A berry WILD success with blueberries

A berry WILD success with blueberries

The story of how Ontario’s first and only wild blueberry farm and winery came about.

Taking toys and putting them to work

Taking toys and putting them to work

Developing a role for UAV’s in Canada’s fruit and vegetable industry.

Spears of success: Fox Seeds continues growth

Spears of success: Fox Seeds continues growth

Love for asparagus is growing

Cavendish Farms recently announced that they will be focusing on the frozen potato processing business on Prince Edward Island due to the limited availability of raw product. The decision will result in the closure of their fresh produce packaging facility in O’Leary, Prince Edward Island at the end of the year. The closure will affect 40 employees.“Cavendish Farms has had to make this difficult business decision based on ongoing demand, and limited availability of potatoes on the Island,” said Ron Clow, general manager, Cavendish Farms. “The supply of raw product is critical to our business. Cavendish Farms had to make up for a shortage of 150 Million lbs. of potatoes in 2017. As a result, we needed to find other sources on the Island as well as import potatoes from New Brunswick, Manitoba, Alberta and Maine. Plans are already in place to import 65M lbs. this year. This practice is not sustainable. There simply aren’t enough potatoes on PEI for both our lines of business.”“Our human resources team will be providing support to all impacted employees by helping with new assignments, assistance to find other positions across J.D. Irving or with post-employment support once operations cease. We are making every effort to assist impacted employees,” added Clow. “This is an unfortunate consequence of low yields and lack of raw potatoes on PEI.”“Our contracted potatoes will be used to supply our frozen potato processing plants in New Annan,” said Clow. “We will continue to use the O’Leary facility for raw potato storage and, as such, it will continue to provide some seasonal employment.”If farmers are not able to grow more potatoes (by increasing yields, not acres) then the Prince Edward Island industry may not be sustainable as competition in the frozen potato export market intensifies. The PEI industry will require supplemental irrigation as part of the solution. The Island cannot afford to have its largest export product entirely dependent on rainfall.
Nematodes are pests that you need to keep an eye on in order to ensure the productivity of market garden crops. Several species are considered parasites of fruits and vegetables. Various types of nematicides have been used in the past to eliminate and/or control the spread of nematodes. Since the 1970s, these nematicides have been phased out of commercial use. The last fumigant nematicide was withdrawn over the last five years. Over time, it became apparent that they were not safe for users or for the environment.Consequently, it became important to develop alternative nematode control methods for producers of market garden crops. The researchers at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Guy Bélair (retired) and Benjamin Mimee (a nematologist currently working in this field), are dedicated to the development of nematode control methods, for example through integrated pest management measures. This approach relies on a combination of cultural methods used in conjunction to reduce the density of nematodes in fields in order to minimize crop damage.The research experiments conducted by Mr. Bélair provided conclusive results concerning the most effective integrated pest management methods, in particular against endoparasitic nematodes. Because this type of nematode is an internal plant parasite, it prevents the plant from absorbing water and nutrients from the soil, which are necessary for optimal plant growth. This class of nematodes causes the greatest economic damage. There are three species of endoparasitic nematodes: the root-knot nematode, the lesion nematode, and the stem and bulb nematode.According to researcher Bélair, the following is a summary of the most important facts to remember in integrated pest management.Root-knot nematodeLearn more about it: Eggs are laid outside the root in a gelatinous mass. The second-stage larva (or infectious larva) is the only stage found in the soil. All the other stages are inside the root. Abundant rootlets (hairy roots) and whitish nodules on the rootlets. In carrot, significant deformation of the primary root. Complete development cycle: four to six weeks.Main market garden crops affected: carrot, celery, lettuce, tomato, potato, leek, Brassicaceae (broccoli, cabbage, turnip) and Cucurbitaceae (melon, cucumber).Best practice: To effectively and significantly reduce root-knot nematode populations, practise crop rotation with a grain at least every three to four years, since this type of nematode does not attack any grains. If the infestation is too heavy, two years of grains may be necessary. One year of onion followed by one year of grain has proven to be very effective in controlling nematode populations and increasing carrot yields by more than 50 per cent the following year.Other integrated pest management approaches: Fast-growing crops (spinach, radish): control by trapping, since the harvest will have taken place before the nematode has had time to multiply in the roots. Weed control on the edges and in the fields since weeds are excellent host plants for this nematode. Oriental mustard seed-based organic product registered in Canada for strawberry and cranberry. Lesion nematodeLearn more about it: All the stages of development except the egg can infect a root and are found in the soil. The entire development cycle takes place inside the root. By moving within the root, the nematode causes injuries or lesions, allowing certain pathogenic fungi to enter the plants. Complete development cycle: Four to six weeks.Main crops affected: potato, legumes, grains (rye, barley, oat, wheat), market garden crops.Best practice: A rotation with forage pearl millet reduces populations to below the damage threshold for several crops (potato, strawberry, raspberry, corn, apple tree, soybean). Sow millet in early June since it prefers a hot climate. If sown too early in the spring in wet, cool soil, it will not germinate well and will be quickly invaded and smothered by the growth of annual grasses.Based on our research between 2000 and 2006, we can conclude that, for potato, this type of rotation increased yields by 15 per cent to 35 per cent, depending on the density of the initial lesion nematode population.Other integrated pest management approaches: Weed control on the edges and in the fields since weeds are excellent host plants. Oriental mustard seed-based organic product. Manure- and/or compost-based soil amendments. Green manures from crucifers with high glucosinolate contents (including brown mustard). Stem and bulb nematodeLearn more about it: Unlike the other nematodes, this nematode does not affect the roots, but only the above-ground part of the plants (the stems). This endoparasitic nematode causes very significant damage in garlic crops. Through cryptobiosis (dehydration and dormancy), this nematode can survive in a field for four to five years without the presence of host plants. It is spread through contaminated plants and seeds.Our greenhouse trials demonstrated that this nematode reproduces well on garlic and onion, poorly on potato, and not at all on corn, soybean, barley, alfalfa, mustard, carrot and lettuce.Main market garden crops affected:Bulb race: garlic, onion, pea, strawberry, sugar beet.Oat race: rye, corn and oat, and most grains.Best practice: For producers, it is essential to use clean, i.e. nematode-free, plants or seeds.Other integrated pest management approaches: Based on genetic analyses of specimens from Quebec and Ontario, we can conclude that it is the same race. The integrated pest management methods used in Ontario can therefore also be used in Quebec. Garlic: hot water treatment to kill nematodes present in the cloves (study under way with agrologists from MAPAQ). Plant in nematode-free soil. A rotation of four to five years without host plants is a good method for getting rid of stem and bulb nematodes.Key discoveries (benefits): Since the 1970s, many nematicides used to control nematodes have been phased out of commercial use. It became important to develop alternative nematode control methods for producers of market garden crops. Guy Bélair, a researcher at the Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu R&D Centre, has studied the most effective integrated pest management methods against endoparasitic nematodes, those that cause the most economic damage. These nematodes are internal plant parasites which prevent the plant from absorbing water and nutrients from the soil, necessary for optimal plant growth. This article presents a summary of the most effective integrated pest management practices for the three species of endoparasitic nematodes, i.e. the root-knot nematode, the lesion nematode, and the stem and bulb nematode.
Chinese scientists have developed a nanomaterial to control potato sprouts and reduce the poisonous substance in potatoes, providing a new method for potato storage.Stored potatoes usually sprout rapidly, at the same time producing a significant amount of solanine, a toxic substance which endangers human health. Potato sprouts can be controlled using various techniques such as temperature control, irradiation and use of chemical inhibitors.Scientists from Hefei Institute of Physical Science under Chinese Academy of Sciences developed a new nanomaterial called hydrophobic nano silica that can be used to inhibit the growth of potato sprouts. When potatoes are immersed in the solution of the material, a hydrophobic coating is created on the surface of the potatoes, effectively inhibiting potato sprouts and decreasing solanine. | READ MORE
Lynden-area vegetable grower Ken Forth will receive an honorary degree from the University of Guelph’s College of Business and Economics. Forth is being recognized for the profound impact he has had on the Canadian fruit and vegetable industry and on the lives of thousands of families across Mexico and the Caribbean over the course of his farming career.For 49 years, Forth has been directly involved with the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP), and were it not for his work on labour issues on behalf of Canadian growers from coast to coast, Canadians would be hard-pressed to find fresh, locally grown produce on their store shelves. The program has also directly improved the standard of living of thousands of seasonal workers, allowing them to educate their children, and buy and operate their own farms and businesses in their home countries.“This is a tremendous and very unexpected honour,” says Forth. “This kind of work doesn’t happen alone – I’ve been fortunate to have the help and support of many great people over the years, from fellow growers to farm organization staff, and none of this would have been possible without them.”It’s through his involvement with many provincial and national organizations and committees that Forth represents the industry’s interests on everything from NAFTA and SAWP to minimum wage, labour regulations and unionization of agricultural workers.Forth has served on the board of Foreign Agricultural Resource Management Services (FARMS), the organization that administers SAWP, for more than 25 years, and assumed his current role as president more than a decade ago.He’s a past president of the Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC) and the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFVGA), and is the long-serving chair of the labour and trade committees at both organizations. Forth also volunteers his time with the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, the Canadian Agricultural Human Resources Council, and is the chair of the Labour Issues Coordinating Committee that represents the interests of Ontario farm employers.“Our fruit and vegetable industry in Canada would not be what it is today without Ken’s tireless dedication to labour issues,” says OFVGA chair Jan VanderHout. “This work takes a lot of time on the road and away from farm and family and it’s almost always behind the scenes, but Ken has had an impact on every single grower in this country and we appreciate his service to our industry.”Forth was nominated for the honorary degree by University of Guelph associate professor Dr. Sara Mann, whose current research includes examining employment issues in the agricultural and rural sectors. He will formally receive his degree at a ceremony at the University of Guelph next spring.
