Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
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Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) works to ensure the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector has the best chance to thrive in both domestic and international markets. Its mandate is to provide information, research, and technology, as well as policies and programs to achieve security of the food system, health of the environment and innovation for growth. More than 4,000 employees, including nearly 600 scientists, work at AAFC’s headquarters in Ottawa and its 19 Research Centres and other sites located across the country. To learn more about the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, please visit our Web site at This link will take you to another Web site www.agr.gc.ca.

Science and Innovation at AAFC

AAFC is committed to ensuring its investments and efforts in science and innovation are relevant to Canada’s agriculture and agri-food sector and to all Canadians. The goals and objectives of the This link will take you to another Web site Science and Innovation (S&I) Strategy are the foundation for growth of the sector. The Strategy includes seven national research priorities ranging from nutrition and food safety to investment in bioresources. These priorities govern all new AAFC research projects.

As science increases in complexity, so does the need for a co-operative approach. AAFC collaborates with various Canadian and international industry, government and academic partners, as well as non-profit organizations to improve knowledge-generating capabilities and ensure Canada maintains a competitive edge. AAFC scientists work with others to achieve the maximum return on investment in areas of importance to Canadians, notably food safety, environmental health and wealth creation.

AAFC’s 19 Research Centres

Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre
Agassiz and Summerland, British Columbia

The Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre in British Columbia is one of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's national network of 19 research centres. The Centre consists of two research sites; the location in Agassiz, and a separate facility in Summerland, including the Kamloops Range Research Unit. Research at both sites addresses national agricultural priorities in the areas of horticultural and field crop production and protection including tree fruits, small fruits, greenhouse vegetables, special crops, and forages; advanced processing, utilization, quality, and safety of plant products; the cellular and molecular biology of plant pathogens; soil resource conservation and land evaluation; poultry production and genetic resources; and dairy cattle behaviour and welfare.

The University of British Columbia's Dairy Education and Research Centre is on site on leased land at Agassiz. This co-location has paved the way to increased collaborative research between the Centre and the University on dairy cattle. As well, the University and AAFC collaborate in the preservation and conservation of poultry genetic resources at the Avian Research Centre on site.

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Lacombe Research Centre
Lacombe, Alberta

The Lacombe Research Centre is one of a network of 19 national agricultural research centres operated by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. The Centre conducts research in field crops and livestock production relevant to the central Alberta region. The Centre's main research focuses on the ante- and post-mortem factors that influence red meat: yield, quality, safety and preservation. The Centre also develops integrated, sustainable crop and animal production systems, and crop varieties for the short-season environments of the Parkland and northwestern Canada.

The Beaverlodge Research Farm and its sub-station, Fort Vermilion, are part of the Lacombe Research Centre and form the most northern agricultural research establishment in Canada. The Beaverlodge Research Farm specializes in research and development of technology for improved production systems for crops, honey bees and other pollinating insects adapted to environmental conditions in northwestern Canada. Research at the Fort Vermillion site focuses primarily on the adaptation of technologies for this northern agricultural area.

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Lethbridge Research Centre
Lethbridge, Alberta

The Lethbridge Research Centre (LRC) is one of the largest within Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's national network of 19 research centres. Located in southern Alberta, the Centre's research is focused in the areas of environmental health, bioproducts and bioprocesses, food safety and nutrition, and sustainable production systems. The Centre carries on significant research in new and improved technologies for beef cattle production and beef quality. The LRC is also developing sustainable and profitable crop production systems for dry and irrigated land, and rangeland in the southern Canadian prairies.

In addition to its principal location, the Centre operates three substations; one at Onefour, where studies on livestock and range management are conducted, one at Stavely to study the management of foothills rangeland and one at Vauxhall for irrigated crop production and drainage studies. All three substations are located within the province of Alberta.

