Canada in Search of the Best Bedding

CANADA - The Government of Canada is investing in research to help farmers in Newfoundland and Labrador find a new, more affordable and more readily available source of bedding for dairy cows.
calendar icon 22 January 2009
clock icon 2 minute read

"Our Government knows that agriculture is the backbone of Canada's economy and so we are doing everything in our power to help farmers by funding studies that could improve their bottom line," said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, who made the announcement on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz.

"In this case, we are exploring opportunities to use Newfoundland and Labrador's abundant peat moss supply as a more affordable and potentially healthier alternative to traditional bedding materials such as sawdust that are becoming more expensive and difficult to find."

Peat moss can hold up to 12 times its own weight in liquid and can absorb about four times more ammonia than some traditional bedding, all of which may contribute to better air quality for workers and cows.

This eight-month project will determine if peat moss can meet the industry's standards for dairy cow bedding and whether it could be economically viable in the province.

"The cost and availability of bedding material are major concerns for dairy farmers across the province," said Robert Walsh, President of Dairy Farmers of Newfoundland and Labrador. "This project will give us the resources to investigate the very promising qualities of peat moss as a bedding source."

The Government of Canada is investing $203,000 in this research through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Advancing Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food (ACAAF) program, a federal funding program designed to support projects that will benefit the production and processing sector, bolster the industry's capacity to address current and emerging issues and position the agriculture and agri-food industry to seize new market opportunities. ACAAF is delivered in the province by the Newfoundland and Labrador Agri-Adapt Council Inc.

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