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OCTOBER 2010

CELEBRATING 130 YEARS AS CANADA’S PREMIER HORTICULTURAL PUBLICATION

VOLUME 60 NUMBER 10

Cool grapes, hot science By Karen Davidson Core of cherry jam. Nuances of mineral and dry earth. Lively spice and chewy tannins. This is the language of wine critics. Tritrable acidity. Grape sour rot. Ladybug taint. Now that’s the language of growers. After one of the most ideal growing seasons on record, this year’s highly anticipated Ontario vintage is invested with its fair share of science. No one knows that better than the latest Grape King honoree of the Grape Growers of Ontario: vineyard owner and scientist, Debbie Inglis. “I’ve pulled brush, suckered, thinned, hoed, picked, planted – all those glamorous things,” says Inglis. It’s how she met her husband Rob years ago, recruiting him to pick up rocks in a field before planting grapevines at the vineyard of her parents Stan and Doreen Murdza. Today, they’re equal partners in Niagara Vintage Harvesters Ltd. with 20 acres of Chardonnay, Riesling and Cabernet Franc grapes contracted to Vincor Canada. Setting aside the model stewardship of their Virgil, Ontario vineyard, it’s her scientific leadership and natural connection with fellow grape growers that sets her apart. Just two years ago, she became director of the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) based at Brock University. She had been there since its inception, as a professor, teaching courses and working in the research laboratory. With this position came restructuring. What Inglis has executed, along with her team, is a focus on industry-set research priorities, outreach to the

Inside Garlic is gold

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Starting small with baby greens

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FOCUS: Stewardship in bloom Page 12

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grape and wine community and continuing education for professionals as well as wine enthusiasts. Communications technologies have been her loyal servants in this regard with webinars, a quarterly on-line newsletter and podcasts that can reach a national audience.

Locally, she’s promoted a lecture series, workshops and training sessions. Science is at the heart of it all. Cold-hardiness research is the centerpiece, not only in the Niagara Peninsula but the other viticultural appellations in Prince Edward

County and Lake Erie North Shore. In the next five years, CCOVI’s goal is to develop a best practices guide to maximize winter hardiness of the vines while ensuring quality grape production. From witnessing winter injury in 2003 and 2005, Inglis has

installed two wind machines on her farm, actively following the science on appropriate times to protect the vines. Inglis has never let the science be boxed on a shelf. Continued on page 3

The partnership between Grape Growers of Ontario (GGO) and the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) is never more real than at harvest. Near Virgil, Ontario, Matthias Oppenlaender, vice-chair GGO opens the harvester door to share a moment with Debbie Inglis, director, CCOVI. The grape industry honoured her just days before with the year’s ambassadorship as Grape King for outstanding stewardship of her own vineyard. Photos by Denis Cahill.

Growers pledge support for food bank donation tax credit By Karen Davidson A tax credit may be in the future for Ontario farmers if MPP Bob Bailey convinces the Ontario legislature. In mid-September, the member for Sarnia-Lambton presented his private member’s bill, the Taxation Amendment Act (Food Bank Donation Tax Credit for Farmers). It passed second reading with all-party support and now goes to the Government General Committee. This bill would provide a nonrefundable tax credit to those who donate their unsold produce and other excess food to local food banks. The concept is to cover the cost incurred to collect, process, and deliver farmers’ unsold pro-

duce. More than 25 million pounds of fresh, nutritious food is disposed or plowed back into farmers’ fields in Ontario each year. These “seconds” are healthy but are often ineligible for sale due to cosmetic imperfections such as size, shape or colour. The “Bill to Fight Hunger with Local Food” asks the agriculture and finance ministries to assess the costs and benefits of establishing such a credit. Under his proposed legislation, the tax credit would be worth 25 per cent of the wholesale value of donated agricultural products. Unused tax credits would be carried forward and deducted for up to five years. It would go to meat processors,

dairy farmers, processors, farm gleaning sites, farmers’ markets, and fruit and vegetable farmers who donate Ontario products to food banks. “Only six per cent of private members’ bills get passed but I hope I’m one of the fortunate ones,” says Bailey, who distributed a petition at the recent International Plowing Match. Hailing from a constituency with a large rural base, he says that the idea was formed when he volunteered at a local food bank. Many of the foodstuffs are canned goods or cereals, but there’s a real need for fresh fruits and vegetables. The Ontario Association of Food Banks reports that food

bank usage in Ontario increased 20 per cent in the last year alone. That figure represents about 375,000 Ontarians using local food banks every month. His research shows that 10 American states already have some legislation in place to compensate farmers. Such a bill in Ontario would cost less than $750,000 to enact. “It seems like a no-brainer to me to enact this legislation,” says Bailey. Support has been received from the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Holland Marsh Growers’ Association, the Ontario Association of Food Banks and the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association.


PAGE 2 –– OCTOBER 2010 THE GROWER

At press time… Take note of November 15 deadlines . . . Innovators in Ontario’s agriculture and food industry are encouraged to apply for a Premier’s Agri-Food Innovation Excellence Award. Applications will be accepted until November 15, 2010. The program recognizes 55 regional award winners, each receiving $5,000 for their innovations. The program has attracted more than 700 applications since 2007, with many horticultural winners. Go to www.omafra.gov. on.ca/english/premier_award/app.

. . . and don’t miss Farm Stewardship Program 2011 Applications for the CanadaOntario Farm Stewardship Program open November 15, 2010 for the 2011 cropping year. Applicants are encouraged to review the eligibility policy. Check for details on the website at www.ontariosoilcrop.org.

CanadaGAP certification body to hold webinar QMI-SAI Global, one of the certification bodies for the CanadaGAP (On-Farm Food Safety) Program, will be holding a free webinar discussing the program on November 17 at 1 pm EST. Topics will include: • overview of the CanadaGAP Program • objectives and scope • international recognition (GFSI) • introduction to CanadaGAP (OFFS) manuals • certification process (how to get certified, certification options, costs, benefits) To enroll in this free webinar, contact Carlos Araujo at QMI-SAI Global at 416-401-8703 or carlos.araujo@qmi-saiglobal.com.

Agribusiness women sign up for symposium The first of its kind – Women

in Agri-Business Symposium -- is slated for October 13 at the Springfield Golf and Country Club near Guelph, Ontario. Opening speaker is Maria Van Bommel, parliamentary assistant to Agriculture Minister Carole Mitchell. The agenda is designed for agricultural businesses from farm through to retail. “We have 80 registrants to date from a very broad spectrum of women,” says Brenda Lammens, past chair OFVGA and one of the organizers. “Executive directors, parliamentary staff, commodity leaders and directors, agricultural writers and private farmers are coming. It is a very exciting network of women and we expect to reach the 100 mark by October 13th.” Registration is $226 which includes HST. The fee includes meeting materials, lunch and coffee breaks. Fax your intent to attend and registration to 519-6693826.

Greenhouse Grows program launched to high school students The benefits of eating healthy greenhouse produce will be showcased to Essex county high school students in a pilot program of the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers. (OGVG). As an economic powerhouse in the county, the greenhouse industry is starting outreach locally, early in the school year. “We are currently developing curriculum and an educational video which will eventually be used province-wide to complement the program,” says Laura Brinkmann, marketing coordinator, OGVG. The project has been incubating for a year, thanks to funding from the Ontario Agri-Food Education Healthy Eating Program.

Natural gas plants figure in municipal elections

gas power plants, says Environmental Commissioner of Ontario Gord Miller in his 2009/2010 report released September 22. “As we phase out the use of coal, natural gas – including some very large plants – will play an important role in meeting our energy requirements,” says Miller. “But we must not lose sight of the fact that natural gas still has considerable environmental impacts. It is time to re-examine the rules governing the environmental assessment process for large natural gas power plants.” The issue worries farmers in the Holland Marsh where much of the leafy produce is grown in southern Ontario. A 393 MW natural gas power plant is planned on the perimeter of the farming region. Recently, the provincial government exempted the proposed energy centre from local land use planning requirements of the Planning Act, a surprising move from the government that legislated the Greenbelt. “Three years ago, I raised a concern about the ability of the government to exempt such projects,” says Miller. “We are now seeing how this power can be exercised to do an end-run around local planning concerns.” “We are gratified to see that the environmental commissioner is taking this issue seriously,” says Jamie Reaume, executive director, Holland Marsh Growers Association (HMGA). The growers have been harshly critical of the plans, staving off the peaker plant development with extensive lobby efforts. “The Holland Marsh is often the beach head for all kinds of issues that will later appear across

NEWSMAKERS Diane O’Shea is the recipient of the Ontario Agri-Food Education’s Teacher Award of Excellence. She and her husband Michael operate a pick-your-own fruit and vegetable farm near London, Ontario. The honour was presented at opening ceremonies of Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show.

Photo by GJA Communications and Canada's Outdoor Farm Show. Grape Growers of Ontario have named Dr. Debbie Inglis of Niagara Vintage Harvesters in Virgil as the 2010 Grape King. The third woman to receive the title, the busy Inglis is also Director of Brock’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute, (CCOVI). A new Canadian Fruit and Vegetable Tech Exchange will debut September 1 to 3, 2011 under general manager, Jordan Underhill. Formerly with Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show, Underhill is launching an outdoor venue to showcase horticultural technology at the site of Blueberry Hill Estates near Simcoe, Ontario. Located about half-way between Niagara and Leamington, the site is expected to draw a large contingent of exhibitors and growers. The Canadian Agricultural Safety Association has hired Glen Blahey as Agricultural Health and Safety Specialist. He recently retired as Manitoba’s provincial farm safety coordinator. He is a Canadian Registered Safety Professional, with more than 28 years of experience in agricultural and occupational health and safety. Ontario,” says Reaume. “It’s important for farmers to re-engage in municipal politics.” To that point, HMGA member

Avia Eek is seeking a local councillor’s seat in the upcoming municipal election October 25.

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Cool grapes, hot science Continued from page 2 Her strength is marrying technical knowledge with practical know-how in the vineyard. Perhaps this explains her drive to set up CCOVI as a conduit of research to local farmers. CCOVI’s governance structure is worth study. The Grape Growers of Ontario, the Wine Council of Ontario and the Winery Growers Alliance of Ontario fund Ontario Grape and Wine Research Inc. Through a levy on every tonne of grapes and every litre of wine, they raise about $250,000 for research. Grape grower Matthias Oppenlaender chairs the research entity, aligning research goals with practical concerns. “To move our industry to the next level, science, technology and innovation are needed,” says Oppenlaender. “It’s exciting to see that research is filtering to the grassroots.” It’s this industry-driven research model that has allowed the GGO and CCOVI to secure $1.9 million in federal government funding to hire a viticulturist and oenologist for research and outreach programs. The results are already on the ground. Just this fall, viticulturist Jim Willwerth is monitoring the pre-harvest, posting weekly results of brix levels, pH, titrable acidity and volatile acidity of Chardonnay, Riesling, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon in four vineyard locations. The 2010 baseline will probably not hold many

Matthias Oppenlaender (L) and Debbie Inglis agree that these Chardonnay grapes will make a fine vintage from this season's ideal growing season. surprises, especially in such an ideal growing season. However, the statistics will become more valuable as they accumulate year after year for growers dealing with climatic changes. Grapes mature uniquely

depending on the year, variety and terroir. On a second front, laboratory technician Linda Tremblay can now offer growers precise chemical analysis on grapes -- and wine – to assist in harvesting decisions.

This critical mass of scientific expertise also has links with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), well-respected for its extension acumen. In a recent grape tailgate tour organized by Wendy McFadden-Smith, OMAFRA/CCOVI research was shared on grape sour rot. And earlier this year, CCOVI cemented a partnership with the Pacific Agri-Food Research Center in Summerland, linking research efforts between British Columbia and Ontario. Science-based, community-endorsed and industry/government funded, CCOVI is now in a place to contemplate its next decade. “A huge change is underway to expand the grape and wine value chain,” explains Inglis. “We need to go beyond the sciences to business, marketing, policy, consumer behaviour and wine culture.” To that end, a consortium of CCOVI, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, University of Guelph and Niagara College has applied for a provincial grant to strategize a plan for long-term sustainability of the grape industry. “We have a world class industry right here in our backyard,” says Inglis. “Being Grape King for a year gives me another vantage point to share that messaging with Ontario wine consumers.” As Grape King, Debbie Inglis is fluently bilingual. She can speak to the science and to the art.