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Saskatoon Research Centre
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

The Saskatoon Research Centre is one of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's network of 19 research centres. The Centre, located in the heart of the Prairie Region in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, conducts research on prairie crops to support the agri-food industry in western Canada. In addition, it is a major location for research and development in agricultural biotechnology. The Centre is also home to the This link will take you to another Web site Plant Gene Resources of Canada and the Canadian Animal Genetic Resources Program which have national mandates to protect and conserve Canada's national germplasm collections.

The Centre has a principal location on the campus of the University of Saskatchewan and it also operates research farms at Scott and Melfort, Saskatchewan. The Melfort Research Farm develops sustainable crop production systems for the black and grey soil zones of the northern prairies. The Scott Research Farm focuses on developing environmental and economic sustainability systems for oilseeds, cereals, pulses and forage crops.

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Semiarid Prairie Agricultural Research Centre
Swift Current, Saskatchewan

The Semiarid Prairie Agricultural Research Centre (SPARC) is one of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's (AAFC) network of 19 research centres. Located at Swift Current, in the southwest corner of Saskatchewan, the research centre conducts major agricultural research on the dryland regions of Canada's prairies. Ninety-two per cent of the durum wheat and nearly 50 per cent of the spring wheat grown in western Canada traces its origins to research from the Centre.

Located in the warmer and drier regions of the Prairies, the Centre has a national mandate to develop dryland-farming systems, directly supporting sustainable agriculture on 40 per cent of Canadian farm and rangeland. SPARC's scientists focus on the Brown soil zone and the drier areas of the Dark Brown soil zone of the Canadian prairies.

The Indian Head Research Farm (IHRF) and Regina Research Farm are satellite locations of SPARC. These locations conduct research on zero-tillage (eliminating tillage) agronomy and annual cropping systems for the Parkland region and perform field crop variety trials. IHRF is the site of the AAFC Seed Increase Unit that produces breeder pedigree basic seed of 60-70 annual cereal, oilseed and pulse, and 25-35 forage cultivars developed by AAFC plant breeders.

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Brandon Research Centre
Brandon, Manitoba

The Brandon Research Centre (BRC) is one of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's national network of 19 research centres. The Centre is located in the Parkland region of the Canadian Prairies in the city of Brandon, and is one of the original five experimental farms established by the Federal Government in 1886 under the Experimental Farm Station Act.

The BRC conducts research on crop production, including fertilization requirements of crops, ecology and control of weeds, biology and management of crop diseases, genetics and breeding of barley, management of pastures and cattle, land resource management and impacts of agriculture on the environment.

Results of these research areas produce knowledge, technologies and management practices that enable agricultural producers of the Parkland region to produce safe and healthy food and fibre products demanded by national and international consumers; to improve their husbandry practices in order to enhance the environmental and economic sustainability of their land and water resources; to improve the efficient use of inputs and resources; and to increase their economic and market competitiveness in domestic and international markets.

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Cereal Research Centre
Winnipeg, Manitoba

The Cereal Research Centre, located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, is part of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's national network of 19 research centres. The Centre focuses on wheat and oat breeding, and improving cereal quality and resistance to diseases and insect pests.

Research projects cover all aspects of cereals development from the initial stages of identifying genes that control traits of economic importance to the registration of new varieties. The Centre's objectives are to supply producers and end users with high quality, high-yielding, disease-resistant varieties that are well-adapted to Canadian prairie growing conditions. In addition, research is conducted to predict and mitigate pest problems during cereal storage in bulk or as processed food.

The Morden Research Station at Morden, Manitoba is linked to the Cereal Research Centre. This station develops new varieties and production technology, focusing on flax, pulse crops and landscape plants.

Additional field plots are at Glenlea, Manitoba, south of Winnipeg.

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Southern Crop Protection and Food Research Centre
London, Ontario

The Southern Crop Protection and Food Research Centre is one of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's national network of 19 research centres. The Centre is located in London, Ontario, in the heart of one of the most intensive, diverse and productive agri-food regions in Canada. The Centre conducts research on air, water and nutrients, field crops, bio-based products and processes, genomics and biotechnology, and integrated pest management

Two satellite research sites are located at Vineland and at Delhi, Ontario. Delhi currently supports research in the area of air, water and soil nutrients, and integrated pest management. It is also one of nine national field sites within Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada that supports the Minor Use Pesticide Program. Research activity at Vineland, in the Niagara Peninsula region of Ontario, supports development of improved methods of integrated pest management. It is the main site of fruit tree research, with a research orchard located at nearby Jordan, Ontario.

