Press Releases

RDAR funds landmark agriculture water stewardship and monitoring project

Edmonton, Alberta — Results Driven Agriculture Research (RDAR) has invested funds in a collaborative project by Alberta’s producer-led Crop Sector Working Group (CSWG) and three major life-science companies. The novel water monitoring project will help ensure that farmers have access to innovative crop protection tools while upholding sound environmental stewardship. The project aims to gather scientific data to evaluate the effectiveness of wetland management practices in mitigating the movement of crop protection products into wetlands and aquatic ecosystems. RDAR’s funding contributions – of which $417,500 comes from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) – are valued at $750,000 over three-years.

The ground-breaking project highlights a cooperative and proactive approach being utilized by agriculture industry partners with funding support from RDAR to make it possible. From this research, best management practices will be developed to protect water habitats from crop protection product use while providing substantive knowledge transfer and translation to producers.

“As a farmer, I take great pride in being a steward of the land and that includes our waterways,” says Don Shepert, CSWG Chair. “The data collected from this project will give farmers a better understanding how stewardship practices can be further employed and adopted to continue to prevent the movement of crop protection products in the environment.”

The project was developed in close collaboration with the Health Canada regulator, the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), which requires science-based data to support their regulatory evaluation and re-evaluation decisions. Data collected from this project will ensure there’s a representative set of western Canadian data available for regulatory bodies such as the PMRA. It will ensure that fulsome decisions can be made based on accurate use and application of crop protection products, which could lead to the retention of valuable crop protection tools that farmers rely on to be competitive globally.

“The collection of on-farm data in this project will increase the quality and relevance of information that can be used to inform policy and regulatory guidelines for crop protection product use, which are more realistic than laboratory data,” says Dr. David Chalack, RDAR Board Chair. “Collaboration is in our DNA. This landmark project brings together producers, researchers, commissions, and national regulatory bodies, all dedicated to supporting the success and sustainability of Alberta’s agriculture industry.”

RDAR is pleased with the collaborative model of this project and the level of interest across the industry. Partners providing matching funds to the project include Syngenta, BASF, Bayer Crop Science – Canada, the Alberta Wheat Commission, Alberta Barley, Alberta Canola, Potato Growers of Alberta, Alberta Sugar Beet Growers, and Alberta Pulse Growers.

With a focus on southern Alberta, more than 10 producers have now signed up to participate in the sampling of wetlands on their private land. The data collection and analysis are being conducted by a third-party contractor, Millennium EMS Solutions.

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3 billion investment by Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen and grow Canada’s agri-food and agri-products sectors. This commitment includes $2 billion for programs cost-shared by the federal and provincial/territorial governments that are designed and delivered by provinces and territories.

Alberta’s Crop Sector Working Group is an inclusive partnership of nine crop sector commissions and associations that have come together to consider and discuss agri-environmental issues relating to the crop sector. The CSWG consists of Alberta Barley, Alberta Beekeepers Commission, Alberta Canola, Alberta Potato Growers, Alberta Pulse Growers, Alberta Seed Growers, Alberta Sugar Beet Growers, Alberta Wheat Commission and the Alfalfa Seed Commission – Alberta.

RDAR is a not-for-profit organization that will continually consult with Alberta’s crop and livestock producers to set research priorities and distribute funds. Its mandate is: to support results driven agriculture research priorities and programs that will increase competitiveness and profitability of Alberta’s agriculture industry. Arm’s length from the provincial government, RDAR is funded by two sources: The Government of Alberta, and the Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. 

For more information on the project, please contact:
Shannon Sereda
Senior Manager, Government Relations and Policy
Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions

For media inquiries, please contact:

Results Driven Agriculture Research Contact:
Janada Hawthorne
Communications Lead
Results Driven Agriculture Research

Crop Sector Working Group Contact:
Erin Tateson
Interim Communications Manager
Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions