Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture

Prince Albert, Canada

Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture

Prince Albert, Canada
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News Article | May 11, 2017

SASKATOON, Saskatchewan--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ag-West Bio, Saskatchewan’s bioscience industry association, has approved a $300,000 investment in Smart Earth Seeds, a vertically-integrated plant breeding company developing high-omega meal and oil products derived from its proprietary camelina genetics platform. Camelina offers special promise as a sustainable source of the essential fatty acid ALA (an omega 3 fatty acid) as well as an ideally balanced Omega3: Omega6 ratio. Also rich in vitamin E and natural antioxidants, camelina conveys excellent health benefits for humans and for animals, particularly fish, cats, dogs and horses. The Ag-West Bio approval was made after a thorough investment review of Smart Earth’s track record and technology, and market traction in aquaculture and other feed markets. It is contingent on leveraging investment from other investors up to a $2 million threshold. Ag-West is now actively entertaining investment interest from other ag-tech investors while Smart Earth executes its 2017 production and marketing plan. Ag-West Bio has been aware of Smart Earth’s development trajectory for several years. Wilf Keller, president and CEO, says “We know them well. Their successive technology and market milestones over the past two years sparked our investment interest. Their sustainable aquafeed ingredient has garnered the most attention, but we like their diversity into several different revenue streams, based on a foundation of advanced germplasm and solid economics, all along their value chain.” Smart Earth Seeds has generated over $1 million from sales of its camelina products, including significant sales into the aquafeed industry. Smart Earth has sought and received approvals from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for use of rich-Omega3 camelina meal as feed for broiler chickens and egg-laying hens. CFIA has recently approved camelina oil for use as a feed ingredient for salmon and trout. Exciting breakthrough markets for camelina products also include the equine and pet food industry, as well as for cattle and dairy production. Smart Earth’s plant-breeding activities will provide traits that ensure maximum yield and profitability to benefit farmers. Soon-to-be released varieties will offer non-gmo herbicide resistance, a significantly larger seed size and a variety optimized to deliver an improved Omega3: Omega6 ratio. “We have established several large markets for our healthy, sustainable, high-omega products,” said Smart Earth CEO Jack Grushcow. “With our new varieties we will be more than competitive with other oilseed crops and will have a significant advantage on marginal lands. This seed investment gives us the opportunity to get to the next level of marketability and commercial traction.” Ag-West Bio’s technology commercialization fund approves two investments annually on average, ranging from $50,000 to $300,000. Approvals are based on a comprehensive review of the significance of the technology, market opportunity and company growth potential. Since inception in 1989, Ag-West Bio has made or managed investments in over 60 different bioscience companies, valued at more than $13.2 million. Dedicated to developing the best camelina varieties available, Smart Earth Seeds maintains a continuous plant-breeding program unmatched in scale and scope. The company is focused on the development of high value meal and oil products based on its proprietary genetics. The company currently provides ingredients used in poultry broiler and layer feeds, aquaculture including salmon and trout, and companion pets. Several cosmetics companies have developed high margin products using Smart Earth camelina oil. Ag-West Bio is Saskatchewan’s bioscience industry association. The company works as a catalyst for developing partnerships and industry growth in the bio-economy through investments, aiding strategic alliances, and providing business planning support, regulatory advice and communications. Funding for Ag-West Bio is provided the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture and Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada's Growing Forward II program, with support from Western Economic Diversification Canada and the National Research Council-Industrial Research Assistance Program.

