Dairy Production Research Funding Program

Funding program for research projects on dairy farm sustainability and animal health, care and welfare.

The competition is now open. The deadline to submit a Letter of Intent is January 9, 2023.

DFC’s Dairy Production Research Funding Program offers financial support for research projects in the area of dairy farm sustainability and animal health, care and welfare. Projects are peer-reviewed and evaluated by an expert committee comprised of renowned researchers, technical experts and dairy farmers.

The objective of the Program is to foster innovation, increase farm efficiency and sustainability, and enhance animal health, care and welfare practices. Research projects submitted should aim to solve problems/issues that have a national perspective.

 

MAIN DATES  
January 9, 2023 Letter of Intent Submission Deadline
Mid-February 2023 Decision communicated to Principal Investigators
April 17, 2023 Funding Proposal Submission Deadline (by invitation only)
End of June 2023 Decision communicated to Principal Investigators

 

DOCUMENTS FOR DOWNLOAD 

RESEARCH PRIORITIES

Research priorities targeted in the 2022 Call for Proposals:

DAIRY FARM SUSTAINABILITY

  • Design crop rotation systems and study complex forage mixtures adapted to the region and soil type, intercropping, interseeding, double cropping and cover crop practices to improve soil health, control weeds, optimize yields and maintain nutrient value throughout entire season. 
  • Improve forage quality, yield and resistance (drought, flooding, winter survival) through breeding and management practices (for cropping and conservation), such as increasing the nutritive value, extending productive longevity and reducing fall dormancy of alfalfa and increasing the yields of grasses (regrowth) during the summer. 
  • Optimize best management practices for manure, nutrients, and pesticides in various cropping systems. 
  • Identify strategies to mitigate GHG emissions (primarily from cows and manure management) that take into consideration the practicality, impact/effectiveness versus costs, using trans-disciplinary approaches (e.g., living labs or open innovation). 
  • Investigate synergies/trade-offs between climate change adaptation and GHG emissions mitigation strategies.
  • Assess and demonstrate the short- and long-term benefits and impacts of increased biodiversity on dairy farms. 
  • Investigate the potential of strategies such as pasture lands, complex crop mixture, use of plants in intercropping or on uncropped land (riparian zone, wetland restoration, woodlots, etc.), and other initiatives (e.g., bat boxes) to promote plant and animal biodiversity and pollinating insects.  

ANIMAL HEALTH, CARE AND WELFARE

  • Explore actions that could be taken at the farm level to bring the Solids Non-Fat to Fat ratio (SNF/F) closer to the Canadian market needs.  
  • Develop targeted reproductive strategies that minimize interventions while maintaining/improving fertility.
  • Design quick, accurate, consistent, cost-effective means for routine locomotion assessments on farm (using Artificial Intelligence and other automated means) and easily accessible data monitoring systems to improve early detection, treatment and pain management of lameness in individual dairy cows and younger dairy cattle. 

Note: Economic impacts of new strategies, tools, practices, and technologies to be implemented on Canadian dairy farms must be assessed as part of the Project.