Winnipeg, Manitoba – Agriculture and Agri-Food (AAFC) -- The owners of a Winnipeg feed mill will receive $1.1 million to install two new infrared grain sorters which will identify and remove undesirable grain kernels, significantly increasing the value of the final product, Minister of State Kevin Sorenson along with Member of Parliament Lawrence Toet, on behalf of Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, and Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Minister Ron Kostyshyn announced today.
With the support of governments' $1.1 million investment, Standard Nutrition Canada Co. will become the only company in the country using infrared grain sorting technology. This equipment removes grains infected with fusarium head blight or ergot from crops before they are made into animal feed. This increases the overall grade and quality of grains, which allows sales into higher-value markets. It is expected to increase the value of Manitoba grains by $4 million annually.
Standard Nutrition Canada Co. will be investing an additional $1.1 million in the project. The company currently has more than 90 full-time employees and expects to hire up to eight more as a result of the new equipment.
In 2014, Manitoba wheat farmers lost an estimated $400 million in revenue due to fusarium damage, a disease that also affects barley and corn. The ergot fungus can become a major problem with wet growing conditions. The toxins it produces cannot be removed during processing and are dangerous for animals and humans if consumed. Currently, grains infected with these diseases either sell at a greatly reduced price or, in extreme cases, end up in landfills. This investment in a more efficient sorting and cleaning process made possible with this infrared technology will reduce grain waste by 24,000 tonnes every year in Manitoba.
The ministers noted this investment is part of the Grain Innovation Hub, which was announced by the Canada and Manitoba governments in May 2014. Its goal is to leverage $33 million in government and industry funding to re-establish Manitoba as a leader in grain research, production and processing.
This project was funded through Growing Forward 2's Growing Value program. The federal and provincial governments are investing $176 million in Manitoba under Growing Forward 2, a five-year, federal-provincial-territorial policy framework to advance the agriculture industry, helping producers and processors become more innovative and competitive in world markets.