The public-private collaborative project is coordinated by the IWGSC and co-led by Nils Stein of IPK Gatersleben in Germany, Curtis Pozniak of the University of Saskatchewan's Crop Development Centre in Canada, Andrew Sharpe of the Global Institute for Food Security in Canada, and Jesse Poland of Kansas State University in the United States. Project participants also include researchers from Illumina, Inc.; NRGene in Israel and the United States; Tel Aviv University in Israel; and the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA). Funding for this project was provided by Genome Canada, Genome Prairie, Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, the Saskatchewan and Alberta Wheat Development Commissions, and the Western Grains Research Foundation through the Canadian Triticum Applied Genomics (CTAG2) project, Kansas State University through the US National Science Foundation Plant Genome Research Program, and Illumina, Inc. The new data will help speed up the delivery of a high quality reference sequence of the bread wheat genome. Nils Stein explained, "The new bread wheat de novo shotgun assembly made by NRGene represents a major breakthrough for the IWGSC integrated strategy towards delivering a high quality reference sequence for each of the 21 bread wheat chromosomes." Kellye Eversole, IWGSC Executive Director, welcomed the results, "The preliminary results obtained by NRGene are impressive. We have been waiting for a number of years to have a high quality whole genome sequence assembly that would complement our chromosome based strategy and accelerate the delivery of the sequence. Thus, this assembly comes exactly at the right time because it can be integrated with the IWGSC chromosome specific resources developed over the past 10 years (e.g., chromosome shotgun sequences, physical maps, and physical map-based sequencing) to deliver a high quality reference sequence for the wheat genome in less than two years." The whole genome assembly data will be integrated with physical-map based sequence data to produce a high-quality, ordered sequence for each wheat chromosome that precisely locates genes, regulatory elements, and markers along the chromosomes, providing invaluable tools for wheat breeders. "This new wheat genome sequence generated by the IWGSC and its partners is an important contribution to understanding the genetic blueprint of one of the world's most important crops," said Curtis Pozniak. "It will provide wheat researchers with an exciting new resource to identify the most influential genes important to wheat adaptation, stress response, pest resistance, and improved yield." Results of the whole genome assembly will be presented at several workshops at the Plant & Animal Genome Conference taking place in San Diego in the United States from 9 to 13 January 2016. All data will be available in the IWGSC wheat sequence repository at URGI-INRA. Wheat is the staple food for more than 35% of the global human population and accounts for 20% of all calories consumed throughout the world. As global population grows, so too does its dependence on wheat. To meet future demands of a projected world population of 9.6 billion by 2050, wheat productivity needs to increase by 1.6% each year. Since availability of new land is limited to preserve biodiversity and water and nutrient resources are becoming scarcer, the majority of this increase has to be achieved via crop and trait improvement on land currently cultivated. A high quality reference genome sequence will provide the detailed genomic information necessary to underpin wheat research ensuring achievement of this goal. Explore further: Scientists complete chromosome-based draft of the wheat genome

Tusevljak N.,University of Guelph | Tusevljak N.,Public Health Agency of Canada | Rajic A.,University of Guelph | Rajic A.,Public Health Agency of Canada | And 12 more authors.
Foodborne Pathogens and Disease | Year: 2012

Increased reliance on seafood has brought to light concerns regarding food safety, but the information to inform risk assessment or surveillance needs is lacking. A scoping study (ScS) was conducted to characterize published research investigating selected zoonotic bacteria and public health topics in various wild and farmed aquatic species and seafood. This was followed by a systematic review (SR) on selected bacteria (Aeromonas spp., generic Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp., and Vibrio spp.) and aquatic species (clams, mussels, oysters, salmon, and shrimp [including prawn]); a meta-analysis (MA) was conducted only at the retail level due to considerable variability among various pathogen/seafood combinations. The ScS revealed the most frequently investigated themes were farm-level prevalence and intervention research for Vibrio spp. and Aeromonas spp. Antimicrobial use (AMU) and the association between AMU and antimicrobial resistance were rarely investigated. The SR indicated a consistent lack of reporting regarding study methodology and results, precluding the use of many studies in and full benefits of MA. MA of Aeromonas, E. coli, and Salmonella prevalence in retail salmon resulted in pooled estimates of 13% (6 - 27%), 2% (0.1 - 11%), and 1% (0-5%), respectively. When MA of pathogen/seafood combination resulted in statistically significant heterogeneity (p<0.1), median/range were reported at the region level. The results from our ScS, SR, and MA could be used for better design of future bacteriological surveys of seafood and as inputs for risk assessments or surveillance initiatives in this field. © Copyright 2012, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Greig J.D.,Public Health Agency of Canada | Waddell L.,Public Health Agency of Canada | Waddell L.,University of Guelph | Wilhelm B.,Public Health Agency of Canada | And 8 more authors.
Food Control | Year: 2012