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Eastern Cereal and Oilseed Research Centre
Ottawa, Ontario

The Eastern Cereal and Oilseed Research Centre is one of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's national network of 19 research centres. The Centre is located on the historic This link will take you to another Web site Central Experimental Farm in downtown Ottawa. It conducts research which can be readily transferred to generate new business and economic growth for many areas of Canada's agricultural sector.

The Centre is involved with a wide range of research activities. A major focus is developing improved varieties of barley, corn, oats, soybeans and wheat for eastern Canada, and providing expertise on plants, fungi and insects for biocontrol and genetic improvement. The Centre holds the largest bioresource reference collections of fungi, insects and vascular plants in Canada in support of efforts to protect Canada's borders from invasive pests.

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Guelph Food Research Centre
Guelph, Ontario

The Guelph Food Research Centre is one of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s network of 19 research centres. Located in Guelph, the Centre specializes in food safety, quality and nutrition, and is committed to ensuring that food produced in Canada continues to be among the safest and the highest quality in the world.

Research covers all aspects of food production, from the field to the fork. In addition to its focus on food quality and safety, much of the Centre’s work explores the potential for conventional foods to offer nutritional and other therapeutic benefits. Scientists are also developing innovative methods to reduce food-borne biological and chemical hazards that may be present in farm commodities, fresh market and processed foods.

The Guelph Food Research Centre is a partner in many collaborative projects with industry, farm groups and This link will take you to another Web site University of Guelph in the areas of product development, packaging, shelf life, food safety and the improvement of food quality and productivity.

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Greenhouse and Processing Crops Research Centre
Harrow, Ontario

The Greenhouse and Processing Crops Research Centre, one of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s national network of 19 research centres, is located at Harrow, Ontario. The Centre operates the largest greenhouse research complex facility in North America and manages two field sites; one on sandy soils at Harrow and a second one on clay-loam soils at the Honourable Eugene F. Whelan Experimental Farm close to Woodslee, Ontario.

The Centre conducts environmental quality research and develops sustainable land and crop management strategies. Research is focused on breeding, pest management, soil, water, and air quality, and crop productivity.

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Dairy and Swine Research and Development Centre
Sherbrooke (Lennoxville Sector), Quebec

The Dairy and Swine Research and Development Centre is part of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's national network of 19 research centres. The Centre is located in Lennoxville, part of the city of Sherbrooke in the Eastern Townships region of Quebec. The Centre is the only AAFC research Centre specializing in innovative research primarily for the Canadian dairy and swine industries.

The Centre is also responsible for the Beef Research Farm in Kapuskasing, Ontario which develops technologies to improve the cost efficiency of beef production for northern areas of Eastern Canada.

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Food Research and Development Centre
Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec

The Food Research and Development Centre in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec is one of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's network of 19 research centres. The Centre focuses on conducting research and developing methods to preserve food and maintain its quality, and to process food safely and efficiently. Research is also conducted on food ingredients having health and other benefits beyond basic nutritional values.

Food safety is also a major area of research, and in doing this work, the Centre collaborates with the University of Montreal's Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Through the Centre's Industrial Program, pilot plants are leased to agri-food companies in support of their small-scale food processing and testing needs. In addition, the Centre also provides extensive information retrieval and analysis services through its Governors Foundation.

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Soils and Crops Research and Development Centre
Québec, Québec

The Soils and Crops Research and Development Centre is one of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's network of 19 research centres. The Centre has two research focuses: soil-water-air resources, and the management and use of field crops in Eastern Canada. The Centre's mission is to increase scientific knowledge, develop innovative technologies, and devise integrated soil and field crop management approaches that help to preserve the quality of soil, water and air resources. The Centre also develops various plant varieties that have increased resistance to disease and tolerance against environmental stress.

