Perspectives Newsletter Spring 2017
Vol. 39, no.3 / Posted on June. 20, 2017
Students from the Bioresource Engineering Department of McGill (Ann Pille, Maxime Leclerc, Connor Miller, Mark Cool and Francis St-Aubin) went to the 2017 ASABE International 1/4 Scale Tractor Student Design Competition. They won awards in manufacturability, serviceability and craftsmanship. In addition they won the second position for the marketing presentation. The top three marketing presentations get an award as well as the opportunity to present at the ASABE conference in Spokane. Overall, the McGill team was ranked 11th out of 30 teams.

Grant Clark and Chandra Madramootoo won $3M support from AAFC Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Program for two projects related to reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Grant’s project is about the application of biosolids from wastewater treatment plants to agricultural fields. Chandra’s project is about best practices for irrigation and water management to reduce GHG emissions. Here are the details:

PROJECT 1

Principal Investigator: Grant Clark - Affiliation: FAES – Dept. of Bioresources Engineering

Project title: Management strategies for nutrient use efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions reduction from biosolids-amended soils in Canada.

Agriculture and Agrifood Canada Program: Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program AGGP2-033

Amount awarded: CDN $1,366,961 (2016-2020)

Collaborations: University of Dalhousie and University of Alberta and Industries

Description of the Project: This project aims to investigate management practices for use of municipal biosolids as a crop fertilizer and to quantify the effect of these practices on GHG emissions. Biosolids are a by-product of wastewater treatment plants and contain appreciable quantities of organic and inorganic nitrogen, as well as other plant nutrients (e.g., phosphorous, potassium, calcium, magnesium), making them a valuable fertilizer for crop production.

Objectives and deliverables (milestones): The main objective of this project is to assess the effect of biosolid pre-treatment and application methods on N use efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions, and C sequestration, under three distinct climatic conditions in Canada: Humid continental (Montreal), Atlantic maritime (Nova Scotia) and semi-arid Prairie (Edmonton). The collaborative and inter-regional nature of the project and the attention to comprehensive knowledge dissemination will result in best management practices of national and international utility.

PROJECT 2

Renewal of the initial project funded from 2010-2015

Principal Investigator: Chandra Madramootoo - Affiliation: FAES – Dept. of Bioresources Engineering

Project title: An Integrated Socio-economic and Biophysical Framework for Mitigating Greenhouse Gas Emissions under Agricultural Water Management Systems in Eastern Canada

Agriculture and Agrifood Canada Program: Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program AGGP2-020

Amount awarded: CDN $ 1,608,712 (2016-2020)

Collaborations: University of Guelph, University of Dalhousie, University of Saskatchewan, AAFC Research stations in Harrow, Guelph and Saskatchewan and Industries.

Description of the Project: The project aims to investigate the effects of different beneficial water management systems in Eastern Canada on GHG emissions and the adoption of these BMPs by farmers in the region.

Objectives and deliverables (milestones): The principal objective is to identify, develop and disseminate information for beneficial water management practices which simultaneously reduces GHG emissions, increases agricultural productivity and produces environmental co-benefits.