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article imageSatellite technology aids ranchers with crop management

By Tim Sandle     Nov 17, 2017 in Environment
The Canadian government has laid down a challenge to technology companies to help farmers to manage crops using new risk management tools.
To announce the new scheme, Canadian Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South, Terry Duguid, attended the University of Manitoba's Asper School of Business to announce that federal support for a study looking into the use of new and innovative technology has been agreed. This is to focus on hay and pasture production. As an indication of why this is necessary, Saskatchewan farms reported 3.9 million acres of tame hay in 2016.
Central to the scheme is new research, which was unveiled from the research laboratory of Dr. Lysa Porth in the Warren Centre for Actuarial Studies and Research at the University of Manitoba's I.H. Asper School of Business. This research is aimed at maintaining the stability of the cattle sector.
This project has been backed by the Saskatchewan Cattlemen's Association (SCA) and it consists of $988,000 in government funding. The project centers on the application of satellite-based technology. This technology will be used to calculate forage growth at the farm level across each province. From this, a forage production index will be developed. Such an index can play an important role in insurance assessments. The government investment has been made through The AgriRisk Initiatives program, which is part of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. This program has been set up to provide financial and technical assistance to private-sector or industry-led projects to research, develop, implement and deliver new risk management tools including insurance-based tools.
Commenting on the initiative, Terry Duguid said: "Feed is the lifeblood of any livestock operation, and our government understands the importance of helping to protect ranchers from risk such as losses to their forage crops. This project uses cutting-edge satellite technology to equip ranchers with the information they need to manage those risks and demonstrates why the University of Manitoba is renowned for its world-class research."
He added: "With this targeted investment, our government is helping to ensure our ranchers remain on the cutting-edge of science, which helps to create good jobs and grow our economy."
More about Farming, Crops, crop management, Agriculture
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