Low-Input Agriculture in Cool Climate Boreal Ecosystems


As the climate warms, northern boreal regions are expected to become more important for agricultural production. This ecozone covers 35 per cent of Canada's total land area – including Newfoundland and Labrador. Agricultural activities currently contribute 10 per cent of Canada's greenhouse gas emissions. Project goals for “Low-Input Agriculture in Cool Climate Boreal Ecosystems” include: 

  • Determining the effects of various crop management systems on soil health, crop yield and quality; 
  • Reducing the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions in agricultural production; 
  • Investigating the effects of natural resource by-products – for example, waste generated from the forestry and aquaculture sectors – on soil health, crop yield and quality; and 
  • Investigating methods to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture, forestry, and other resource-based industries.

Eight graduate students from Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland are working with researchers and scientists from Fisheries and Land Resources, Natural Resources Canada, and Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Ltd., on three focus areas with projects relevant to agriculture in Newfoundland and Labrador, including: 

  • Evaluating the effects of crop rotation and nitrogen fertilizer additives in an effort to:
    • reduce nitrogen fertilizer requirements;
    • reduce losses due to leaching and greenhouse gas emissions;
    • improve soil health, and 
    • ensure agricultural growth by adopting sustainable practices;
  • Determining the suitability and potential use of natural resource waste in agriculture, including paper mill waste and fish sludge; and 
  • Demonstrating and communicating the benefits of improved management practices to increase awareness and adoption of practices.

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Oliver Anderson
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
Follow us on Twitter: @AAFC_Canada
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Linda Skinner
Fisheries and Land Resources
709-637-2284, 640-8167

Eric Humber
Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation
709-729-4819, 725-9655
Follow us on Twitter: @GovNL  and @FLR_GovNL

Pamela Gill
Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland
709-637-2187, 632-0936

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