South News
The Agriculture Funding Consortium (AFC) is putting $11.49 million in funding to support 39 research projects across the Province.
Comprised of 18 agricultural organizations, the AFC is a collective body which leverages and coordinates funding to support diversification, sustainability, and long-term growth for agriculture and the food industry in Western Canada. The investment will support inquiry into AFC’s research priorities which directly impact Alberta Agriculture commodities such as livestock, crops, and soil health.
Of the nearly $11.5 million, several research projects in southern Alberta and Lethbridge have been granted support through the funding stream.
Among other organizations, the University of Lethbridge, Ag & Agri-food Canada (Lethbridge), Lethbridge College, and the Alberta Wheat and Barley Commission will see partial funding of various research projects focusing on wheat, alfalfa, beef livestock, and mixed crops.
Lethbridge College has received $363,798 to help fund research focused on optimizing power consumption with full spectrum-LED lights in greenhouse production systems. Ag & Agri-Food Canada will receive $317,000 to fund ongoing research into the development of muccosal vaccines against the bovine respiratory pathogen, Mannheimia Haemolytica.
As ongoing efforts to improve and update irrigation infrastructure in Alberta is currently underway, the financing provided by AFC will also support Ag & Agri-food Canada (Lethbridge) in piloting research in the commodity of mixed crops which will explore the impact of “harmful algal blooms and cyanotoxins in Alberta’s irrigation districts,” and the impact on irrigated crops.
Among the 18 organizations belonging to the AFC major commodity groups, members include the Alberta Beekeepers Commission, Egg Farmers of Alberta, and Alberta Innovates.
According to the AFC, the inclusive membership of majority commodity groups in Alberta, ensures funded research projects match the needs demanded by industry, (and) ensures the sector remains competitive.”