RDAR announces genomics investments to accelerate the delivery of sustainable climate solutions to Alberta producers


Source: RDAR

RDAR Investment of $2.4M in three projects leveraged to $19.7M with Genome Canada and regional partners

RDAR (Results Driven Agriculture Research) announced the investment of $2.4M in three Accelerating Agriculture Innovation projects which target Climate SMART Agriculture and Food Systems initiatives. RDAR is proud to invest in these genomic projects, together with regional partners. RDAR’s investment is leveraged with funds from Genome Canada and partners for a total investment of $19.7 million.

This is the first investment from the new Sustainable Canadian Agriculture Partnership (Sustainable CAP) 2023 – 2028, funded jointly by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and Alberta Agriculture and Irrigation. These funds aim to strengthen the competitiveness, innovation and resiliency of the agriculture and agri-food sector in Canada.

“I recently had the opportunity to meet with producers in Alberta who have adopted rotational grazing practices and saw the benefits delivered by our climate initiatives,” says the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “The projects announced today will accelerate our understanding of how combined genomics and grazing management practices can influence soil and livestock genomes, driving rangeland ecosystems for carbon sequestration and lower GHG emissions.”

Genomic technology is the path forward for Alberta producers. Genomics development accelerates our understanding of and directs the use of molecular biology tools to help producers reduce environmental impacts, increase resilience, and improve disease prevention in livestock and crops.

“I look forward to seeing the positive impact these new projects will have on our province’s agriculture industry,” says RJ Sigurdson, Alberta Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation. “The enhanced understanding of genomics gained from this research will help Alberta farmers and ranchers strengthen their sustainable practices and benefit from economic growth.”

These genomic investments by the federal and provincial governments, Genome Canada and partners will help to ensure that Alberta’s producers have the tangible research outcomes they require to make informed decisions that improve the productivity, profitability, and competitiveness of their farming operation.

“RDAR is committed to advancing agriculture through genomics, and we foresee the projects announced today accelerating the adaptation of crops to climate change and the drive to sustainable livestock production,” says Mark Redmond RDAR CEO. “This work is essential as Alberta agriculture responds to climate change, builds a more resilient industry, serves new, environmentally conscious high-value markets, and returns greater profits to producers.”

“Cattle play an important role in sustainable food systems,” says Melissa Downing, cattle farmer and RDAR Board Vice Chair. “The benefits of responsible grazing practices are becoming increasingly apparent. Validating those benefits through research will help beef producers achieve both ecological sustainability and economic viability.”

Strategic investment in these projects aim to advance Alberta’s agriculture industry by accelerating the farm gate adaptation of genomic technology. Outcomes from these genomic research projects will help producers from across the province access and adopt new solutions for improving grazing management, soil carbon sequestration, and climate resiliency.

“Exploring the use of new lentil genomics, combined with different rotations to increase yields and decreased fertilizer usage is good for the environment and producers’ economic sustainability,” says D’Arcy Hilgartner, Pulse Crop Producer, Past Chair of Alberta Pulse Growers, and RDAR Board Director. “Pulses in a crop rotation provide multiple benefits to Alberta farmers. They provide a break in disease cycles, different marketing options, and have a low carbon footprint. Exploring the use of new lentil genomics, combined with different rotations to increase yields and decreased fertilizer usage is good for the environment and producers’ economic sustainability.”

About Genomics
Genomic breakthroughs benefit all Canadians. Genomics involves studying the genetic information of living things encoded in their DNA and related molecules such as RNA and proteins. Insights gathered from genomics hold the key to developing innovations across many sectors, such as agriculture and health. Investments in genomics present many opportunities to drive economic growth and improve the quality of life for people across Alberta and the globe.

About RDAR
RDAR’s mandate is to target strategic investments in producer-led, results-driven agriculture research to power the profitability, productivity, competitiveness, and sustainability of Agriculture in Alberta. A not-for-profit corporation, RDAR’s funding comes from the Government of Alberta, the Government of Canada, and Alberta’s Government through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership. www.rdar.ca

About the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership
Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP) is a five-year, $3.5-billion investment by Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial governments that supports Canada’s agri-food and agri-products sectors. This includes $1 billion in federal programs and activities and a $2.5 billion commitment that is cost-shared 60 per cent federally and 40 per cent provincially/territorially for programs that are designed and delivered by provinces and territories.

About Genome Alberta
Genome Alberta is working towards a better future through genomics innovation. Our mission is to promote and support genomics solutions to create value and investment opportunities through excellent science, technology and application development, collaborations, and partnerships. We work on priority areas in health, agriculture, environment & energy, and forestry, driving growth across sectors while helping to develop Alberta’s next generation of talented innovators.

As a publicly funded, not-for-profit corporation with offices in Calgary and Edmonton, Genome Alberta initiates, funds and manages projects around the province and participates in a variety of other initiatives across the country. The discoveries arising from Genome Alberta research programs are realized through partnerships with provincial academic institutions, industry, government agencies and departments, and other regional, national and international organizations.  For more information on Genome Alberta, please visit genomealberta.ca.

About the Projects
This work will build on RDAR’s previous investments in pea crop development and the province-wide campaign to adopt rotational grazing practices.

Outcomes of the funded genomics research projects include:


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