USASK Announces New Insect Research Facility

It will be the first of its kind at a Western Canadian university and study both pests and beneficial insects.

The $1.2 million facility will be located inside the College of Agriculture Building and be led by entomologist Dr. Sean Prager.

“This new facility will add substantial research capacity to the University of Saskatchewan,” said Prager. “It will allow us to work with the Crop Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and USask plant breeders to identify problematic resistance traits to pests that are yet to be established.”

The Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) is the major funder with a contribution of $500,000 as part of its $32 million Capacity Initiative.

“Just like plant research, we do require indoor facilities and we don’t have that capability in Western Canada required for insect research,” said Garth Patterson, WGRF executive director.

Other contributions come from farmer levies on crop sales. SaskWheat, SaskCanola and Saskatchewan Pulse Growers are each contributing $70,000 to the insect research facility. The Canada Foundation for Innovation will provide $285,000 and another $50,000 will come from the University of Saskatchewan.

Architectural planning has already begun and once complete, the facility will hold dozens of insect species at one time.

More from Play92