Perspectives Newsletter Summer 2017
Vol. 39, no.4 / Posted on Sept. 15, 2017

Greetings CSBE Members!

Summer in Manitoba seemed to fly by as always, with many different activities and events going on throughout. One of the key highlights of the summer was being able to attend my very first CSBE conference, hosted this year in my current hometown of Winnipeg. It was a great opportunity to finally meet many of my fellows CSBE colleagues, which I have only had the chance to speak with over conference calls and via email. It’s always wonderful to finally put a face to a name, and get to meet in person. Timing of the conference couldn’t have been better, coinciding with both the Canada Games, as well as Folklorama, a city favourite which is held every August. The conference focusing on “Food, Fuel, and Fibre for a Sustainable Future”, was fortunate to include a diverse group of engaging speakers & presentations, from industry and researchers across the globe! Thank you again to everyone for taking the time to participate and contribute to this event. I hope everyone who was able to attend this year enjoyed themselves as much as I did, and was able to get the chance to explore a little of Winnipeg as well! In the upcoming months, as I am relatively new to CSBE, I look forward to getting better acquainted to my role as Manitoba Regional Director, and learning more about this great society and its members!


Keri Bouchard

On August 26th, Lakeland College, located in Vermilion, Alberta, opened its new Dairy Learning Centre. The Dairy Learning Centre replaces the college’s previous dairy facility which was built in the 1980’s and will provide Lakeland students the opportunity to learn in a state of the art facility.

The 47,000 ft2 facility will house 120 Holstein milk cows and their associated replacement heifers and young stock. 

This extra-large space also provides additional area for educational uses and a public viewing mezzanine.

Some additional features include:

  • Robotic and a conventional parallel milking parlour
  • Automated feed system with robotic delivery
  • Herd navigator technology
  • Water and electricity metering for consumption will be comparison between milking systems
  • Automatic calf feeders
  • Manure separation system
  • Manure scrapers programmed to run several times a day
  • LED lighting with auto dimming to reflect actual daylight for the time of year
  • Skylight to reduce lighting loads during daylight hours
  • Ventilation efficiencies
  • Plate exchanges to lower the temperature of milk from the udder and transfer that heat for other purposes.

The total cost of $9.5 million included funds from the federal Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund and Alberta’s Growing Forward program. 

More information can be found on their website:


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.

International visitors at the Soils & Agri-Food Department (SGA), Université Laval

Mr Christian Morel, research engineer at the Agronomy and Environment Department of the National Institute of Agricultural Research (INRA, France), will visit the Soils & Agri-Food Department (SGA) from August to December 2017 to perform research activities and graduate student supervision in soil fertility and environmental chemistry. Among other research activities, he will develop the literature review, characterize the soil phosphorous fraction available for the plants, and the analysis of research data for the future of phosphorous in cultivated, plowed and fertilized agro-systems (Québec vs France).

Also, the Dean and Vice-Dean (teaching) of the Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias (Universidad de Cienfuegos, Cuba), Mr Enrique Rafael Parets Selva and Mr Reinaldo Perez Armas, will visit the Soils & Agri-Food Department (SGA) during the last two weeks of September to participate in the development of the cooperation project MRIFQ Québec-Cuba ‘Food Security and fruit development in the region of Cienfuegos: production, transformation and conservation’. During their stay, they will visit Quebec fruit production and transformation farms, as well as greenhouses, and they will participate to project evaluation and planning meetings.


Visites internationales au Département des sols et de génie agroalimentaire, Université Laval

Monsieur Christian Morel, ingénieur de recherche rattaché au Département Environnement et Agronomie de l’Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA, France), visite le Département des sols et de génie agroalimentaire (SGA) du mois de d’août jusqu’en décembre 2017 pour réaliser des activités de recherche et d’encadrement en fertilité et chimie environnementale. Les diverses composantes du travail de recherche incluent la revue de littérature, la caractérisation de la fraction disponible pour les plantes du phosphore du sol, et l’analyse de données de recherche sur le devenir du phosphore dans des agrosystèmes cultivés, labourés et fertilisés (Québec vs France).

Aussi, le Doyen et Vice-Doyen (formation) de la Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias de l’Universidad de Cienfuegos (Cuba), M Enrique Rafael Parets Selva et M Reinaldo Perez Armas, seront en visite au Département des sols et de génie agroalimentaire durant les deux dernières semaines de septembre dans le cadre du projet de coopération MRIFQ Québec-Cuba ‘Sécurité alimentaire et développement fruitier dans la région de Cienfuegos: production, transformation et conservation’. Durant leur séjour, ils réaliseront des rencontres, des visites des fermes québécoises de production et transformation fruitière et des serres, ainsi qu’ils participeront à des réunions d’évaluation et de planification du projet.

Bienvenus à tous!

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