Scientific Cooperation with the United States

Canada and the United States have a long history of bilateral science and technology collaboration in agriculture, which is a major economic sector for both countries.  Agriculture and Agri-Food Casnada (AAFC) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) also collaborate in a range of multilateral initiatives, including PROCINORTE, the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases, and the Wheat Initiative that help advance the agriculture sector.

Senior officials from AAFC and the USDA meet regularly to discuss priority areas for strengthened collaboration which currently include:

Next Generation Sequencing Technologies and Applications

Next generation sequencing is providing novel tools to sequence genomes or metagenomes from environmental samples. Cooperation in this area is focusing on fungi and bacteria with six priorities:

  1. defining high risk plant pathogens with regulators;
  2. bioinformatics;
  3. genomics;
  4. metagenomics;
  5. molecular detection; and,
  6. nomenclature and taxonomy.

Global Earth Observation

AAFC and USDA share a common interest in developing and using earth observation technology for agricultural monitoring and improving soil information. The two organizations continue to cooperate in the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) initiative, matching ground data with satellite data and enhancing current agricultural applications to enable new approaches. They also continue to engage in strategic coordination of efforts in the GEOGLAM initiative which will help leverage scarce resources and provide information necessary for meeting the participants' long-term sustainability objectives.

Bio-Economy

The bio-economy can contribute to rural revitalization and to multiple economic, social and environmental objectives in both countries. There is opportunity for cooperative engagement on the science related to bio-based products and processes, sustainability indicators and policy.

Long Term Agro-Ecosystem Research Networks

AAFC and USDA are exploring the possibility of linking AAFC's long-term research sites to the Long Term Agro-ecosystem Research (LTAR) network being established by the USDA's Agricultural Research Service. The aim is to collaborate in assessing the environmental and societal impacts of different agricultural practices and land uses within a particular landscape.

Regional Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Partnerships

The USDA has established seven regional climate change hubs to provide information about climate change impacts and adaptation to land managers and farmers. AAFC researchers are working with the leaders of the four regional hubs (Pacific Northwest, Northern Plains, Midwest and Northeast), which border Canada to explore options for cooperation in the development of useful tools and information for land managers on both sides of the border.

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