The Federal government is contributing one million dollars to support research infrastructure at Lakeland College, Vermilion.
The funding is coming through the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) to support smart agriculture technology and will be used primarily at the new Agriculture Technology Centre.
The Agriculture Technology Centre which is scheduled to open this Fall is valued at $2.6 million. It will serve as the home for Lakeland’s new degree in agriculture technology, which launches in September.
The Centre will house the data collected by the Student Managed Farm programs and College officials say it will make for better analysis of the information to support the work of producers and ag companies.
The CFI dollars will go towards the construction of a new Livestock Reproductive Technology Laboratory and the related connectivity infrastructure.
The CFI investment allows the roll out of several ag technologies and applications including:
1. Specialized sensors and monitoring technology
2. Livestock reproductive equipment
3. Emission detection equipment for livestock
4. Mobile imagery for phenotypic trait capture in cattle
5. Optical spot-spraying technology for crops; and
6. An unmanned aerial vehicle (drone) fitted with two multispectral cameras for crops and livestock research
Smart agriculture brings together technologies like automation, robotics, artificial intelligence, remote sensing,
hyperspectral imaging and blockchain applications into the agricultural product supply chain allowing seamless and
timely data collection and analysis.
Officials see the new options at the College as better supporting the rigorous field testing that goes in, to verify the return on investment for producers.
Lakeland currently has 52 active livestock and crop research projects underway.