Land Use Mapping and Planning for Sustainable Development with Island Lake First Nations and other East-side Communities in Manitoba

Participatory community development research alongside Garden Hill First Nation (FN), Wasagamack FN and other East-side FN community members is the focus of this Mitacs research. Student interns will assist in recording each community’s traditional land use through maps, videos, interviews, development of plans and branding. A geographical information system will allow an analysis of different natural resources and land uses. This research will build capacity in the community to plan and implement sustainable development in the East-side communities considering cultural priorities.

AMH, predictive tool of ovarian response to a superovulation treatment in the cow

In dairy cows, future generations are created by embryo transfer techniques, which entail a superovulation treatment followed by fertilization in the field or in the laboratory. Due to enormous pressure exerted by breeders, cows are now superovulated very young, even before puberty and thereafter are superovulated routinely. Despite improvements in this technique, there is still variability in the ovarian response to treatment and loss of ovarian response after the 5th or 6th superovulation treatment.

Etude de la vulnérabilité au stress hydrique de jeunes plants d’arbres. Cas d’espèces indigènes au Québec

Dans un contexte de changements climatiques, les modèles prévoient une augmentation de la fréquence et de l’intensité des sécheresses estivales. Or le manque d’eau peut gravement affecter la croissance et la survie des arbres, et donc diminuer leur productivité. L’objectif de cette étude est de tester la capacité de résistance de jeunes arbres à un stress hydrique tel qu’une sécheresse estivale.

Comparative Study to Determine the Efficacy of Different Sanitizers to inactivate Human Pathogens on Shredded Lettuce and within Spent Wash Water

Bagged salads have been linked to foodborne illness outbreaks implicating Salmonella, E coli and Listeria. It was commonly believed that the post-harvest washing applied prior to bagging would remove field-acquired contamination. However, through various lines of research has illustrated that washing can result in cross-contamination of produce rather than decontamination. The majority of research performed to date has focused on the level of pathogen removal by different sanitizers.

Redefining Agri trends for a better future

BC potato industry is facing a burning problem of finding low value for its second grade potatoes. The sponsor, Heppells Potato Corp, being the largest producer of potatoes in BC is facing the same problem of finding optimized value for its second grade potatoes. Currently these potatoes are just culled. But the market value of these potatoes is equivalent to 10 - 20% of the whole farm's revenue. Hence they are exploring other options to process and commercialize these potatoes.

Improving berry picking efficiency of wild blueberry harvester using precision agriculture and bio-systems modeling techniques

The overall objective of the proposed initiative is to develop a novel, automated and integrated field operation and berry harvesting system that will identify the root causes of increased loses; increase berry picking efficiency and product quality. Currently, there are 15 to 25% fruit yield losses during the harvesting with the existing commercial blueberry harvester. The wild blueberry growers set a goal increase the harvestable yields by 33%.

An assessment of agricultural stream designs used in maintenance operations in Quebec

In agricultural watersheds, many meandering rivers were straightened and several rectilinear ditches were added to the drainage network in order to evacuate water as quickly as possible in the spring to improve farm productivity. The design of these modified channels was not based on natural river dynamic concepts, which include both discharge capacity and sediment transport, and thus need to be maintained frequently as they tend to adjust by eroding their banks and returning to a sinuous pattern.

Determination of the Mechanical Properties of Wheat Straw for Equipment Design

Harvesting wheat grains require that the plant be cut from the stem and threshed. When the stem (straw) of the wheat bend due to pest and other factors, losses are incurred during harvesting. To minimize losses, breeders have developed pest-resistant wheat (solid stemmed) as compared to the hollow stemmed. The solid stemmed varieties may lead to higher straw strength and energy requirement which consequently will result in higher harvesting cost. Also, farmers are faced with the challenge of increased cost of transporting the straw outside the farm due to their high volume.

Enhancing agricultural production through the use of alkaline stabilized biosolids

Agricultural use of municipal biosolids has many possible benefits for producers, including improved soil physical properties and fertility supplements for crop production. However, recent concerns with pharmaceutical ingredients, consumer product ingredients, and hormones entering into sensitive ecological environments such as surface or ground water has brought into question the continued use of biosolids in agriculture.

Development of spectroscopic imaging technology for grain quality inspection

Fusarium fungi infestation causes Canadian grain producers a loss of almost $1 billion dollars per year. Fusarium fungi produce toxins, e.g., deoxynivalenol (DON) which cause toxic effects in animals and possibly humans. We will develop a portable hand-held hyperspectral imaging device to detect, in the field, Fusarium infestation in grains. We will also evaluate the applicability of spectroscopic Optical Coherence Tomography to accurately and quickly determine DON level in grains with high sensitivity (1 ppm to 10 ppm).

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