The Canadian Horticultural Council is currently exploring the opportunity to establish a third Agri-Science Cluster under the federal government’s upcoming agricultural policy framework for 2018-2023.
The purpose of the program is to help industry-led agricultural organizations pull together national scientific and technical resources to establish clusters in support of innovation and research. Projects for the program must focus on the pre-commercialization development of new agri products, practices and processes in Canada that will make agriculture more profitable and competitive.
To date, the Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC) has undertaken a number of activities to gather input from members, including commodity groups establishing their national research and innovation strategies and priorities in collaboration with their value chain partners.
Expressions of Interest from researchers in Canada who would like to participate in the Canadian Agri-Science Cluster for Horticulture 3 in the following areas of priority for the field vegetable industry.
Field Vegetable Project Areas, Outcomes and Investment Priorities:
Priority Project Area 1: Optimize Production Practices
1.1 Best practices and the use of automation optimizes the production practices of Canadian growers; and
1.2 A reduced need on farm inputs.
· Conduct research in the automation of production as a means to reduce labour costs;
· Conduct research in order to reduce farm inputs (for instance fertilizer) without impacting yields;
· Develop best practices to mitigate climate change effects and extreme weather events.
Priority Project Area 2: Improve Pest and Disease Management Practices
2.1 The sector employs effective integrated pest management methods widely;
2.2 Growers have access to knowledge regarding the emergence and prevalence of pests;
2.3 Growers have effective and cost-effective methods for detecting and monitoring pests;
2.4 Growers have thresholds for action for the control and management of pests as they relate to various crop development stages.
· Develop, understand and disseminate effective and safe integrated pest management methods that conciliate crop protection, economic profitability, environmental protection, public health, quality and safety of vegetables.
· Improve and disseminate knowledge about new and existing pests
· Develop and transfer tools and methods for detecting and monitoring crop pests
· Determining genetic basis of disease resistance in breeding program germplasm, and understand the relationship of resistance/susceptibility between growth stages (i.e. spear and fern in asparagus);
· Develop or modify action thresholds for pests as relating to crop development stage (i.e. number of scouted cabbage maggots per broccoli plant);
· Priority pests including: wireworm, swedge midge, cabbage maggot, seedcorn maggot, bacterial diseases, sclerotinia white mold, carrot forking and neck rot in onion.
Priority Project Area 3:
Optimize Post-Harvest and Storage Practices 3.1 Growers use optimized storage methods and technologies that minimize losses and maximize produce quality;
3.2 Growers employ strategies and approaches that minimizes water usage. · Conduct research in storage techniques to minimize losses and improve efficiency;
· Research conditions required to improve storability of produce;
· Research on wash water use on vegetable farms.
Priority Project Area 4: Plant Breeding, Variety Development and Evaluation
4.2 Ongoing variety research is carried out that improves post-harvest shelf life and quality, adapt to new climatic conditions and increase resistance to bacteria and diseases;
4.3 Growers benefit from national coordination of variety evaluation. · Conduct work on genetic breeding and selection to improve post-harvest shelf life and quality, to adapt to new climatic conditions, to increase resistance to bacteria and diseases (including physiological disorders) and to develop early and late varieties;
· Conduct variety evaluation on vegetable crops;
· Develop high yielding, high quality, disease and replant resistant asparagus cultivars; identify the physiological basis of longevity in asparagus and assess genetic architecture for the trait; and conduct field testing of potential new asparagus varieties.
Priority Project Area 5: Research on the Health Benefits of Vegetables
5.1 Ongoing research is conducted on the benefit of vegetable consumption.
· Recruitment of new researchers, supporting students and universities
· Support and validate peer review for health research proposals
Enabling Strategy: Knowledge Collection, Translation and Transfer
National collaboration with growers, universities and government researchers has resulted in
· Coordination of research;
· Translation of results;
· Transfer of knowledge and technologies for grower use; and
· High adoption rates by industry.
· Training programs
· KT Coordinator
· Communications and dissemination strategies
Please complete the Expressions of Interest Form and return it to Amy Argentino by end of business May 26, via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: Vegetable – Expression of Interest.
CHC Agri-Science Cluster for Horticulture – EOI Form
CHC Agri-Science Cluster for Horticulture – EOI Form – FRENCH
All expressions of interest will be reviewed by the vegetable working group and I will follow up directly with those whom industry would like to receive a full proposal from.
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