Future Planning
As producers across Canada continue to struggle with finding and keeping skilled labour, three innovative Canadians have partnered up to explore a highly sought-after solution – Robotics.
Published in Research
Canada currently imports millions of dollars’ worth of seed every year, despite mild winters in the southwest of B.C. that position the province as a viable climate for seed production.
Published in Profiles
New for 2019, BASF will introduce Serifel, an innovative, new fungicide with three modes of action to target powdery mildew and botrytis in grapes.
Published in Diseases
Canada's recent Fall Economic Statement 2018 showed that the Government's plan is working: More Canadians are employed, wages are growing, and middle class Canadians have more money to save, invest and grow the economy. The Government of Canada knows that Canadian farmers and food processors are key drivers of the Canadian economy. The Statement is the next step in our plan, where we are supporting Canada's competitiveness so that Canadian agriculture and agri-food businesses can grow and create more good, middle class jobs.
Published in News
The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFVGA) welcomes Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s recent announcement of $5 million in funding from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to support the Automation Cluster.
Published in News
The Canadian greenhouse sector is the largest and fastest growing segment of Canadian horticulture, thanks to the dedication and endless hard work from our growers across the country. This past year, Canadian greenhouse vegetable sales totalled over $1.4 billion, with over $900 million of sales in Ontario.
Published in News
The Women Entrepreneurship Fund is a $20 million investment by the Government of Canada which aims to assist women-owned and/or women-led businesses to grow their existing businesses and enable them to pursue opportunities in domestic and global markets. It will provide successful applicants with up to $100,000 in non-repayable contribution funding for a 12-month project.

Under the Women Entrepreneurship Fund, priority will be given to any of the following three applicant groups:
  • Diverse women entrepreneurs (such as women with disabilities, Indigenous women, women in rural or remote regions, recent immigrants, visible minority women, women from Official Language Minority Communities);
  • Businesses with products and/or services related to one of the Economic Strategy Table sectors; and
  • Projects seeking to pursue market opportunities abroad.
For information on how to apply, please visit the website. http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/128.nsf/eng/home

Published in News
Prince Edward Island’s minimum wage will remain the highest in Atlantic Canada when it increases by 70 cents to $12.25 per hour on April 1, 2019.
Published in Provinces
The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFVGA) welcomes the recent announcement by the Canadian government whereby it is providing targeted relief from the federal carbon tax on fuels for heating greenhouses. This targeted relief is a positive step by the federal government to recognize the unique needs of domestic food production.

The greenhouse vegetable sector has quickly become an economic driver in the province, generating over $920 million in farmgate sales in 2017. Using modern and efficient technologies, Ontario greenhouse growers are able to produce fresh product year-round in Canada’s northern climate, complementing Ontario’s bountiful field grown fruit and vegetable production. Without relief, carbon pricing has the potential to negatively impact the competitiveness of greenhouse and field production of fruits and vegetables, both of which compete in the global marketplace.

“The reality is that farmers have already been incentivized to become energy efficient as it has been necessary to remain competitive,” says Jan VanderHout, chair of the OFVGA. “Today, we thank the federal government for recognizing the specific needs of greenhouse production.”

The OFVGA looks forward to ongoing dialogue with the federal and Ontario provincial governments to support all of Ontario’s fruit and vegetable farmers as stewards of the air, land and water that they depend on to contribute to Canada’s food security and the economy.
Published in Federal
Ontario is open for business: the government is acting to bring jobs and investment back to our province by lightening the burden on business and making sure that hard work is rewarded.
Published in Provinces
Canadians are seeing the costs of climate change first hand, from wildfires in the west to floods in the east, smoke that makes the air unsafe to breathe and heatwaves that endanger the young and the elderly. We need to act now to fight back against climate change, for our children and grandchildren.
Published in Federal
The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFVGA) welcomes the recent announcement made by the Ontario government outlining its plans for Bill 148.
Published in Provinces
Draft regulations concerning fuel costs and GHG emissions have addressed some of farmers' concerns, but gaps remain, and the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) is keen to work with governments to develop new programs that will support the agriculture sector going forward.
Published in Federal
A new direct line of support is now available to assist Indigenous Peoples and communities to access, with greater ease, Government agricultural programs and services.
Published in News
Collaboration between Canadian governments, industry, academia and other partners in plant health is essential to protect our resources from new and emerging risks, drive innovation and ensure that Canadian industry remains competitive and sustainable.
Published in Federal
University of Florida scientists plan to use a $7.3 million, four-year grant to find the genetic traits that will make sweet corn taste even better, last longer and grow better.

Mark Settles, a professor of horticultural sciences at the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, will lead the project. UF/IFAS researchers will also get help from scientists at Iowa State University, the University of Wisconsin, Washington State University and the USDA to conduct the study.