First crush, sober second thoughts on wineries It’s easy to earn a million dollars in the grape business. Just start with $10 million. That sage, if tongue-in-cheek, advice came from one of the rookies of the Ontario South Coast Wineries and Growers Association (SCWGA) at their annual meeting last winter. Recognizing how much there is to learn, 22 members traveled to Ontario’s Prince Edward County this past summer to hear it straight from growers who have created an industry from scratch. Ten years ago, there was only one winery – Waupoos Estates -recalls Kemp Stewart, chair of the Prince Edward County Winegrowers Association. Others followed with the result that the county qualified for designated viticultural area status in 2007 – the fourth area in Ontario after Pelee Island, Lake Erie North Shore and the Niagara Peninsula. Only two years ago, area wineries numbered 15 and since then, have doubled to 34. That critical mass is not without its share of bumps and bruises along the road. “The educational aspect has been very important for our members,” says Stewart. “During growing season, we have grape study groups every two weeks

with guest speakers from crop protection companies. This is critical for a new industry to use science and apply it to our unique circumstances.” Under the association’s umbrella, they have successfully advocated for a local grape specialist to be stationed out of the Brighton, Ontario OMAFRA office. They also invite professors from Brock University and researchers from Vineland Research and Innovation Centre to bring the latest in viticultural practices. With grapes and wine, there is a compelling need to work collectively and cohesively beyond the science of production. Stewart shared key learnings: 1) Enlist your local municipal council. In Prince Edward County, the industry grew much faster than local officials anticipated. Permits were issued to the first 15 wineries on an individual basis, but then discrepancies started to appear. The association researched and wordsmithed a winery policy for review, and ultimate approval, by Prince Edward County as recently as June 2009. A farm winery is defined as having no more than five acres of

grapes, with all production and sales on-site. No rezoning is required. An estate winery is defined as no more than 20 acres with zoning for banquet facilities and social functions. 2) Get organized with a constitution and bylaws for your association. The Prince Edward County growers have shared their constitution and bylaws so that the South Coast Wineries and Growers Association can adopt what’s useful for their group. 3) Form partnerships with Economic Development infrastructure in your region. For six years now, Prince Edward County has hosted “Terroir” the first week of June to promote the release of the previous season’s harvest. This annual event has created a tourist following that has ancillary benefits to the bed and breakfast, restaurant and arts community. Again, the entire community must be on-side to welcome the influx of people for the best experience possible. “Wassail” is a second event that will celebrate the end of harvest and the hilling of the vines, Nov. 20 to December 5. In the 175 years of the local Picton Fair, there has never been a beer tent let alone a wine bottle

uncorked. It was a first when the Prince Edward County Winegrowers Association toasted the fair a few weeks ago and celebrated their nascent industry with wine tasting. All of these points resonated with the South Coast Wineries and Growers Association. “In Norfolk County, the municipality and indeed provincial and federal politicians have recognized that agriculture is not static,” says Mike McArthur, Chair, SCWGA. “Our future lies in much more than commodities but rather in food production and tourism.” This is an important realization for everyone. Partnerships are easier to form in this environment and other dynamics are allowed to flourish. Grape growers are now thinking beyond production, about tourism and engaging other departments of the municipality. In focusing on a locally developed industry, the economic engine starts to engage other local suppliers. A manufacturer of ginseng shades, for example, is now providing grape netting for local growers. “For the tourism and retail side, we have realized that wineries can sell more than wine,” says

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McArthur. “Lavender and ginseng for example. There are a diversity of crops we can cross-sell.” From a governance perspective, McArthur’s legal background serves the association well. Its constitution was carefully crafted so that votes were not based on volume of production. “We did not want the decisions in the hands of a few,” he says. “That’s a monoculture model.” With a broad base of both growers and wineries, the strategy is to ensure success of current wineries and to increase the number of wineries to 20 or more. “We’re not competing against ourselves but rather provincially and internationally.” Regulations are the sore point. “They can be chokepoints for the industry,” says McArthur. “We need a more diverse strategy for agriculture as we become a more diverse, multicultural province.” As McArthur shared the association’s dreams at the 30,000-foot level, he was about to go to ground personally. He was driving home for the very first crush at his Burning Kiln Winery near Simcoe, Ontario.

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Poor Chinese crop, local Canadian demand spurs garlic prices By Karen Davidson At one dollar per bulb, garlic is this season’s golden crop. The buy-local movement has shone a light on the cook’s clove with the result that consumers are now demanding the fresh, pungent ingredient over dry Chinese imports. With only 3,000 acres grown in Ontario, growers are in the enviable position of charging seven dollars per pound, up from five dollars last year. The jump in prices is largely due to garlic shortages in China, the globe’s primary supplier dominating 77 per cent of the market. Bad weather hindered its July harvest in Jinxiang county in northern Shandong province – a place the Chinese call the Wall Street of garlic. The tripling of prices there has translated into garlic as the most valuable commodity in the country in the last year according to The Guardian. The gold rush is expected to cool as weather returns to normal and hoarders release their garlic caches. With imports priced sharply higher, the local 2010 garlic crop is commanding a premium at festivals and the farmgate. “For the last five years, you could sell everything and more,” says Alan Cowan, secretary-treasurer of Garlic Growers of Ontario. “I’ll likely sell about 6,000 pounds for seed stock this

supervising techniques to produce virus-tested Music garlic in the lab and greenhouse. “This past summer, we produced more than 8,000 ‘clean seed’ garlic bulbs which will be planted by garlic growers across the province this fall,” says Hughes.

For the last five years, you could sell everything and more.” -Alan Cowan

Alan Cowan hand plants some cloves at his Arranhill Garlic Farm near Allenford, Ontario to ensure straight stems that will be easier to braid at harvest. Some customers like the rustic look of garlic hanging in their kitchens. year.” That’s a profitable crop from five acres of the hard neck Music variety grown on his heavy loamy soil just west of Owen Sound. However, it’s not easy money con-

Don’t miss the boat.

sidering the custom-made equipment for planting at a precision depth of four inches or the handlabour required for harvesting and cracking the bulbs for seed. The shortage of new-crop garlic

has put pressure on seed stock which is planted in October for harvest in July 2011. At the Superior Plant Upgrading and Distribution (SPUD) unit in New Liskeard, Becky Hughes is

Normally, Music garlic produces a bulb with six to eight cloves, but the bulbs produced from tissue-cultured plants have only one clove. To make ‘clean seed’ production more economical from these single-clove bulbs, John Zandstra at the Ridgetown campus and Hughes are investigating the production and use of bulbils. These are produced in the scape or flower structure. Normally scapes are removed from garlic plants, but these can be a source of 10 to 50 or more bulbils which can be used for propagation. This research is currently underway in the field in Ridgetown and in the greenhouse in New Liskeard.

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OCTOBER 2010 –– PAGE 5 THE GROWER

On-line edition of The Grower offers interactive features With the September 2010 issue, The Grower entered a new chapter in its 130-year history. It’s electronic. It’s interactive. And it’s designed to add news as it happens. If you’re close to a computer, bookmark this right now: www.thegrower.org. Readers can access the newspaper at their leisure for archived issues or can update their subscription online. The upcoming 2010 edition of the Fruit and Vegetable Resource Guide will also be posted at this site.

Advertisers can preview their ad placement prior to the newspaper landing in mailboxes, about a week prior to the first of the month, our usual publication date. Thanks to the loyal support of our advertisers, we are pleased to offer readers a link to advertisers’ websites for researching products and services in 2011. Let us know what you think. Letters to the editor are always welcome. Send to kdavidson@ecomente.ca.

Association’s website is refreshed In keeping with the decade of continuous communication, the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association also launched its website earlier this year. Be sure to bookmark www.ofvga.org. The new website is divided into four sections: Growers, News and Media, Consumers and About OFVGA. Under the grower section, readers can find updates on crop protection, labour, property, research and safety nets. The news and media section contains news releases of industry interest as well as a direct link to The Grower. For consumers, there is a fruit and vegetable locator, with a long list of links to individual commodity websites. The Northern School Fruit and Vegetable Program is also profiled. The events tab gives details of upcoming events. For example, Erie Innovation and Commercialization lists how to sign up for its seminars and webinars here. Feedback is welcome. Send comments to lschaer@ofvga.org.


PAGE 6 –– OCTOBER 2010 THE GROWER

Without support, farmers will soon be species at risk

Brian Gilroy Chair, OFVGA

The 2010 growing season is drawing to a close and Thanksgiving will be celebrated soon. I would like to take a moment to thank those who produce the food that all of us need to sustain our basic existence, THANK YOU. Every year I am amazed that farmers move huge mountains of food to market or storage so efficiently that less than three per cent of the population is required to provide food for everyone. With so few of us involved in food production and the relatively low cost of food to the public it appears, to the majority of the

population, as if the food system is working just fine. Governments are mainly interested in what the majority of the population wants. There has been a lot of talk about how people would like to have their food grown close to home and with the huge local market that exists here in Ontario I am a “Buy Local” supporter. The challenge is that we are a high cost-ofproduction province with relatively low retail food prices. With the buying power of our retail chains and the ongoing pressure to “Roll Back Prices,” local food producers are being forced out of business as

our cost of production increases. We are working hard to make sure that the policy makers of the day are aware of the very serious financial pressures that fruit and vegetable farmers are facing. The time has come for the Provincial Government and farm organizations to finalize a definition of farming. The different government agencies that enforce the rules, which we abide by, must be given clear direction to prevent the ongoing taxation and compliance cost increases that farmers face. A comprehensive definition of farming is long overdue and

desperately needed. As we finalize the definition of farming, the development of a Canadian Food Strategy will be one of the “high level” activities that we will be supporting. As we work with government and others within the food value chain it appears as if primary producers are not seen as essential to the continuation of the value chain. We have requested that fruit and vegetable farmers be put on the “Species at risk” list in hopes that the appropriate agencies will take action to help us thrive in our current environment.

SDRM or BRMP: That is the question

Art Smith CEO, OFVGA Two years ago the edible horticulture sector set out to develop a risk management program for our industry members. The thinking at the time, based on what we were

told, was that it had to be “needs” based and not “entitlement” based. It was also felt that the program should be similar to that of the grain and oilseed sector’s risk management program because the provincial government had already endorsed this type of program. The OFVGA had seconded from OMAFRA an individual to help develop such a program. Several things became clear during the development of this Business Risk Management Program (BRMP). First, it would be extremely complex due to the diversity of the sector and the lack of third party or regulated sales in some parts of the industry. Also the program was not seen as a good fit for those parts of the

industry that rely heavily on exports. It was feared by some that such a program could lead to countervail actions. This created a lot of problems within the sector specifically as to whether we should proceed with the BRMP or not. The Ontario Agriculture Sustainability Coalition (OASC) was formed last fall and the former provincial minister of agriculture told us that, conditional on coming up with one program and getting the feds on side, the Minister would champion the cause. There seemed to be little choice -- one program, needs based -- so we pushed to find a program that would work for the masses. But things have changed.

At the last Ontario Agricultural Commodities Committee meeting, a representative of OMAFRA told us that the Minister was quite prepared to look at any program that would meet the needs of individual sectors and that sector approval of the program was very important. My interpretation is that there is now a very clear understanding that one size will not fit all. As a result of this new information, representatives of the fruit and vegetable sector have decided to adapt the framework of the old Self-Directed Risk Management (SDRM) program in an attempt to meet everybody’s needs within the sector. Much is yet to be done regarding the details such as

contribution levels and triggers. The old program was a good program. It was simple to understand, easy to use, predictable and bankable with good uptake -- all the things both government and our members say they want. If we can convince government that this is the best way to proceed and get buy-in from all the commodity groups in the sector then hopefully we will have a program that will work and that everyone will be happy with. And that would be a treat in itself. For what it’s worth, it’s the way I see it.

The risk management cup

Adrian Huisman Ontario Tender Fruit Producers

The first testicular guard, the "Cup," was used in hockey in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1974. That means it only took 100 years for men to realize that their brains are also important. Ladies . . . stop laughing. So, what’s my point? Most agricultural risk management programs are established for a five-year period. These are federal/provincial funded programs that all provinces must sign onto. In between, provinces are allowed to introduce their own

programs to address provincial issues. Quebec did so when they introduced an Enhanced AgriInvest program that pays three per cent of ANS rather than 1.5 per cent for the rest of Canada. I guess things are more difficult there??? Ontario introduced a Risk Management Program (RMP) for the Grains & Oilseeds Sector that provided insurance to cover off declines in market values below the cost of production (2007-2009) and then extended the program to cover 2010. The rest of the agricultural sector in Ontario

received no similar consideration. The RMP Program seemed to be an attractive model until you got into the nitty-gritty of how it would work and the complexities it would present for the horticultural sector. With more than 150 crops and various farm sizes and crop mixes this created numerous problems. Fortunately, OMAFRA seems to have opened a window for alternate solutions for sectors where RMP may not fit. We very much appreciate this opportunity to introduce alternatives.

You can be assured that the horticultural sector will take advantage of this apparent opportunity.

“Indian Summer” Along the line of smoky hills The crimson forest stands, And all the day the blue-jay calls Throughout the autumn lands.

Now, by great marshes wrapt in mist, Or past some river's mouth, Throughout the long still autumn day Wild birds are flying south.

