March 13, 2019
by PETER MITHAM
Ottawa has announced millions of dollars in funding for horticulture research at events on both sides of the country.
On March 11, federal agriculture minister Marie-Claude Bibeau announced up to $4.2 million in funding for the BC Fruit Growers Association. The cash will support the development of new apple and cherry cultivars. The funding for BCFGA comes under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership Agri-Science Program and will support trials of potential new varieties in BC, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia.
Fruit breeding takes place at the federal government’s Summerland Research and Development Centre under Amrit Singh. BCFGA is receiving the federal funding because new varieties are managed by Summerland Varieties Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of the association.
The support for apple and cherry development follows the announcement on March 6 of up to $11.5 million in support of projects related to pest and disease management, post-harvest storage and handling of apples, berries, field vegetables, potatoes and greenhouse crops.
The funding was announced in Halifax at the annual general meeting of the Canadian Horticulture Council, which leads the national horticulture cluster. It also flows from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP). Additional funding from industry will boost the investment to $18 million.
The funding will support sustainable practices to reduce the sector’s environmental footprint. It will also support the development of new crop varieties to ensure the sector’s competitiveness and profitability.
While the funding represents an investment in research of more than $22 million from government and industry, BC berry growers have yet to receive word on funding for their own breeding projects under the CAP.
The Lower Mainland Horticultural Improvement Association took over coordination of the berry breeding program from the federal government in 2013.
“We have been running a bare-bones program the past year using our own resources,” berry grower David Mutz told LMHIA members during their annual meeting at the Pacific Ag Show less than two months ago.
LMHIA had applied for $2.5 million in federal and provincial funding to cover 2018-2022.
Vol. 105 Issue 5
STORIES IN THIS EDITION
What on earth?
Opposition slams ALC bill
Sidebar: Protection & pushback
Editorial: Truth in labelling
Back Forty: So you don’t believe in climate change
Viewpoint: Don’t blame the cows for global warming
Ag council’s lobbying efforts produce results
Learning a new skill
Foundation’s nest egg for funding projects increases
Province will hold the line on piece rates
New CEO aims to kindle team spirit at co-op
FIRB decision prompts rethink of pricing scheme
Beekeepers see potential in technology transfer
AgSafe markes quarter century
Raspberries hit hard by harsh February
Blueberry growers anxious for new varieties
Biological controls for pests in demand
Sidebar: Pesticides in play
Growers urged to focus on fresh
Westgen celebrates 75 years of excellence
Top seller was no-show at Holstein sale
Spring show attracts exhibitors from Quebec
Cheesemakers unite to grow niche market
Range use permits under greater scrutiny
Sidebar: Range use plans go digital
Market Musings: Top bulls sell for top dollar at spring sales
Grapegrowers share sustainability objectives
Grape specialist honoured for dedication
Hazelnut production expands across BC
Sidebar: Pest pressures
Supporters take to AITC’s Sips & Sprouts
Research: Cultured meat fails to impress researchers
UAVs undergo testing for pesticide delivery
Sustainability goes beyond saving farmland
Father and daughter roll with the last of the steel wheels
Woodshed: Susan Henderson is warming to country life
Wannabe: Farming is more than just a job
Surplus, cull fruit finds new purpose as tasty snacks
Jude’s Kitchen: Special food for special moms