Alberta Beef Producers and the provincial and federal governments have agreed to a five-year partnership to advance research and extension activities related to the forage and beef sectors in the province.
The agreement has specific, measurable, long-term strategic goals:
- Build and maintain research and extension capacity;
- Reduce winter feeding costs by 50 per cent;
- Reduce environmental footprint of the cow herd by 15 per cent;
- Improve cow efficiency by 15 per cent;
- Reduce backgrounding costs by 50 per cent;
- Improve late-summer/fall pasture productivity by 30 per cent.
The concept for the Alberta Beef, Forage and Grazing Centre arose from producer and industry group concerns regarding the need for essential applied forage research and extension for beef producers in Alberta.
The centre is a virtual one. Much of the core expertise is currently located at the Lacombe Research and Development Centre, but additional activities will be carried out through collaborations with partners, industry, and academia at other locations, both in the province and interprovincially.
“The centre’s commitment to collaborative science will provide Canada’s beef and forage sectors with the tools they need to remain competitive on the global stage,” said federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay.
Alberta Beef Producers will provide $25,000 per year for this initiative, funds permitting, to augment work being done by federal and provincial researchers.
“This agreement demonstrates the commitment of beef producers in Alberta to forage and beef research and extension efforts across the province, while encouraging co-ordination and collaboration between current research and extension initiatives,” said Greg Bowie, past ABP chair.