Farmers Forum staff
MAXVILLE — The Liberal government has launched a multi-million-dollar contest to entice farmers into cutting the natural methane emissions from cattle, whose bodies are already fuelled entirely by a renewable form of energy known as plant matter.
Eastern Ontario MP Francis Drouin (LIB — Glengarry-Prescott-Russell) announced the new Agricultural Methane Reduction Challenge Nov. 14 on behalf of the federal agriculture minister.
A combination of prizes totalling as much as $12 million will be awarded to “innovators advancing low-cost and scalable practices, processes, and technologies designed to reduce methane emissions produced by cattle,” according to the government.
The initiative is supposed to bolster existing cattle industry commitments to curtail cattle methane. The government points to the Dairy Farmers of Canada’s net-zero-by-2050 pledge as an example.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada invites anyone with innovative ways of cutting methane emissions from cattle to apply online at impact.canada.ca/en/challenges/methanechallenge
As many as 20 prizes of up to $250,000 apiece are up for grabs in the contest’s first stage. Semi-finalists in the second stage will contend for as many as 10 prizes of up to $500,000 apiece. At the last stage, two winners will be awarded a grand prize of up to $1 million each. Applications will be accepted until Feb. 7, 2024.
Agriculture accounted for 31 per cent of Canada’s total methane emissions in 2021, according to the Trudeau government, which blames beef and dairy cattle for the majority of that.