Now by the brook the maple leans, With all his glory spread; And all the sumachs on the hills Have turned their green to red.

-- William Wilfred Campbell (1860-1919) Born at Kitchener, Campbell was known as the poet of the Great Lakes.

STAFF Publisher: Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association Editor: Karen Davidson, 416-252-7337, kdavidson@ecomente.ca Production: Carlie Robertson, ext. 221, production@thegrower.org Advertising: Herb Sherwood, 519-380-0118, hsherwood@cogeco.ca

OFFICE 355 Elmira Road North, Unit 105 Guelph, Ontario N1K 1S5 CANADA Tel. 519-763-8728 • Fax 519-763-6604

The Grower reserves the right to refuse any advertising. Any errors that are the direct result of The Grower will be compensated at our discretion with a correction notice in the next issue. No compensation will be given after the first running of the ad. Client signature is required before insertion. The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association is the sole owner of The Grower. All editorials and opinions expressed in The Grower are those of the newspaper’s editorial staff and/or contributor, and do not necessarily reflect the view of the association. All rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced either whole or in part without the prior written consent of the publisher. P.M. 40012319

The Grower is printed 12 times a year and sent to all members of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association who have paid $30.00 (plus G.S.T.) per year for the paper through their commodity group or container fees. Others may subscribe as follows by writing to the office:

$30.00 (+ G.S.T.) / year in Canada $40.00/year International Subscribers must submit a claim for missing issues within four months. If the issue is claimed within four months, but not available, The Grower will extend the subscription by one month. No refunds on subscriptions.

ONTARIO FRUIT AND VEGETABLE GROWERS’ ASSOCIATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS 2010 BOARD OF DIRECTORS Chair Vice-Chair Fruit Director Veg Director Director

Brian Gilroy, Meaford Mac James, Leamington Ray Duc, Niagara-on-the-Lake Jason Ryder, Delhi Len Troup, Jordon Station

Apples Fresh Vegetable - Other Tender Fruit ON Asparagus Grws’. Mkg. Brd. GGO/Fresh Grape Growers Fresh Vegetable - Muck ON. Potato Board Small Fruit/Berries ON. Ginseng Growers’ Greenhouse

Brian Gilroy, Meaford Jason Ryder, Delhi Len Troup, Jordan Station Lonnie Duwyn, Delhi Ray Duc, Niagara-on-the-Lake Jason Verkaik, Bradford Mac James, Leamington Norm Charbonneau, Port Elgin Doug Bradley, Tillsonburg Jim Veri, Exeter

OFVGA SECTION CHAIRS Crop Protection Research Property Labour Safety Nets CHC AGCare/Nutrient Man.

Charles Stevens, Newcastle Harold Schooley, Simcoe David Lambert, Niagara-on-the-Lake Ken Forth, Lynden Mark Wales, Alymer Murray Porteous, Simcoe Charles Stevens, Newcastle


OCTOBER 2010 –– PAGE 7 THE GROWER

Board briefs Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFVGA) September 2010 Following are highlights from the OFVGA board meeting held August 19, 2010. The purpose of this brief is to keep you up to date on the issues that the OFVGA is working on, as well as projects and initiatives the organization is involved in. Safety Nets AgriInvest - Safety Nets section chair Mark Wales reported that Quebec has created an AgriQuebec program, their version of AgriInvest. In Manitoba, the provincial government removed 40 per cent of its share of AgriInvest funding for 2009. The federal government has indicated that this is not an appropriate action but it remains to be seen how Manitoba will respond. In Ontario and the rest of Canada, individuals are now receiving their AgriInvest forms in the mail. An area of concern is that as of early July 2010, farmers had applied for less than $50 million of the $65 million in total available for Ontario – it does not bode well if the program is not fully utilized. Grains and oilseeds risk management program – The risk management program for the grains and oilseed sector, which recently ended after a three-year pilot, has been extended for an extra year. Farmers are eligible for the premium-based program extension as long as they were growing crops in 2008 and 2009.

Ontario Agricultural Commodity Council – Work is continuing by the Ontario Agricultural Commodity Council (OACC) technical committee on what an enhanced AgriInvest program could look like. Staff from Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) is preparing some cost estimates that will go back to OACC and commodity organizations. OMAFRA is also looking at what a business risk management program could look like for the greenhouse sector. The OFVGA safety nets committee will be meeting to discuss a non-business risk management infrastructure program, which has been proposed by the greenhouse sector. Ontario Agriculture Sustainability Coalition (OASC) – OFVGA continues to participate in OASC, a coalition of non-supply managed commodity organizations who are seeking stable and bankable safety net funding. OASC met with Carol Mitchell, Ontario’s agriculture minister, earlier this month Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC) The semi-annual meetings of the CHC took place in midAugust. OFVGA’s representative to the CHC, Murray Porteous, reported that the organization was facing some financial challenges. Fees have increased approximately two per cent annually over the last six years but that the budgets over the last five years have had negative numbers. There are some

difficulties in collecting fees from unregulated vegetable growers in B.C. similar to past experiences in other provinces. CHC’s lobbying efforts are now more centrally controlled, instead of going through committees, so the organization is looking at restructuring in order to improve its effectiveness. Options under consideration include having regional representatives, changing governance and implementing term limitations for the president. New legislation concerning organizational governance has just received royal assent. Under the new rules, an organization cannot be an advocate and a program delivery agent at the same time. For CHC, this will mean changes in how the national food safety program will be delivered, and options are being evaluated. Crop Protection Efficacy testing - A request has been made to the Guelph office of the Pest Management Regulatory Agency to do some efficacy testing on some fungicides for the fruit industry and some herbicides requested by the Holland Marsh Growers Association. According to PMRA, this is responsibility of the company that has registered the product. OFVGA is working to resolve the issue. Blueberry maggot – OFVGA has been working to resolve the issues surrounding blueberry maggot. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)

announced in June that they would be significantly changing how they regulate this pest in Ontario. There was no real time for growers to respond due to closeness to harvest, so after pressure from OFVGA, the deadline for response was moved to November. OFVGA will be meeting with CFIA in November to discuss the issue. The CFIA is proposing to de-regulate blueberry maggot in most of Ontario, which would allow infested fruit from other regions into the province and allow the pest to spread here. OFVGA is asking for the province to be kept “maggot-free” and for the CFIA to maintain monitoring for its presence in Ontario. Research Research priorities - Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (VRIC) has expressed interest in taking on a role in helping the horticulture industry with their research priorities. Various commodities, including apples, greenhouse, tender fruit, potatoes and grapes have research committees in place but unregulated crops – those without marketing boards – could use support in this area. A meeting with VRIC to discuss research priorities has been scheduled for November 23 and OFVGA will distribute a meeting notice. Out-of-province travel – Concern was expressed about how the provincial government’s travel policy was keeping key government technology transfer special-

How Canadian horticulture plays a role in the UN’s Year of Biodiversity As The Grower focuses on environmental stewardship in this issue, we also point out that 2010 is the UN’s Year of Biodiversity. Here are a few facts to ponder over Thanksgiving dinner. Edible plants - Around the world, about 30,000 plant species are edible. Only about 7,000 of these have been cultivated or collected as food for human use since agriculture began 12,000 years ago. Today, of those 7,000 plants, only 15 species make up the vast majority of our food. For animals, we rely on eight species. • Native Canadian crops - Crops native to Canada include sunflower, strawberry, raspberry, saskatoon berry, blueberry, currant, cranberry and a large number of forage and grass species. • Canadian strawberries and apples - Canada gene conservation facilities such as at the Canadian Clonal Genebank, housed at the Greenhouse and Processing Crops Research

Centre in Harrow, ON., are home to 1500 different strawberry varieties and over 800 apple varieties. • Genetic information - Plant germplasm is the living tissue from which new plants can be grown. Germplasm is usually seed, or it can be another plant part - a stem, a leaf, or pollen, for example, or even just a few cells that can be grown through tissue culture into a whole plant. Plant germplasm contains all the genetic information from the plant’s hereditary makeup. • Genebank - A genebank is an important support facility for conserving and maintaining germplasm, whether it be plant or animal. Usually, plant diversity is in the form of seeds, though extensive use also is made of live plants or tissue culture. Most seeds are conserved in a frozen state. Science has shown that the ideal temperature is between -10 and -20°C. Each specimen must be well identified and is stored in its own container.

• Principal world collections - For the global community Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) has responsibility as the principal storage site for the world collections of barley and oats. This collection consists of 38,000 barley and 28,000 oat unique specimens. Around the world, there are principle and backup storage sites with principle or backup (ie duplicate) specimens so that germplasm can be regenerated should contents be lost an the principle site. Canada is also a backup site for the world collections of pearl millet, oilseed and crucifers. • Svalbard Global Seed Vault - This is a new germplasm storage facility in Norway. On its opening in 2008, AAFC provided about 6,000 samples of Canadian plant genetic material from Plant Gene Resources of Canada in Saskatoon, SK. The seeds represent about 90 species of plants. Source: Agriculture and Agri-food Canada

Cover crops open house slated for Ridgetown Campus Commercial growers and agribusinesses are invited to a cover crops open house on October 14. There are two locations to see different plots. First, the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) demonstration site will be open at 9 am at 10595 Fairview Line between the Mull and Harwich Roads. The second site will

be open at 10:30 am across the road at 20701 Victoria Road, formally 21 highway, north of Gosnell Line at the back of the Ridgetown Campus research plots. Lunch will be provided after the tour for no cost. No preregistration is required. CCA credits have been applied for. What’s to see? • Underseeding cover crops in

seed or sweet corn • Cover crops which were planted after wheat, tomatoes and cucumbers • Comparison of early vs. late cover crop growth • Many different cover crops (alfalfa, vetch, crimson clover, winter pea, oilseed radish, buckwheat, sorghum and other grasses as well as mixtures)

Funding has been provided by the OSCIA Nutrient Management BMP Demonstration Grant, Seed Corn Growers of Ontario Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers and OMAFRA. For more information, contact Prof. Laura Van Eerd at the Ridgetown Campus University of Guelph at 519-674-1644 or lvaneerd@ ridgetownc.uoguelph.ca

ists from participating in important out-of-province meetings. OFVGA is sending a letter to the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs about the importance of government tech transfer specialists to be able to attend conferences and meetings out of the province. Ontario is a diverse, but small player in global horticulture, so growers need access to international research partnerships and the latest innovations in order to help stay competitive. By-law review The OFVGA Management Committee will conduct a review of the organization’s by-laws this fall to look at potential changes related to governance issues. Royal Agricultural Winter Fair OFVGA Chair Brian Gilroy has been asked to help facilitate a farmers’ market at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair this year for all of horticulture. The Royal is waiving the square footage fee for the market, which can include fresh or processed food. About 20 – 25 vendors are expected and OFVGA is now working with show organizers, the Toronto Fruit and Vegetable Growers and the Holland Marsh Growers’ Association on how this concept might be developed. Anyone interested in participating can contact Brian at ofvgachair@ofvga.org. The event will be held November 5 – 14. Next OFVGA board meeting – Thursday, October 14, 2010.

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PAGE 8 –– OCTOBER 2010 THE GROWER

Close to home is close enough

Owen Roberts University of Guelph The buzz about local food keeps getting louder, as consumers’ zeal for homegrown fare takes on a life of its own. In fact, although it sounds like an oxymoron, local food is starting to go mainstream. Perhaps you’ve seen the grocery store ad campaign “Grown Close To Home,” which kind of does, and kind of doesn’t sound like local food. In it, grocery store magnate Galen Weston, along with what appears to be his family, sit down for a picnic on what looks like the Niagara Escarpment, and he extols the virtues of supporting farmers who grow food close to home.

It begs the question: is local “close”? I suppose so, if your interpretation is liberal enough. “Close” can mean almost anything you want it to mean. And I suspect “close to home” is close enough for anyone who believes local food is better food, even though they might not like the fact that this campaign is a mainstream effort being promoted by one of Canada’s biggest food retailers. It also leads to a practical discussion about the difference between close and local. Geographically, I don’t know where to draw the dividing line. It’s probably in our minds rather than on the harsh lines of a map. But think about it. If you live in Guelph as I do, local probably means Wellington County. But then, what's "close"? The Holland Marsh? The Niagara area? Or if you live in Wallaceburg, as I used to, Lambton County is local. Leamington? It’s close, sort of. Indeed, the Holland Marsh, Niagara and Leamington are all a lot closer than major fruit and vegetable growing regions in the U.S. But if you lived in Wallaceburg and told someone you lived “close” to Leamington, they’d get the wrong picture.

