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$5.7 M in grants funds wide range of ag research

USask crop research aims to innovate
Crop drone view
A drone above USask’s Kernen Crop Research Farm, summer 2019.

SASKATOON – University of Saskatchewan researchers have been awarded more than $5.7 million to develop crop-related innovations ranging from plant-based edible 3D printing and packaging to using drones for monitoring crops and soil health.

The funding through Saskatchewan’s Agriculture Development Fund was awarded to 25 USask researchers to support 34 projects.

“USask research continues to play a foundational role in establishing Saskatchewan’s reputation as a force in the global agricultural sector,” said USask Vice-President Research Baljit Singh. “This investment will power discovery that builds improved food security for the world, and economic prosperity for Saskatchewan.”

The USask crop research projects were also awarded an additional total of $2.095 million, co-funded by Alberta Wheat, Manitoba Crop Alliance, Mustard 21, Saskatchewan Canola Development Commission, Saskatchewan Flax Development Commission, Saskatchewan Pulse Growers Association, Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission and the Western Grains Research Foundation.

The projects funded include food-related projects such as deflavouring of canola, hemp and flaxseed and development of plant protein-based 3D-printed foods and edible biodegradable packaging. Also investigated will be a plant-based scrambled egg replacer.

Ethanol improvements and creation of industrial products from vegetable oils are also being researched.

Several project focus on improvement of crop varieties and enhancement of value-added use of various crops, as well as research into enhancing the use of the land itself. Food safety is the focus of one project looking into the environmental sustainability for meat processing facilities.

One study will focus on pesticides in honey, pollen and bees.

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