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Ontario government invests in pest and disease management research for fruit and vegetable crops

Research investment to develop new on-farm fruit and vegetable production practices

July 16, 2019  By Ontario Minister of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs

Ontario’s government is investing in research to develop new practices and on-farm solutions for fruit, vegetable and field crop farmers to prevent or control costly crop diseases and pests and improve production practices. The $1.3 million investment aims to boost productivity and profitability for farmers.

“We know plant diseases can be very difficult to deal with and expensive for farmers,” said Ernie Hardeman, Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “By giving crop farmers up-to-date information and tools, they can make better decisions to sustain and improve crop health and productivity.”

Through the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance, the province is funding research projects at the University of Guelph to help optimize production and minimize the damage and economic losses caused by crop diseases and pests on Ontario farms, including:

  • Surveillance for blight management decisions in field tomatoes
  • Investigating the threat of onion thrips to greenhouse floriculture pest management programs
  • Developing approaches to combat Fusarium disease in wheat
  • Assessing management in sugar beets to reduce crop disease
  • Investigating production of a year-round supply of high-quality potatoes for Ontario
  • Improving grape rootstock to prevent winter losses in sensitive areas.

“As Canada’s food university, University of Guelph has consistently delivered world-class discoveries that promote the productivity and health of farmers’ crops,” said Malcolm Campbell, vice-president (Research). “Our researchers are committed to delivering solutions and opportunities across the agricultural sector, fulfilling our promise to improve life.”

The Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance, a collaboration between the Ontario government and the University of Guelph, helps the province’s agri-food and rural sectors grow and innovate. Through the Alliance, the Ontario government is investing over $5.8 million in agri-food research this year in the areas of environmental sustainability, animal and plant health and production, as well as agri-food and bio-product development.

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