The research teams also carry out plant genetic improvement work in order to develop cultivars with superior nutritional and health characteristics as well as enhanced disease resistance and environmental stress tolerance, which can supply industry's needs for feedstock for bioproducts. The Centre was instrumental in the development of a large number of forrage plant and cereal varieties grown in Quebec.

The Centre's researchers work in close co-operation with other government colleagues and university scientists, as well as industry and producers' associations. The Centre is in charge of the Normandin Research Farm and the Jean-Charles Chapais Research Farm in Lévis. It also leases land at the Lévis-Lauzon CEGEP farm in Lévis. These fields are used to investigate new ways of managing forage, cereal and other field crops adapted to the weather, soil, and environmental conditions of this region. The Centre's pedology and precision agriculture scientists are housed near the Québec headquarters.

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Horticulture Research and Development Centre
Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec

The Horticulture Research and Development Centre is one of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's network of 19 research centres. Located in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, the Centre's mandate is to conduct research in the areas of sustainable production, pest management and preserving the quality of crops and horticulture after harvesting. Scientists specialize in market garden crops, tree fruits, small fruits, ornamental shrubs and new crops.

Scientists focus on ways to develop and transfer knowledge, and to produce technologies and innovative products, while striving to protect the environment, preserve human health and minimize risks for producers. The Centre's qualified and experienced researchers also carry out collaborative work with university researchers or government colleagues. The Centre manages three research sub-stations at L'Acadie and Sainte-Clotilde, which specializes in mineral soil and muck soil horticulture research, and Frelighsburg which operates a variety of orchards for research.

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Potato Research Centre
Fredericton, New Brunswick

The Potato Research Centre is one of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's network of 19 research centres. The Centre is located on the outskirts of Fredericton, New Brunswick, on the south bank of the St. John River. Potato research is the Centre's main focus as the province of New Brunswick is a recognized world leader in potato production.

In addition to researching new varieties of potatoes for targeted markets, the Centre conducts related studies in pest control with various crops, soil and water management, potato genomics (techniques and technologies for decoding genes) and studies on how best to control the quality of potatoes during and after processing operations.

Using a combination of traditional crop breeding techniques, as well as new and emerging technologies, the Centre releases to the marketplace up to 10 This link will take you to another Web site new potato selections each year. These annual releases have been carefully chosen from a starting population that may number 70,000 new seedlings.

The Centre manages a field site at the Senator Hervé J. Michaud Research Farm in St-Joseph-de-Kent (Bouctouche) which conducts research on tree fruit, berry and vegetable crops. The PRC also manages the potato breeding substation at Benton Ridge, near Woodstock.

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Atlantic Food and Horticulture Research Centre
Kentville, Nova Scotia

The Atlantic Food and Horticulture Research Centre is one of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's (AAFC) national network of 19 research centres. It is located in Kentville, in western Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley. The Centre's programs are unique in addressing problems throughout the Canadian horticultural and food system, but with a focus on the regional needs of Atlantic Canada.

In the Centre's field and laboratory, work is conducted on primary production, crop protection, soil and water evaluation, post-harvest storage, food quality assessment, pilot plant processing of food and consumer safety. There is multi-disciplinary research at all levels from the field to the consumer. In addition to its main office/laboratory in Kentville, the Centre manages the Nappan Research Farm, near Amherst, Nova Scotia, and a satellite research field site at Sheffield. The Nappan Research Farm is mainly involved with beef research for the Atlantic region, along with some forage and soils work. The Centre is also responsible for scientists collocated at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College working in poultry, forage breeding and soil science.

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Crops and Livestock Research Centre
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

The Crops and Livestock Research Centre (CLRC) in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island is one of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's network of 19 research centres. The Centre's mandate is to develop scientific knowledge and new technologies in agriculture with the prime focus on Prince Edward Island and Atlantic Canada.

