New U of S feed research centre to increase Saskatchewan’s impact on global food security

feed research centre

The University of Saskatchewan and its partners officially opened the Canadian Feed Research Centre (CFRC) in North Battleford today, highlighting the many research and training opportunities this unique facility will provide for Canada’s crop and livestock sector.

The $13.9-million feed research centre is a major Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)-led project and a partnership with the Saskatchewan government, Cargill’s animal nutrition business, and Western Economic Diversification. The centre will research, develop and commercialize new and better high-value animal feeds derived from low-value crops and co-products of bioprocessing and biofuels industries.

Estimates are that increased feed processing from CFRC activities will contribute more than $2M to Canada’s gross domestic product through direct benefits to the crop and livestock industry and indirect benefits through employment.

“Thanks to our partners in government and industry, this national feed research centre is one of the most advanced and diverse in the world—the only one with both pilot-scale and high-volume commercial processing production lines,” said Karen Chad, U of S vice-president research. “This means that promising lab discoveries can move quickly from pilot-plant testing to industrial-scale research—a major advantage in attracting commercialization activities and engaging industry.”

Building upon the university’s signature area of research titled agriculture: food and bio-products for a sustainable future, CFRC researchers will add value to low-quality crops, improve nutrient availability to animals, reduce antibiotic use, and develop enzymes and other bioactives or nutraceuticals to maintain animal health and improve feed efficiency.

Both graduate and undergraduate students will participate in the research, gaining advanced training for careers in the feed and livestock sectors.

The centre is the first of its kind in North America to install new seed-sorting technology that promises to maximize value, quality and safety.

“Feed accounts for 60 to 70 per cent of the production costs of animal protein such as meat, milk and eggs,” said Tom Scott, U of S Research Chair in Feed Processing Technology.  “The centre will research the use of processing to improve conversion of low-quality and highly variable ingredients, such as feed grain or co-products of bioprocessing, resulting in safe, high-quality animal feed and providing value to both producers and consumers.”

Funding includes $5 million from the Government of Saskatchewan, $4.88 million from the CFI, $2.46 million from Cargill, $911,544 from Western Economic Diversification (including the seed sorter), and $600,000 from U of S and its suppliers.