“What we want to do is find those genes that make sweet corn a tasty vegetable and be able to then use those genes in traditional breeding,” Settles said.

For example, researchers hope to boost the sugar levels of sweet corn.

“It’s a really popular vegetable. But there have been few game-changing innovations that would boost the taste and yield of sweet corn.”

Fewer than 14 per cent of American adults consume the USDA recommended amount of vegetables for a healthy diet, and overall, fruit and vegetable consumption is declining in the U.S., Settles said.

“As the fifth most popular vegetable in America, sweet corn is no exception to this trend,” he said. “However, demand for fresh market and frozen corn is increasing, relative to canned corn, and breeders need to be able to provide the best sweet corn seed possible.

“Both fresh and processed sweet corn must meet consumer desires for taste, appearance and convenience,” Settles said. “Many quality traits are best addressed through the genetics of sweet corn varieties.”

Through test panels run by Sims, researchers will find out tastes, aroma and texture that consumers like. As study participants sample the corn, they’ll also tell how much they’d be willing to pay for it, which makes up the economics portion of the research, Settles said.

To get started on finding the best genetic traits, scientists will screen existing sweet corn seeds to find genes that, among other things, help corn grow right after planting, Settles said. This will be particularly helpful for organic farmers, he said.

They also hope to try to beat back any pests.

Lastly, scientists seek genetic traits that make corn last longer on grocery store shelves and requires less pesticide use, Settles said.

“We also want to make corn taste good for longer,” he said.
Published in Research
A thriving and sustainable agriculture sector is made possible only by the investments made in science, research, and innovation. Canada has some of the world’s best scientists, and the breakthrough technologies they develop give farmers the tools they need to better manage their farms, while growing their businesses and creating good middle class jobs.

Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food, Lawrence MacAulay, recently announced, the details of the Government of Canada’s transformational $70M investment, over five years, to address significant environmental challenges and hire approximately 75 scientists and science professionals in emerging fields of agricultural science.

Of this $70M investment, $44M is dedicated to hiring the next generation of federal research scientists and science professionals and equipping them with the state-of-the-art tools they need to advance agricultural research, including environmental sampling equipment and analytical instruments.

Minister MacAulay also announced a new Living Laboratories Initiative, which includes $10M to support collaborative research projects with external partners.

Living Laboratories are an integrated approach to agricultural research that bring farmers, scientists and other stakeholders together to co-develop, test and monitor new practices and technologies on farms. The result will be more practical technologies and sustainable farming practices adopted more quickly by Canadian farmers.

The Living Laboratories Initiative led by Canada is a model to the world as other countries also try to improve the resilience and sustainability of their agricultural production. This Living Labs approach was presented by Minister MacAulay at the G20 Agriculture Ministers meeting in Argentina in July and the initiative was endorsed by ministers in attendance.

In the same spirit of collaboration, the remaining $16M of the $70M is earmarked to fund collaborative federal research projects focused on priority areas affecting the agriculture sector, such as environmental issues. With these funds, researchers will have the support, for example, to find better nutrient management solutions to ensure the health of our waterways.

This $70M investment in research and development fulfills the Budget 2017 commitment to support discovery science and innovation.

“This investment allows us to hire the next generation of world-class scientists here in Harrow and across the country, and will help give our farmers the tools they need to grow their businesses for years to come. This transformational investment demonstrates our Government’s strong commitment to science and our focus on the agriculture sector as a primary economic driver for creating good jobs and growing the middle class," said Minister MacAulay.
Published in Federal
Putting research in the hands of those who use it to create and innovate leads to increased competitiveness, economic growth and job creation. That’s why the Government of Canada continues to support the country’s researchers whose discoveries inspire entrepreneurs and innovators in the agriculture, health and commercial sectors.

The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, recently announced $6.7 million in federal funding for seven new projects under Genome Canada’s Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP) that will match researchers with companies to develop new gene-based technologies in health care, agriculture and environmental protection.

An additional $14.3 million is being invested by provincial governments, businesses and other funding partners for a total of $21 million.

By studying genetic sequences, researchers develop technologies or processes that will improve crop growth, find a better treatment for babies born with a rare disease called cystinosis, and better protect wildlife, among other innovations. Genomics involves the study of genes, other DNA sequences and associated biological information that makes every organism different.

Minister Duncan made the announcement at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, one of the seven research institutions receiving GAPP funding.

This world-class centre for horticulture science and innovation will partner with a team of University of Toronto researchers to create new varieties of vegetables that will be more resistant to diseases.

Resilient vegetables will help increase how much Canadian farmers can grow during a season, giving them a competitive advantage in the billion-dollar agricultural industry.