In any event, local food is on a roll. Farmers’ Markets Ontario says 14 new markets opened in the province this year. And while hard numbers aren’t in yet, shopper traffic appears to be up. Nothing says local food like farmers' markets, and as more markets open up, and even as more chains such as Loblaws adopt a local food campaign, consumer access increases. A big part of access depends on supply, on farmers and their representative organizations working closely with retailers to make sure consumers are served. Farmers in Ontario’s Sand Plains region are working towards that goal now. They stand to gain from a new project designed to help them more effectively serve existing markets, and create new opportunities that in part capitalize on consumers' interest in local

food. They have the raw goods, that’s for sure. The productive Sand Plains, which includes the counties of Brant, Elgin, Middlesex, Norfolk and Oxford, is a stronghold for fruits and vegetables. What they need is support for improved transportation, distribution and marketing channels. To that end, Ottawa has come to their assistance with a $74,000 grant which will prompt a joint study by the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers' Association, the George Morris Centre, Erie Innovation and Commercialization and the South Central Ontario Region, to try to determine the best way to bring products to retail chains and consumers in south central and southwestern Ontario. “This is all about novel food distribution, about growers’ ability to

get to their market,” says John Kelly, vice president of Erie Innovation and Commercialization. “Depending on what commodity you grow, your path to market is different.” Kelly says the study will involve a look at different models of distribution, such as the popularly discussed 100-mile market concept. It’s dreamily discussed in consumer circles, but how does it actually manifest itself in practical terms for farmers? And are consumers’ expectations realistic? Farmers and retailers are looking for ways to meet consumer demand for local food and niche products, but effective models for distribution and marketing on a broad scale are yet to be developed. I’ve said before I support local food. I question some of the claims, including the implication that anything not grown within 100 miles of home is inferior or damages the environment. But there’s definitely a perception that local food is better. And right now, as incrediblytasting fresh fruit and vegetables are coming off close-to-home fields and orchards, it’s tough to refute that suggestion.

AGCare, Farm Animal Council working towards amalgamation

Lilian Schaer AGCare

AGCare and the Ontario Farm Animal Council (OFAC) are working towards an amalgamation, with a collective focus on public outreach for a stronger voice for crop and animal sectors. Both groups were formed more than 20 years ago to provide proactive and collaborative communications efforts and leadership on agricultural issues – like environment and animal care – that were common to many different commodity organizations. The two organizations already share an office in Guelph’s AgriCentre as well as staff, including a joint Executive Director. AGCare

and OFAC also collaborate on many public outreach initiatives. Some recent highlights include: • Placing educational signs about agriculture beside hiking trails in the Greenbelt • Working to get positive farming stories into the media and giving farmers the tools to be agricultural ambassadors • Developing virtual tours of livestock and crop farms to give the public a chance to experience real Ontario farms - www.virtualfarmtours.ca • Maintaining and expanding a library of current agricultural photos and videos that are available

The Essex County Associated Growers are pleased to announce the 60th Annual Bounty of the County convention & trade show Tuesday, November 23 & Wednesday, November 24, 2010. Kinsmen Recreation Complex 249 Sherk St., Leamington, Ontario View the newest agricultural technology/ equipment, and attend informative speaker programs. Visit our trade show for your chance to win grand prizes. Cooking demonstrations will be held during the convention – don’t miss them! Proudly serving the fruit and vegetable growers of Essex County for 60 years! For more information, contact Mary Jane Dalrymple at (519) 326-4481 or ecag@bellnet.ca, or visit www.bountyofthecounty.ca

for use by media and in publications • Leading a province-wide collection of obsolete agricultural crop protection and animal health products Through a joint Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two organizations, a new model for working together will be developed over the next year. This will include options for more efficient administration for both organizations, as well as development of new and strengthened forums for leadership on public communications and on key agricultural issues. In particular, the new organization will be strengthening its resources on issue expertise on environment and animal care specifically – as the demands and opportunities on those two issues are high. A steering committee comprised of the executives of both organizations and the shared executive director has been put in place to guide the two organizations through the alliance process. Both organizations will continue to deliver their respective services during the term of this MOU. AGCare was founded in 1988 as a coalition of crop and horticultural organizations to address safe and responsible use of crop protection products in Ontario agriculture. Under AGCare’s leadership, the Ontario Pesticide Education Program was implemented, which

is widely credited with helping Ontario farmers reduce pesticide use by more than 50 per cent over the last two decades. The organization now serves as the voice of Ontario’s 45,000 crop and horticultural farmers on environmental issues, including the Clean Water Act and other government legislation, the Grower Requested Own Use program and crop protection issues. AGCare’s founding members include the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association, Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario, Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Ontario Bean Producers Marketing Board, Ontario Canola Growers Association, Ontario Flue-Cured Tobacco Growers, Grain Farmers of Ontario (formerly Ontario Soybean Growers, Ontario Corn Producers’ Association and Ontario Wheat Marketing Board), Ontario Potato Board, Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers, Ontario Seed Corn Growers, Ontario Seed Growers Association, Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association, Flowers Canada (Ontario), Ontario Beekeepers Association and Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario. If you have questions or suggestions regarding the proposed amalgamation, please contact AGCare Executive Director Crystal Mackay at 519-837-1326 or cmackay@ofac.org.


OCTOBER 2010 –– PAGE 9 THE GROWER

Business risk management must be debated in broader context: George Morris Centre By Al Mussell Business risk management (BRM) payments account for $3.5 billion or 67 per cent of funds spent by the federal government on agriculture. Data show that payments have increased over the last several years, yet farm incomes have remained flat. This suggests that, if the program’s intent is to support or stabilize farm incomes, it is not meeting its target. There is palpable discontent with BRM programming among representatives of the farm community. In Manitoba, a proposal has been developed to augment the AgriStability program by introducing a cost of production component to provide greater support when producers experience losses (Downing et al). Farm groups in Ontario are promoting an analogous BRM program based on production costs and a deficiency payment that mirrors the Assurance stabilization revenue agricole (ASRA) program in Quebec (Ontario Agriculture Sustainability Coalition). At the Canadian Federation of Agriculture’s Farmers Agenda Roundtable in July, 2010, changes to BRM programming were at the forefront of the discussion. The Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses has even weighed in (Labbie, 2010) with a survey of 1,100 agribusiness members that found broad concern with existing BRM programming; it

reported that 58 per cent of respondents indicated AgriStability payments received were inadequate to cover losses they experienced. The focus on BRM in discussions on agricultural policy crowds other elements off the agenda and ignores real tradeoffs that must occur. These elements include agricultural sustainability and increased demands on the food system, improvements in the product approval regulatory system, and improvements in marketing regulation. When more than 50 per cent of Canadian farms have revenue of less than $100,000 and are not identified as commercial farm businesses, what is the Canadian public “buying” with additional BRM support? History suggests that as program payments increase, these actually do little to mitigate the farm income downtrend. This is in part because the payments go to recipients for whom farming is not the primary focus, nor the primary source of income. The more likely direct effect of the payments is to inflate farm asset values and land rents. The bulk of farm products are supplied by larger commercial scale farms (>$250,000 in revenue) that are not so dependent on additional program payments to provide sustainable household incomes. It is really only a small subset of primary agriculture that is responsible for the bulk of farm product production. With this obser-

vation, can BRM policy be better segmented and targeted in engaging smaller farms as distinct from larger commercial operations? Farmers, as rural landowners, provide important public services for the environment and rural countryside, including everything from wildlife habitat to wetlands and groundwater protection, to maintenance of agrarian landscapes. These resources are important to Canadians; enhancements to BRM programming that were tied to measures to protect these resources would make for a stronger public policy case for such funding. In fact, BRM programs may have a perverse effect on these programs because they only make payments when farms sell products, thereby likely encouraging farming where other land uses may have more social value. Conceivably, two BRM-type program sets can be envisioned here. One program set could address farms in need of support – typically smaller, not full-time enterprises, not the core of farm production, but contributors to environmental goods and services in rural Canada. Support funding could be predicated on (and potentially justified by) the implementation of specific beneficial management practices that provide environmental goods and services. A second program set could address the stabilization needs of the commercial farm segment –

program payments contingent upon “loss”, with deductible provisions – not support. The objectives should be to create stabilization protection for a commercial segment without the need to reduce funding for the public infrastructure that can “grow” valueadded in the agri-food sector, and support the non-commercial farm segment in providing environmental goods and services at an appropriate level. To date, governments and industry have been unwilling to consider a multiple program set, each with a defined farm structure target. However, by failing to do so, they expose critical weaknesses in the public policy rationale for existing BRM programming, let alone increased funding for it. And in this environment, no producer – large, small, profitable, or unprofitable – will turn down an increase in program payments, or even pause before asking. To advance the broader agricultural policy discussion, and to give pause to the unrelenting request for BRM funds, the opportunity costs and tradeoffs implied need to be articulated and made transparent. Editor’s Note: This is a synopsis of the report released September 16, 2010 called: The Business Risk Management Funding Debate in Canada: Understanding the Broader Context. Al Mussell is Senior Research Associate, George Morris Centre.

The G Great rea e Lakes eat Lakes Fruit, F itt, Vegetable Frui Veeget Ve etta table and nd Farm FFaarm Market Market e EXPO EXPO December 7-9, 2010 DeVos Place Convention Center Grand Rapids, Michigan

www.glexpo.com ww w ww.gle expo.c .com

The PREMIER SHOW for fruit and vegetable growers and farm marketers!

• 4,000 people from 41 states and 10 Canadian provinces attended in 2009 • Informative education program for fruit and vegetable growers and farm marketers – 48 education sessions and workshops over three days • Large trade show – last year’s show had 394 exhibitors covering four acres of exhibit space • Pre-conference bus tour for farm marketers on Monday, December 6

s u l P

The Michiga Michigan an G Greenhouse reenho ouse G Growers ro owe wers ers Ex Expo • 450 greenhouse growers from 26 states and 3 Canadian provinces attended in 2009 • Three days of education sessions and workshops for greenhouse growers • Many greenhouse vendors in the trade show • Greenhouse growers bus tour on Thursday, December 9

One registration fee covers both conferences and the trade show! (Specified workshops and tours require an additional fee)

On-line registration starts September 27. Register by November 12 to save on registration fees.

Visit GLEXPO.co GLEXPO.com om for registration registration, n, program and ot other her information. Call 734-677-0503 734-677-050 03 for fo registration questions or to re receive eceive registration and program information info formation by mail. Call 616-794-04 616-794-0492 492 ffor or informatio information n on exhibiting in n the trade show.


PAGE 10 –– OCTOBER 2010 THE GROWER

“Ag in the classroom” shines like an apple By Karen Davidson In Diane O’Shea’s family studies class, the course may not be called “ag in the classroom” but the farmer’s daughter by birth and home economist by trade weaves a great yarn. A recent course activity was about canning peaches, yet the classroom discussion touched on economics, environmental issues and public health. For her deftness in drawing everyday connections to agricultural life, Diane O’Shea has been honoured with the Ontario Agri-Food Education’s Teacher Award of Excellence. The awards ceremony took place at the opening of Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show. “So many of today’s students are so far removed from the farm,” says O’Shea. “Teachers and students alike don’t have that background knowledge to draw from when it comes to agriculture.” O’Shea has been an educator and advocate for agriculture in the classroom for many years but did not begin her professional career as a teacher until 1997. As the head of the Family Studies Department at Medway High School in London, Ontario, she continues to seize opportunities in and out of her classroom. She often has local farmers come into her classroom to tell students about the day-to-day operations and challenges of farming. “Diane brings versatility to her profession,” says Colleen Smith, executive director of Ontario Agri-Food Education Inc. “She strategically thinks of how she can make agriculture relevant in the classroom. We need teachers like Diane – teachers who are able to automatically make connections between agriculture and students’ personal lives.” O’Shea’s knowledge comes from handson experience. She and her husband Michael began a pick-your-own vegetable and fruit operation on their family farm near

Granton, Ontario. The family has hosted farm tour programs for many years designed with a relevance to curriculum and experiential learning.

