ABP’s producer-led Research Committee has a small internal research budget that is allocated to projects submitted through the Agriculture Funding Consortium. Stay tuned to abpdaily.com for updates on approved projects.
In 2019, ABP was selected to deliver a three-million-dollar research call for proposals on behalf of Alberta Agriculture in feed and forage production and utilization. These funds have all been allocated and projects are underway – some of these projects will be wrapped up by January or February 2023, while others will continue under other funding sources. In this call, each dollar allocated by ABP was matched by an average of more than four dollars from other sources. Summaries of all current and past ABP-supported research projects can be found at albertabeef.org.
Another major initiative led by ABP is the Alberta AgriSystems Living Lab (AALL). Announced in July 2022, the Living Labs Initiative strives to create a collaborative approach to accelerate the development and adoption of beneficial management practices (BMPs) by producers. Beef, forage, and cropping producers who participate in the AALL will work directly with researchers and other experts to co-develop BMPs that improve their productivity and profitability, while having a positive impact on carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emission reduction.
Key focus areas of the AALL include cropping systems and crop rotations, land use change/transitions, grazing management, livestock feeding, fertilizer and manure management, and optimizing carbon storage across a landscape. In addition, we will be examining barriers to and incentives for adoption (both for participants and non-participants), performing cost of production analyses, developing extension materials, hosting events, and creating decision-making tools for producers. Information from the AALL and other Living Labs will help to ensure that climate-focused policy solutions are practical and provide benefits for producers by providing data under real production conditions.
Our AALL team has been busy with initial producer engagement and follow-up co-development sessions with interested producer participants. They will be planning baseline surveys and initial data collection through this winter and spring. Visit our website at agrisystemsll.ca for more information.
Through the (sadly) now defunct Alberta Beef, Forage and Grazing Centre – an initiative that ABP was heavily involved with for five years – a series of online modules were developed to provide resources and information related to forage and grazing management, along with helpful worksheets, interactive calculators, and quizzes to test your knowledge. The modules include selecting forage species, establishing perennial pastures, grazing-related animal health concerns, fencing and water infrastructure on pasture, managing and planning grazing, extended grazing systems, rejuvenating tame pastures, managing nutrients for tame pastures, and managing pasture soils. We’re very pleased to announce that Pasture 101 is now live and ready to be your one-stop-shop for forage and grazing information. Check it out at beefresearch.ca/pasture-101.