The Prince Edward Island Patata Board is hoping a new investment in oil seed research will help farmers make the most of a growing oilseed industry.
On Wednesday, the Eastern Canada Oilseeds Development Alliance (ECODA) and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada announced a joint investment of $6.7 million to fund research aimed at increasing production of high quality canola and soybeans.
That investment includes money from the P.E.I. Potato Board.
Mary Kay Sonier, a board spokeswoman, said her group is helping fund a crop rotation study because potato farmers are always looking for something they can make money off of when they aren’t growing potatoes.
“If they can find another crop that’s going to be a profit generator as well as potatoes in most years then that’s a good thing,” she said.
The $6.7 million will fund a five-year research program to help produce high quality oilseed crops, including non-genetically modified soybeans.
The P.E.I. Potato Board’s investment in a rotation study will be used to study, among other things, how diseases and organic matter from the oilseed crops may affect potatoes.
Sonier said the oilseed crops grown as part of a rotation may not affect potatoes at all, but growers don’t know for sure.