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ROBLIN—Manitoba’s four diversification centres will receive nearly $45,000 to purchase specialized equipment to support innovation and create new opportunities for farmers, Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Minister Ron Kostyshyn and Bob Sopuck, MP, Dauphin-Swan River-Marquette, announced here today.

Applied research conducted by the diversification centres is a necessary step for producers to pursue new opportunities and find production practices to improve their current operations,” said Minister Kostyshyn. “The growth of Manitoba’s agriculture and food industry relies on these strategic investments, which multiply into greater growth and innovation for years to come.”

The funding builds on an existing $3 million, five-year agreement under Growing Forward 2 – Growing Innovations to provide federal and provincial support to Manitoba’s diversification centres. 

“Diversification research is an important part of Canada’s commitment to remaining at the forefront of the agriculture industry,” said MP Sopuck. “This investment will provide researchers with the tools they need to effectively examine innovative methods of food production and produce results that will help farmers grow their business in a sustainable way.”

The Parkland Crop Diversification Foundation (PCDF) in Roblin received $12,000 to purchase an aerial drone imaging system that will be shared by all diversification centres to provide more detailed information about soil, crops and growing conditions across the province. Producers may be able to use this information to more accurately apply fertilizers and pesticides.

“We appreciate the continued support from the federal and provincial governments for the diversification centre,” said Robert Misko, chair, PCDF. “Along with our other research projects, the new drone will help us learn what works and what doesn’t at the farm level, then we’re able to share this information with other diversification centres and farmers.” 

Other projects funded include:

  • The Westman Agricultural Diversification Organization in Melita received nearly $20,000 to purchase harrows and an optical seed counter to improve efficiencies and the services available to producers.

  • The Prairies East Sustainable Agriculture Initiative in Arborg received $3,000 to purchase a new baler which will be used in a research project for two linen flax varieties new to Manitoba. It will also be used in other bio-fibre research projects.

  • The Manitoba Horticulture Productivity Enhancement Centre in Portage la Prairie received nearly $10,000 to purchase a high tunnel greenhouse, a new production system for Manitoba. It is a non-permanent, 96-foot structure which can be used to bring vegetables and fruits to market sooner, with more consistent quality and lower risk of weather-related damage. 

Manitoba’s diversification centres are non-profit, applied research organizations directed by local producers and business people. Their work focuses on primary production, while also supporting sustainable agronomic solutions that benefit local communities and the environment.

In Manitoba, the federal and provincial governments are investing $176 million under Growing Forward 2, a five-year, federal-provincial-territorial policy framework to advance the agriculture industry, helping producers and processors become more innovative and competitive in world markets.

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