How we use and manage farmland will play a key role in fighting climate change and feeding the world –

Federal Agriculture Minister Marie Claude Bibeau announced $54 million on Thursday for the creation of nine new living labs to reduce greenhouse gases.

Speaking in Calgary, Bibeau said one of the living lab programs will take place in Alberta.

“We are investing over $16 million to support our two lead organizations, Alberta Beef Producers and the Alberta Conservation Association, in partnership with Food Water Wellness. These projects will focus on key areas such as improving carbon storage through cropping systems, and herd and nutrient management.”

Melanie Wowk, president of the Alberta Beef Producers, says the five-year living lab program will benefit the province’s beef, forage and crop sectors.

“It will target six key areas, namely crop rotations and cropping systems, land use change, pasture management, livestock feed, nutrient management and increased carbon storage. across the farm. Identifying the financial and non-financial barriers faced by producers adopting these beneficial management practices will also be a priority.”

Kim Cornish of Alberta’s Food Water Wellness Foundation says implementing and validating best management practices on land managed by agricultural producers can make a significant contribution to meeting Canada‘s climate commitments.

“Through the use of predictive soil mapping, we will be able to understand the results of implementing multiple best management practices, in the way best suited to enable growers to achieve their individual goals of production and environment, while being suitable for their growing conditions.”

Bibeau notes that the BC Living Lab Project with the Forage Seed Association will work with growers in the Peace River region to improve carbon storage and reduce emissions.

“For generations, Canadian farmers and researchers have found new ways to protect natural resources while making production practices more efficient. Working together, they create innovative research-based solutions that can be applied to real-world challenges on the farm. Our efforts are accelerating the sector’s ability to respond to climate change, while working to ensure global food security. »

Thursday’s announcement also marked the first Indigenous-run Living Lab by the Mistawasis Nêhiyawak and Muskeg Lake Cree Nation in Saskatchewan.

The 4.8 Million Bridge to Land Water Sky project will see growers and First Nations working towards a common goal of improving the environment while committing to protect Indigenous values, treaties, communities, lands and resources .

Saskatchewan’s South of the Divide conservation action program will receive $8 million to focus on developing agricultural climate solutions for prairie ecoregions.

This project will focus on four key areas: avoiding land use conversion; adaptive grazing management; restore and enhance perennial plant communities; and livestock grazing of various annual cover crops.

Ottawa is striving to have at least one living lab in every province, with details on the next round of projects to be announced in the coming months.

Announcement of nine new Living Labs on Thursday, including in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Announced in 2021, Agricultural Climate Solutions (ACS) – Living Labs is a 10-year, $185 million program that helps develop and implement agricultural practices such as nutrient management, windbreaks and cover crops to sequester carbon and reduce greenhouse gases.

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