After a short 5 years in business, the Cloverbelt Food Co-op has changed the face of local food distribution in the Northern region of Ontario.Much of the rural communities in the North are geographically vast, preventing its residents from having access to healthy, fresh and locally-produced products. Cloverbelt, a small co-operative located in Dryden Ont., whose mission is to strengthen food security and foster a thriving local food community, has solutions to combat this problem.“The objective of the food co-op was to make local food more visible and accessible by offering products sourced entirely from this region,” notes Jennifer Springett, Cloverbelt’s president. But it’s much easier said than done. Adds Springett, “We’ve had to become innovative to find ways for food to reach many parts of the region.”One such innovation is the development of their online farmer’s market and distribution service. The initiative was developed out of a need to provide access to more fresh foods produced by local farmers, and to find a more sustainable way to operate the local food box program in Dryden. By allowing consumers to select what local products they want to buy rather than getting a box of goods with items they may not use, it enables farmers to match their supply with demand.The program was so well received in Dryden, that residents from other small communities – many of which don’t have access to a full grocery store – requested a similar program in their region. The online market recently expanded their transportation and distribution network to the Fort Francis, Atikokan and Red Lake areas, thanks to a partnership with Louden Brother Wholesale.“Rather than reinventing the wheel and replicating what we’re already doing, we found ways to expand and distribute food between communities. This gives consumers access to a greater variety of foods, while serving more communities,” says Springett.In order to continue innovating, Cloverbelt is developing a Food Charter for the Kenora and Rainy River Districts, with the objective of encouraging community policy and commitment to support local food.“Such a policy is necessary to align municipal level commitment with provincial objectives for increased Ontario food sales. It is also critical to ensuing continued support for local food in the North, and to overcome key barriers to growth in the agricultural sector,” says Springett.Using a collaborative approach, consultations were held with the different municipalities in small, rural communities. The draft Charter, completed in March 2018, sets out a vision for local food supply in Northern Ontario, and is currently being circulated for final input.“Cloverbelt is a prime example of how co-operative businesses address both social and economic challenges within the province, by finding innovative ways to collaboratively solve a need within a community or region,” says Erin Morgan, executive director of the Ontario Co-operative Association.Learn more about the Cloverbelt Food Co-op online at https://www.cloverbeltlocalfoodcoop.com
Shipping cherries overseas is a high stakes game – every container carries approximately $100,000 of fruit. International consumers are becoming increasingly picky and buyers will only accept high quality cherries at port. Growers and packers are making it a top priority to ensure cherries make the journey in top form, impressing both international buyers and consumers.Fortunately, advances in science are making it possible to measure cherries’ quality while they are still hanging on the tree, without damaging any in the process. A team of researchers at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) in Summerland is working with mobile hand-held optical spectrometers to develop models to precisely gauge the quality of cherries, and predict their firmness and flavour after storage or shipping.The research team Dr. Peter Toivonen leads the Postharvest Physiology program at AAFC’s Summerland Research and Development Centre, which includes research technician Brenda Lannard and biologist Changwen Lu. Together, they are fine-tuning models using specific commercial spectrometers to make this technology useful for Canadian cherry producers.The team is determining the best values for fruit quality and storability for cherry varieties, including Lapins, Staccato, Sweetheart and many others that are grown commercially. The work includes fine-tuning and expanding the use of the technology by developing specific protocols for working under a variety of conditions while ensuring consistent and meaningful readings. The team is also working to identify any limitations to the technology before transferring it to end-users. As with other technologies, users – most likely skilled quality assurance or field service staff – will need training before putting these devices to work in the field. Working with industry to properly implement the technology will be the key to success.What is the impact to growers?Using hand-held spectrometers, in combination with knowledge generated from Dr. Toivonen’s research, will give cherry growers precise data on their crop’s ‘best before’ date.“Being able to reliably measure the maturity and quality of cherries, without sacrificing any of that crop to sampling, will save hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on container shipment claims for the industry,” estimates Dr. Toivonen.Consumers’ expectations are high and if Canadian growers can improve their reputation for consistent high quality and flavour, the industry will benefit. Growers could see a 10-20% increase on returns thanks to improved consistency in quality.“People are doing this work in other countries. If we are not part of it, we are behind,” advises Dr. Toivonen. Luckily, his team is working to keep the industry on the leading edge and consumers happy.A closer look at the science: Q&A with Dr. ToivonenWhat are optical spectrometers?An optical spectrometer is a scientific instrument that emits light and measures how much of that light reflects back to the instrument. You hold the device against a cherry, it shines light on the surface of the intact fruit, and it measures the amount of light of each wavelength reflected back. The reflected light depends on the chemical composition of the fruit. Spectrometers were once cumbersome pieces of equipment, suited only for laboratory use, but now they are designed specifically for use in orchards.What is dry matter?Dry matter is what’s left in the fruit after all the water is removed. In cherries, dry matter is equivalent to sugar content, and is a good indicator of ripeness, quality after storage and flavour.A grower who knows the dry matter content of their cherries can determine how well that fruit will do in storage, and decide which fruit to sell immediately and which to store or ship internationally. In short, using dry matter to make decisions on storage, shipping and market selection could lead to a consistent supply of crisp and delicious cherries from Canadian growers.How do you measure dry matter?The ‘old fashioned way’ of measuring dry matter isn’t practical for an orchard operation. You cut fruit into thin slices, weigh it and bake it at 60oC in an oven for two to three days until all the water is removed, then weigh it again. Your sample size is limited by oven space, samples are tedious to process, and valuable time is lost waiting for results. That could mean missing the best time for harvesting and shipping your cherries.After the team completes validation of the scientific models for commercial spectrometers, growers will have a tool that can produce instant dry matter readings on as much fruit as needed without damaging any of it.
The story of how Ontario’s first and only wild blueberry farm and winery came about perhaps started when a large parcel of land near Wawa was deforested some years ago. The 600 acres of ancient Lake Superior bottom – completely stone-free and extremely flat with a sand/silt soil type – quickly filled in with wild blueberries bushes.
Storm Preparedness – are you ready?The following are recommendations to help you prepare for damaging winds, should they occur. Preparedness before and after a storm can improve your opportunity for a rapid recovery. Young trees can break in high winds if they have not been tied to support systems. Train young trees as quickly as possible before the storm is expected. Ensure that equipment is accessible if it will be needed for recovery, including saws, shovels, fuel, equipment parts, and knowledge of the location and cost of other equipment. A long-term strategy for storm preparedness includes insurance coverage for equipment and crops, windbreaks, ongoing disease management, and a regular pruning program to control tree size and improve air movement. A special note from Michelle, tree fruit specialist: Apple growers should be aware that damage to plant tissues is a fire blight trauma event in which fire blight bacteria have access to open wounds to enter and infect tissues. Please follow all local recommendations for fire blight trauma events and contact Michelle Cortens (c) 902-679-7908 for more information.
Perennia in association with Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has been monitoring for leek moth across Nova Scotia since early May this year. Leek moth is an invasive insect pest from Europe that feeds on Allium species (onions, garlic, leeks,etc), and can cause significant damage to these crops. Previous to 2018, leek moth had been identified in Kings County twice, once in 2016 and again in 2017. In response to this a provincial leek moth monitoring project was established, to determine how widespread the pest is in Nova Scotia. As of July 3, 2018, leek moth has been confirmed in both Kings and Annapolis County. Currently the pest has not been found in large scale commercial fields, and all the leek moth samples have been from garlic. Leek moth favours garlic and leeks primarily; researchers are currently unsure of its effects in onion production.Leek moth can be monitored using commercially available pheromone traps, which attract adult males. The adult leek moth is a small (five to seven mm in length) brown moth with a distinctive white triangle in the middle of its wings when they are folded at rest. Additionally allium crops can be scouted for feeding damage from leek moth larvae. On alliums with flat leaves (garlics, leeks) the larvae feeds on the tops and inside of the leaves, as well as bores into the center of the plant leaving noticeable frass. In alliums with hollow leaves (onions, chives) the larvae will feed internally producing translucent areas on the leaf known as "windowing". The larvae will also occasionally bore into bulbs.There are several chemical controls registered for leek moth in garlic, leeks, and onions that can be found in the Perennia's Garlic Management Schedule, Leek Management Schedule, and Onion Management Schedule. These pesticides are most effective when eggs are present and leek moth larvae are small, so monitoring is crucial to ensure proper timing of applications. Row cover is also an effective means of protecting allium crops against leek moth, without using chemical controls.For additional information on leek moth identification and management please consult AAFC's An Integrated Approach to Management of Leek Moth. If you think you have leek moth please contact Matt Peill, horticultural specialist with Perennia (email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , cellphone: 902-300-4710).RELATED: Monitoring for Leek Moth
The PEI Analytical Laboratories (PEIAL) plant diagnostic section has re-opened for the 2018 season and is currently accepting samples.The PEIAL serves all commodity farmers, agricultural representatives and greenhouse producers. Crop types accepted include potatoes, cereals, fruit crops and cole crops. Common potato diseases identified routinely include late blight, Fusarium dry rot, leak, pink rot and bacterial blackleg. The lab will provide a summary report at no charge containing information on the disease in question along with relevant fact sheets and referrals to specialists from the Prince Edward Island Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.The diagnostic request form can be found at www.princeedwardisland.ca/labservices.When submitting a sample for diagnostic work, please include a diagnostic request form with the sample.The sample collected for submission should be fresh and representative of the problem. For plant material, the sample should be submitted in a plastic bag with a moist paper towel to help keep the integrity of the sample. Potato tuber samples should be submitted in paper bags. For more information on the proper collection of a sample for testing, please review the information at https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/information/agriculture‑and‑fisheries/how‑collect‑plant‑samples‑plant‑disease‑identification.For more information on this service, contact Marleen Clark at 902-368-5261 or 902-620-3300 or by email at
It is well known that vegetables are good for people but they could also be the key to making stronger and greener buildings.Engineers at Lancaster University are working with industrial partners at Cellucomp Ltd. UK to research how concrete mixtures can be strengthened and made more environmentally friendly by adding ‘nano platelets’ extracted from the fibres of root vegetables.The work, which is being supported with £195,000 by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 funding, will build on findings from early tests that have demonstrated that concrete mixtures including nano platelets from sugar beet or carrot significantly improve the mechanical properties of concrete.These vegetable-composite concretes were also found to out-perform all commercially available cement additives, such as graphene and carbon nanotubes and at a much lower cost.The root vegetable nano platelets work both to increase the amount of calcium silicate hydrate – the main substance that controls the performance of concrete, and stop any cracks that appear in the concrete.By increasing the performance of concrete, smaller quantities are needed in construction.The construction industry is urgently seeking ways in which to curb its carbon emissions. The production of ordinary Portland cement, one of the main ingredients for concrete, is very carbon intensive – its production accounts for eight per cent of total global CO2 emissions. This is forecast to double in the next 30 years due to rising demand.The proof-of-concept studies showed that adding the root vegetable nano platelets resulted in a saving of 40kg of ordinary Portland cement per cubic metre of concrete – which gives a saving of 40kg of CO2 for the same volume. This is because the greater strength of the root vegetable mixture means smaller sections of concrete are required in buildings.Professor Mohamed Saafi from Lancaster University’s Engineering Department and lead researcher, believes root vegetable concrete vegetables could go a long way to reducing construction carbon emissions.He said: “These novel cement nanocomposites are made by combining ordinary Portland cement with nano platelets extracted from waste root vegetables taken from the food industry.“The composites are not only superior to current cement products in terms of mechanical and microstructure properties, but also use smaller amounts of cement. This significantly reduces both the energy consumption and CO2 emissions associated with cement manufacturing.”The vegetable-based cementitious composites were also found to have a denser microstructure, which is important to prevent corrosion and increasing the lifespan of the materials.The research project is also looking at adding very thin sheets made from vegetable nano platelets to existing concrete structures to reinforce their strength. The researchers believe that the vegetable nanofibre-based sheets will out-perform existing alternatives, such as carbon fibre. This is partly because concrete beams reinforced with the sheets will be able to bend more, which would help deflect potentially damaging forces.The two-year research project will investigate the science behind the results of the proof-of-concept studies to gain a fuller understanding of how the vegetable nano platelet fibres enhance the concrete mix. The researchers will also seek to optimise the concrete performance to help produce a mixture that can be used in the construction industry.Cellucomp Ltd already uses fibres from root vegetables to manufacture more durable paints.Dr Eric Whale from Cellucomp Ltd said: “We are excited to be continuing our collaboration with Professor Saafi and developing new applications for our materials, where we can bring environmental and performance benefits.”
A new initiative will help to expand perennial crops such as apples, high bush blueberries, and grapes in Prince Edward Island.The Perennial Crop Development Program is being implemented under the new federal-provincial Canadian Agricultural Partnership.“Government is strongly committed to the expansion and diversification of the agriculture industry in this province,” Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Robert Henderson said. “Perennial crops provide both ecological and economic benefits, and this program will support innovations in production and storage practices.”Eligible expenses include the purchase of capital equipment and the adoption of leading edge technologies to reduce costs, add value, increase efficiencies, improve quality, and strengthen market access. Assistance of 50 per cent of the costs is available up to a maximum of $40,000 per project.The production of perennial crops is the province is diverse. In addition to crops such as blueberries and strawberries, there has been an increase in specialty crops including a rapid expansion in apple production.
Five new fertilizer-compatible products are expected to be available from Vive Crop Protection for U.S. corn, sugarbeet and potato growers in 2019. Each product includes a trusted active ingredient that has been improved with the patented Vive Allosperse Delivery System.AZteroid FC 3.3 is a high-concentration, fertilizer-compatible fungicide that improves plant health, yield and quality of key field crops, including potatoes, sugarbeets and corn. AZteroid FC 3.3 controls seed and seedling diseases caused by Rhizoctonia solani and certain Pythium spp. It contains azoxystrobin, the same active ingredient as Quadris.Bifender FC 3.1 controls corn rootworm, wireworm and other soil-borne pests in corn, potatoes and other rotational crops. Bifender FC 3.1 has a new high-concentration, fertilizer-compatible formulation and contains bifenthrin (same as Capture LFR).TalaxTM FC fungicide provides systemic control of pythium and phytophthora, similar to Ridomil Gold SL but in a fertilizer-compatible formulation. Talax FC contains metalaxyl and helps potatoes and other crops thrive right from the start, resulting in improved yield and quality.MidacTM FC systemic insecticide is a fertilizer-compatible imidacloprid formulation that controls below-ground and above-ground pests in potatoes and sugarbeets. It provides the same long-lasting protection of Admire PRO but with the convenience of being tank-mix compatible with fertilizers, micronutrients and other crop inputs.AverlandTM FC insecticide is a fertilizer-compatible abamectin formulation that controls nematodes in corn. It also controls potato psyllid, spider mites, Colorado potato beetle and leaf miners in potatoes. In-furrow application trials for nematode control in a wide range of crops are under way.All of these fertilizer-compatible products use the Vive Allosperse Delivery System - the first nanotechnology registered for U.S. crop protection. Products containing Allosperse are the best mixing products on the market, whether they are used with each other, liquid fertilizer, other crop protection products, micronutrients or just water.Brent Petersen, president of Cropwise Research LLC, performed trials on behalf of Vive Crop Protection to test mixability of the company’s products. During spring 2018, he mixed all five of the new products together with liquid fertilizer and observed, “We didn’t see any separation or settling out. It was nice to see because we often see products that aren’t compatible with other products, and especially with liquid fertilizer.”EPA registration is pending for Talax FC, Midac FC and Averland FC and the new formulations of AZteroid and Bifender.
The Pest Management Regulatory Agency recently announced that it will be cancelling the use of the group M3 chemicals mancozeb and metiram in a wide range of crops, including field tomatoes. In 2020 products like Manzate, Penncozeb, Dithane and Polyram will no longer be available for sale and in 2021 use will be banned completely. This will ultimately have an effect on how we control diseases, including anthracnose, early blight and, most importantly, late blight. Although mancozeb is currently an important player in fungicide programs, tomato growers do have other options available.For best control it is always good to start with preventative or protectant fungicides once environmental conditions are conducive to disease development and before symptoms appear. | READ MORE
Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) has released its decision on the re-evaluation of mancozeb and will continue registration only for foliar application to potato crops.“All other uses of mancozeb are being cancelled due to unacceptable risks to human health and will be removed from the labels,” states a summary of the decision.Foliar application on potatoes has been limited to 10 applications per year at a maximum application rate of 1.68 kg of active ingredient per hectare with a seven-day interval between applications and a one-day pre-harvest interval using aerial or ground spray only.Product labels must be changed within 24 months. Registration of products being cancelled as a result of the review will expire 36 months after the release of the decision. Chemical companies have 12 months and retailers 24 months to sell old product.
The Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) recently announced the approval of minor use label expansion registrations for Venture L Herbicide for control of labeled weeds on rhubarb, the bulb onion subgroup 3-07A, green onions, caneberries subgroup 13-07A and lettuce in Canada. Venture L Herbicide was already labeled for use on a number of crops in Canada for control of several weeds.These minor use projects were submitted by Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, Pest Management Centre (AAFC-PMC) as a result of minor use priorities established by growers and extension personnel. | READ MORE
The Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) recently announced the approval of minor use label expansion registrations for Entrust and Success insecticides for control of cabbage maggot on Brassica leafy greens crop subgroup 4-13B and Brassica head and stem vegetables, crop group 5-13 in Canada. Entrust and Success insecticides were already labeled for use on a wide variety of crops in Canada for control of several insects.These minor use projects were submitted by Quebec as a result of minor use priorities established by growers and extension personnel. | READ MORE
If you were going to tank mix chemical pesticides, you would of course read the label to check for compatibility before mixing products. The same concept applies when using living organisms for pest control. Whether you are using parasitoid wasps, predatory mites, microorganisms, or nematodes, you need to know whether your biocontrols are compatible with each other and any other pest management products you plan to use. For example, a biocontrol fungus might be killed if you tank mix it with (or apply it just before) a chemical fungicide. Insecticides (whether or not they are biological) could be harmful to natural enemy insects and mites. Even some beneficial insects are not compatible with each other because they may eat each other instead of (or in addition to) the pest. | READ MORE 
Corteva Agriscience, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont, recently announced that the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) in Canada has granted Dow AgroSciences upgraded approval for Closer Insecticide use to actively control Woolly apple aphid in pome fruit crops.“Canadian apple growers who have used Closer in the past know of its exceptional speed and ability to knockdown aphids. This upgraded designation reinforces the quality and efficacy of Closer and we are pleased that the PMRA has responded to the ongoing need to control insect infestation,” explains Tyler Groeneveld, category leader, Horticulture with Corteva Agriscience.This approval is significant as it gives growers greater access to a highly effective product that combats sap feeding insects at various stages of growth and outbreak. Insects such as Woolly apple aphid can cause extensive crop damage, ultimately impacting the quality and value of orchard crops.Closer Insecticide, powered by Isoclast active, is a revolutionary product ideal for control of both resistant and non-resistant pests, delivering the active ingredient sulfoxaflor, which is classified by the Insecticide Resistance Action Committee as the sole member of IRAC Subgroup 4C Sulfoximines. The active ingredient moves quickly through the plant and has excellent systemic and translaminar activity that controls insect pests both on contact and by ingestion. The results are fast knockdown and residual control of aphids and other sap feeding insects.Closer is highly selective and has minimal impact on beneficial insects. The properties and overall spectrum of activity of Closer Insecticide makes it an excellent fit for treatment when outbreaks occur as well as part of Integrated Pest Management Programs (IPM) to minimize flare-ups.
A potato variety genetically engineered to resist potato blight can help reduce the use of chemical fungicides by up to 90 per cent, according to a new study - drastically reducing the environmental impact of potato farming.Potato blight, caused by a water mould called Phytophthora infestans, can rapidly obliterate potato crops, and is one of the biggest problems in potato farming. Working together, scientists from Wageningen University & Research and Teagasc, the Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority, have developed a two-pronged approach: a genetically modified potato, along with a new pest management strategy, that combine for healthy crops with minimal fungicide use. | READ MORE
Corteva Agriscience, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont, recently announced that the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) in Canada has granted Dow AgroSciences new label registration for Closer Insecticide for the control of Campylomma verbasci (mullein bug) effective immediately. This announcement is significant as it means Canadian apple growers now have full access to a highly effective product for pest control.“Closer has always been known for its targeted and quick control of aphids and other orchard pests. With this registration, growers can have even greater confidence in the quality and efficacy of Closer on apples when outbreaks occur as well as for resistance management,” explains Tyler Groeneveld, category leader, Horticulture with Corteva Agriscience.Closer Insecticide, powered by Isoclast active, is a revolutionary product ideal for control of both resistant and non-resistant pests, delivering the active ingredient sulfoxaflor, which is classified by the Insecticide Resistance Action Committee as the sole member of IRAC Subgroup 4C Sulfoximines. The active ingredient moves quickly through the plant to deliver excellent systemic and translaminar activity. Pests are controlled both through contact and by ingestion, resulting in fast knockdown and residual control.Closer is highly selective and has minimal impact on beneficial insects. The properties and overall spectrum of activity of Closer Insecticide makes it an excellent fit for treatment when outbreaks occur as well as part of Integrated Pest Management Programs (IPM) to minimize flare-ups. Further information can be found at: www.corteva.com.
Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) recently released its final decision on the future use of chlorothalonil, a fungicide used in agriculture including fruit and vegetable production.“Under the authority of the Pest Control Products Act, the PMRA has determined that continued registration of products containing chlorothalonil is acceptable,” the report states. “An evaluation of available scientific information found that most uses of chlorothalonil products meet current standards for protection of human health or the environment when used according to the conditions of registration, which include required amendments to label directions.”Even so, some changes have been made to the chlorothalonil label, including cancellation of its use on greenhouse cut flowers, greenhouse pachysandra, and field grown roses (for cut flowers). As well, all chlorothalonil products currently registered as dry flowable or water dispersible granules must be packaged in water-soluble packaging. Buffer zones have also been revised and a vegetative filter strip is required.You can review the decision and new label requirements by clicking here.
Syngenta Canada Inc., is pleased to announce the registration of Revus fungicide as a potato seed treatment for the suppression of pink rot and control of seed‑borne late blight in potatoes.Pink rot is a devastating, soil-borne disease caused by the pathogen Phytophthora erythroseptica that thrives in wet, poorly drained soils. Infection typically takes place pre-harvest, as the pathogen enters tubers through the stem end and lenticels.Tubers infected with pink rot will often decay during harvest and handling, which allows the pathogen to spread quickly from infected tubers to healthy tubers while in storage.“Every field has the potential for pink rot,” says Brady Code, eastern technical lead, with Syngenta Canada. “It takes a very small number of infected tubers going over harvest equipment or getting by on the belt to put an entire season of work in jeopardy and leave growers with far fewer healthy potatoes to ship.”Revus contains the active ingredient mandipropamid (Group 40) and works by protecting the daughter tubers from becoming infected with pink rot.“Growers can use Revus as part of an integrated approach to target fields where they’ve had pink rot issues in previous seasons, on their more susceptible varieties, and in tandem with other in-furrow and post-harvest fungicides,” explains Shaun Vey, Seedcare and Inoculants product lead with Syngenta Canada.Vey adds that Revus also provides control of seed-borne late blight (Phytophthora infestans). Syngenta research demonstrates that potatoes treated with Revus for seed-borne late blight have nearly perfect emergence, while untreated seed potatoes infected with late blight have a 20 to 30 per cent reduction in emergence.“Seed-borne late blight can have a big impact on emergence over time,” explains Vey. “When used as a seed treatment, Revus can help prevent seed piece decay and the spread of disease spores from seed piece to seed piece.”Revus is applied at 5.9-11.8 mL per cwt of seed (13-26 mL/100 kg of seed).Following a seed treatment application of Revus fungicide, the first foliar fungicide application should be a product that does not contain a Group 40 active ingredient.Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) for mandipropamid, have been established for markets including Canada, the United States, Japan, and South Korea, in support of the seed treatment use pattern.For more information about Revus potato seed treatment, please visit Syngenta.ca; contact your local Syngenta Representative or our Customer Interaction Centre at 1‑87‑SYNGENTA (1‑877‑964‑3682).
