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Integrated Crop Agronomy Cluster

CAP - Integrated Crop Agronomy Cluster

20 projects plus Knowledge Transfer/Communications (KTT) and Administration at a total Cluster cost of $9 M.
  • Start date: 2018
  • Project Length: 5 years (2018-2023)
  • Project Status: APPROVED IN PROGRESS

Background

The Integrated Crop Agronomy Cluster consists of eight research activities ranging from soil health to herbicide resistance and climate change adaptation. It also includes the coordination of crop insects and disease monitoring, assessing and managing spray drift, developing a risk model for mitigating Fusarium Head Blight, development and management of productive, resilient and sustainable cropping.

This cluster has been established because Canadian farmers face agronomic challenges that cut across multiple crops and there are gaps in multi-crop and systems approaches to agronomic research.

Collaborating research organizations include Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, Agri-Metrix, Brandon University, Farming Smarter, InnoTech Alberta, Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute, Smoky Applied Research and Demonstration Association, University of Alberta, University of Manitoba, University of Saskatchewan, and Western Applied Research Corporation.

Built into all the activities in the cluster, is a strong knowledge transfer plan that will communicate results to producers, agronomists and scientists enabling them to respond in a timely way to these agronomic challenges.

MCA is contributing research dollars to the following ICAC projects:

  • Coordinated monitoring of field crop insect pests in the Prairie Ecosystem
    • This activity aims to build upon the current model employed by the Prairie Pest Monitoring Network and improve crop protection in a changing climate by focusing on: a) insect pest surveillance, forecasting, and alerts; b) enhancing existing tools used to survey and monitor insects; c) better understanding the role of beneficial insects in pest management; and d) improving knowledge of the biology and impact of current and emerging insect pests.
  • The Prairie Pest Monitoring Network provides an early warning system for the deployment of appropriate control resources and strategies for producers and suppliers. It serves as a long term record and has predictive planning functions, including predictions related to climate change. The Network further serves as a tool for detecting new and invasive alien species.
  • Coordination of a crop disease monitoring network for Western Canada
    • This project will use the Prairie Pest Monitoring Network as a model to develop a Prairie Crop Disease Monitoring Network. It aims to develop a web-based platform to harmonize monitoring and reporting of prairie-wide disease prevalence and severity to facilitate the development of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) mapping capacity for disease surveillance results, and to provide training and resources to ensure adequate surveillance.
  • Developing a risk model to mitigate FHB in western Canadian cereal production
    • Develop models to assess the risk of FHB infection in spring wheat, winter wheat, barley and durum wheat
  • Develop an interactive prairie-wide viewer and FHB/DON risk map
  • Management of glyphosate-resistant kochia in western Canadian cropping systems
    • This project will determine the spread of glyphosate-resistant (GR) weeds in Western Canada and compare to existing baseline surveys to inform producers and other stakeholders of the prevalence so that mitigation strategies can be deployed.
  • Spray drift management under changing operational requirements
    • This activity aims to better understand the operational parameters affecting pesticide drift on the Canadian Prairies.
  • Optimizing cropping systems productivity, resilience, and sustainability in the major Canadian ecozones
    • This project will evaluate different cropping systems across major Canadian Prairie ecosites to determine impacts on crop yield, whole-farm economic outcomes, system resiliency, soil health, and environmental footprint.
  • The specific objectives of the study are to: (1) determine best cropping systems for each of the ecozones; (2) improve nutrient use efficiency by using a nutrient balance model to quantify the crop input and by exploring soil residual nutrients and mineralized-N using contemporary crop rotation sequencing; (3) enhance system resiliency through the integration of BMPs; (4) improve long-term soil health by improving soil fertility and exploring beneficial soil microbiomes.
  • Economic and agronomic performance of emerging cropping systems for western Canada
    • The objective of this activity is to determine the agronomic, economic, and environmental impacts of including soybean and/or corn in crop rotations in western Canada, in regions that have traditionally not grown these crops.

Objectives:
  • 1: Resiliency to Climate Change and Other Threats
  • 2: Sustainable Cropping Systems
  • 3: Knowledge and Technology Transfer Enhancement
Manitoba Crop Alliance Funding:

$156,187

Total Funding Approved:

$9 million ($6.3 million from AAFC and $2.7 million from growers)

Funding Partners:

Alberta Pulse Growers, Alberta Wheat Commission, Brewing and Malting Barley Research Institute, Manitoba Canola Growers Association, Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers, Prairie Oat Growers Association, Saskatchewan Canola Development Commission, Saskatchewan Pulse Growers, Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission.