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CWB backs organic sector development

Eight new research and k n owl e d g e -s h a r i n g projects on organic grain production will get a financial boost from the Canadian Wheat Board.

The board on Jan. 28 announced a new round of funding worth $200,000 in 2009 through its Organic Sector Market Development Initiative (OSMDI).

Many OSMDI funding recipients value the CWB’s support because the money can be used to secure matching funding from government.

For example, Martin Entz of the University of Manitoba said in the CWB’s release that the board’s investment will allow him to broaden his research and hire more students interested in organics. This in turn is expected to help train future organic researchers, farmers and extension workers.

Among the approved projects are farmer workshops on making the transition to organic production, to be conducted by Canadian Organic Growers, using $75,000 over three years from the OSMDI.

Research at the University of Manitoba to evaluate farm-income potential in grazing green manures will get $72,000 over three years from the fund.

Testing of spring wheat breeding lines, selected under organic crop conditions, will be conducted at the University of Saskatchewan using $45,000 in OSMDI funding over the next two years, the CWB added.

Other funding recipients include the Western Applied Research Corp., for development of a specialized cultivator shovel for weed-control through precision tillage, and the University of Saskatchewan, for use of plant root simulator probes to measure soil mineralization in organic rotations.

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