Bayer announces the launch of Luna Sensation fungicide in Canada for stone fruit, root vegetables, cucurbit vegetables, leafy green vegetables, leafy petiole vegetables, brassica vegetables and hops.The foliar product is a co-formulation of two fungicide modes of action, a unique Group 7 SDHI (fluopyram) and a proven Group 11 (trifloxystrobin) to deliver superior disease control, resulting in higher yields and exceptional fruit quality.“Luna Sensation gives Canadian growers further access to the excellent disease control provided by Luna,” said Jon Weinmaster, crop & campaign marketing manager, corn & horticulture. “It’s designed for optimal efficacy on specific crops and diseases, most of which are not covered by the Luna Tranquility label, a product that has proven invaluable to many horticulture growers for several years already.”Luna Sensation is a systemic fungicide that targets highly problematic diseases such as sclerotinia rot, powdery mildew, and monilinia.It also has added benefits for soft fruit.“Experiences of U.S. and Canadian growers show that Luna offers post-harvest benefits in soft fruit, improving quality during transit and storage”, says Weinmaster “It’s an added benefit that comes from excellent in-crop disease control.”The addition of Luna Sensation from Bayer extends the trusted protection of the Luna brand to a broader range of crops: Luna Tranquility, a Group 7 and Group 9 fungicide, is registered for apples, grapes, tomatoes, bulb vegetables, small berries and potatoes Luna Sensation is registered for stone fruit, root vegetables, cucurbit vegetables, leafy green and petiole vegetables, brassica vegetables and hops Luna Sensation will be available to Canadian growers for the 2018 season.For more information regarding Luna Sensation, growers are encouraged to talk to their local retailer or visit: cropscience.bayer.ca/LunaSensation
Working in the intense heat of the summer sun can put workers at risk of heat stress, but heat stress can also hit you in places you wouldn't expect."Any job that causes your body temperature to rise has the potential to cause heat stress," says WSPS occupational hygiene consultant Michael Puccini. "Even jobs carried out in air-conditioned environments."Left unchecked, heat stress can lead to heat exhaustion, heat stroke, heart attack, and other physical health effects. Plus, it can be damaging to business, by way of lost productivity, disability costs, and fines and penalties.Prepare for the heat nowThese heat waves may last only a week or two, but in this time workers can suffer debilitating effects and even death. A few simple steps taken now can keep your people thriving and productive even in the hottest weather."Based on the internal responsibility system, everyone has a role to play," says WSPS occupational hygienist Warren Clements. "Employers, supervisors and workers can all make a difference in their workplaces."Steps for employers:Put a policy and procedures in place, based on a risk assessment. Ask questions, such as: Have workers been affected by heat in the past? Is work done in direct sunlight? Are there heat producing processes or equipment in the workplace? This will help you understand the magnitude of the issue. If heat stress may be a hazard, you may want to conduct heat stress measurements so you can develop a control plan. The plan should include engineering controls, such as insulating hot surfaces.Train all employees during orientation on the policy and procedures to manage the hazard. Include heat stress symptoms, how to prevent it, and what to do if someone starts showing symptoms. Heat stress training is particularly critical for young and new workers, as well as all manual workers. Research conducted by the Institute for Work & Health shows that heat strokes, sunstrokes and other heat illnesses disproportionately affect those on the job less than two months. Steps for supervisors: Acclimatize workers to hot conditions, and watch out for de-acclimatization. Workers can lose their tolerance in only four days. Schedule work in the hottest locations for cooler times of day. Build cool-down breaks into work schedules. Adjust the frequency and duration of breaks as needed. "Taking a break means going to a cooler work area or providing workers with periodic rest breaks and rest facilities in cooler conditions," says Warren. Get to know your workplace and your workers. "Are there certain jobs at elevated risk? Is anybody working outside today? 'Is so-and-so looking a little different from how he normally looks? A little more flushed? Sitting down more?'" Ensure ready access to cool water in convenient, visible locations. Workers need to replenish their fluids if they are becoming dehydrated. Supply protective equipment and clothing as needed, such as water-dampened cotton whole-body suits, cooling vests with pockets that hold cold packs, and water-cooled suits. Monitor weather forecasts. "If it's Tuesday and you know superhot weather is coming on Thursday, ask yourself, 'Who will be working then? What will they be doing? Who... or what... should I watch out for?'" Be extra vigilant in extreme conditions. "Check on workers frequently. If you can't do this, then assign a temporary pair of eyes to do it for you." Steps for workers: Watch out for each other and speak up. "People suffering from heat stress don't always recognize their own symptoms. If anyone's behaviour is 'more than usual' - more sweating, more flushed, hyperventilating - it could be a sign of heat stress." Other signs could include rashes, muscle cramping, dizziness, fainting, and headaches.For more information, visit: Workplace Safety & Prevention Services
Manfredi Cold Storage recently expanded the facility by 70,000 sq. ft., for 400,000 total sq. ft. of cold storage space, and already plans are in the works for future expansion. The distributor handles fruit, vegetables and foodstuffs from 22 countries, at zero to 55 Fahrenheit temperatures, in its facility that provides retailers with wireless, real-time inventory and access.In order to keep such continued growth on track, effective operation has required the use of rugged drive-in rack, designed to the application, according to Rob Wharry, the facility’s director of operations.“About 150 to 200 truckloads of product move in and out of our storage everyday – about 25,000 pallets – so the drive-in rack needs to be very durable and accessible,” says Wharry. “The product has to go out quickly and efficiently to grocery stores, club stores, distribution centers, and the food service industry.”Drive-in racks enable storing of up to 75 per cent more pallets than selective rack and are ideal for high-traffic and cooler/freezer installations. With drive-in rack, forklifts drive directly into the rack to allow storage of two or more pallets deep.But because forklifts drive directly into the rack, they tend to take more abuse than other rack structures. In cooler and freezer applications, the rack must withstand forklift abuse due to the confined space, slick surfaces, and cold temperatures that slow driver reflexes and make impact more frequent.“We’re in and out of rack with heavy pallets and equipment so many times a day,” says Wharry. “It’s a fact of life that sometimes forklifts will run into the rack, so it just needs to be able to stand up to the daily use.”Looking to optimize the rack’s durability and operation, the cold chain distributor turned to Steel King Industries, a storage system and pallet rack manufacturer. In the most recent expansion, about 4,000 pallets of refrigerated storage capacity were added. For this, Manfredi Cold Storage chose SK3000 pallet rack, a bolted rack with structural channel columns.A number of rack features are helping the distributor to meet its strength, durability, and maintenance goals.Compared to typical racking, the pallet rack constructed of hot-rolled structural channel column with full horizontal and diagonal bracing offers greater frame strength, durability and cross-sectional area. All Grade-5 hardware provides greater shear strength, and a heavy seven-gauge wrap-around connector plate ensures a square and plumb installation with a tighter connection and greater moment resistance.The drive-in rack also includes a number of features that enhance ease-of-use and safety.The drive-in load rail construction includes: structural angle rails that “guide” pallets for ease of use; flared rail entry ends to allow easy bay access; space-saver low profile arms that increase clearance and decrease possible product damage; welded aisle-side load arms that eliminate hazardous load projections into aisles; welded rail stops that prevent loads from being pushed off and increase safety; and two-inch vertical adjustability of the bolted rack, which allows for a variety of configurations for current or future products.“The heavy rub rail inside the rack helps to guide the pallets in,” says Wharry. “The flared rail entry makes it easier to put pallets in and to take them out of the upper positions.”For extra protection and reinforcement against forklift impact, a guard on the front of the rack’s first upright was added. The double column, welded angle column protector is designed for heavy pallets and provides additional strength.According to Wharry, the vendor was also willing to accommodate their needs in other ways as well.“Our operation is a little different than a typical storage customer because we’re dealing with lots of different sized products, so we had a very specific design in mind,” says Wharry. “Everything is specific to our application – rack height, width, pallet loads, and how we utilize it.”The rack openings are about 12- to 16-inches taller than a standard rack opening to allow the use of very tall pallets, he says. Additional adjustments to the rack include the specific implementation of guards, heavy rail, and how it is anchored to the floor.With continuing growth expected, Manfredi Cold Storage is already planning to start the construction of a new facility in southern New Jersey.“When the new facility is constructed, the racking set up will be just like what we have here,” concludes Wharry. “We’ve determined what works for us and our customers, and
AgSafe has launched a new free safety self-assessment web tool for B.C.’s agriculture organizations and other naturally aligned industries.The Safety Ready Certificate of Recognition (COR) Self-Assessment website is designed to assist organizations in assessing their readiness for a COR program audit.The self-assessment tool begins with a questionnaire to be completed by the person responsible for overseeing the Safety Management System in your organization. Once that is done, the tool provides feedback on your readiness for a COR review. The web tool will also help you calculate your organization’s potential WorkSafeBC incentive.“There are three levels of readiness and depending on your organization’s situation you may need assistance from an AgSafe advisor or consultant to become audit ready,” explained Wendy Bennett, executive director of AgSafe. “This is a resource designed to streamline the process and help employers become more familiar with what they need to do to reduce safety risks in their organization.”Between 2013 and 2017, 641 agricultural workers were seriously injured and seven killed in work-related incidents.AgSafe is committed to reducing the number of agriculture-related workplace deaths and injuries. They are doing this by offering health and safety programs, training and evaluation, consultation and guidance.As a COR program certifying partner AgSafe offers a Certificate of Recognition (COR) program for large and small employers in British Columbia’s agriculture industry and ensures that WorkSafeBC is aware of all COR certified agriculture employers.AgSafe’s COR Self-Assessment Tool is also available to companies that are not classified as agriculture, such as landscape professionals, tree services, or animal handling, but have been advised to work with AgSafe for their COR certification.AgSafe does not charge for use of the assessment tool. Set up your account by going to the COR Self-Assessment website.For more information about AgSafe services or agriculture workplace safety call 1-877-533-1789 or visit www.AgSafeBC.ca
Drip irrigation is no longer the ‘new kid on the block,’ and nearly 10 per cent of U.S. farms rely on it to grow their crops. Each year, new growers dabble with drip and many learn by trial and error. Reaching out with some helpful tips to those growers is Inge Bisconer, technical marketing and sales manager for Toro Micro-Irrigation.
Hydro One and Niagara Peninsula Energy Inc. recently announced the AgriPump Rebate Program, the first program of its kind in Ontario to offer instant rebates to customers who purchase a high-efficiency pump kit. The program is ideal for all farming applications, including livestock, greenhouse and vineyards. Upgrading to a high-efficiency pump will improve performance and could save customers up to 40 per cent of their system's energy costs."This energy conservation program is focused on helping our agricultural customers manage their electricity and water usage all while saving money," said Cindy-Lynn Steele, vice president, Market Solutions, Hydro One. "As Ontario's largest electricity provider to farming customers, we are committed to offering a variety of energy solutions to help them save on electricity and invest in programs that will meet their important needs while delivering a positive return to their bottom line.""This collaborative approach with IESO and Hydro One allowed us to be very innovative with this new program," says Niagara Peninsula Energy Inc. CEO and president Brian Wilkie. "We're happy to be able to cater to the agricultural sector and provide this instant rebate program on high efficiency pump sets with advanced control technology.""Water conservation and high energy costs are a big concern for farmers in the Niagara region and across the province," said Drew Spoelstra, director for Halton, Hamilton-Wentworth, Niagara North and Niagara South, Ontario Federation of Agriculture. "The Save on Energy Conservation Program and this type of cross-utility initiative to launch the AgriPump Rebate Program is great for agriculture."To be eligible for a rebate under the program, each kit must be between 0.5 hp and 10 hp and must comprise of a pump, motor, variable frequency drive and accessories. Customers can receive up to $610 per constant pressure pump kit. The pumps are quick and easy to install and guard against wear and tear.The AgriPump Rebate Program is only available to agriculture customers in Hydro One and Niagara Peninsula Energy Inc. (NPEI) service territories. The instant rebate is fulfilled at the point of purchase.To learn more and participate in the AgriPump Rebate program, visit: www.agripump.caContact: 1-844-403-3937 or
Champaign, Ill. — A new lightweight, low-cost agricultural robot could transform data collection and field scouting for agronomists, seed companies and farmers.The TerraSentia crop phenotyping robot, developed by a team of scientists at the University of Illinois, was featured at the 2018 Energy Innovation Summit Technology Showcase in National Harbor, Maryland, on March 14.Traveling autonomously between crop rows, the robot measures the traits of individual plants using a variety of sensors, including cameras, transmitting the data in real time to the operator’s phone or laptop computer. A custom app and tablet computer that come with the robot enable the operator to steer the robot using virtual reality and GPS. For the full story, CLICK HERE. 
