WINNIPEG — Canola has a brighter future now that Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada announced $14.5 million in funding for agronomic and nutrition research under a new Canola/Flax Agri-Science Cluster. This funding will be matched by industry and farmers for a total amount of nearly $20 million. And that’s not all, as an additional $4.6 million of government funding will support the Clubroot Risk Mitigation Project, which seeks to identify best management practices and breed clubroot-resistant canola varieties. All research funding will help the canola industry increase production to 15-million tonnes by 2015.
“With the Canadian government’s extraordinary investment in agronomic research, we will accomplish our 2015 goal, which is expected to add $12.5 billion annually to Canada’s economy,” said JoAnne Buth, CCC president. “And the nutrition studies will further increase demand for canola in markets worldwide.”
The Canola/Flax Agri-Science Cluster and Clubroot Risk Mitigation Project are part of the Canadian government’s “Growing Forward” initiative, which will run from April 2010 until March 2013.
“We already know that canola oil can help reduce the risk of heart disease when used in place of saturated fat,” said Buth of the research. “What we don’st know is how canola oil consumption alone may impact the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and other diet-related medical conditions.”
Canola meal studies will focus on the best formulations for dairy cow milk production, the impact of high levels of different types of canola meal in swine and poultry feeds and how to improve the carbohydrate composition and energy content of canola meal.
The canola industry’s portion of the research funding is derived from CCC core funds as well as SaskCanola, the Manitoba Canola Growers Association and Alberta Canola Producers Commission. The Flax Council of Canada will provide funding and administration for two flax-related nutrition studies.