East’s oilseed growers funded for crop development

Soybean and canola growers in Eastern Canada are expected to benefit from funding for research to boost crop yield and quality.

The federal government on Friday put up $3.2 million for the Eastern Canada Oilseed Development Alliance (ECODA) for variety development work on crops such as short-season soybeans and higher-oil, higher-quality canola varieties, as well as work on disease and pest management strategies.

“This announcement establishes a partnership among researchers, farmers, processors and their customers that ensures that the investments made will obtain positive returns from the marketplace,” Rory Francis, ECODA’s president and executive director of the not-for-profit Prince Edward Island BioAlliance, said in a federal release.

Francis, a former P.E.I. deputy agriculture minister, said the association’s goal is to establish oilseed varieties “that are tuned to the market, and work well for growers.”

The research is meant to focus on crops for Eastern Canada’s climate, but the findings are expected to help growers across the entire country improve production and profits, the government said.

The funding pledged Friday will flow through the Developing Innovative Agri-Products initiative, part of the five-year, $158 million Agri-Innovations program backing “industry-led” projects.

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