It’s educators like O’Shea that inspire many of OAFE’s outreach activities. Under the leadership of Lorie Jocius, Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show created an opportunity

for OAFE to reach out to the agribusiness sector with everyone at the site. The idea was to challenge all exhibitors to put the OAFE Resource Catalogue into the hands of a teacher. “Almost without exception, we heard how agri-business owners recognized the importance of getting positive, factual messages about the ag sector into the classroom to reach students, but many didn’t know how that could happen,” says Smith. “At the exhibitor level, few knew about OAFE and how we are a bridge into the educational system and that we have been reaching out to teachers for 20 years.” OAFE’s distribution task is formidable as a small charitable organization looking at a target audience of about 120,000 educators, 72 school boards with 4,000 elementary and almost 900 secondary schools and more than two million students spread over a huge geographic map. Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show was the perfect venue for OAFE to challenge exhibitors to reach a huge distribution network of stakeholders around the province to let teachers know about the OAFE Resource Catalogue and educational resources. The initiative means that local business owners and community stakeholders will be linking directly with local teachers. This initiative follows the pledge of the Junior Farmers’ Association as well as several agricultural federations including the counties of Halton, Huron, Prince Edward, Hastings, Niagara North, Rainy River and Perth. For more information, go to www.oafe.org. Editors’ note: To see a video of Diane O’Shea accepting her award and Colleen Smith’s comments go to the Woodstock Sentinel-Review’s website at www.oxfordreview.com/ArticleDisplay.asp x?e=2758082

OFVGA 152nd Annual Meeting and Convention Silent auction contributors Below is a list of the generous contributors who have donated items to the association on behalf of the 152nd annual general meeting. We would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their generosity. Sherwood Marketing & Consulting Cheryl Woodman Paul & Marion Woodman Jack & Gjan Scott Plasponics KlipKit Private Donor Cindy & Steve Clay Private Donor Parks Blueberries Kwazar Sprayers Ayr Farmers Mutual

Sarjeant Co. Ltd Data Media Clients of The Grower Union Gas Richmond Motors, Chatham Van Kesteren Hyundai Pride Seeds Pioneer Canada McGrail Farm Equipment The Links of Kent: Golf Club Deer Run Golf Course Janzen Equipment

R J Equipment Ricter Web Printing Comfort Inn, Chatham Blenheim Chrysler Landini, McCormick Canada Delhaven Orchards Ltd. Smith & Wilson Winery Country View Golf Course Reif Estate Winery Travelodge, Chatham Comfort Inn, Chatham Red Pine Inn, Alliston

Boston Pizza, Chatham Casa Bella, Chatham T-Bones Steak House, Chatham Borealis Grille & Bar, Guelph Licks Hamburgers, Guelph Shoeless Joe’s, Guelph Kent Farm Supplies Ltd. Blenheim Community Golf Club Baldoon Golf Club Deer Run Golf Course Ridgetown Golf Club Tilbury Gulf Club

Via Rail Viewpoint Estate Winery Sunnybrook Farm Estate Winery Tim Hortons Advertising & Promotion Cardinal Golf Club Ayr Turf & Trac Inc.

If you are interested in donating to the silent auction, please contact Herb Sherwood at 519-380-0118

OFVGA Annual General Meeting and Convention Policy As the OFVGA prepares for its 152nd annual meeting, the association would like to remind its member organizations of the following policy – put in place in 2004-05 – in order to ensure proper delegate preparation and resolutions submission. • All member organizations are entitled to one (1) delegate per 50 members within their respective organizations, maximum of five (5). • All member organizations are to provide to the OFVGA the number of its active membership. • All resolutions should be brought forward, in writing, by December 15 of each year. • Any of the member organizations who are required to submit their director’s name in advance (currently seven of the 10 board affiliates) should do so by December 15 of each year.

NOTICE is hereby given that the

152nd Annual Members and Directors’ Meeting of the

Ontario Fruit andVegetable Growers’ Association will be held in

Niagara Falls, Ontario at The Crowne Plaza Hotel January 10, 11 and 12, 2011 Election of Directors of the Association will take place as well as dealing with resolutions and any other business that may arise.


OCTOBER 2010 –– PAGE 11 THE GROWER

Fledgling farmer starts with baby greens Not everyone inherits a farm with the ‘Agricultural Intel Chip’ from generations gone before. Tamas Dombi is a case in point. Originally an immigrant from Romania, he pursued an urban life as a real estate agent and contractor in Toronto, until an agrarian life beckoned. Backed by Farmstart courses and in particular the “Exploring the New Farm Dream,” course Dombi took a U-turn in his life. In his early thirties, he and his Canadian-born wife, Sandra, started out with six acres near Newmarket, Ontario, intensively farming one acre for baby greens. The crop-share agreement with the landowner works well under the banner of Kind Organics. (www.kindorganics.ca) “We chose baby greens because we can plant many times per year,” says Dombi. “They’re more nutritious at the smaller size and it’s compatible with our business model.” Their rainbow of products sound like they could be matched to your horoscope: earth blend, fire blend, cosmic blend, etheric blend, leafy green blend, Asian blend, baby spinach, baby arugula, Swiss chard and Red Russian kale. Pick your price: six dollars for 100 grams or $10 for 200 grams, and sometimes more depending on the mix. Virtually the entire crop is sold directly to consumers at Toronto area farmers’ markets: Brick Works, Dufferin Grove, Sorauren and Liberty Village with a once-amonth appearance at Wychwood. They pick, wash, dry, package and refrigerate the greens the day before market. Dombi expects to have product availability up

These beginning farmers share a common thread with many other immigrants to Canada. They bring a shortage of capital but an appetite to set down roots and a sense of community. That’s where Farmstart comes in. The Guelph-Ontario-based program offers newcomers the skills to build locally based, ecologically sound and economically viable farms.

Sprouting facility. Photo courtasy of Kind Organics.

Tamas and Sandra Dombi and their son started small with organic baby greens and are now expanding for 2011. until December or if weather holds, until Christmas. With just two years’ farming under their belts, the one acre is financially sustaining the couple and their seven-year-old son. These short-season crops get a headstart with greenhouses, five rented and the remainder owned. By next spring, there will

be four owned greenhouses of 24 feet by 96 feet nurturing salad greens that can be sold as early as March 1. A year-round, indoor sprouting facility also broadens the offering with sunflower sprouts, pea shoots, buckwheat sprouts, micro-greens, wheat grass and 12 varieties of hydroponically grown sprouts.

The FarmStart support includes some start-up capital money through a small grants program for seeds/ supplies and small infrastructure. This support was provided specifically for new Canadians through a project funded by Heifer Canada. “The Tamas Dombi story is beyond our expectations,” says Sri Sethuratnam, program manager, FarmStart. “We are currently doing a documentary to chronicle his progress through the seasons and hope that it will inspire the many Tamas Dombis out there, who given the encouragement and appropriate support, will take up farming full time.”

Growing Forward year three offers increased benefits What’s newsworthy this fall is that the federal-provincial Growing Forward program has announced new support for year three, 2011-12. This includes improved cost-share opportunities to help new farmers set business goals, improve farm-related skills and develop business plans. There will also be support for leadership and governance skills and up to $20,000 in cost-share funding to support development of up to three business plans for a farm business. Increased benefits for new farmers 1. Agriculture Skills Development a) Cost-share is now 75 per cent to a maximum of $4,500 for formal training and customized oneon-one training. Within the $4,500 cap, funding of $750 is available for ASD-2. b) Leadership and governance are a new opportunity under skills development. Cost-share is 75 per cent to a maximum of $4,500. 2. Advanced Business Planning Cost-share is 75 per cent to a maximum of $20,000. Up to three projects may be completed with a maximum cost per project of $8,000. To meet the criteria a new farmer must have less than $7,000 in gross farm income two and three years prior to the year of enrollment in the Business Development for Farm Businesses Program. Gross farm income greater than $7,000 in the year prior to

enrollment is permitted. Refer to the Program Eligibility Policy and Procedures for complete details. 3. Business Plan Implementation Cost-share is 75 per cent to a maximum of $4,500

Increased benefits for existing farmers 1. Agriculture Skills Development Leadership and governance are a new opportunity under skills development. Cost-share is 50 per

cent to a maximum of $3,000. Total funding available under Agriculture Skills Development is $6,000. 2. Advanced Business Planning Cost-share is 50 per cent to a new maximum of $20,000. (The

previous cap was $8,000). Up to three projects may be completed with a maximum cost per project of $8,000. Full details can be researched at www.ontariosoilcrop.org.

Business Development for Farm Businesses Build a solid foundation for your business …..develop a business plan A business plan revolutionizes a farming operation. Speaking from personal experience, this written living document impacts the future but even more so the day to day operations of the farm. Dr. Peter Vander Zaag, Chair of the Agricultural Management Institute

Your business plan • is a map - following it gives you confidence that you know where you’re going • will help you develop creative ways to implement and reach your farm business goals

workshop is the place to start!

Register for a workshop today! Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association 1-800-265-9751 www.ontariosoilcrop.org


PAGE 12 –– OCTOBER 2010 THE GROWER

ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP

Farming in harmony with birdlife and urban development

Jack Bates brings a unique perspective of environmental issues to his role as Vice-President, Canadian Horticultural Council. Stories by Karen Davidson Blueberry grower. Potato farmer. That’s just a start in describing Jack Fraser who farms in one of the most fragile ecosystems of Canada. He’s located about 12 miles south of Vancouver airport, right at the mouth of the iconic Fraser River. His 80 acres of blueberries and 110 acres of potatoes are within sight of a massive port development and not far from the Tsawwassen First Nations Reserve on the Strait of Georgia. A dairy herd and 170 acres of forage and pasture complete his operation. The local community of Ladner has been a thriving agricultural post as early as 1868 according to the archives of the Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust. The fertile delta comprises 26,000 acres of which only half are now farmed. What hasn’t changed is that

between October and May, the estuary of the Fraser River attracts one million waterfowl looking for sustenance on their flight path up and down the western coast. This is still one of North America’s great flyways for migrating birds: trumpeter swans, snow geese, northern pintail and American wigeon. It seems all of British Columbia’s major stewardship issues of water, soil and air converge on Jack Bates’ land. “Not only are we under urban pressure but we’re surrounded by water on three sides,” says Bates. The geographic bottlenecks continue to challenge movement of produce. Close to 60 truckloads of Bates’ blueberries went to Abbotsford during the four weeks of harvest this past summer. It’s a tough slog negotiating the roads around the metropolis, getting produce to processors in a timely

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way. Sweet corn is non-existent, says Bates, and only a few peas and beans are now grown in the delta because the canneries have disappeared. Not unlike the urban encroachment issues of the Niagara Peninsula or the Holland Marsh in Ontario, for example, the farmers of the Fraser Delta are dealing with complex environmental and land use laws. Despite urbanites’ calls for local food, the reality is that industrial development is paving over valuable acres. In recent weeks, the South Fraser Perimeter Road was formally announced that will join the nearby municipality of Delta with highway 15 in Surrey. The transportation corridor may help Bates get his processing potatoes to market but the government agreement leaves more problems in its wake. The environmental, agricultural mitigation and enhancement budget is pegged at $18 million for irrigation systems. The centerpiece is an improved water management system for Burns Bog and enhanced fisheries habitat. Bates is questioning who is going to maintain the new system in perpetuity. “At the end of the day, the municipality has to maintain the system and the farmers will be taxed to support it,” says Bates. “The costs will be downloaded to agriculture.” None of these issues have ready-made solutions. Bates can only control his own actions, and that’s why he continues to encourage conservation in the area. Water stewardship is a key component of the intensive farm-

ing of blueberries and potatoes with salt water just a mile from Bates’ farm and extensive dyking in the delta. Over the years, Bates has volunteered countless hours to stewardship projects that range from the Delta Irrigation Enhancement Project to the Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust of which he is a past-president. Ducks Unlimited and the Waterfowl Society are big backers of the Trust. The Trust is currently cost-

laser-levelling programs recontour fields to minimize soil erosion. Lastly, field margins are built with ditches, grassways and hedgerows to provide wildlife habitat. When Bates toured The Grower last May, he pointed out several wetlands conservation projects with ducks swimming in irrigation ditches and a barn owl house located in a bush-protected bog. These are part of the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary which is located on Westham

In the looming shadow of a new port development, Jack Bates faces many environmental issues on his farm located in the delta area of the Fraser River. sharing on four projects. Grass set-asides help pay to keep land out of agricultural production, protecting the habitat of the Townsends vole which in turn is prey for the short-eared owl. Cover crops are encouraged to feed the bird migrations while

Island, a short drive from Bates’ farm. As he comes to the end of his own harvest season, Bates says he has one last mission: “We usually plant winter wheat or fall rye after potatoes for a source of food for the birds.”


