Shields likes the idea of new crops coming to southern Alberta

·2 min read

Despite farming being one of the oldest professions in human history, new innovations are still being made. One of these innovations will allow rice to be grown in environments that are completely foreign to it — like southern Alberta. With these developments being made, Martin Shields, MP for Bow River, gave his opinion on this crop coming to southern Alberta.

“I read about that, it’s interesting, and I hope to hear more about it,” said Shields. “I’ve seen it grown in foreign countries, I’ve seen a grown in the southern US, it takes a quantity of water, as you would know, the sense of the flooding in growing. I’m not sure how they are looking at growing it here, but that is interesting.”

After this, Shields spoke on how this crop could compete with others when people in the agricultural section are determining which crop they could rotate into their fields.

“The idea that we could look at something else to add into the many crops that are grown, and we would do it differently with rice as compared to countries that flood their fields — that’s not something that we would look at doing here — we will look into doing it another way,” said Shields. “Is that commercially viable? I’m glad to see that academics are looking at the type of things that could be an advantage of growth here, and if it can be viable I think that it is something. The ag guys are always looking — they’re looking for how to maximize the rotation to keep the soil healthy. Does it sequester more Carbon into the soil? And they look at rotation crops to do that versus cereal crops. Let’s see where it goes.”

Ian Croft, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Taber Times