Lethbridge Research and Development Centre
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
5403 1st Avenue South
Search Scientific Staff and Expertise (Lethbridge Research and Development Centre) to learn more about the expertise of agricultural scientists working at this centre, and to find a list of their research publications.
The Lethbridge Research and Development Centre was established in 1906 and is one of the largest facilities within Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's research centres. It includes the main research centre, located on the outskirts of the city, and the Vauxhall Research Farm, about 80 kilometres northeast of Lethbridge in the potato "hot bed" of Alberta. Vauxhall supports the Centre's irrigation and drainage research.
The Centre conducts research in four main areas:
- Beef cattle science
- Crop and livestock biotechnology platforms
- Sustainable crop and livestock production systems
- Environmental impact of agriculture
Facilities at the Lethbridge Research and Development Centre include:
- 25,000 square meters of laboratory /office complex and 500 hectares of adjacent land
- Research farms at Vauxhall with 190 hectares for irrigation and drainage research
- The Center is located in Lethbridge, southern Alberta, in an area of the province where dry and irrigated agriculture is practiced. Insect-Microbial Containment Facility
- Greenhouse and controlled climate growth facilities
- Facilities for sheep and beef cattle, including a research feedlot and feedmill
- Weather station with 100 years of climate records
Current research activities
New opportunities, practices and prospects
- Conducting research in new technologies to advance the efficiency, profitability and environmental sustainability of beef production
- Finding new strategies and techniques to preserve and enhance beef quality
- Gaining additional knowledge of the behaviour and welfare of cattle. Conducting research in new technologies to produce crops that are suitable for dry and irrigated lands, and are adapted sustainably to the Canadian prairies
- Breeding crop varieties (potatoes, wheat, beans, forages) with improved yield, quality, and disease and insect resistance. Developing production systems that will contribute to reducing costs of production, increasing value and achieving sector competitiveness.
- Conducting research to support food safety and quality regulations, consumer nutritional needs and preferences, and to develop new products and processes
Commercial agriculture and the environment: achieving the balance
- Discovering crop, soil, water and manure management strategies that protect the environment, maintain biodiversity, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve soil, water and air quality and make efficient use of water
- Conducting research on new management strategies to control weeds, crop and livestock pests, while maintaining environmental quality
Results of our research
Forages and beef; dairy, pork, poultry and other livestock
- Conducted research on composting as a safe and economical method for disposing of specified risk material has lead the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to consider changing the policy and modifying the present recommendations to allow composting to be used as a method for the disposal specified risk materials. The European Community is also considering this approach.
- Influenced and improved practices in the industry: the cattle sector has adopted recommendations and best management practices in cattle welfare and transportation based on our research.
- Developed new products and processes to meet consumers’ expectations of food safety regulations which have led to proper identification of food-borne human pathogens, epidemiology and tracking of confirmed contaminations along the food chain, from feedlots to retailers.
Agro-ecosystem productivity and health
- Developed novel tools to measure enteric methane and ammonia production (and their mitigation by diet), pesticides and other residues in soils and water.
- Developed remote sensing methods and sustainability metrics modeling, for example HOLOS.
Cereal and pulses; oilseeds; horticulture
- Developed adapted Winter Wheat, Soft White Spring Wheat and Canada Prairie Spring wheat varieties, many adopted by the industry.
- Released dry bean germplasm adapted to dryland and irrigated production systems through public-private partnership (3P) breeding initiative.
- Established biological control of invasive plants (weeds) and insect pests as a recognized method to reduce pesticide use.
Biodiversity and bioresources
- Developed novel plant and animal cell cultures and methods, and genetic engineering technologies.
- Ahead of the Herd in Cutting Cattle Carbon (video) (2016-01-20)
- Chemistry of Soil (video) (2015-12-03)
- A Low Glycemic Potato Expands the Menu for Diabetics (2015-11-26)
- Limiting Contamination from Pesticide Spills, Splashes and Rinses (2015-11-26)
- Sainfoin - A New Light is Shone on an Old Forage Plant (2015-11-26)
- Soil Activity in Winter: Soil doesn't sleep under its blanket of snow (2015-07-30)
- A Gut Reaction: Yeast-eating bacteria provide key to human and animal intestinal health (2015-07-30)
- Wood Chip vs. Barley Straw Livestock Bedding: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Researchers Share Findings from Thirteen-year Study (2014-12-09)
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