"Our Government is always interested in practical science and common sense solutions that can help our farmers grow their profits," said Parliamentary Secretary Lemieux. "Our Government encourages this kind of privately funded research, which directly helps the bottom line of our world-class dairy and beef farmers."
As part of the tour, Mr. Lemieux learned that biting-flies on livestock farms can significantly affect the bottom line of farmers, but that these pests can be controlled. Dr. David Beresford, biology professor at the University of Trent, has been studying the ways of mitigating this problem.
"I am pleased that our Government is interested in practical research. Biting flies, for example, costs the dairy and beef industries in North America $3 billion per year in lost weight and production," remarked Dr. Beresford. "Based on my research, I have been able to slowdown the growth rate of stable flies on farms by 15%, and with further research I hope to halt their population growth entirely."
Mr. Lemieux used the opportunity to highlight the work undertaken by individuals and private industry as well as the significant strategic investments that the government has made in science and innovation. For example, the Agriculture Innovation Program, a two year $50 million investment, helps to get new products, technologies, processes to market, and improve the productivity and competitiveness of Canadian producers and processors.
Dr. Beresford's work on farm pests has been published in the Journal of Dairy Science, Economic Entomology, Journal of Vector Ecology, and Medical and Veterinary Entomology, with his most recent work soon to be released in the Journal of Medical Entomology.