Wednesday, May 13, 2020

AAFC Research Update: AAFC recently provided an update on their research program, including confirming that they will be continuing with co-operative variety registration field trials this season.

  • AAFC concluded a careful analysis of its field-dependent research projects and identified certain activities to move forward with implementation, including (on a limited basis): co-op, early generation and agronomy trials; integrated pest management research; and environmental sampling critical for spring.
  • It is important to note that these project activities are being implemented in addition to the research-related critical services already being conducted at AAFC centres across the country.
  • Various criteria were taken into consideration when making this decision, including: the differences across the country in terms of the local situation of the pandemic, as well as announced provincial activity resumption plans; the timelines required for conducting those activities, such as planting times; and, most importantly, AAFC’s ability to deliver these activities in a safe manner for our staff and the communities where they work.
  • AAFC Research Directors and staff will contact project partners and collaborators to provide the individual implementation details of approved project activities set to resume and will consider the dates and timing of fieldwork, and the need to meet strict health and welfare guidelines.
  • Discussions continue within the Department, including with AAFC scientists, to determine the implications for other research activities not approved to proceed at this time. If there are other project specific questions, AAFC Research Directors are your best source of information. If you are not sure which Research Director to contact, please email the Round Table account.
  • Although some additional research activities will happen, it is important to underscore that 2020 will not be ‘business-as-usual’ for the rest of the summer for AAFC research given the ongoing public health restrictions. AAFC recognizes that the environment continues to evolve and we will continually monitor and evaluate the situation to further identify opportunities to return the Department to its full course of research operations.

Mandatory Isolation Support for Temporary Foreign Workers Program:  The Government of Canada recently announced up to $50 million to assist farmers, fish harvesters, and food production and processing employers with the incremental costs associated with the mandatory 14-day quarantine period for temporary foreign workers arriving from abroad. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is now accepting applications for all provinces/territories with the exception of Prince Edward Island. Eligible employers in the province of Prince Edward Island can apply for the program through their provincial government. Canadian employers in the primary agriculture, fish, seafood and food processing industries can receive a maximum contribution of $1,500 per temporary foreign worker for the incremental costs incurred during the mandatory 14-day quarantine period. This funding is eligible for costs retroactive to March 26, 2020. Find out more information about the program, including how to apply here: http://www.agr.gc.ca/eng/?id=1588186409721. Please contact Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada with any questions at 1-877-246-4682 or by email: aafc.MISP-PAIO.aac@canada.ca.