$150,000 to fund greenhouse-transplant research in Ontario
July 2, 2021 By Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
The federal government and Ontario provincial government have invested a combined $150,000 to drive new research at the Ontario Crops Research Centre in Bradford, Ont.
Through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership), funding will support the installation of specialized lighting and climate control equipment for the greenhouse. A new weather station that automates the greenhouse’s climate control system was also installed as part of the investment. This new automated system will help create optimal growing conditions for greenhouse-started crops before they are transplanted to the field at the beginning of the outdoor growing season.
“Our government is helping Ontario crop producers continue as world-leaders in agricultural and food production,” said Markham—Stouffville MP Helena Jaczek. “This research will help our producers mitigate damage caused by pests and weather so they can continue providing fresh vegetables to Canadians and people around the world.”
This infrastructure investment will increase research capabilities that will lead to more sustainable vegetable farming practices, helping farmers be more productive and competitive.
“This research centre in Bradford is an important resource for farmers in the Holland Marsh area and across the province. The knowledge generated through research conducted at this centre will lead farmers to be aware of and embrace the most advanced agriculture practices available,” said Lisa Thompson, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “Research projects such as these at Ontario Crops Research Centre – Bradford, provide necessary data about vegetable production in muck soils that contribute to innovations that strengthen the whole agri-food industry.”
These greenhouse upgrades will improve crop research capabilities at the Ontario Crops Research Centre in Bradford and benefit Ontario’s agricultural sector by demonstrating how lighting, ventilation and climate controls in greenhouse-started vegetable growing can improve production rates and achieve efficiencies to reduce cost of production in vegetable farming in muck soils. They will also contribute to knowledge of how to better manage pests that can damage high value vegetable crops and increase the sector’s understanding of how real-time weather data can be incorporated into crop production and modern greenhouse building controls to advance vegetable production transplants to the field.
“University of Guelph researchers remain continuously committed to working for producers to develop new, evidence-informed, farm-tested innovations to enhance on-farm production, drive economic prosperity, and improve the lives of our province’s tremendous food producers,” said Malcolm Campbell, Vice-President (Research), University of Guelph. “This investment in research infrastructure will support research that helps Ontario’s vegetable growers to remain at the forefront of a sustainable, safe, productive and nutritious food supply, now and in the future.”
This investment follows other recent efforts to enhance research in the sector such as $6.5 million in funding for 40 research projects through the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance and a $1.8 million intake, under the Partnership, to support project applications through the Ontario Agri-Food Research Initiative.
Ontario Crops Research Centre – Bradford, previously known as the Muck Research Station because of its location within the rich organic matter soils of the Holland Marsh, was established in 1946. Research at the station focuses on the vegetable crops grown in the region, especially onions, carrots, lettuce, celery and Asian vegetables, but includes a wide variety of other vegetables.
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