The Governments of Canada and Manitoba have announced funding of more than $365,000 to support five new research projects in the province.

“An investment in research is an investment in the future of Manitoba’s agriculture industry,” said Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler. “It’s exciting because these research projects are led by farmers and the broader agricultural industry, the people who are best positioned to identify the problems that need solutions and the opportunities we should pursue.”

More than $61,000 will go to Dairy Farmers of Manitoba to identify more effective prevention and control programs for mastitis, a costly disease affecting dairy cattle. Mastitis is the most costly disease affecting the dairy industry, resulting in decreased milk yields, lower milk quality, higher veterinary treatment costs and the loss of animals.

“Dairy Farmers of Manitoba is pleased to receive this investment for mastitis research,” said David Wiens, chair, Dairy Farmers of Manitoba. “Providing excellent care to animals is a priority for dairy farmers. This research will help to continually improve the level of care we provide our animals.”

Additional funding includes:

- $180,000 to XiteBio Technologies Inc. to determine whether bacteria living near the roots of wheat and barley can be used to help control the damage caused by fusarium head blight, a serious fungal disease that affects crop yield and quality;

- Nearly $27,000 to Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers to conduct the fifth general weed survey in Manitoba since the 1970s and the third herbicide-resistant weed survey since the 1990s, as the results will help measure changes in the number and type of weed populations and assess weed management strategies;

- $50,000 to CanaMaize Seed to develop and perform yield trials on a non-genetically modified soybean that is high-yielding and suitable for Manitoba’s shorter growing season;

- More than $47,000 to the University of Manitoba to evaluate prairie cordgrass as a potential source of biomass energy as compared to other perennial grasses, with the goal of developing a breeding program in Manitoba;

In total, industry partners have contributed nearly $374,000 to these five projects. Government funding is being issues through the Growing Innovation - Agri-Food Research and Development Initiative, which falls under Growing Forward 2.

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