OCTOBER 2010 –– PAGE 13 THE GROWER

ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP

Season-long blooms in hedgerows provide habitat for native bees It’s back to the future with pollinator hedgerows. What was torn out to make room for fields of monocultural crops -- soybeans, corn and tobacco – is now being planted again to provide a season-long nectar feast for native bees. “It’s entirely unscientific,” says Norfolk County beef farmer Bryan Gilvesy, “but we’ve observed that tumbledown hedgerows are harbouring a lot of bees. These aren’t the European or commercial honeybees, but native bees. There’s something like 1250 species of native bees, some of which have co-evolved with specific plants.” Three years ago, Gilvesy planted his first nine-foot hedgerow with a mix of trees, shrubs and flowers to suit his Carolinian forest geography. To make sure there is something to bloom in early spring, he planted black oak, black cherry, downy serviceberry and dogwoods. To fill in the summer season, there are shrubs such as witch hazel and elderberries. What blooms in late summer and fall are brown-eyed susans and coneflower. Even goldenrod rehabilitates it reputation as a fall nectar source. This mix is more ecologically useful than hedgerows of white cedar which certainly prevented wind erosion in the sandy plains but provided little in the way of pollinator habitat. He also drilled holes into existing stumps to provide shelter for solitary nesting species. “We’re trying to stack the benefits,” says Gilvesy who adds carbon sequestration as yet another reason to plant

Dale Vranckx of Blueberry Hill Estates surveys his pollinator strip. hedgerows. “We’ve totally forgotten bees in the scheme of things and it’s amazing how much they contribute to increased yields.” The pilot project is one of several under the Norfolk County Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) which has converted more than 700 acres of marginal land into more sustainable uses. Farmers taking advantage of the ecological services program are receiving $150 per acre for tree planting, wetland maintenance and tall grass prairie restora-

tion. As chair of the ALUS program, Gilvesy is encouraging companies to invest in the program so they can receive carbon credits in return. One horticultural enterprise which has reaped benefits is Dale Vranckx, Blueberry Hill Estates at St. Williams, Ontario. When Vranckx took over his property several years ago, he tore out a hedgerow that sheltered cedar waxwings which are fond of stealing blueberries. In its place was a drainage ditch that catches excess rainfall. Sixteen feet wide by 2000 feet long, this drainage ditch was reseeded with native species of wildflowers. It’s taken three years to mature, but Vranckx says he no longer needs to rent commercial hives for pollination. “The birds are gone, we’ve gained extra habitat for bumblebees and our blueberry yields are up,” says Vranckx. Granted, other tactics are contributing to yield increases, not just pollinator strips. For one, Vranckx sprays just one insecticide at blossom fall, about nine o’clock at night, to control cranberry fruit worm. With this integrated pest management, he’s controlling pests while preserving beneficial insects. The pollinator strip has worked so well that he’s adding one more species to the mix: butterfly weed. While blueberries are the commercial anchor for the farm, Vranckx’s stewardship ethic is also earning kudos and tourist traffic for his eco-tour destination.

Species recommended for pollinator hedgerow plantings Tree and shrub species:

Black Oak Choke Cherry Red Oak Red Osier Dogwood Black Gum American Hazel Grey Dogwood Flowering Dogwood

Kristen Thompson, project coordinator (ALUS) says the above listed species attracted both bees and butterflies and are all native Carolinian Canada species. It is important to note that there are many other tree and shrub species that attract pollinators such as willows, ash, elm, poplar and sumac. Wildflower species: “We also plant a diverse mix of wildflowers which provides a food source for pollinators throughout the early spring to early fall months,” says Thompson.

Butterflyweed Early Goldenrod

Hairy Beard-tongue Grey Goldenrod Carpenter’s Square Evening Primrose Foxglow-Beard-tongue

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Seed Sources: We purchase our seed from two native plant nurseries: St. Williams Nursery and Ecology Center 885 Hwy. 24 P.O. Box 150 St. Williams, ON, Canada N0E 1P0 Phone: (519) 586-9116 Rural Lambton Stewardship Network 870 Richmond St Box 1168 Chatham, ON N7M 5L8 Telephone: 519-354-1588

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PAGE 14 –– OCTOBER 2010 THE GROWER

ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP

Agriculture must lead, not follow, in water innovation By Henry (Hank) Venema This past summer, the Canadian International Council released a report called Open Canada: A Global Positioning Strategy for a Networked Age. Written by a new generation of Canadian intellectuals, Open Canada bluntly diagnoses Canada’s 21st century strategic challenges – particularly the need for greatly increased research, development and innovation – a position echoed by Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney. The Open Canada report alerts us that Canada’s energy and water resources put us in the crosshairs, as it describes fierce international competition for natural resources that is altering geopolitics. Since agriculture uses 70 per cent of the globe’s available fresh water, agriculture has an obligation to protect this resource wisely. Here in Canada, we steward nine per cent of the globe’s fresh water supplies. Neither this generation of Canadians nor the next should accept less than world-class stewardship of our natural capital. The Open Canada authors, led by former Globe and Mail editor Edward Greenspon, urge the creation of a centre for water research to provide policy and technological leadership as the stakes in this sector rise.

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) has already responded to this challenge with the launch of the Water Innovation Centre in Manitoba with the support of Manitoba Hydro, the Royal Bank Blue Water Fund and the provincial government. We now have a foot in the door, but we need to pay careful attention as others jockey for position in the water innovation space. “Clean tech” is now the largest venture capital category, and water technology is a $400 billion annual industry, doubling every four years. Clean tech growth The growth and potential in the water sector has not escaped notice in Ontario, in the aftermath of the Walkerton tainted water tragedy and the Cinderella story of Oakville’s Zenon Inc. – a water technology startup company bought out by GE for $700 million. At the recent Canadian Water Summit in Toronto, Premier Dalton McGuinty highlighted new legislation intended to stake a large claim for Ontario. The Water Opportunities and Water Conservation Act 2010 has two key components. Firstly it provides a new regulatory framework for water sustainability and water conserva-

Oak-Hammock marsh, Winnipeg, Manitoba. tion and secondly it facilitates the growth of “globally competitive companies and high-value jobs in the water and waste water sector.” The Ontario legislation emerged from a study of how jurisdictions, such as Germany, Israel and Singapore, established sustainable water leadership. In all cases, leading jurisdictions first established a clear, unifying message that water is a top priority and then focused innovation on domestic water management challenges, while incubating water technology sectors that could seize export opportunities. Water leadership Ontario has good reasons for aspiring to water leadership, situated on four of the Great Lakes. But so does Manitoba. We oscillate between flood and drought risks in our watersheds, relying heavily on drainage, which

is essentially a 19th century technology. We lament natural capital lost as our wetlands disappear. We fear for the health of our beloved Lake Winnipeg and we debate the science for waste water treatment to protect the lake. IISD’s Water Innovation Centre has put some important ideas on the table though there is still much work to do. We have identified Manitoba’s version of the smart watershed as the key to drought and flood protection and nutrient management. We have highlighted the strategic significance of the huge Netley-Libau wetland complex at the mouth of the Red River. We have also identified a potential game changer in the peak phosphorous issue – the nutrient we generally regard as a noxious pollutant is actually a scarce and valuable resource with major technology and economic

development implications – some of which are already being felt in horticulture. For example, Vancouver-based Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies has developed a slow-release fertilizer based on the phosphorus recovered from wastewater treatment plants that just happens to be ideal for some horticultural applications. In the decade ahead, expect more and more innovative ways to integrate our use of nutrients while stewarding our fresh water resources. As Virgil said, fortune favours the bold. Hank Venema is the director of the water innovation centre and the sustainable natural resources management program for the International Institute for Sustainable Development based in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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OCTOBER 2010 –– PAGE 15 THE GROWER

Webinar series offered for season extension and high tunnels Learn more about pest management in season-extension production systems such as high tunnels by registering for a new webinar series sponsored by the Great Lakes Vegetable Working Group, the University of Illinois Extension, and a Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Professional Development grant. There will be five one-to-two hour webinars produced on November 1, 3,, 8, 16, and 18. The first three webinars will focus on an introduction to pest management in various season-extension systems, focusing on tomatoes and winter crops. The last two webinars will be geared toward soil, water, and nutrient management, plus a summary of the U.S. Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) high tunnel pilot project initiated in 2010. Why consider participating in the season extension and high tunnel production webinar series? Pest complexes in season-extension production systems like high tunnels are different than fieldgrown fruits and vegetables, and an understanding of that difference is needed to capitalize on early and late season markets. High-tunnel production can lengthen the growing season and provide producers with a means to enter the market earlier with high value crops. Webinar One is titled “Introduction to Pest Management for Season Extension” and will air on November 1, 2010 at 6:30-8:30 pm EST (5:30-7:30 pm CST). Bill LaMont from Pennsylvania State University, will provide an overview of season-extension methods and the pros and cons of getting into season extension: low tunnels, row covers, high tunnels, greenhouses, extended storage and basic economics. Judson Reid and Meg McGrath with Cornell University will speak on basic pest management considerations in high tunnels for insects, mites and diseases, respectively. Brad Bergefurd at Ohio State University will discuss best weed management options in high tunnels. Webinar Two is titled “Pest Management of Tomatoes in High Tunnels” and will be offered on November 3, 2010 at 6:30-8:30 pm EST (5:30-7:30 pm CST). Matt Kleinhenz, with Ohio State University will start with an overview of production systems and economics for tomatoes and other solanaceous crops. Shubin Saha, with Purdue University will address cultural controls, pesticide use, biocontrols, and organic methods for pest and mite management of tomatoes under high tunnel production. Sally Miller with Ohio State University will discuss cultural controls, pesticide use, grafting, and organic methods for disease management. Webinar Three is titled “Pest Management in Winter Crops.” This webinar will be held on November 8, 2010 from 6:30-8:30 pm EST (5:30-7:30 pm CST). An overview of winter crop production systems including a discus-

sion of economics, sanitation, plastic management, production sequences, crop selection, sanitation for simple hoophouse, greenhouse, in-ground, in container, row covers, and low tunnels will be given by Adam Montri from Michigan State University. Judson Reid will cover pest and mite management for winter crops and Ann Hazelrigg, with the University of Vermont will offer disease management options for winter crops. Vegetable storage management will be covered by Matt Kleinhenz. Webinar Four is titled “Management of Nutrients, Water, Soil, and Other Production Considerations in High Tunnels” and will be broadcast November 16, 2010 at a different time than the previous three webinars. This will be a brown-bag lunch webinar airing from 1-2 pm EST (noon-1

pm CST). Mike Orzolek with Pennsylvania State University will be the presenter for this topic. The first 50 participants or organizations to include webinar four as part of their registration, will receive a free copy of the High Tunnel Production Manual published by Penn State. Webinar Five is titled “Interpreting NRCS High Tunnel Project Guidelines.” This will also be a brown-bag lunch webinar on November 18, 2010 at 1-2 pm

EST (noon-1 pm CST). This is a U.S. program, not available to Canadian growers. The guidelines pertaining to their high-tunnel production pilot project will be outlined and discussed by Ruth Book, State Conservation Engineer, Ivan Dozier, Assistant State Conservationist, and Brett Roberts, State Agronomist, with NRCS in Illinois. Pre-registration for this webinar series is mandatory and can be found at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/season_ext. The cost for the series is $30 whether you attend one or all five webinars. Each webinar will be recorded and available on several state IPM or vegetable-oriented websites for viewing soon after its original airdate. For people who do not have a broadband connection, we are identifying several sites throughout each state to host the webinar

series. Ontario participants: contact Janice LeBoeuf, OMAFRA (see below) if you are interested in participating at a host site in your area (please provide the dates you are interested in and your location). Ontario host sites will be arranged based on demand. For more information and detailed agendas for the webinar series, please visit the Great Lakes Vegetable Working Group website at www.glvwg.ag.ohiostate.edu/index.php, and click on Projects at the top of the page. For more information (Ontario) contact: Janice LeBoeuf, Vegetable Crop Specialist, OMAFRA, Ridgetown Ph: (519) 674-1699 Email: janice.leboeuf@ontario.ca Register for the webinars online at: www.surveymonkey.com/s/season_ext.


PAGE 16 –– OCTOBER 2010 THE GROWER

Gramoxone-resistant Eastern black nightshade confirmed in Ontario By Kristen Callow, M.Sc., OMAFRA Weed Management Program Lead - Horticulture

Figure 4: Immature green fruit, which will eventually turn black. directions. Rotating between herbicide groups or mode of actions is essential to prevent resistance development.

Eastern black nightshade (Solanum ptycanthum), was confirmed to be resistant to group 22 herbicides (bipyridiliums), specifically Gramoxone (paraquat) in Chatham-Kent recently. The total area infested is not known at this time; however, the resistant weed was found in a perennial horticultural cropping system.

If you have any plants that are not being controlled by your current herbicide program and you suspect resistance please contact the Agriculture Information Contact Center: 1-877-424-1300. The University of Guelph "Weeds Lab" can test for resistance of suspected weed species. For more information on herbicide-resistant weeds in Ontario visit:www.plant.uoguelph.ca/ resistant-weeds Special thanks to: Dr. Francois Tardif and Peter Smith, University of Guelph for confirming the resistance and review of this article. All pictures are from www.ontarioweeds.com References Gunsolus, J.L. 2002. www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/cropsystems/dc6077.html

Figure 2: Eastern black nightshade leaf.

