Canada Invests $5.7M in Research for Diverse Farm Crop Rotations

Headshot of Trent Klarenbach, founder of Klarenbach Research
Trent Klarenbach
June 2, 2024
A sunflower crop with a windmill in the background.
June 2, 2024
The Canadian government is enhancing agricultural sustainability with a significant investment aimed at diversifying farm crop rotations. This initiative promises to reduce risks for farmers by fostering climate-resilient crops that boost profitability.

Major Investment in Agricultural Research

On May 13, 2024, the Canadian government unveiled a substantial investment of up to $5.7 million to support the Canadian Field Crop Research Alliance (CFCRA). This funding, provided through the AgriScience program—Clusters Component under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership, is dedicated to promoting more diverse crop rotations on Canadian farms.

A diverse crop field with soybeans, corn, and oats showcasing the benefits of crop rotation.

Cropping Systems Cluster Initiative

The Cropping Systems Cluster, led by CFCRA, focuses on advancing the characteristics and practices that encourage the adoption of diverse crop rotations, specifically for soybeans, corn, and oats.

Understanding Crop Rotation

Crop rotation involves sequentially planting crops with varying characteristics on the same field over different growing seasons. This practice enhances soil health, optimizes nutrient use, prevents soil erosion, reduces pest infestations, and ultimately increases crop yields.

Researchers in a lab analyzing crop samples to develop climate-resilient varieties.

Addressing Climate Change Impacts

“With climate change directly affecting our producers, crop diversity is crucial for maintaining a healthy, productive, and competitive agricultural sector. This funding will support research into the benefits of crop rotations and encourage the inclusion of soybeans, corn, and oats in farm operations,” stated the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Canadian federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

Research Objectives and Goals

The primary aim of this research is to mitigate business risks for farmers by developing crops that can withstand climate change and weather stresses, protect against disease and insect losses, and remain profitable.

Specific objectives include:

  • Development of Oat Varieties: Creating improved oat varieties for both eastern and western Canada.
  • Soybean Varieties for Short-Season Environments: Enhancing soybean varieties suitable for short growing seasons in Canada.

The research will also investigate how diverse crop rotations can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve nitrogen use efficiency through better genetics, land management, and fertilizer use.

Aerial view of a large corn field in Canada, representing the country's increasing corn production.

Economic Impact of Crop Production

  • Soybeans: In 2023, soybean production generated $3.9 billion in farm cash receipts, ranking it as the third-most valuable field crop in Canada.
  • Corn: Since 2010, Canadian corn production has steadily increased, with export revenue hitting a record $941 million in 2021-22.
  • Oats: In the same period, oat exports were valued at $558 million, with 93% of exports going to the US.


The Government of Canada's investment in research aimed at promoting diverse crop rotations marks a significant step towards a more sustainable and resilient agricultural sector. By supporting the development of climate-resilient crops, this initiative not only reduces risks for farmers but also ensures the long-term health and productivity of Canadian agriculture.