January 24, 2018, Charlottetown, PEI – It will now be elementary for a P.E.I. raw potato preparation operation to inspect the inside of potatoes with new technology called the Sherlock Separator-2400. RWL Holdings Ltd. in Travellers Rest, PEI, recently received more than $400,000 from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the province for food safety equipment. The Sherlock Separator is a chemical imaging machine that uses new technology to inspect the inside of the potato without removing the peel. READ MORE
January 11, 2018 - The growing popularity of robotic weeders for vegetable crops has grown partly out of necessity, says Steven Fennimore, an extension specialist at the University of California, Davis. The need for robotic weeders stems from two issues: a lack of herbicides available for use in specialty crops, and the fact that hand-weeding has become more and more expensive. Without pesticides, growers have had to hire people to hand-weed vast fields. Hand-weeding is slow and increasingly expensive: it can cost between $150 and $300 per acre. That motivates some growers to look to robotic weeders. “I’ve been working with robotic weeders for about 10 years now, and the technology is really just starting to come into commercial use,” Fennimore says. “It’s really an economic incentive to consider them.” Fennimore works with university scientists and companies to engineer and test the weeders. The weeders utilize tiny blades that pop in and out to uproot weeds without damaging crops. He says that although the technology isn’t perfect, it’s getting better and better. The weeders are programmed to recognize a pattern and can tell the difference between a plant and the soil. However, they currently have trouble telling the difference between a weed and a crop. That said, Fennimore explains how some companies are training the machines to tell a lettuce plant from a weed. He’s also working with university engineers on a system to tag the crop plant so the weeders will avoid it. “The problem with the machines right now is that they are version 1.0, and there’s tremendous room for improvement,” he says. “The inability to be able to tell the difference between a weed and a crop requires the grower to be very exact when using them. The rows have to be a little straighter, cleaner, and more consistent because the machines aren’t that sophisticated yet. The robots don’t like surprises.” The robotic weeders currently on the market cost anywhere between $120,000 and $175,000. For some growers, it is a better long-term option than expensive hand-weeding. Others think it’s a lot of money for a new technology, and are waiting for it to get better and cheaper. Fennimore believes robotic weeders are the future of weeding in specialty crops. Because of higher labour costs and more incentives to grow organically with fewer pesticides, European growers have been using robotic weeders for some time. Fennimore is focusing his work on physical control of weeds because it offers the best option. He’s also started working in crops besides lettuce, such as tomatoes and onions. He adds that each crop will require a different system. “I believe what makes the robotic weeders better than herbicides is that this electronic-based technology is very flexible and can be updated easily,” he says. “We all update our phones and computers constantly, which is a sign of a robust and flexible technology.” Fennimore recently presented his research at the annual meeting of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America in Tampa, FL.  
Pests in food-handling environments threaten product safety and create an unpleasant sight for employees and visitors. In addition to physically damaging the product or its packaging, some pests can carry and transmit diseases like E. coli, Salmonella and hantavirus. When products become infested or contaminated, they not only impact a business’s bottom line but also its reputation.
According to my children – and myself at times – I’m ancient. I grew up in those heady days before TV remotes and hand-held video games, back when where you stood in a room played a role in whether the TV station would come in clear. I remember when personal computers became mainstream. My first PC was gigantic, composed of three heavy, bulky components that could each serve as a boat anchor. The PC was going to revolutionize work. Hello three-day workweek.
August 28, 2017, Washington - In today’s modern, high-density orchards, growers are constantly seeking new ways to match the biology of their trees with emerging technologies in mechanization. The goal: improve both yields and efficiency."It’s true that some technologies don’t exist yet, but the compact, planar architectures with precision canopy management are most suitable for future mechanization and even for robotics," said Matthew Whiting, Washington State University research horticulturist. “So it is kind of an exciting time for what will be a new era of tree fruit production, as more and more technologies become available."Research labs and research orchards are driving new developments, but in many cases, they’re happening with innovative growers and private companies, he said.“Growers are innovating with orchard systems and varieties and architectures, and that’s fueling university research in many cases, and conversely, universities are driving new genotypes and how to manage and grow them best,” Whiting said. “It’s all coming together as it has never before, and it is an exciting time.”At the same time, employing the mechanization tools that already exist can take a variety of forms, across all four seasons.Those platforms you’re using for harvest? You can use them for pruning, green thinning and training, too.Two growers whose companies have been pushing forward with platforms, hedgers and other tools shared their insights for automating tasks in winter, spring, summer and fall with Good Fruit Grower.For Rod Farrow, who farms 520 acres of apples at Lamont Fruit Farm in Waterport, New York, the emphasis has been to increase income with high-value varieties and to reach maximum potential income on his standard varieties, Honeycrisp, Fuji and Gala.Almost everything is planted on Budagovsky 9 rootstock in 11-foot by 2-foot spacing, and he’s been planting and pruning to a fruiting wall for almost 18 years.“It’s less about employing mechanization by season than about deciding the orchard system — as much as anything, making sure the system that you plant now is suitable for robot use,” he said. “If it’s not, you’re going to be in trouble in terms of how you can adapt that new technology, which is coming really fast.”In the past two years, Farrow also has elected to install 3-foot taller posts in new plantings, allowing for a 2-foot taller system intended to increase production from 60 to 70 bins per acre to a more predictable 80-bin range. READ MORE 
July 27, 2017, Waterloo, Ont. - A biotechnology company that created a spray that helps farmers and growers protect crops from frost damage was among the big winners at the Velocity Fund Finals held recently at the University of Waterloo. Velocity is a comprehensive entrepreneurship program at Waterloo.Innovative Protein Technologies created Frost Armour, a spray-on-foam, after witnessing the effects of a devastating spring frost in 2012 that knocked out about 80 per cent of Ontario’s apple crop. Farmers would remove it after several days with another solution that converts it into a fertilizer."Frost damage not only affects farmers’ livelihoods, but also our food supply," said Erin Laidley, a Waterloo alumnus, who co-founded the company with Tom Keeling and Dan Krska, two alumni from the University of Guelph. "There are other spray-on solutions, but ours is non-toxic and has no negative environmental impact.”During the competition, 10 companies pitched their businesses to a panel of judges representing the investment, startup and business communities. Judges considered innovation, market potential, market viability and overall pitch.The following three companies were also grand-prize winners of $25,000 and space at Velocity. Three of the five top-prize-winning companies are based at Velocity Science. Altius Analytics Labs is a health-tech startup that helps occupational groups better manage musculoskeletal injuries. EPOCH is a skills and services marketplace that connects refugees and community members, using time as a means of exchange. VivaSpire is making lightweight wearable machines that purify oxygen from the air without the need for high pressure. For the first time, the prize of $10,000 for best hardware or science company went to a team that was not among the grand-prize winners. Vena Medical is making navigating through arteries faster, easier and safer by providing physicians with a camera that sees through blood.During the VFF event, an additional 10 teams of University of Waterloo students competed for three prizes of $5,000 and access to Velocity workspaces.The winners of the Velocity $5K are: HALo works to provide manual wheelchair users with accessible solutions to motorize their wheelchairs. QuantWave provides faster, cheaper and simpler pathogen detection for drinking water and food suppliers. SheLeads is a story-based game that helps girls realize their unlimited leadership potential. “Building a business is one of the boldest risks you can take, and yet our companies continue to demonstrate the vision, talent, and drive to think big and tackle challenging problems,” said Jay Shah, director of Velocity. “Today we are fortunate to benefit from an enormous wealth of experience from our judges who are leaders from the global investment, health and artificial-intelligence communities and entrepreneurs at heart. In helping Velocity award $125,000 in funding to these companies, we have taken a bet of our own in these founders, and said be bold, think big, and go out and change the world.”The judges for the Velocity Fund $25K competition travelled from Palo Alto, San Francisco and Toronto. They were Seth Bannon, founding partner, Fifty Years; Dianne Carmichael, chief advisor of health tech, Council of Canadian Innovators; Eric Migicovsky, visiting partner, Y Combinator; Tomi Poutanen, co-CEO, Layer 6 AI.The judges for the Velocity Fund $5K competition were Kane Hsieh, investor, Root Ventures; Tobiasz Dankiewicz, co-founder, Reebee; Karen Webb, principal, KWebb Solutions Inc.For more information on the Velocity Fund Finals, please visit www.velocityfundfinals.com
The Rural Ontario Institute (ROI) is pleased to welcome Gabrielle Ferguson as the new leadership programs director.In this new position, Ferguson will be directly responsible for managing ROI’s long-running Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program, and continuing to develop the organization’s other leadership program offerings. Ferguson will also be instrumental in maintaining and creating sponsor relationships for current and future programs.Ferguson comes to ROI with over 25 years’ experience in both industry and government, having worked with organizations such as the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Cargill, Pioneer Hi-Bred, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the University of Guelph. She is also a graduate of the Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program (Class 15). Ferguson lives on a cash-crop farm in Lambton County and is passionate about promoting a greater understanding between agriculture and the public.Chief Executive Officer Norm Ragetlie is delighted that Ferguson has joined the team and says, “Gabe’s arrival will give us a chance to take a fresh look at our leadership programming offerings. Gabe brings a wealth of ag sector relationships to this job which we will build upon to ensure the needs of the sector are being met.”Ferguson is expected to begin her position with the organization in September. “I’m excited to support leadership development in the ag sector and rural communities,” Ferguson says. “I’m looking forward to this new role and engaging with industry stakeholders to explore existing and new opportunities for leadership programming.” The Rural Ontario Institute is a non-profit organization committed to developing leaders and facilitating collaboration on issues and opportunities facing rural and northern Ontario. More information is available at www.ruralontarioinstitute.ca/.
