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PAMI receives five-year gov’t funding increase

Recent research at the institute involves combine auto-adjustment in canola and how to limit air seeder damage in peas.
Projects at the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute have included sprayer aerodynamics.

SASKATOON – The Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute will have $5 million in public money added to its budget for the next five years.

Funds were announced May 14 from the federal government and province of Saskatchewan and are provided under the $3.5-billion Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership agreement.

“The Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute has a proud history of helping farmers adopt new technologies and practices,” said federal agriculture minister Lawrence MacAulay. “This funding will help them continue their great work, and ensure farmers remain on the cutting edge so they can keep producing top-quality food for Canadians and folks around the world.”

PAMI has offices in Humboldt, Sask., and Portage la Prairie, Man. It holds partnerships with large manufacturers, post-secondary institutions and producers for innovation and research.

Its recent research involves combine auto-adjustment in canola and how to limit air seeder damage in peas. The institute has looked at sprayer aerodynamics, harvest loss and grain storage practices, among its slew of projects.

“This increased funding will allow PAMI to keep doing what it does best,” said Paul Buczkowski, PAMI president and chief executive officer, in a release.

The announcement comes two years after revenue challenges that nearly led PAMI to shut down its Portage la Prairie location. Buczkowski cited financial hardship prior to and during the pandemic as a main factor.

When he became president, he was granted a two-year trial to boost the Manitoba location, he said in an interview. Today, it’s flourishing.

“We’re off to the races. We have projects booked into July and August already, and our Humboldt facility has followed suit.”

The facilities are at capacity for projects and are booking months in advance, he said.

Recently announced funding will be used for research and development projects, staff education and contracted expertise, Buczkowski said. Projects will focus on sustainability and will explore electric and autonomous vehicles, larger scale equipment and artificial intelligence.

“Everything is getting a lot bigger. We have to react and be able to look at that quickly and efficiently for the customers that come to us for help.”

PAMI must also account for priorities laid out by government.

“We’re really appreciative of the support of PAMI that we were able to get and we look forward to continuing that relationship for a long time,” Buczkowski said.

“PAMI has been in business (for) 50 years, next year. We’re excited for all the support that we’ve had over that time and as we evolve and move forward.”