Figure 1: Seedling at the 2-leaf stage. Photos by Peter Smith. Eastern black nightshade is a dicot weed in the Solanaceae family. In Ontario, this weed first evolved resistance to Group 2 herbicides in 2000 in corn and soybeans. Sulphonylurea (i.e. Devrinol) and imidazolinone (i.e. Pursuit) resistant populations exist in Bruce, Elgin, Huron and Middlesex counties. Cross-resistance to other Group 2 herbicides is likely to exist. Source: www.ontarioweeds.com. Herbicide cross resistance refers to a weed or crop biotype that has evolved a mechanism or mechanisms of resistance to one herbicide that also allows it to be resistant to other herbicides. Cross resistance can occur with herbicides within the same or in different herbicide families and with the same or different sites of action. For example, after the extensive use of herbicide A in a field, selection of a weed biotype resistant to

herbicide A is found to also be resistant to herbicide B, although herbicide B was never used in that field (Gunsolus, J.L., 2002). Herbicide resistant Eastern black nightshade has also been confirmed in the U.S. The following states have confirmed resistance: 1. Wisconsin (1999) – Group 2 (ALS inhibitors) 2. North Dakota (1999) – Group 2 (ALS inhibitors) 3. Illinois (1999) – Group 2 (ALS inhibitors) 4. Michigan (2004) – Group 1 and 5 (Photosystem II inhibitors, i.e. Sinbar) Gramoxone (paraquat) resistance is of particular concern to Ontario producers, due to the reliance on this product in perennial horticultural production systems. There have been no known cases of

Figure 3: Eastern black nightshade flower.

paraquat resistant Eastern black nightshade anywhere else in the world (International Survey of Herbicide Resistant Weeds www.weedscience.org/In.asp). Eastern black nightshade occurs throughout southern Ontario in open dry woods, edges of pastures, waste places, and in cultivated land, especially in row crops. It is distinguished by being an annual plant with thin, ovate to diamond-shaped leaves, small umbels of flowers on short stalks from sides of stems (not from leaf axils), small, white flowers, and small, black berries that are not partly enclosed by their expanded calyxes. It is often confused with pigweed species. Eastern black nightshade is known to be a hard-to-control annual weed. In perennial horticultural cropping systems, post spot or hooded sprayer applications of Roundup (any glyphosate product), Ignite (glufonsinateammonium) and Gramoxone (paraquat) are usually effective if applied before the nightshade gets too big. Chateau (flumioxazin) and Aim EC (carfentrazone-ethyl) are two newer herbicides (both Group 14 – PPO inhibitors) that have shown good control of Eastern black nightshade. Chateau should be applied prior to weed emergence, whereas, Aim EC should be applied as a post application. Please see the product labels for specific application

Figure 4: Immature green fruit, which will eventually turn black.

Tomato late blight: will it be back? By Janice LeBoeuf, Vegetable Crop Specialist, OMAFRA-Ridgetown Again in 2010, we experienced tomato late blight problems in Ontario, although not as widespread as in 2009. What about next season – can we expect it to return? The late blight pathogen, Phytophthora infestans, needs living tissue in order to overwinter (unless oospores are produced – more about that below). The pathogen will not survive on tomato plant residue in the field, as it is completely killed by winter temperatures. The pathogen is not transmitted by tomato seed. The above-ground portions of any perennial weed hosts will also be completely killed by freezing over winter, and the pathogen does not infect their roots. Potato tubers that are infected with late blight can survive the winter under certain conditions: • infected seed potatoes • cull or compost piles where there is incomplete decomposition or incomplete freezing • buried tubers that survive the winter • stored tubers that are disposed of outdoors in spring In some parts of the world, two mating types of the pathogen are present, allowing the production of overwintering structures known as oospores. Researchers are monitoring the pathogen populations. So far, only one mating type is known to be present in Ontario and the northeast U.S. To ensure that living tissue of infected plants will not survive the winter, it is best not to bury a large mass of plant tissue in one location (where decomposition or freezing might not be complete). For the same reason, composting infected plants or tubers could be risky.


OCTOBER 2010 –– PAGE 17 THE GROWER

Herbicide resistance: It’s here and needs your management! By Kristen Callow, M.Sc. OMAFRA Weed Management Program Lead - Horticulture Why so much talk about herbicide resistance? It’s not just because it’s topical, but because we have it. In Ontario, there are numerous weed species resistant to seven groups of herbicides spread across the province (Table 1). University of Guelph scientists recently confirmed glyphosateresistant giant ragweed in Ontario. In the United States there are 19 weed species resistant to glyphosate, covering up to 2.4 million acres. So, now is the time to understand why herbicide resistance is happening, where it is happening and how to prevent it. Many producers are aware that rotation of crops and herbicides, to different modes of action, is the

most effective approach for managing the development of weed resistance. These approaches are more critical now since there are literally no new herbicides (with new modes of action) coming to the Ontario marketplace anytime soon (Cowbrough, 2009). How did we get here? It’s tough to say this, but we are human. We tend to repeat successful practices, especially if they reduce our work load and provide us with great results. Unfortunately, this helps to select those few weeds in the population that may have the genes that allow resistance to the herbicide. Now what? Start planning for next year. We need to be aware that these weeds are in horticulture production regions across the province

and in the event of control failures, herbicide programs will have to be altered. You likely have a resistant weed population if you have a weed species that should have been controlled but is healthy while other susceptible species have been controlled or a weed control failure even when the correct herbicide rate was used and it was applied at the appropriate weed stage and under favourable environmental conditions. You can report suspected resistant weeds to the Agriculture Information Contact Centre 1877-424-1300. By taking advantage of this toll-free number, suspicious weed species will be tested for resistance by the University of Guelph. Any information obtained from this service will allow weed

researchers to develop control options for resistant weed populations. Now is a great time to collect seed from any weed species that you suspect is resistant. You can send samples directly to the University of Guelph. The University of Guelph will test, free of charge, suspected resistant weeds: www.plant.uoguelph.ca/resistantweeds/services/ In order to prevent the development of herbicide-resistant weeds, producers should consider the following practices: • Apply integrated weed management practices. Use multiple herbicide modes-of-action with overlapping weed spectrums in rotation, sequences, or mixtures. • Use the full recommended herbicide rate and proper application

timing for the hardest to control weed species present in the field. • Scout fields after herbicide application to ensure control has been achieved. Avoid allowing weeds to reproduce by seed or to proliferate vegetatively. • Monitor site and clean equipment between sites. For annual cropping situations also consider the following: • Start with a clean field and control weeds early by using a burndown treatment or tillage in combination with a pre-emergence residual herbicide as appropriate. • Use cultural practices such as cultivation and crop rotation, where appropriate. • Use good agronomic principles that enhance crop competitiveness. (www.weedscience.org/In.asp)

Weed Species Resistant to Herbicides in Ontario To identify alternative control options please see your 2010-2011 Guide to Weed Control or www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/pub75/pub75toc.htm Herbicide Group

Site of Action

Herbicide Trade Name (alphabetic order)

Confirmed resistant weed species Locations in Ontario (Note: not all resistant weed in Ontario (Updated September species found in all counties. For 2010) resistant weed species by county see: www.plant.uoguelph.ca/ resistant-weeds/)

1

Inhibitors of acetyl CoA carboxylase (ACCase)

2

Acclaim Super, Achieve, Assure II, Excel Super, Poast, Puma120 Super, Select, Ultra, Venture

Currently none confirmed.

Not applicable.

Inhibitors of acetolactate synthase Accent, Arsenal, Classic, Elim EP, FirstRate, Muster, Option (ALS) and also called acetohydroxy- 2.25 OD, Pinnacle, Prism, Pursuit, Refine SG, Telar, Ultim, acid synthase (AHAS) Upbeet

Cocklebur, common ragweed, eastern black nightshade, giant foxtail, green foxtail, green pigweed, lamb’s-quarters, redroot pigweed, waterhemp.

Bruce, Dundas and Glengary, Elgin, Essex, Haldimand/ Norfolk, Hamilton-Wentworth, Huron, Kent, Lambton, Middlesex, Oxford, Perth, Simcoe, Stormont, Wellington, Victoria.

3

Microtubule assembly inhibitors

Bonanza, Dacthal W-75, Dimension, Prowl, Rival, Treflan

Currently none confirmed.

Not applicable.

4

Synthetic auxins

Wild carrot.

Halton, Wellington.

5

Inhibitors of photosynthesis at photosystem II, Site A

2,4-D, Banvel II, Caliber, Cobutox, Compitox, Covitox Plus, Desormone, Diphenoprop, Dycleer, Dyvel, Embutox, Estaprop Plus, Garlon, IPCO Dichlorprop-D, IPCO Premium 2-Way XP Turf Herbicide, Killex, Lontrel, MCPA, Mecoprop, Mecocrop 2,4-D, Meco-D, Par III, IPCO Premium 3-Way XP Turf Herbicide, Release, Sword, Target, Topside, Tordon 101, Trophy,Turf-Rite 2+2, Turboprop, Vanquish Aatrex Liquid 480, Atrazine, Gesagard, Hyvar X, Princep, Pronone, Pyramin FL, Sencor, Simadex, Simazine, Sinbar, Spin-Aid, Velpar

Barnyard grass, common groundsel, common ragweed, green pigweed, goosefoot, redroot pigweed, waterhemp, wild mustard, witch grass, yellow foxtail.

6

Inhibitors of photosynthesis at photosystem II, Site B

Basagran, Basagran Forté, Koril, Pardner, Brotox

Green pigweed, redroot pigweed, smooth pigweed.

Brant, Essex, Grenville, Grey, Haldimond/Norfolk, HamiltonWentworth, Lambton, Lennox & Addington, Prescott, Niagara, Waterloo, Wellington, York. Essex, Kent.

7

Inhibitors of photosynthesis at photosystem II, Site B (alternate binding site)

Diurex 80W, Herbec, Karmex, Lorox

Green pigweed, redroot pigweed, smooth pigweed.

Middlesex, Simcoe.

8

Conjugation of acetyl co-enzyme A Betasan, Eradicane, Eptam, Ro-Neet

Currently none confirmed.

Not applicable.

9

Inhibitors of 5-enolpyruvylshikimimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSP)

10

Inhibitors of glutamine synthetase

11

Inhibitors of carotenoid biosynthesis Amitrol

Currently none confirmed.

Not applicable.

13

Diterpene synthesis inhibitor

Command 360

Currently none confirmed.

Not applicable.

14

Inhibitors of protoporphyrinogen oxidase (Protox)

Aim EC, Blazer, Chateau, Goal, Reflex, Ronstar, Valtera

Currently none confirmed.

Not applicable.

15

Conjugation of acetyl co-enyme A

Devrinol, Dual Magnum, Dual II Magnum, Frontier Max

Currently none confirmed.

Not applicable.

19

Inhibitors of auxin transport system Alanap

Currently none confirmed.

Not applicable.

20

Inhibits cell wall synthesis, Site A

Casoron

Currently none confirmed.

Not applicable.

22

Photo system I – electron diverters

Gramoxone, Reglone, Reward

Canada fleabane, field peppergrass, Essex, Kent. Eastern black nightshade.

27

Inhibitors of p-hydroxyphenyl pyruvate dioxygenase (HPPD)

Callisto, Converge Flexx, Impact

Currently none confirmed.

Credit, Credit Plus, EZJect, Factor, Factor 540, Glyfos, Giant ragweed. Maverick III, Roundup Ultra II, Roundup Weathermax, Sharpshooter, Sharpshooter Plus, Touchdown Total, Vantage, Vantage Plus, Vantage Plus Max, Vantage Plus Max II, Vision, Vision Max Ignite, Liberty Currently none confirmed.

Essex, Kent, Lambton.

Not applicable.

Not applicable.

Adapted from http://www.plant.uoguelph.ca/resistant-weeds/assets/resistant_weeds_herbicides_2009.pdf


PAGE 18 –– OCTOBER 2010 THE GROWER

MARKETPLACE To advertise phone: 519-380-0118 • 866-898-8488 x 218 • Fax: 519-380-0011 EQUIPMENT

BIN CARRIERS NEW AND USED Several Models: 5-Bin or 6-Bin, Tandem Axles or Single Axle With Soft-Ride Flotation Tires, Narrow, Low Profile Model With Adjustable Width Axles For Plastic or Wood Bins Apple Bin Dumpers (Rotator) - Fit Forklift or Tractor Loader Flail Mulchers in Stock: Grind Up Old Leaves, Prunings, Grass & Debris After Harvest - Seppi 6 1/2 Ft. Flail - Almost New $5,900 - Seppi 8 Ft Flail - Low Hours, Like New - Coming - Perfect 7 Ft H.D. Flail - New - At Last Year Pricing Turbo-Mist: New Orchard/Vineyard Sprayers and Stainless Steel Low-Drift Spray Towers Arriving in October. Plan Early For Next Year. Best Wishes for a Prosperous Harvest Wanted: For Cash, Trade, or Consignment Clean Sprayers, Mowers, Bin Carriers, Narrow Orchard Tractors

D O N A RT H U R O R C H A R D E Q U I P M E N T

(519) 599-3058

Clarksburg, ON.