Results from primary processing intervention strategies for . Escherichia coli reduction on beef carcasses are often inconsistent or contradictory.Our objective was to identify, critically evaluate and synthesize published intervention research reporting treatment efficacy at the abattoir on . E. coli contamination of beef carcasses using systematic review (SR)-meta-analysis (MA) methodology to recommend effective practices and determine knowledge gaps.Four electronic bibliographic databases were searched for intervention studies in English. Two independent reviewers performed all SR steps. Risk of bias was assessed and separate random-effects MAs conducted on datasets. A stochastic simulation model using MA effect estimates evaluated combined effects of potable water carcass wash, steam or hot water pasteurization and a 24. h dry chill.The SR-MA included 36 citations (202 trials). Although 44 interventions were identified at nine stages of processing, MA was precluded for most due to small study numbers, high risk of bias and heterogeneity. Reduced odds of generic . E. coli carcass contamination demonstrated by MA: final carcass washing (OR 0.56, CI: 0.41-0.77), pasteurization (OR 0.09, CI: 0.06-0.14) and 24. h dry chilling (OR 0.17, CI: 0.11-0.24). Combining effects of potable water carcass wash, steam or hot water pasteurization and a 24. h dry chill, assuming no additional contamination and all variables constant, resulted in a reduced prevalence of 1.22% (CI 0.17, 3.57). The predicted risk difference in carcass contamination was 14, 42 and 35 per 100 carcasses upon application of final wash, carcass pasteurization and 24. h dry chill, respectively.Existing research indicates that final wash, hot water or steam pasteurization, and dry chilling are beneficial for reducing the contamination of beef carcasses with generic . E. coli and potentially pathogenic strains. © 2012 .

Foster A.,Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture | Malhi S.S.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada
Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis | Year: 2013

Field experiments were conducted in 2002 and 2003 on a Black Chernozem (Udic Boroll) silty clay soil at Melfort, Saskatchewan, to determine the effects of seeding date on forage dry-matter yield (DMY) and quality [protein and acid detergent fiber (ADF) contents] of four annual crops [barley (Hordium vulgare L.), oat (Avena sativa L.), triticale (× Triticosecale Wittmack L.), and foxtail millet (Setaria italica L. Beauv; hereafter called Golden German millet)] with various maturities as well as different growing-season temperature and moisture requirements. Seeding date had a significant effect on forage DMY of all four crops in each 2002 and 2003. In 2002, the greatest forage DMY for barley, oat, triticale, and Golden German millet was achieved on 3 July, 22 June, 3 July, and 24 May, respectively. In 2003, the greatest forage DMY was from the 24 May seeding date for all four crops. In both 2002 and 2003, protein content in forage tended to decrease as DMY increased in all crops. In 2002, protein content in forage tended to be greater for the cereals with the early seeding dates and lowest days to harvest. The greatest protein content in forage for Golden German millet occurred at the latest seeding date but the fewest days to harvest. In 2003, the greatest protein content in forage occurred at the latest seeding date and fewest days to maturity for all four crops. In both 2002 and 2003, ADF content in forage responded inversely to protein content in forage. The ADF content in forage tended to increase as DMY of all crops increased and days to harvest increased. The seeding date for maximum DMY of cool-season crops was greatly influenced by the growing-season conditions in this study whereas the seeding date of the one warm-season crop was not. In conclusion, the findings suggest that date of seeding of annual forage crops would affect forage yield, and rainfall distribution throughout the growing season also plays a significant role in annual crop forage yields. As long as there is adequate precipitation later in the growing season, late seeding can also result in good forage yields. © 2013 Copyright 2013 Crown Copyright.

Beckie H.J.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Lozinski C.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Shirriff S.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Brenzil C.A.,Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture
Weed Technology | Year: 2013

