Saskatchewan student’s research shines light on polycrops

Graduate student, Jacqueline Toews in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources is researching the efficacy of grazing cattle on mixed crop (polycrop) swaths to mitigate greenhouse gases (GHG) produced by the livestock industry. (Submitted)

This month, the University of Saskatchewan awarded more than $8 million towards research projects. Large amounts to the tune of $200K, even $375K surely grabbed most peoples attention, but my eyes shifted more towards Jacqueline Toews’s research.

Toews has been awarded $17,500 in scholarship money to continue her research on the efficacy of grazing cattle on polycrop swaths to mitigate greenhouse gases (GHG) produced by the livestock industry. GHG by livestock accounts for up to 18 per cent of the total global GHG emissions according to a news release by the U of S.

Listen to RealAgriculture’s news lead, Jessika Guse speak to University of Saskatchewan’s graduate student, Jacqueline Toews, on her polycrop research. (story continues below)

In her study, she’ll be looking at different functional groups which include, grasses, legumes, and brassica plants — with the goal to improve soil health and sequester more carbon than barley.

Toews will also compare polycrop grazing of cattle to traditional barley swath grazing to see if polycrops deliver comparable animal performance and production costs.

Growing up on a mixed grain and cattle farm, and having obtained a plant science degree, Toews says she’s noticed not a lot of research has been done towards forage production which is why she chose to dive in deeper on polycrops.

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