Cash for agroforestry project

A$160,000 federal grant has been awarded to a Manitoba conservation district study the environmental and economic benefits of shelterbelts on ranches.

The Upper Assiniboine River Conservation District will use the funding to study how agroforestry can reduce the costs associated with livestock production and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

The project will evaluate various beneficial management practices on the farm to see if they can be easily adopted by the farming community.

Results of this research have the potential to reduce production costs, improve energy savings, and enhance nutrient cycling and biodiversity while simultaneously protecting the environment.

“Making the business case for properly placed rows of trees is pretty easy, what we lack is the recording and reporting tools used in business to guide adoption,” said Ryan Canart, district manager for the Upper Assiniboine River Conservation District.

“Over the next four years, Upper Assiniboine and the Rural Development Institute will be engaging grain and livestock farmers in a conversation about the value of trees in the agricultural landscape, as well as the tools and practices needed to achieve the numerous benefits of agroforestry in the modern agricultural setting.”

Producers will have the opportunity to increase their profits through green agriculture technologies thanks to a partnership between industry, academia and the Government of Canada, said Dauphin-area MP Robert Sopuck.

“Farmers have always been great stewards of their land, and this investment will enable researchers to develop new tools and practices to help farmers grow their businesses while continuing to protect our environment,” said Sopuck.

Funding for this project is through the Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program (AGGP), a five-year, $27-million initiative that focuses on the development of on-farm greenhouse gas mitigation technologies. The AGGP will provide funding to various partners across Canada to investigate innovative mechanisms, tools and approaches that provide real solutions for the agriculture sector.

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