Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

August 13, 2008 13:58 ET

Government of Canada Supports Dairy and Livestock Innovation

AGASSIZ, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Aug. 13, 2008) - The Government of Canada is contributing $233,500 to two applied research studies to be carried out at the University of British Columbia's (UBC) Dairy Education and Research Centre. Randy Kamp, Member of Parliament for Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge-Mission, made the announcement today on behalf of Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz.

"The Government of Canada is restoring science and innovation to its rightful place at the heart of agriculture," said Mr. Kamp. "We are committed to working with farmers to find innovative and sustainable avenues to improve their bottom line while protecting the environment."

- $203,500 is being provided to the UBC Dairy Education and Research Centre and Department of Civil Engineering to create a slow-release fertilizer by recovering nutrients from dairy manure waste. The study will also explore converting the bio-energy produced during the recovery process into heat or electricity.

- $30,000 is being provided to the UBC Animal Welfare Program to examine how the overall health of dairy cattle is affected by the design and comfort of their living facilities. The results of this study will help producers better understand cow comfort and its relationship to cow health, production, and fertility.

Investment Agriculture Foundation (IAF) of B.C. Chair Stuart Wilson says the Foundation is pleased to support innovation in the dairy and livestock industries. "Whether it's enhancing producer knowledge and training for dairy professionals or capturing value from agricultural waste and by-products, if it's a priority for industry it's a priority for the Foundation. Industry groups come to us with their project ideas in these areas and we then provide the necessary investment to enable them to make it happen."

In British Columbia, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Advancing Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food (ACAAF) program is delivered through the IAF. The IAF is a not-for-profit organization that manages and distributes federal and provincial funds in support of innovative projects for the benefit of the agriculture and agri-food industries in B.C.

For more information on ACAAF, please visit www.agr.gc.ca/acaaf. To learn more about IAF, please visit www.iafbc.com.

Backgrounder

Nutrient and Energy Recovery from Manure

This research project will adapt and integrate new extraction technologies for use in animal manure management, facilitating the overall well-being of the ecosystem and reducing disposal costs for farmers.

The project, led by the University of British Columbia's (UBC) Dairy Education and Research Centre and Department of Civil Engineering, will experiment with processing animal manure using extraction technologies developed for the treatment of municipal waste. Excess phosphorus and nitrogen will be recovered from the manure to create a slow-release fertilizer. The study will also explore converting the bio-energy produced during the recovery process into heat or electricity.

The new waste management system is expected to contribute to:

- a reduction in greenhouse gases as well as odors and pathogens associated with manure;

- the conservation of nutrients; and

- the creation of a potential new source of income for farmers in the form of fertilizer.

Federal funding for the initiative is being provided through the Industry Councils that deliver Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's (AAFC) Advancing Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food (ACAAF) program. Under British Columbia's lead, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador are working together to help finance this project that will impact the dairy industry across Canada.

Evaluation and Validation of Cow Comfort on BC Dairy Farms

Cow comfort has a large impact on lameness and other aspects of cow health. This in turn affects cow welfare, productivity and longevity. Led by the UBC Animal Welfare Program at the Dairy Education and Research Centre, this study will survey 45 dairy farms in the Fraser Valley to record information about barn and stall design, animal behavior, and animal health.

The project addresses health and cow comfort issues of interest to all producers, and provides important training for dairy professionals in the scientific assessment of cow comfort, lameness and evaluation of facility design. The results of this study will improve producer knowledge about cow comfort and its relationship to cow health, production and fertility. Moreover, the study will establish techniques for data collection that could be used in other provinces and countries.

Federal funding for this project is being provided by AAFC's ACAAF program through the Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    613-759-7972
    1-866-345-7972
    or
    The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    Margaux Stastny
    Press Secretary
    613-759-1059
    or
    Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C.
    Gayle Farrell
    604-731-9912