This is one example of how science leads to new opportunities and good quality jobs. This investment in these projects will help businesses grow while supporting a stronger middle class.

“It all starts with science and our remarkable scientists. By investing in researchers, we are giving them the opportunity to work with each other and their counterparts in the business, health and agriculture sectors to find the ideas and innovations that power a stronger economy and a growing middle class. Congratulations to our successful recipients whose efforts will help us build a bolder, brighter future for all Canadians," said Duncan.
Published in Research
A group of Canadian apple researchers, growers and marketers have joined forces to give one of Canada’s oldest and most famous fruit crops some new crunch in the marketplace.

Members of the National Apple Breeding Consortium say advances in the science of apple breeding and more efficient orchard designs are making it possible to bring new varieties more quickly to market to capitalize on consumer interest in apples with unique tastes and textures, while giving growers varieties that are more resistant to disease and insects.

Premium varieties like Gala, Honeycrisp and Ambrosia and high-density orchards helped the Canadian apple industry post its first increase in acreage in decades in 2016.

Taking a page from wine grapes, the consortium believes more regions of Canada could become renowned for their own unique apple varieties.

"It’s not necessarily about creating a new apple that can be grown across the country. It’s about finding that variety and that local growing environment that together produce a quality that you won’t find anywhere else," says Joyce Boye, science director for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s research centres in Agassiz and Summerland in British Columbia.

The consortium was created late last year to streamline apple development in Canada and boost returns to the industry and increase consumer satisfaction.

"The consortium allows key players in Canadian apple breeding to work more closely together and that’s a win-win for all involved," says Brian Gilroy, president of the Canadian Horticultural Council and an apple grower himself.

Genome Atlantic, Genome BC and Ontario Genomics also helped drive the creation of the consortium. The associations encourage the combination of biology, genetics and computer science to create economic opportunities in the resource and health sectors.

"Over the last three years, Genome Atlantic has been working hard with all the stakeholders to develop this consortium, and we are very pleased that it is now in place," says Richard Donald, a business development associate with Genome Atlantic. "With everyone pulling together, research will be shared across Canada, accelerating the development of new apple varieties suited to different regions of the country."

In the past, it took up to 25 years to develop a new apple variety and orchards were dominated by large trees that were difficult to pick. Today, gene sequencing is allowing apple breeders to find and select the traits they want much more quickly.

At the same time, growers are increasingly turning to high-density orchards featuring dwarf trees that are much easier to harvest.

Consortium members include Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Dalhousie University, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, Summerland Varieties Corporation, Réseau d’essais de cultivars et porte-greffes de pommiers du Quebec, and the Canadian Horticultural Council. Also represented are a number of major grower associations, including the Ontario Apple Growers Association, the BC Fruit Growers Association, Les Producteurs de pommes du Quebec and Scotian Gold Cooperative Ltd.
Published in Fruit
The Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers (OPVG) and the Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Processors Association (OF&VPA) are continuing with a bursary fund to support and encourage individuals pursuing a career in any aspect of the processing vegetable industry.

These organizations are working together to ensure that there are new individuals who will have the interest, skills, and abilities to further develop and grow this sector of Ontario’s agri-food economy.

Sponsor donations allow the OPVG and the OF&VPA to offer up to four bursaries of $2,000 each, for a total of $8,000.

These include bursaries in memory of former OPVG directors Jim Whitson and Ken Epp. Note that the Jim Whitson bursary is awarded to a student attending Ridgetown College. The award in memory of Ken Epp receives an additional $1,000 from the fund established in his name by the OPVG.

Applicants must be a resident of Ontario and registered as a full-time student at any college or university entering the second, third, fourth or post-graduate year of study which relates in some aspect to the processing vegetable industry.

Second-year Ridgetown horticulture student and 2018 bursary recipient Josephine McCormick used the award to help cover living expenses as she approached her goal of expanding on her current road-side fruit and vegetable stand.

Second-year Ridgetown agriculture student and 2018 Kenn Epp Memorial Award winner Natasha Lugtigheid used her bursary to cover tuition and living expenses and is currently working as a crop scout for a local, family-run Agronomy business.

Applications are due October 15th. The Bursary Application Form is available online at www.opvg.org
or on request from the OPVG office (519-681-1875).

Applications are accepted by regular mail at 435 Consortium Court, London, ON N6E 2S8, by e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , by fax at 519-685-5719, or via online submissions at www.opvg.org/opvg-bursary/.
Published in Provinces
Page 1 of 6

Subscription Centre

 
New Subscription
 
Already a Subscriber
 
Customer Service
 
View Digital Magazine Renew

Most Popular

We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. To find out more, read our Privacy Policy.