More than $2.9 million dollars will be invested by beef producers into new research and technology transfer projects in 2021 through the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off. Proposals for twenty-nine more projects have been approved for funding by the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) to advance Canada’s beef sector.
Matt Bowman, BCRC Chair and a producer from Thornloe, Ontario, said the new projects add to the Council’s portfolio of research investments.
“We are supporting more work focused on achieving specific priority outcomes in the Canadian Beef Research and Technology Transfer Strategy related to animal health and welfare, feed production and utilization, food safety and environmental stewardship,” said Bowman. “For example, new studies to quantify soil carbon sequestration through different grazing and intercropping systems, and others looking into causes and prevention of issues like scours and itchy cattle.”
BCRC Vice-Chair Craig Lehr, a producer from Medicine Hat, Alberta, said knowledge translation and technology transfer is also a priority for the Council.
“As provincial governments continue to cut valuable extension services, we do what we can to help fill the gaps,” he said. “The BCRC doesn’t have the capacity to provide the needed one-on-one consultation for beef producers, but we can support or lead projects that make meaningful science-based information freely available on beefresearch.ca in numerous formats that are helpful in making informed decisions.”
Newly funded technology transfer projects include an expansion of the Forage U-Pick tool to include Eastern Canada, and creation of additional resources on beefresearch.ca applicable to producers in Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces. Another project will collaborate with practicing veterinarians across Canada to develop decision making tools for their beef clients that help improve herd health and profitability. There is no cost to subscribe to be notified by email of new research results or seasonal, science-based production information and decision-making tools.
The recent increase in Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off in most provinces enabled annual competitive calls for proposals for research and technology transfer projects to address critically underfunded priorities. The increase also resulted in the launch of a new BCRC program that funds short-term proof of concept and validation trials. Researchers are required to procure matching funds that leverage BCRC funding on a 1:2 or higher basis. Industry investment through check-off sends a clear message to governments about priorities and helps to procure investment by governments to multiply the impacts of producer dollars.
The BCRC is Canada’s industry-led funding agency for beef, cattle and forage research. It is funded through a portion of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off as well as government and industry funding and is directed by a committee of beef producers from across the country. This announcement adds to the 86 projects co-funded by the BCRC that are currently underway at 30 Canadian institutions.