The Honourable Gerry Byrne, Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources, toured the Western Agriculture Centre: Agriculture Research Station in Pynn’s Brook this morning to view and discuss research projects that will advance and diversify the agriculture industry in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Minister Byrne viewed the harvest of winter wheat which will be used as feed for dairy cows in Little Rapids. The winter wheat project will offset grain imports through the fall and early winter, saving money, reducing reliance on off-island suppliers and price fluctuations, and providing dairy cows with a high-quality feed.
Research trials at the Western Agriculture Centre: Agriculture Research Station focusing on increasing food and livestock feed self-sufficiency are being undertaken by the Agriculture Production and Research Division of the Department of Fisheries and Land Resources, in collaboration with Grenfell Campus – Memorial University, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
The event also featured the department’s new Agri-Truck – a visible reminder of the importance of growing the agriculture industry in Newfoundland and Labrador. The Agri-Truck will be displayed at events throughout the province to increase public awareness of farming opportunities, and will be used to distribute vegetable transplants, propagated plant materials and tree seedlings to farmers and producers.
Research and projects like the Agri-Truck are important components of the Provincial Government’s Way Forward commitment to increase Newfoundland and Labrador’s food self-sufficiency to at least 20 per cent by 2022.
Budget 2018 allocated an operating budget of $375,400 for the Provincial Agriculture Research and Development Program.
Supporting growth in the agriculture sector delivers on commitments in The Way Forward to strengthen the province’s economic foundation and deliver better services and better outcomes for residents. The Way Forward outlines all actions the Provincial Government is taking to achieve a strong, diversified province with a high standard of living, and can be viewed at thewayforward.gov.nl.ca.
“To meet our ambitious goals to grow the agriculture sector and increase food self-sufficiency, the research our scientists take on must be relevant, practical and adaptable to the province’s agriculture enterprises. By introducing new crops into the agriculture industry, Newfoundland and Labrador’s food sustainability will increase, as will the potential to create jobs in primary and secondary sectors.”
Honourable Gerry Byrne
Fisheries and Land Resources
“With agriculture and food systems as one of our strategic research priorities, Grenfell Campus is poised to contribute to the realization of our province’s goals for food self-sufficiency and sustainability. Through our specializations in boreal ecosystems, agricultural sciences, and environmental policy, our faculty and graduate students possess the tremendous research capacity and technical expertise necessary to provide policy advice and meet these objectives.”
Kelly Vodden, AVP Research and Graduate Studies
Grenfell Campus, Memorial University
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Details of the work taking place at the Western Agriculture Centre: Agriculture Research Station
- The Western Agriculture Centre: Agriculture Research Station encompasses 20 acres and includes 14 demonstration and applied research plots.
- Research trials focusing on increasing food and livestock feed self-sufficiency include wine grape, asparagus, blueberry, lingonberry, cranberry, advance release potato, faba bean and high moisture grain corn.
- Research undertaken by the Department of Fisheries and Land Resources takes place mainly at the Western Agriculture Centre: Agriculture Research Station in Pynn’s Brook with plans to expand to the Centre for Agriculture and Forestry Development in Wooddale.
- Multiple locations for plot research enables the examination of crop production in various climatic conditions, ensuring scientific recommendations for management practices applicable for a specific region.
- Research being conducted in Pynn’s Brook will lead to the selection of plant parent stock, which will be then be planted in Wooddale and used for propagation purposes and made available to producers throughout the province.