Increasing harvestable berry yield using precision agriculture technologies

The overall objective of the proposed initiative is to develop a novel, berry harvesting system that will identify the root causes of increased loses; increase berry picking efficiency and product quality. Currently, there are 15 to 25% fruit yield losses during the harvesting. The wild blueberry growers set a goal increase the harvestable yields by 33%.

Chemically Modified Graphene-Like Carbon for Water Purification and Charge Storage Applications

This internship will focus on the chemical modification of a graphene-like material developed by 3M Canada towards membranes for the removal of divalent cations from water and charge-storage materials (supercapacitors). The need for improved purification technologies, specifically those that target the removal of divalent cations, such as calcium and magnesium, which are found in hard water, has never been greater due to the growth of our population and the related industrial and agricultural sectors of the Canadian economy.

Development of Feed Blocks for Livestock

BNTrading Inc., located in Alberta, is interested in developing a more efficient form (block) of densified feed material compared to small-size cubes and pellets currently available. This new form of densified material is to provide an easier handling, storage, and transportation. The target is firstly to convert the pellet or cube forms to block in trials. If there is a possibility of this transformation to blocks, the work will be conducted for the conversion of these conventional densified feed to feed blocks. Otherwise, the crushed form of feed will be used for production of feed blocks.

Minimizing crop stress with micronutrients: Agronomics

When plants are stressed they produce "reactive oxygen species" (ROS). Plants manage ROS with specific enzymes, many of which require micronutrients for activity. In the case of herbicide tolerant crops, the application of herbicide kills weeds in the crop but also stresses the crop for a time. The proposed work will test the hypothesis that crop plants will be better able to deal with stress resulting from herbicide application, when they are given additional micronutrients, in the form of Axter products spray-applied to crop leaves. The crops used in this work will be soybean and corn.

Characterizing microflora composition during the spontaneous fermentation of cassava flour

Quejos Ancient Foods (QAF) Inc. manufactures a line of dough-based food products that are gluten-free, grain-free, yeast-free, sugar-free. The dough is made from cassava flour, which has high concentration of carbohydrates and is rich in micronutrients. Traditionally, the cassava flour undergoes fermentation without the addition of yeast before the dough is made, and this process is not strictly regulated.

Sensory Characteristics and Metabolomics for Flavour Selection in Pork

The hog industry in Manitoba is a very efficient means of converting grains and pulses into high quality protein. Fresh pork is a healthy and nutritious source of protein, yet demand remains static. One of the main reasons cited by consumers for not choosing pork is the absence of good taste in modern pork. The objective of this project is to get fresh pork back on the dinner table by restoring its flavour. The process in which to achieve this goal will include the use of sensory analysis to test the flavour of 1,350 pork tenderloin samples from an array of breeds supplied by Maple Leaf.

Mathematical modelling and numerical simulation for efficient sprinkler system

InteliRain Inc. has developed an effective sprinkler system producing excellent uniformity water distribution for regular or irregular areas but using 30% less water compared to most existing standard industry system. However, the performance of the InteliRain system deteriorates rapidly when it is tested in an open field with wind effect. In this project, the intern will develop a mathematical model and computational algorithm to simulate the InteliRain system for cases with wind effect.

Examination of key nutrition, health, environmental, and welfare issues in swine to improve sustainability and societal acceptance of pork production

In order to remain competitive, pig producers must continually evolve to address current and emerging challenges to the Canadian swine industry. The Prairie Swine Centre has developed a multidisciplinary research program aimed at addressing key issues within the swine industry related to environment, society, safety, and sustainability.

Sport-for-resilience: 4-H participation and youth lifeskill development

The current wellbeing crisis in Canada is magnified in rural areas. Also, rural economies are negatively affected by lack of suitable youth lifeskill training. Rural communities lack financial capital to address these issues on their own. 4-H has been building rural youth skill for over 100 years, offering a variety of options, including physical activities which occur on farms such as horse activity. For rural youth, there is potential for 4-H physical activity programs to be sport-for-development- a field combining physical activity and lifeskill development.

Chromosome Engineering for Bioproducts from Methanotrophs

Currently Metagenom Bio Inc. offers contract research services in environmental microbial species profiling. Applications for this service include the monitoring of biogas operations, greenhouses, and mining processes. Metagenom Bio wishes to offer solutions that use microbes to generate value-added products. Biogas reactors can break down waste products and produce methane, or natural gas. This methane can be burned, or some of it may be used to create materials using bacteria that can consume methane.

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