The Centre is developing innovative technologies for crop production in a way that enhances the environment and protects the natural resources of the region. The CLRC has a major collaborative program with the National Research Council and the University of Prince Edward Island in the area of bioresources and health for the discovery and development of value-added biobased products and processes from current or new crops.

In addition to its main office/laboratory in Charlottetown, there is a field research site at the Harrington Farm, north of Charlottetown, which accommodates 95 percent of the Centre's field research in potatoes, cereals, forages and soil tillage and conservation.

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Atlantic Cool Climate Crop Research Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

The Atlantic Cool Climate Crop Research Centre is one of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's national network of 19 research centres. The Centre is located in St. John's, the provincial capital of Newfoundland and Labrador and is recognized as a center of excellence among the province's agricultural communities. Current research focuses on integrated pest management, molecular biology and plant propagation, land improvement, nutrient management and high value crop research.

The role of the Centre is to develop technologies which diversify and add value to rural economies in cool summer regions. The research emphasizes developing improved crops and crop production technologies that reduce costs while ensuring efficient crop production. The Centre operates a field research site in nearby Avondale for studies on high value crops. The Centre has strong linkages with the provincial agri-food sector, universities and industry associations

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Canadian Grain Commission

Grain Research Laboratory

The Grain Research Laboratory is the scientific division of the Canadian Grain Commission. Research objectives include:

  • characterizing and measuring end-use quality of Canadian grains;
  • developing improved understanding of the physical, chemical, biochemical, and technological properties of Canadian grains; and
  • developing rapid methods and instrumentation to measure quality components, performance specifications, and safety of Canadian grains.

Fields of Research

Identify and characterize properties, quality components, and end-use performance of major Canadian grains: cereal grains (common wheat, durum wheat, and barley), oilseeds (canola, flaxseed, soybeans, sunflower seed, and mustard seed), and pulses (field peas, field beans, and lentils).

Specific research applications to Canadian grains include analysis and method development for detection and measurement of trace elements, pesticide residues, and mycotoxins; near-infrared spectroscopy, image analysis, high-resolution digital photography, viscosity analysis and light, fluorescence, and scanning electron microscopy for development of rapid instrumental grain analysis methods and grain quality assessment; laboratory- and pilot-scale milling of wheat into flour and semolina; laboratory- and small-scale processing and instrumentation for dough making and bread baking; laboratory-scale pasta processing of semolina for the evaluation of durum wheat quality parameters; laboratory-scale noodle processing and specialized instrumentation for the evaluation of end-product quality; pilot- and laboratory-scale systems to evaluate malting-type barleys; analysis of activity of cereal enzymes, particularly alpha-amylase; chemistry of oilseeds as studied by high-performance liquid chromatography, gas-liquid chromatography, and NIR; compositional analysis and functionality in pulses; biochemical and biotechnological methods for laboratory identification of grain varieties, including electrophoresis, immunoassay, and DNA fingerprinting; analysis, measurement, and chemistry of protein, starch, moisture, and other grain constituents; and mycology of grains, with emphasis on mycotoxigenic fungi.

For more information about the Canadian Grain Commission, please visit our website at This link will take you to another Web site http://www.grainscanada.gc.ca/main-e.htm.

Contact
Dr. Peter Burnett
Tel.: 204-983-2764
Fax: 204-983-0724
E-mail: pburnett@graincanada.gc.ca
Grain Research Laboratory
1404-303 Main Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3C 3G8

Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency

There are many drugs and medications that, if administered to a horse, could affect the outcome of a race. The CPMA provides an Equine Drug Control Program that is designed to deter the uncontrolled use of drugs or medication in race horses participating in pari-mutuel races. The CPMA carries out research to develop and improve analytical methods for the detection of drugs and to provide information on elimination times for veterinary drugs.

Contacts
Lydia Brooks
Manager, Research & Analysis
Tel: 613-949-0745
Fax: 613-949-1538
Email: lydia.brooks@agr.gc.ca

Dr. Mike Weber
Manager, Veterinary Services
Tel: 905-648-3033
Fax: 905-648-8425
Email: mike.weber@agr.gc.ca

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