A late-summer survey of herbicide-resistant (HR) weeds was conducted in Alberta in 2007, Manitoba in 2008, and Saskatchewan in 2009, totaling 1,000 randomly selected annually cropped fields. In addition, we screened 1,091 weed seed samples (each sample from one field) submitted by Prairie growers between 2007 and 2011. Of 677 fields where wild oat samples were collected, 298 (44%) had an HR biotype. Group 1 (acetyl CoA carboxylase inhibitor)-HR wild oat was confirmed in 275 fields (41%), up from 15% in previous baseline surveys (2001 to 2003). Group 2 (acetolactate synthase)-HR wild oat was found in 12% of fields (vs. 8% in 2001 to 2003). Group 8 (triallate, difenzoquat)-HR wild oat was identified in only 8% of fields (not tested in 2001 to 2003); the frequency of occurrence of group 1+2-HR wild oat was similar (8%, vs. 3% in 2001 to 2003). Group 1-HR green foxtail was found in 27% of 209 fields sampled for the weed (vs. 6% in 2001 to 2003). Group 2-HR spiny sowthistle was confirmed in all Alberta fields sampled (vs. 67% in 2001); common chickweed was found mainly in Alberta in 40% of fields (vs. 17% in 2001). Group 2-HR weed biotypes not previously detected in the baseline surveys included false cleavers mainly in Alberta (17% of fields) and Saskatchewan (21%), Powell amaranth in Manitoba (16% of fields), wild mustard (three populations in Saskatchewan and Manitoba), and wild buckwheat (one population in Alberta). No sampled weed populations across the Prairies were found to be resistant to herbicides from group 4 (synthetic auxins), group 9 (glyphosate), or group 10 (glufosinate). Based on the proportion of total field area at each site infested with HR weeds, it is estimated that 7.7 million ha (29% of annually cropped land) are infested with HR weeds (eight-fold increase from 2001 to 2003), in a total field area of 9.9 million ha (37%)-over a two-fold increase. Of 816 cases of HR wild oat identified from submitted samples, 69% were group 1-HR, 15% group 2-HR, and 16% group 1+2-HR. Additionally, there were 10 populations of group 1-HR green foxtail in Saskatchewan or Manitoba, and six populations of group 1-HR Persian darnel in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan. Various group 2-HR broadleaf weeds were identified, including 17 wild mustard populations mainly from Saskatchewan and 39 cleavers populations across the three Prairie provinces. Herbicide-use data from 2006 to 2010 indicated continued reliance on group 1 herbicides in cereal crops and group 2 herbicides in pulse crops. Nomenclature: Common chickweed, Stellaria media (L.) Vill. STEME; false cleavers, Galium spurium L. GALSP; green foxtail, Setaria viridis (L.) Beauv. SETVI; Persian darnel, Lolium persicum Boiss. & Hohen. ex Boiss. LOLPS; Powell amaranth, Amaranthus powellii S. Wats. AMAPO; spiny sowthistle, Sonchus asper (L.) Hill SONAS; wild buckwheat, Polygonum convolvulus L. POLCO; wild mustard, Sinapis arvensis L. SINAR; wild oat, Avena fatua L. AVEFA.

Foster A.,Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture | Vera C.L.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Malhi S.S.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Clarke F.R.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada
Canadian Journal of Plant Science | Year: 2014

Limited information is available on the dry matter production, protein content and species composition of complex mixtures of introduced perennial forage crop species for hay and pasture in the moister regions of Saskatchewan. A field experiment was sown on 2008 May 27 at Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada, on a thick Black Chernozem (Udic Boroll) silty clay soil, to compare the effects on dry matter yield (DMY), protein content and species composition of perennial forage crop monocultures and mixtures, under a twocut and a three-cut management system, in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Eleven treatments consisted of monocultures of hybrid bromegrass (Bromus riparius Rehm.×Bromus inermis Leyss.), smooth bromegrass (Bromus inermis Leyss.), crested wheatgrass [Agropyron cristatum (L.) Gaertn], intermediate wheatgrass [Agropyron intermedium (Host.) Beauv.] and alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.); simple mixtures of each of these individual grass species with alfalfa; a more complex mixture of all these grass species and alfalfa, and a very complex mixture consisting of the complex mixture plus meadow bromegrass (Bromus riparius Rehm.), orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.), tall fescue [Festuca arundinacea (Schreb.) Wimm.], timothy (Phleum pratense L.) and slender wheatgrass [Elymus trachycaulus (Link) Gould ex Shinners]. The alfalfa was inoculated with rhizobium, and no fertilizer was added to any treatment during the course of the study. The two-cut system yielded higher than the three-cut system in all years. In 2009, the first cutting year, all treatments, especially under the two-cut system, produced similar forage DMY, with monoculture grasses yielding as much as that of their mixture with alfalfa. In 2010, 2011 and 2012, however, monoculture alfalfa and grass-alfalfa treatments had higher DMY than the monoculture grasses. Monoculture alfalfa also showed superior DMY than most grass-alfalfa mixtures, especially during the last 2 yr of the study. In conclusion, the inclusion of alfalfa in forage mixtures, grown in unfertilized soil, significantly increased forage yield, especially after the first production year, and these grass-alfalfa mixtures yielded almost as much as monoculture alfalfa. Also, the inclusion of alfalfa significantly increased the forage protein content over the grass alone treatments. Hybrid bromegrass, grown alone or in mixture with alfalfa, yielded similar to the other grasses tested, while crested wheatgrass did not compete as well as other main grasses, grown alone or in mixture with alfalfa. In this study, the use of complex or very complex mixtures of introduced grasses with alfalfa did not increase DMY over the simple grass-alfalfa mixtures.

