Supporting research to advance Atlantic grains and oilseeds

From: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

January 25, 2019 – Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)

Atlantic Canada’s grains and oilseeds sector is renowned for producing high-quality, safe products. In 2017, crop receipts for the grains and oilseeds sector in the Atlantic provinces equaled $83.5 million, which is 10 per cent of total crop receipts in the region. The Government of Canada will continue to support the sector in finding ways to ensure it remains strong and competitive.

Today, while speaking at the Prince Edward Island Federation of Agriculture’s Annual General Meeting, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay announced an investment of over $4 million to the Atlantic Grains Council under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. This funding includes $3.2 million under the Partnership’s AgriScience Program, and $260,655 each from the provinces of Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and $44,550 from Newfoundland and Labrador. With eight of the 11 projects taking place at the Harrington Research Centre, researchers in Prince Edward Island are leading much of the work.

This funding will be used to support research efforts focused on improving producer productivity and competitiveness, while preserving and protecting soil and water resources, in order to support the long-term sustainability of grains and oilseeds cropping systems in Atlantic Canada.

“The grains and oilseeds sector plays a vital role in Atlantic Canada’s economy, producing top-quality products and providing good, middle-class jobs. By investing in research and working together, industry, scientists and governments, our Government is helping grow the sector and create opportunities for farmers and their families in rural communities across Atlantic Canada for years to come.”

– The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“I want to thank our partners in government, including Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Atlantic Canadian departments of agriculture, for continuing to support our vision of improving and growing the Atlantic grains and oilseeds sector through producer-led research. With results that can easily be interpreted for local conditions, this research will improve outcomes for our producers in Atlantic Canada.”

– Roy Culberson, Interim Chairman, Atlantic Grains Council

“Farmers in the grains and oilseed industry have played a major role in the PEI economy by producing high quality products that are recognized around the world. The funding announced today invests in important research which supports the long term sustainability of the sector for Island farmers.”

– The Honourable Robert Henderson, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Prince Edward Island

“Helping the Atlantic Grains Council co-ordinate relevant and innovative grain and oilseed research within our region is important to our farmers. Research targeted at improving productivity and quality is beneficial to ensuring a healthy and dependable food supply to our end users. This investment demonstrates our commitment to a sector that is a valued player in our province’s economy.”

– The Honourable Ross Wetmore, Minister of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries, New Brunswick

“Grain and oilseed crops are important commodities in Nova Scotia. The province is committed to working with the grains and oilseed sector to expand the industry, foster innovation, enhance quality and continue to create jobs and opportunities in our rural communities. We were pleased with the work done by the Atlantic Grains Council under Growing Forward 2 and look forward to seeing the results they can achieve through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.”

– The Honourable Keith Colwell, Minister of Agriculture and Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Nova Scotia

“The recently introduced grains and oilseeds program is showing Newfoundland and Labrador livestock farmers how they can successfully produce more of their own feed here on the island in a manner that is cost effective and of superior quality. Further investments from the federal government and a continued commitment from the province will ensure the sector has the support they need to expand their businesses while generating new ventures for agricultural entrepreneurs.”

– The Honourable Gerry Byrne, Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources, Newfoundland and Labrador

Quick facts

  • Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick produce about 500,000 tonnes of crops annually. Prince Edward Island accounts for about 51% of total production with a total grains and oilseeds acreage of approximately 300,000 acres. In Newfoundland and Labrador, 26.7% of farmland is cropland, which includes newly introduced crops of grains and oilseeds.

  • The Atlantic Grains Council focuses on research for Atlantic grains and oilseeds producers in a variety of crops in the Atlantic region, including barley, corn, oats, soybeans and wheat. The Council is run by producers for producers, and is the only regional organization to represent grains and oilseeds producers on a regional and national level.

  • The AgriScience Program – Projects component, supports specific shorter-term science projects to help industry overcome challenges and address fiscal barriers experienced by small and emerging sectors.

  • The Pan-Atlantic Agricultural Project Partnership Initiative works to encourage Atlantic Canadian collaboration and provide financial assistance on projects, of mutual benefit, which can lead to improved profitability, competitiveness and/or sustainability of the agriculture, agri-food and agri-product sectors in Atlantic Canada.

  • The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3 billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen the agriculture and agri-food sector.

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