Winnipeg, MB – More than $1 million in funding is being provided by Manitoba’s provincial government to support new research aimed at reducing greenhouse-gas emissions generated by the province’s agricultural sector.
Environment Canada data shows that agricultural activities produce 30% of the province’s greenhouse-gas emissions. More than 40% of agricultural emissions come from agricultural soils, much of it from the application of nitrogen-based fertilizers.
Rosann Wowchuk, the minister of agriculture, food and rural initiatives, the department responsible for the funding, said new research would be aimed at practical tools to reduce emissions from the agriculture sector, noting that effective ecologically minded farm practices often reduce energy inputs, saving producers money.
The first funding block of $150,000 has been committed to five research projects to be conducted at the National Centre for Livestock and the Environment. The initial round of funded projects include:
– studying the role of grasslands in mitigating greenhouse-gas emissions and their ability to provide other benefits such as reduced water erosion,
– examining changes in greenhouse-gas emissions for annual crop land that is converted to forage crops and vice-versa,
– researching the impact an animal’s diet will have on greenhouse-gas emissions from manure, and
– two projects that will examine carbon emissions of various cropping systems and the economics of biological nitrogen production.
Ms Wowchuk also announced the appointment of Dr Esther Salvano as the province’s first-ever manager of climate change. She will co-ordinate research work at the province’s Agri-Environment Knowledge Centre, and will implement focus on Manitoba’s priorities agri-environmental priorities including climate-change adaptation, ecological goods and services, and environmental resource economics, which studies the reasons behind environmental decisions and policies made by individuals, companies and governments.