The feds contribute $2 M to improve feed efficiency in cow herds; Ontario contributes $12.4 M to help build a new beef research centre
Centre Wellington, Ont. – Beef farmers in Ontario have received millions of dollars in support from both the federal and provincial governments.
In a statement, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) says it made a $2-million investment “to enhance the genetic profiling of Eastern Canada cow herds to improve feed efficiency.”
The statement says the investment will go towards research at the new Livestock Research and Innovation Centre – Beef Facility in Elora, Ont., which is being built through the help of a provincial investment announced by Jeff Leal, Ontario’s minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).
Leal’s announcement was made at the same time as AAFC’s.
OMAFRA is investing $12.4 million to expand the Centre. The new facility is a joint partnership between the province – through the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario, the Beef Farmers of Ontario and the University of Guelph, says the statement.
Construction of the new beef centre, which is located next to the dairy research facility, is expected to start this fall.
The Beef Farmers of Ontario, says the statement, is extremely appreciative of both the federal and provincial governments’ contribution.
“The new centre will ensure we have the capacity to continue to advance beef cattle research in meaningful and integrated ways for years to come,” says Joe Hill, vice-president of the Beef Farmers of Ontario. Hill adds in the statement that the research will cover everything from foraging, genetics, animal health, beef quality and food safety.
The statement explains that the federal investment will benefit producers “by reducing the amount of feed needed for every pound of beef, with each cow producing less methane and less manure. Feed costs account for 25 per cent of beef input costs.”
In fact, studies the industry has carried out have found that even “a one per cent improvement in feed efficiency can result in annual savings of $11.1 million for the sector.”
The Beef Farmers of Ontario represents the province’s 19,000 beef farmers. Ontario beef represents farm gate sales revenue of $1.3 billion, processing revenue of $3.3 billion, and retail sales of $8.9 billion annually.