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 3
STORIES IN THIS EDITION
Province boosts ag spending
It’s a draw!
Editorial: Vice grip
Back Forty: Snow days make good days for seed selection
Viewpoint: Farmers need to prepare for annual snow melt
Smooth start to season as foreign workers arrive
Sidebar: Province mulls piece rates
Late winter has some Okanagan growers on edge
Ag show attracts near-record attendance
Ag Briefs: Traceability funding available for producers
Ag Briefs: Cattlemen’s launches webinar series
Ag Briefs: Grant winner announced
Labour remains a priority for fruit growers
Dairy, aquaculture take home awards at gala
Farmers need to prepare for uncertainty
Ag critic listens to concerns at farmers’ institute
Growers are responsible for workers’ safety
Robotic milkers sized up during dairy tour
Safe, high-quality silage depends on preparation
Diversification makes orchard a landmark
Ranchers need to match forage with herd needs
Producers question new Indigenous rights law
Hosting TRU students a way to give back
Livestock co-op provides selling, buying options
Sidebar: Market set to stay steady
Research: Bluetongue outbreaks expected to increase
Filling a niche for gourmet mushrooms
Regulations, housing key issues in Langley
Sheep producers seeing value in genetic program
Above and beyond
Vegetation fundamental to farms, landscape
Studies continue on forage, corn crop pests
4-H BC leader singled out
Growers go with the grain of beer revival
Agri-tourism has plenty of room for growth
Rose stem girdler poses threat to cranberries
Site prep critical for healthy hazelnut orchards
Sidebar: BC renewal program opens up
Wannabe: Renewal comes with a new generation of farmers
Woodshed: Deborah and Doug McLeod turn up the heat
A good place to meet up
Jude’s Kitchen: Celebrate spring by eating outside