In addition to the bronze medal at the Decanter World Wine Awards, held in London, for the 2011 Brut Réserve won earlier this year, Blomidon Estate Winery has received two Bronze Medals at the WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada for their 2014 Blanc de Noirs and 2010 Blanc de Blancs, and also a 2018 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in Nova Scotia Wines for the 2010 Blanc de Blancs.“Receiving these awards locally, from across the country, and also internationally is a great testament to our winery team and wine program,” says winemaker, Simon Rafuse. “It’s important for us as a benchmark, and it’s very gratifying to be rewarded for the hard work we try to do, placing Nova Scotia on the world wine map.”The Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in Nova Scotia Wines was established in 2014 to honour the outstanding achievements of Nova Scotia’s flourishing wine industry. That inaugural year Blomidon Estate Winery was bestowed the very same award for their sparkling 2010 Cuvée L’Acadie.The National Wine Awards of Canada (NWAC) is held annually as a showcase of the best wines from across the country. In 2018, over 1,850 wines from 257 wineries were entered into the NWAC, making this the largest and most comprehensive wine competition in Canadian history. In 2015 and 2016 Blomidon Estate Winery received Gold Medals for two of their sparkling wines, as well as two silvers and one bronze medal in 2017.The Decanter World Wine Awards is the world’s largest and most influential wine competition annually held in London. This year 16,903 wines from around the world were tasted, judged by top wine experts from around the globe. In 2017 Blomidon Estate Winery received two silver medals along with a bronze for their wines.
After another strong financial performance in 2017-18, Farm Credit Canada (FCC) has renewed its commitment to support growth and innovation in Canada’s agriculture and agri-food industry.“Agriculture and agri-food remains one of the strongest and most vibrant sectors in Canada’s economy,” said FCC president and CEO Michael Hoffort, in releasing the federal Crown corporation’s annual report . “FCC had record demand for financing this past year as producers and agriculture business operators continue to invest in the industry by expanding their businesses, building new facilities and adopting technologies to increase their efficiency.”In 2017-18, FCC grew its portfolio by 8.4 per cent to $33.9 billion, including $3.3 billion in new lending to young farmers. FCC also increased lending in the agri-food and agribusiness sector, supporting young entrepreneurs and helping business operators become leaders in job creation and innovation.“Innovation spurs increased productivity and competitiveness,” Hoffort said. “We understand the needs of our customers across the agriculture value chain, from primary producers to the agribusiness and agri-food companies that create value-added products for Canadian and global markets.”Looking ahead, FCC has set its sights on advancing its public policy role by contributing to a more sustainable and inclusive agriculture and agri-food industry. The federal Crown corporation is launching initiatives to advance mental health awareness in agriculture, developing financing and business support for women entrepreneurs, and exploring ways to involve more indigenous people and communities in the industry.“By helping primary producers and agri-food operators achieve their full potential, FCC is enabling the industry to create more opportunities for a broader range of people who can bring fresh ideas and new energy to Canadian agriculture and agri-food,” Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay said. “At the same time, FCC is contributing to our government’s ambitious goal of increasing agri-food exports to $75 billion by 2025.”In 2017-18, FCC support programs were provided last year for Ontario and Quebec customers impacted by excessive moisture and, more recently, New Brunswick and Quebec maple syrup producers and Maritimes fruit and vegetable producers impacted by unfavorable weather this spring.FCC also gave back almost $4 million through community investment initiatives, launched the Ignite summit for young farmers, offered a wide range of Ag Knowledge Exchange learning events attracting more than 15,000 participants and raised an equivalent of 7.2 million meals in conjunction with its like-minded partners through the FCC Drive Away Hunger tour in support of food banks across Canada. It also continues to support groups, such as 4-H Canada, Ag in the Classroom, the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association, STARS air ambulance service and numerous industry associations.“Our role goes well beyond loan transactions,” Hoffort said. “We look forward to continuing our support for young and new entrants, enabling intergenerational transfers of family farms and supporting the growth of our customers and the industry.”Other 2017-18 financial highlights include: Net income of $669.9 million, to be reinvested in agriculture through funding new loans and developing agriculture knowledge, products and services for customers. A dividend of $308.3 million paid by FCC to the Government of Canada. A healthy loan portfolio with the allowance for credit losses remaining steady, reflecting a strong and vibrant industry. Strong debt-to-equity and total capital ratios, indicating continued financial strength and an ongoing ability to serve the agriculture and agri-food industry. A full copy of the report can be found at www.fcc.ca/annualreport
The Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC)’s Board of Directors recently welcomed industry and government representatives on their summer tour of several berry and vegetable farms, as well as an apple orchard near Quebec City. Most notably, the group was joined by MP Jean-Claude Poissant, Parliamentary Secretary for agriculture, and MP Luc Berthold, Vice-Chair of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food. CHC was also pleased to host representatives from the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Pest Management Centre, the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec, CropLife Canada, Farm Credit Canada, the Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation, l’Association des producteurs maraîchers du Quebec, l’Association des producteurs de pommes de terre du Québec, and Lassonde.Throughout the day, key topics of discussion centered on labour, small business tax deductions, and crop protection issues. At each location, group participants also learned directly from the farmers about the kinds of innovative practices that are being implemented in their operations. | READ MORE 
On July 4, CanadaGAP program participants received notice that the annual program fee for participants enrolled in certification options A1 and A2 (four-year audit cycle) will increase to $600 (CAD), effective September 1, 2018. If program participants are paying in US funds, the CanadaGAP annual program fee for these options will increase to $500 USD.The increase will be reflected the next time program participants are invoiced by CanadaGAP on the anniversary of their enrolment.The increase in the annual program fee for Options A1 and A2 is necessary to cover growing costs related to administration and oversight, including the fees billed to CanadaGAP by the certification bodies for review of self-assessments and for surveillance (i.e. random audits).The fee increase will be phased in over the next year, starting with invoices dated September 1, 2018. The timing of the increase coincides with the original launch date of the CanadaGAP program ten years ago, on September 1, 2008, not with the calendar year. If program participants are not due to be invoiced until September 1 or later, please note that the annual program fee cannot be prepaid at the $525 rate. Program participants will pay the amount indicated when they receive their invoice."The CanadaGAP program is owned and operated by a not-for-profit corporation, CanAgPlus, which maintains a commitment to stability, fairness, and responsible fiscal management," notes Jack Bates, chair of the board of directors for CanAgPlus. "The fees charged to program participants reflect only the amount necessary to cover the cost of delivery and to maintain program rigour and integrity."If you have any questions or require additional information, contact the CanadaGAP office at 613-829-4711 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
Canada's AgGrowth coalition and our members believe it is critical to continue the Business Risk Management (BRM) review with a comprehensive mandate, and encourage the Federal Provincial Territorial (FPT) Agriculture Ministers to extend the review process without delay.In summer of 2017, the FPT Agriculture Ministers initiated a review of the BRM programming in response to concerns that BRM programming did not meet farmer's needs. The review is not complete, and more work needs to be done to achieve a complete picture of gaps in the BRM suite and identify solutions."We urge Canada's Agriculture Ministers to extend the BRM review process under the guidance of a new steering committee, including more participation from our farming organizations." said Mark Brock, chair, AgGrowth Coalition. "This will help ensure that BRM programing is more effective at managing risk for producers on the farm."The External Advisory Panel, established to advise on the BRM review, will be submitting recommendations to the FPT Ministers this July in Vancouver. AgGrowth encourages the FPT Ministers to support their work to find solutions for farmers. The AgGrowth Coalition supports the work of the External Advisory Panel (EAP)."The Canadian agri-food sector has great potential - it is a strategic national asset," said Jeff Nielson, vice chair, AgGrowth Coalition. "There are many opportunities for growth, but they come at a time with increased volatility and risk. Canadian farmers need a suite of BRM programs that they can use to effectively manage risk so they seize these opportunities."AgGrowth Coalition was established by farmers to advocate for a comprehensive reform of risk management programming. The agriculture sector wants to continue to work in partnership with governments across the country to establish the right policies and programs to better reflect modern farming needs in Canada.
Canada's agriculture and agri-food system contributes $110 billion to Canada's economy, with more than $64.6 billion in exports. Agriculture risk management is important to the sector – it helps stabilize farmers' incomes, strengthens farm businesses, and encourages growth in the agricultural sector. Under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, governments continue to support the development of new risk management tools that reflect the changing nature of the business.Building on the successes of Growing Forward 2, the AgriRisk Initiatives Program has been renewed under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay announced that the $55 million program will encourage partnerships between agriculture industry stakeholders, researchers, and federal, provincial and territorial governments to proactively explore and develop new risk management products and services for the agricultural sector.Funding is available under two components: Research and Development and Administrative Capacity Building. In response to recommendations received from the BRM Review Expert Panel, priority will be given to proposals for industry-led projects to develop new and innovative business risk management tools."Canada's hard-working farmers constantly face volatility and unpredictability in their business. Our Government is launching this renewed AgriRisk program to help protect our hardworking farmers from the risks they face so they can continue to grow the economy and create good, well-paying jobs. This announcement responds to what we heard from the external advisory panel on business risk management," said Minister MacAulay
This September, the Grape Growers of Ontario (GGO) will welcome Rick Mercer to the stage at the organization's Celebrity Luncheon. This event has been held for the past 35 years to celebrate the opening of the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival. The GGO is pleased to partner with Meridian, Ontario’s largest credit union, the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation and the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival to bring this outstanding entertainer to Niagara.Born in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Mercer has won over 25 Gemini Awards for his top-rated CBC series’ The Rick Mercer Report, Made in Canada, and This Hour has 22 Minutes. He is also an author of three national bestsellers and was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2014.“Rick’s keynote, Canada: Coast to Coast to Coast, is guaranteed to make us appreciate this unique nation we all call home, and a perfect way to applaud what our great country has to offer,” says Matthias Oppenlaender, chair of GGO.Debbie Zimmerman, CEO, GGO adds, “The GGO are thrilled to finally welcome Rick Mercer to our event to celebrate the 2018 grape harvest, the Greenbelt and all Niagara has to offer.”The Grape Growers of Ontario’s Celebrity Luncheon is Wednesday, September 12, 2018 at 11:30 a.m. at Club Roma in St. Catharines. Order tickets by clicking here or contacting the GGO Board office at: (905) 688-0990 ext 224 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
Ontario’s horticultural industry has launched a digital campaign to demonstrate public support for a long-running program that allows growers affected by a chronic labour shortage to hire workers from Mexico and the Caribbean on a seasonal basis.The Fairness for Growers campaign uses a web portal to provide information about the benefits of the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP) and to help consumers to directly email their Members of Parliament, voicing support for the program and the importance of continued access to fresh, local food.The campaign was initiated in May. As of June, 1,400 Canadians had used the portal to send letters of support for SAWP to their MPs.The labour program was established in 1966 to respond to a severe shortage of domestic agricultural workers. It continues to serve the same role 52 years later, enabling Ontario farmers to stay in business. This year, more than 18,000 workers from Mexico and the Caribbean are expected to fill vacancies on a seasonal basis — up to a maximum of eight months — at approximately 1,450 Ontario farms.But the federal government may change that. Federal regulators who oversee the program are implementing more and more regulations, and some growers are concerned about the program’s future.These changes could threaten the livelihoods of thousands of farmers, making it harder for local growers to get the workers they need and operate effectively. They could also significantly reduce access to local fruits and vegetables on store shelves, put Canadian jobs at risk and hurt thousands of seasonal workers who want these jobs to provide a better standard of living for the families.The Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program is a “Canadians first” program, which means supplementary seasonal farm labour is hired from partner countries only if farmers cannot find Canadians willing to take the same jobs.It’s estimated that at least two jobs for Canadians are created in the agri-food industry for every seasonal worker employed through SAWP at Ontario farms.Without the program most Ontario farmers simply couldn’t continue to grow fruits and vegetables. Some would move into less labour-intensive crops, while others would abandon agriculture altogether.Recent labour market research by the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council cited the program as a key reason Ontario’s horticulture industry is able to generate $5.4 billion in economic activity and approximately 34,280 jobs.A severe shortage of domestic workers is costing Canadian farms approximately $1.5 billion per year and hurting Canada’s overall economic competitiveness, according to research by the Conference Board of Canada.For more information, visit www.fairnessforgrowers.ca
Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc. (OSF) recently launched a new product, Arctic ApBitz.ApBitz dried apples are made 100 per cent from Arctic Golden apples – the first Arctic apple variety that doesn’t brown when bitten, sliced, or bruised.The unique benefit, developed through biotechnology, means that Arctic apples, including ApBitz snacks, do not require preservatives and are just as healthy and delicious as their conventional counterparts.“We decided to make Arctic ApBitz dried apples initially available online via Amazon.com so that everyone in the U.S. would have convenient access to our sweet and crunchable Arctic ApBitz snacks,” explains Neal Carter, president of OSF. “One of the core initiatives behind Arctic apples is to help reduce unnecessary food waste. Acknowledging that not all fruit is suitably sized for slicing, we’ve been working on innovative ways to use our nonbrowning Arctic Goldens from this past harvest to give consumers more ways to eat more apples. ApBitz snacks are the result of these efforts and help us in our commitment to sustainability and the ability to maximize the benefit of our entire crop.”OSF is gearing up to launch a summer social media contest as part of its promotional plan to create awareness about the new product. The #BitzofSummer contest will have participants share on social media photos and videos of themselves enjoying ApBitz snacks on their summer adventures. The contest will begin on June 29th and the grand prize winner will receive a trip to the beautiful Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, a world-class destination for wine, fruit and home to OSF. The winner will also receive the opportunity to dine with Neal Carter and learn more about the founding of OSF and development of our Arctic apples.For more information, visit: https://www.arcticapples.com/win-a-trip-to-the-home-of-arctic-apples/
CanadaGAP, an internationally recognized food safety program for fresh fruit and vegetable suppliers, has successfully achieved recognition against the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Version 7.1 benchmarking requirements.The recognition encompasses three CanadaGAP certification options: B, C, and D (for repacking and wholesaling).Heather Gale, executive director, comments that "CanadaGAP appreciates the rigour of the GFSI benchmarking process. GFSI recognition of CanadaGAP provides the fruit and vegetable industry the option to implement a made-in-Canada program that meets GFSI's high standard and satisfies the food safety requirements of customers in domestic and international markets."Jack Bates, chair of the board for CanadaGAP, adds that "GFSI recognition will allow CanadaGAP-certified companies to remain competitive and maintain access to customers who require certification to a GFSI-recognized food safety program."Scope of GFSI RecognitionCanadaGAP has been GFSI-recognized for certification options B and C since 2010. Option D (for repacking and wholesaling) was originally recognized by GFSI in 2016. Re-benchmarking is required each time GFSI updates its benchmarking requirements.Recognition of the three CanadaGAP certification options has once again been granted for the following GFSI scopes: BI - Farming of Plants D - Pre-process Handling of Plant Products (includes packing/repacking and related activities such as cooling, trimming, grading, washing, storage, etc.).
Loblaw Companies Limited has announced that by 2025 it will spend $150 million more each year with Canadian farmers buying local, fresh produce that otherwise would have been imported from around the world.Given the short Canadian growing season and unique climate conditions, customers are used to eating produce sourced from international growers, often picked before their prime and then trucked thousands of kilometres. As part of the pledge, Loblaw will work directly with local farmers to implement innovative growing methods or plant non-traditional crops, extending the growing season and bringing the "Grown in Canada" label to what were typically imported fruits and vegetables."For decades, we have worked with local farmers to feed our national appetite for Canadian-grown food," said Galen G. Weston, chairman and CEO, Loblaw Companies Limited. "We are applying new resources to accelerate that work, helping Canadian farmers find new opportunities to provide global products and year-round freshness, grown right here at home."Loblaw sources more Canadian produce than any other grocer, working with about 300 domestic growers. In season, nearly half of all produce in Loblaw's various stores – including Loblaws, Zehrs, Real Canadian Superstore, No Frills and others – is Canadian-grown. However, the Canadian growing season is traditionally only a few months, and farmers have focused primarily on a well-established range of crops.Over the past few years, Loblaw has worked with Canadian farmers to grow a greater variety of products, including multicultural goods not traditionally grown in Canada. As a result, customers can now find bok choy, long eggplant, methi leaf, napa cabbage and okra bearing Grown in Ontario and Grown in Quebec labels. These crops are traditionally grown in Mexico, Dominican Republic and Central America.Loblaw is also working with Canadian indoor farmers and greenhouses to ensure a steady supply of fresh produce that would otherwise be out-of-season or imported from warmer climates for much of the year. Through its President's Choice brand, the company has developed relationships with various greenhouse operations to source Canadian-grown berries from January through December. Additionally, in Newfoundland, where fresh produce often travels long distances to store shelves, the company has introduced a pilot program with a vertical farm operation, bringing unprecedented fresh greens to the region."This effort is a large and logical extension of commitments we've been making for decades," said Frank Pagliaro, who leads the produce procurement for Loblaw. "We're investing in Canadian innovation, supporting local farmers, extending shelf life to offer fresher goods, serving new tastes, and helping the environment by reducing food waste and the carbon footprint generated by international shipments. And, our customer love every one of these details."

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