Fruit & Vegetable Magazine

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Applications for NL’s Vegetable Transplant Program now open

January 13, 2021  By Fruit and Vegetable

Applications for the 2021 Vegetable Transplant Program are now available from the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture to commercial vegetable producers.

Since 2018, this program has provided eligible commercial farmers with high-quality vegetable transplants to help increase the production and variety of produce grown in Newfoundland and Labrador and promote higher marketable yields, as well as earlier harvest and returns.

“I have witnessed the benefits of the Vegetable Transplant Program firsthand on my visits to farms in Central Newfoundland and I am pleased the department can once again offer producers the opportunity to avail of an initiative that supports efforts to increase food self-sufficiency in the province,” said Elvis Loveless, N.L.’s minister of fisheries, forestry and agriculture.

“Not all producers have access to the infrastructure required to produce transplants. This program allows transplanted crops to reach full maturity in a short growing season. It also promotes higher marketable yields, and provides a more diverse variety of produce compared to direct seeding.”

In 2020, the Vegetable Transplant Program provided 3 million vegetable transplants to 65 commercial farmers, compared to 1.7 million vegetable transplants distributed to 54 commercial farmers in 2019. In 2018, 255,800 transplants were distributed to 25 farmers.

Crop varieties for 2021 include cabbage, rutabaga (turnip), broccoli, cauliflower, onion, kale, lettuce, leek and asparagus – all grown at the Centre for Agriculture and Forestry Development in Wooddale. Quantities will be determined based on farmers’ interest.

“The opportunity to access strong, viable, ready-to-plant transplants has helped us expand production and improve yields by up to 40 per cent per acre. This makes a huge difference to our operations and gives us a head start on our growing season during an extremely busy time. We’re looking forward to availing of this program again, and accessing high-quality vegetable transplants in 2021.”
–Kent Fudge, owner of Mountain View Farm

Farmers and new entrants demonstrating strong compliance with the 2020 program will be given priority for future allocations. The application deadline is Feb. 19. For more information, visit the 2021 Provincial Vegetable Transplant Program guide.

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