Brandon Research and Development Centre
The Brandon Research and Development Center (BRDC) is one of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's national network of research and development centres. The centre is located in the Parkland region of the Canadian Prairies in the city of Brandon, and is one of the original five experimental farms established by the Government of Canada in 1886 under The Experimental Farm Station Act.
Research and development activities conducted at the centre use expertise in agronomic, soil, water, nutrients, manure, beef nutrition, range meant, agroforestry, landscape based resource management and barley breeding to develop and evaluate crop and cow-calf production systems, addressing the risk and opportunity in this sector. The result of this research and development is to increase the efficiency and sustainability of farming systems to improve productivity, reduce economic risk, minimize the negative environmental impact of their production practices, and maintain access to international markets.
The BRC has one of the largest research centre owned herds in western Canada, as well as a large collection of growth chambers and research greenhouses with a significant capacity to conduct field and laboratory research and develop BMP's to ensure environmental sustainability in the portion of the Prairie Boreal ecosystem.
The BRC conducts research in two key areas:
- Integrated crop and cow-calf production systems for the prairie climate these production systems focus on identification of systems which are economically viable and environmentally sound;
- Barley germplasm enhancement
In addition to the above, staff at the centre are conducting studies in.
- Control of invasive species (e.g. leafy spurge)
- Integrated range management
Specialists at the centre also develop tools and information products to support resource management.in agricultural landscapes.
Areas of Research
Researchers at the Brandon Research Centre conduct research on a vast array of agro-ecological processes that determine the sustainability of agricultural production, and the impact of crop and animal production on the quality of the environment, including land, water, and air resources. BRDC science professionals plan and undertake research and applied research projects within the Department's framework of research and development priorities, while addressing regional needs of producers and agro-industry, enabling new discoveries and knowledge to become the basis for sector innovation and productivity.
- Conducting research on manure management methods, including composting and rates of application to land, that permit producers to capture its beneficial nutrient properties as a fertilizer material, while avoiding, or minimizing, nutrient losses from the soil and greenhouse gas emissions.
- Studying the impact of cattle production on land water and air quality
- Searching for innovative fertilizer management techniques that enable agricultural producers to avoid nutrient losses to the environment and maximize the efficient use of nutrients by crops.
- Advancing knowledge on soil processes, particularly those that control emission of greenhouse gases, sequestration of carbon in soil organic matter, replenishment of exhausted nutrient supplying capacity, and improvement of soil physical properties and tilth.
- Improving knowledge and understanding the effects of crop rotations and crop succession on carbon sequestration, of legume crop contributions to soil N accumulation plant diseases.
- Development and use of information management tools to support range and other resource management in agricultural landscapes.
- Applied research on the use of beetles to control leafy spurge.
- Development of an edge-of-field data capture tool to gather field scale agricultural information for use in landscape and watershed based resource management.
Farm Profitability through Innovative Systems
- Barley breeding and research on new varieties for western Canada that are more resistant to disease have higher yield, better malting quality, and higher nutritive value for cattle and human consumption.
- Studying system for improving efficient use of land and water resources, including crop rotations, nutrient application to soils (commercial fertilizers, animal wastes, and other sources), weather conditions within the crop canopy (micrometeorology), and plant biochemistry and physiology. Knowledge developed in these studies forms the basis of management practices that minimize production cost, minimize risks, and stabilize returns at the farm gate.
- Researching crop management methods that minimize the adverse effect of crop diseases through the adoption of crop rotations, and determining strategies to improve the efficient use of fungicides, or similar farm inputs.
- Developing beef production systems that take into account cattle characteristics (performance, reproduction, growth, and finishing), and the availability and quality of feed and pasture resources in order to maximize returns and minimize production risks.
Facts, Figures and Facilities
- total staff of 82
- 19 science and professional staff (agronomists, economists, hydrologist, range management specialists, ...)
- BRC is one of the five original Experimental Farms established by the Government of Canada in 1886
- Greenhouse and phytotron facilities
- Land base of 890 hectares plus 445 hectares leased pasture
- Beef herd of 800 cattle and overwintering facilities for 1,000 head
- Facilities and equipment for grain drying and handling
- Co-located with the
- Canadian Food Inspection Agency
- Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives
- Manitoba Zero Tillage Research Association
2701 Grand Valley Road,
P.O. Box 1000A, R.R. #3
Director of Operations: Byron Irvine
Director of Research and Development: Johanne Boisvert