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Northwestern Ontario ag research gets $1.65M boost

Feds, province pledging funds for Lakehead University Agricultural Research Station
Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Association
Dr. Tarlok Singh Sahota, director at the Lakehead University Agricultural Research Station, is pictured conducting a tour at the facility.

Researchers in northwestern Ontario are receiving $1.65 million over five years to support the work of the Lakehead University Agricultural Research Station (LUARS).

Established in 1991 by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, the station's research aims to grow and diversify the agricultural industry in northwestern Ontario. It does this through small plot research, community-based agricultural research and natural resource management.

Some of the new crops it's introduced to the area include Galega, Kerneza, perennial rye, winter canola, frosty berseem, chicory, and plantain.

The funds announced on Nov. 24 will support research in the areas of best management practices for Northern agriculture, soil health, environmental sustainability, and climate change, as well as research and knowledge co-developed with Indigenous researchers and communities.

“Agriculture in the North is growing, and the research at LUARS is becoming increasingly important as farmers expand their operations in the region,” said Lisa Thompson, minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs, in a Nov. 24 news release.

“By investing in agricultural research in the North, we are working towards the goals of our Grow Ontario Strategy by promoting this province as a leader in agri-food technology and increasing production and consumption of locally grown food.”

Funding for this project is being jointly provided by the federal and provincial governments through the five-year, $3.5-billion Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP).