Dairy Farmers of Canada, the national policy and promotional organization for the nearly 10,000 Canadian dairy farms, will develop and implement plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and sequester carbon, improve the health and welfare of cows and the quality of milk produced. The funding is provided through the AgriScience Program – Clusters Component, under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership. The investment to the Dairy Research Cluster 4: For a sustainable dairy sector now totals $13m and also involves Lactanet and Novalait.
Investment will be made in 13 research projects to address DFC's strategic research priorities identified in the National Dairy Research Strategy. Research activities will focus on greenhouse gas reduction; carbon sequestration; addressing antimicrobial use and resistance and animal health; genetic improvement, and innovation and eco-efficient dairy processing.
Pierre Lampron, president of Dairy Farmers of Canada, commented: “Today's announcement provided to the Dairy Research Cluster 4 is essential to enable strong, robust and evidenced-based research material that ultimately helps dairy farmers increase the efficiency of their farms. The investment is another important step towards Dairy Net Zero and Canadian dairy farmers' continued work on furthering a sustainable dairy sector.”
The Canadian government also announced that the fifth compensation payment for dairy producers under the Dairy Direct Payment Program (DDPP) will provide support of up to $1.2bn over six years to account for the impacts of the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA). From 2019-2023, the first four payments were made available totalling $1.75bn in compensation to account for the impacts of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The total compensation will reach up to $4.8bn, including $2.95bn through the Dairy Direct Payment Program.
The registration period for the fifth payment is expected to open in the fall of 2023 and eligible producers must register before March 31, 2024. The program's calculation date will be August 31, so farmers must hold a valid dairy quota licence registered with a provincial milk marketing board or agency on that date to be eligible for a payment that year.
“As the calculation date impacts when the registration period can open, setting the date earlier in the year will ensure producers have more time to sign up before the deadline and may receive their payment sooner,” the federal government said in a statement. “Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will be sending letters to all eligible producers in the fall with the program registration details, with payments to follow once a producer completes their registration.”
Lampron concluded: “This investment over the next five years to the fourth Dairy Research Cluster is essential to enable robust and evidenced-based research that ultimately supports Canadian dairy farmers. Today's announcement reinforces the work we are doing within the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership and supports another important step towards carbon neutrality.”