From FCC Express, by Owen Roberts
Producer groups, government and academia are coming together in London, Ont. to advance Canadian agri-food research.
At the official opening of the new $10-million state-of-the-art greenhouse facility at the federal Southern Crop Protection and Food Research Centre, several collaborators were cited for supporting studies by federal scientists.
Among those mentioned were the University of Guelph, the University of Western Ontario, the Ontario Bean Growers and the Grain Farmers of Ontario.
Research at the facility will be focused on improving crop quality, productivity and disease and insect resistance.
“The results of the research conducted in this new facility will bring long-term benefits to Canadian farmers, industry and the economy,” says Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Gerry Ritz.
The new facility, part of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s national network of research centres, conducts research on integrated pest management, bio-based products and processes, genomics and biotechnology and soil and water quality. Research activity in the new greenhouse will serve a wide spectrum of fruit- and cash crop producers.
For example, efforts will focus on identifying fruit tree germplasm resistant to the plum pox virus, reducing cereal crops’ reliance on commercial nitrogen fertilizer, developing plant-based animal vaccines as an alternative to antibiotics, improving the nutritional quality of dry beans and developing higher-yielding, higher-quality alfalfa cultivars for the dairy and cattle industry.
Ritz says the facility will triple the centre’s greenhouse capacity.
“The centre has a long tradition of working with producers and building strong relationships with industry,” Ritz says. “Research done here will continue to lead to new technologies and better agricultural practices for farmers. It is a great example of how scientific advances can strengthen Canada’s position in new and existing markets.”