Malhi S.S.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Foster A.,Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture
Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis | Year: 2011

Annual cover crops compete with underseeded perennial forages for light, moisture, and nutrients and may suppress their establishment and growth. Field experiments were established in 2000 and 2001 at Nipawin and in 2002 and 2003 at Melfort in northeastern Saskatchewan to determine the effects of seeding rates of cover crops of oat (19, 38, and 112 kg ha -1) and barley (31, 62, and 124 kg ha -1) on forage dry-matter yield (DMY) of the cover crop cut as greenfeed in the seeding year, DMY of the underseeded meadow bromegrass-alfalfa mixture in the following 1 or 2 years after establishment, and forage quality [concentration of crude protein (CP), acid detergent fiber (ADF) and neutral detergent fiber (NDF)]. In the first establishment year, the no cover crop treatment produced considerably less DMY than the treatments with cover crops. Oat seeded at 112 kg ha -1 produced greater DMY than when it was seeded at 19 or 38 kg ha -1 in all four site-years, but DMY differences between the 19 or 38 kg ha- seeding rates were not significant in any site-year. For barley, there was no significant difference in DMY among the three seeding rates in 2000, 2001, and 2002. In 2003, barley seeded at 62 or 124 kg ha -1 produced greater DMY than when it was seeded at 31 kg ha -1, but DMYs were not significantly different between the 62 and 124 kg ha -1 seeding rates. The use of a cover crop did reduce DMY in 2003 of bromegrass-alfalfa mixture underseeded in 2002, but the type of cover crop and its seeding rate did not appear to affect DMY in any site-year. Forage quality in the seeding year was consistently superior in no cover crop treatment compared to that in treatments with cover crops, especially related to CP concentration. There was no consistent trend of forage quality in the cover crop treatments, indicating cover crops and their seeding rates had little effect on forage quality. In conclusion, oat appeared to be more sensitive to seeding rate than barley for forage DMY in the establishment year, but in the subsequent 1 or 2 years after establishment there was little effect of cover crop type and its seeding rate on DMY of bromegrass-alfalfa mixture, although DMY was considerably greater in the no cover treatment than that in treatments with cover crops in 1 site-year. © 2011 Crown copyright.

Stovin D.S.,Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture
Transactions of the ASABE | Year: 2015

For effective use of manure as fertilizer, manure properties must be known. However, there is a lack of information on the quantity and nutrient contents of as-removed feedlot manure. Few studies have measured the amount of manure produced by feedlot cattle, and consequently nutrient loss between as-excreted and as-removed feedlot manure is poorly understood. In Saskatchewan, a calf fed from 386 to 590 kg (850 to 1300 lbs) in 150 days can have manure production of 13.6 kg d-1, and the manure can have nitrogen content of 7.5 kg t-1 and phosphorus content of 2.0 kg t-1. Nitrogen loss between as-excreted and as-removed manure can range between 50% and 60%, and phosphorus loss can range between 10% and 30%. The model presented in this article allows feedlot operators, nutrient management specialists, and regulatory agencies to predict the properties of manure, as long as the diet, bedding usage, and moisture content are known. © 2015 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.

Swallow R.,Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture
Transboundary and Emerging Diseases | Year: 2012

The paper discusses the risk for an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in the Pacific NortWest Economic Region (PNWER). Topics examined throughout the paper include: why PNWER is vulnerable to FMD, risks to Canada and the U.S. for the introduction of FMD, response strategies, and preventative measures. These topics will identify a number of challenges that region will face if an outbreak were to occur including illegal trade, movement of people, livestock movements, vaccination, and zoning. There is also a discussion in these topics around potential strategies that could be used on both sides of the border to minimize the impact of an outbreak both from an animal welfare perspective and from a trade and economic perspective. © 2011 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

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