Lacombe Research and Development Centre

Lacombe, Alberta

Lacombe Research and Development Centre, Alberta

The Lacombe Research and Development Centre is one of a network of 20 national agricultural research centres operated by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. It is situated in one of the most dense and diverse livestock production regions in Canada and is responsible for the development of integrated, sustainable crop, animal and honey bee production systems and crop varieties for the short-season environments.

One satellite research location is associated with the Lacombe Research and Development Centre: Beaverlodge Research Farm. Research conducted at all both locations contributes to the long-term prosperity, environmental performance, and security of the Canadian meat industry and the Northern and Parkland agricultural sectors.

The centre's main research is focused in three areas:

  • Integrated meat science and production systems: bioactive lipids and nutritional quality;
  • Microbiological safety and storage stability of meat;
  • Northern and Parkland agriculture focusing on integrated crop, forage, pest, and honey bee management strategies.

Areas of Research

The science and innovation activities at the Lacombe Research and Development Centre focus on the study of food safety, red meat quality, carcass grading, cereal breeding and forage/beef production. The Centre's areas of core research are aligned with national priorities to help the sector adapt and remain competitive in domestic and global markets. Greater participation in research networks and industry-led partnerships expands the Centre's innovation capacity.

Food Safety and Quality First

  • Evaluating and controlling variations in the composition and quality of carcasses and meat
  • Conducting research on the ways in which meat and meat products are processed, produced, packaged and distributed, and how these factors influence consumer acceptance for taste, flavour and appearance
  • Applying advanced techniques in molecular biology to improve meat quality and safety
  • Developing strategies to improve the safety and extend the storage life of meat
  • Devising new ways to estimate carcass yields and grading
  • Conducting research and implementing ways to prevent meat contamination during processing and distribution
  • Studying ways to reduce livestock stress and the resulting effects on  the quality and yield of meat and meat products

Making Crop Production Systems More Efficient

  • Identifying crop and soil management practices that conserve soil organic matter, and effectively using and recycling plant nutrients
  • Evaluating crop production systems for short-season environments in northwestern Canada
  • Developing new technologies for seed production in grasses
  • Developing and evaluating new oat and barley varieties for resistance to disease
  • Improving the efficiency of forage-based beef production in the prairie parkland vegetation zone of Canada
  • Management strategies and methods for the Canadian honey bee industry

Facts, Figures and Facilities

  • Centre located near the central Alberta town of Lacombe on 808 hectares
  • The Beaverlodge Research Farm is located near the northwestern Alberta town of Beaverlodge with modern laboratories on 360 acres
  • 400-head beef herd and research feedlot; a 100-sow farrow-finish swine unit
  • Federally inspected Research abattoir
  • Kitchen and taste panel area for sensory analysis
  • Research greenhouses and controlled climate growth chambers

Contact Us

6000 C and E Trail
Lacombe, Alberta
T4L 1W1
Tel.: 403-782-8100
Fax: 403-782-4308

Beaverlodge Research Farm
Box 29
Beaverlodge, Alberta
T0H 0C0
Tel.: 780-354-2212
Fax: 780-354-5150

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