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Research co-ordination sought in canola deal

Prairie canola growers and the federal government plan to improve the co-ordination of federal canola agronomy research funding through their new $6 million agreement.

The Prairie Canola Agronomy Research Program (PCARP), announced Wednesday, is the result of an agreement involving the Canola Council of Canada, Alberta Canola Producers Commission (ACPC), Manitoba Canola Growers Association, Saskatchewan Canola Development Commission and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC).

Under PCARP, a new management committee will be set up and expected to ensure that all AAFC canola agronomy projects fit with the research direction of each of the three provincial grower groups.

A canola agronomy workshop is planned for 2009, which will allow for research updates and discussion, as well as “refinement” of research priorities for the coming year, the groups said Wednesday.

Being able to leverage grower dollars through AAFC program funding means more money can be directed to better canola agronomy projects, the groups said, and PCARP also gives the grower groups a say in directing the types of projects undertaken.

“Farmers are integral to the success of this industry so there is tremendous value in investing in research that will provide practical solutions to production issues that growers face,” JoAnne Buth, president of the Canola Council of Canada, said in the groups’ release.

The grower dollars going into this agreement show how much growers value AAFC agronomy research, said Clarence Assenheimer, a Barrhead, Alta. farmer and chairman of ACPC’s research committee.

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