CONTAINERS

LLOYD BAG CO. (www.lloydbag.com)

Established in 1939

BURLAP (JUTE) TREE WRAP / LINERS / SHEETS WOVEN POLYPROPYLENE LENO MESH FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

BEV ADDEMAN

Comments on the Gramegna Spading Machine ...It is simply amazing! It incorporates our compost readily and does everything else the literature sheet and independent tests said it would do.... ...The spading machine you sold us works wonderfully. We had a problem with heavy soils and no real solution short of getting different land. Your machine literally solved our problem.... ...Perhaps the most important contribution of spading is that it eliminates the use of ploughs, disks, and harrows....

TIMM ENTERPRISES LTD.

COTTON AND CANVAS General Manager

The spading machine uses large spades to break up the soil up to 12” (30cm) deep. Features: • No dead furrow • Mixes manure, compost etc. completely • Allows for better drainage as it does not create a flat bottom • Allows for better air penetration • Creates ready to use fields and beds, no plowing, discing or harrowing needed! Models in stock from 40.9” to 86.6” wide, sizes up to 13’ available by special order.

Visit www.timmenterprises.com/machines/spader.htm to see the spading machine in action!

PAPER

MARK ALLOTT

3 point hitch P.T.O. driven SPADING MACHINES

JASON LONG

Sales

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Mail: P.O. Box 157, Oakville, Ont., Canada L6J 4Z5 Office & Warehouse: 5204 Trafalgar Rd., Milton, Ont., Canada L0P 1E0 Phone (905) 878-4244 Fax (905) 878-7888 Sales 1-888-769-TIMM (8466) www.timmenterprises.com

1-800-549-2247 114 St. Clair Street • P.O. Box 208, Chatham, Ontario N7M 5K3

Telephone (519) 352-9300 • Fax (519) 352-3413 E-Mail: info@lloydbag.com

CONTAINERS

TRACEABILITY www.ScoringAg.com SEE home page OPEN Search CHOOSE SSI-EID INPUT SSI_43E955278F SEE the Traceback record

LOUTH & NIAGARA ORCHARDS P.O. Box 43 • Virgil, Ontario • L0S 1T0 • 905-468-3297

Worldwide, Simple, Secure and Inexpensive.

Supplying Fruit and Vegetable Growers with:

INTERESTED?

• Baskets • Masters • Fertilizer

• Berry Boxes • Waxed Cartons • Crop Protection Material

Mesh Plastic Berry Quarts Distributor for Baskpac Plastic Baskets

CONTACT lenhardt@thot.net 705 324 2709


OCTOBER 2010 –– PAGE 19 THE GROWER

MARKETPLACE To advertise phone: 519-380-0118 • 866-898-8488 x 218 • Fax: 519-380-0011 NURSERY / SEED / ROOTSTOCK

Alpine Nurseries

(Niagara) Limited

SPECIALIZING IN FRUIT TREES & GRAPE VINES & PRIVET HEDGING. VARIETY AND PRICE LIST AVAILABLE ON REQUEST

Howard A. Colcuc Nursery Manager R.R. #4 Creek Road Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON. L0S 1J0 Tel: (905) 262-4971 Fax: (905) 262-4404 plants@sympatico.ca

Quality fruit trees for over 50 years. Peaches

Apricots Nectarines Plums Pears Cherries Apples

1695 Niagara Stone Road, RR 2 NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ontario L0S 1J0 Phone: 905-468-3217 Fax: 905-468-7271 E-Mail: fruittrees@morinurseries.com

CONTAINERS

FRUIT & VEGETABLE PACKAGING Wellington Wood Products (1972) Ltd. Manufacturers and Suppliers of:

• Corrugated Baskets & Masters • Wooden Baskets • Plastic Containers & Bags • Cider Supplies • Waxed Cartons • Custom Corrugated Cartons * Triple Wall Bulk Bins

• Wooden Hampers • Apple Packaging & Cartons • Berry Containers & Masters

A large INVENTORY of all types of packaging. We can deliver your order DIRECTLY TO YOUR DOOR. For current, competitive pricing call

1-800-265-2397 Wellington Wood Products 410 Sligo Road West Mount Forest, ON N0G 2L0 519-323-1060 wwp@wightman.ca

www.wwp.on.ca Wellington Wood Products 1587 "B" County Road 34 Ruthven, ON N0P 2G0 519-326-2394

SCOTT-WHALEY NURSERIES LTD. RR2 Ruthven, ON. N0P 2G0

Specializing in Service to Commercial Fruit Growers Apple & Peach Trees Phone: 519-326-9330 Fax: 519-326-3083 gwfarm@wavedirect.net

w w w. t h e g r o w e r. o r g


PAGE 20 –– OCTOBER 2010 THE GROWER

MARKETPLACE

To advertise phone: 519-380-0118 • 866-898-8488 x 218 • Fax: 519-380-0011 NURSERY STOCK

IRRIGATION

Strawber Str Stra r awber wber r y & R aspber r y Raspber Plants Pl l ants Established 1939

FREIGHT SERVICE

Warehousing & Distribution Transborder Freight Services. For additional information please contact us directly or visit our website shown below

Pipe & Fittings

REFRIGERATION

PHONE: 905-672-6255 FAX: 905-672-6322 website: www.cole.ca email: info@cole.ca Servicing your import and export requirements since 1958

REAL ESTATE

for Water Systems • PVC, ABS, Poly, Copper • Stainless, Brass, Steel Product Lines • Drip & Micro Irrigation • Septic & Sewer • Drainage & Culverts • Berkeley Water Pumps

Winona Concrete & Pipe Products Ltd. 489 Main St. W., Grimsby, ON. L3M 1T4

Phone (905) 945-8515 Fax: (905) 945-1149 or call toll-free

1-800-361-8515

KOOL JET

®

Reliable Refrigeration Systems

1-866-748-7786

www.kooljet.com

Visit our website to view our complete line

Gerry Loeters for Royal LePage, RCR Realty. PH. 519-765-4217 Cell. 519-773-6460

ORCHARD FOR SALE. 42 acre orchard with very good mix of popular varieties of apples. Super location for home sales on busy highway 3 miles north of Aylmer, Ontario. Asking $660,000.00 including equipment.

One-Piece and Portable Skid-Mount Systems, HydroCoolers, Medical and Process Chillers, Blast Freezers, Vacuum Coolers, Refrigerated Dehumidifiers. Custom Built Designs • Domestic and International Markets

CHANGE OF ADDRESS? 1-866-898-8488 ext. 221 or visit www.thegrower.org


OCTOBER 2010 –– PAGE 21 THE GROWER

MARKETPLACE

To advertise phone: 519-380-0118 • 866-898-8488 x 218 • Fax: 519-380-0011 CROP TUNNELS

Learn from the experts!1VPUV\YÄLSK[V\YVM/H`NYV]LZin Britain Sept. 26-29, call to register (deadline Aug 13)

ECO CLEANING

SOLAR SALES Haygrove Owners Conference (others welcome) December 3, 2010 - Lancaster, PA

Harness the sun haygrove.com l 1-866-HAYGROVE l tunnelbuzz.com

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

Call

solcan for

Solar Electricity Solar Pool Heating Solar Water Heating

519-473-0501 NOTICE OF MEETING Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the FRESH VEGETABLE GROWERS OF ONTARIO will be held in the Town of Woodstock, Ontario at the QUALITY HOTEL & SUITES Vansittart A Thursday December 16th, 2011 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m Election of directors of the Association will take place plus discussion of financial reports and any Other business that may arise. Registration Forms can be located on FVGO website.

EMPLOYMENT

Fruit Tree Sales Person Permanent position providing in-house sales and service for Fruit Tree line. • Must have basic horticultural knowledge with a focus on Fruit Trees. • Must be highly organized, accurate in taking and maintaining orders and shipment schedules. • Must be proficient in word, email and excel. • Excellent customer service skills essential. SEND RESUME to: Mori Nurseries Ltd., R.R. #2, 1695 Niagara Stone Rd., Niagara-on-the-Lake ON L0S1J0 or by Fax 905-468-7271 or resumes@morinurseries.com

Update your mailing address and sign up for our RSS feed at www.thegrower.org


PAGE 22 –– OCTOBER 2010 THE GROWER

Minor Use Craig’s Comments

Craig Hunter OFVGA Ontario horticultural producers are being asked to do more to help themselves when it comes to research. That in and of itself isn’t news, but the fact that there was a perfectly good system in place that was discarded thus necessitating more grower input, is news. The annual compilation of research needs was well organized in the past but it was the use of these lists that fell apart. Rather than discard the old research needs identification process, the powers that be should have instead got rid of those who were supposed to be responsible for the implementation of the research needed to get the answers! However, we still have federal and provincial research programs going merrily along, but without a good system in place that seeks out actual growers’ priorities. There are well-paid managers of this process, and it may be that well-intentioned scientists or appointed staff may think they know what is needed, but they have tampered with the wellproven process of soliciting actual growers’ input. In the past, each commodity sector met and reviewed the research that was being done on its behalf. They also reviewed that year’s issues, and gave their opinions on the state of the industry in general. Lastly, they would list the key research needs. These included pest management issues, especially in the days before the Minor Use Priority Program was in place. These priorities also included issues in crop management, genetic improvements, equipment, marketing, grades and standards, soil,water and air issues, and any other issues arising. It was a comprehensive

Directing research (circa 2010) list, but it did not usually include long-term research aimed at industry-wide issues. This was left up to marketing board and OFVGA representatives. They in turn would ask for funding beyond the normal research budget for those more esoteric issues deemed worthy, that were both expensive and long-term. Is it possible that the powers that be wanted to shift the research resources they controlled to more navel-gazing (their own navels) activities? Is it possible that they then needed (wanted?) to shift the human (scientists) and physical (labs) resources away from what growers were saying they needed and wanted? Is it also possible that in order to do that, they eliminated or ignored the traditional process of research needs gathering so they alone could set the priorities? I know that “Big Brother” always knows best! (He/she has told me so many times!) In this case we have been let down by those overseeing the process. For instance, it is virtually impossible nowadays to get resistance management diagnosis and help for diseases and insects in Ontario. Samples are now sent elsewhere. The same thing is true for nematodes. Long held special populations of insects and mites needed to maintain baseline studies for insecticides’ activity levels have been ‘downsized.’ It seems the specialized staff needed to maintain them retired and qualified replacements were not forthcoming! No thought appears to have been taken about the IMPACT of the loss of this program which was designed by forward-thinking scientists a generation ago. There once was a well organized system to consolidate provincially-gathered research needs from across the country at the federal level so they could be more efficient in husbanding resources. This was disbanded when it was decided that since there were no new funds and in fact funds were being cut, it made little sense to meet. In any case there was also another federal committee in place to gather needs from industry representatives. By merging the committees, they lost the important difference in motivation coming from the two

The Source...

sectors. In the end, this committee too was effectively disbanded, for much the same reason. The ‘Expert Committees’ that could review issues at the national level by commodity or discipline met their effective demise as well. The federal system was ‘re-organized’ (how can something be deemed re-organized if it was dis-organized before?), and much more internal conniving followed that in turn legitimized changes in resource allocation? Provincially, much the same happened when the University of Guelph/Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food (OMAF) contracting process determined the funding allocation for research here. After the dust settles and the overheads are taken off the top, the contract is now supporting less than 75 scientists, and virtually no technical help. In the past there were more than 200 scientists supported and they also had technical help and a budget to operate. A forensic audit might show this erosion of support has also led to erosion in expertise, and the ability to even do the basic work any longer. It is no secret that some of our horticultural sectors are now taking their individual research funds elsewhere -- New York, Michigan, Quebec -- in order to get done what they need. What does that say about the state of our research support system here? Ontario once had an education minister who publicly stated that he had created a crisis of confidence in the system so he could then be a hero by resolving the same crisis. We are approaching a crisis of confidence in our domestic research program. Is there anyone out there who has the gumption to resolve it? An example was raised recently. Apparently a researcher applied to get a letter of support for some research he/she wanted to do. It was very long-term work and one not likely to be taken up by commercial interests in the vegetable sector, even if it was entirely successful. Nonetheless, it was stated they had strong support from the vegetable sector which they had consulted. In discussing this with elected vegetable sector reps, they claimed to have never

heard of the work or the researcher! Some one must be mistaken! In this case it would appear that esoteric work such as that which a tenured university professor might undertake with private research funds is about to be attempted by a junior scientist using public funds that could possibly be better used elsewhere to aid the Ontario vegetable industry. It appears that they don’t even need grower financial support since they could leverage support from a couple of funding sources available. This surely begs the question about who would allow such work to go on without prior research prioritization including growers, why such funds could be given without solid support, and who are the nameless, faceless people making these decisions on our behalf? It is time that an audit is done that actually shows what is being spent, where, by whom, and on what research. It would also be important to look at whose signature approved the work! The results of the work done over the past 20 years could also be revealing. What bang are we getting for the efforts that have not been grower-requested? It is all well and good for research managers to ‘know better’ but they need to be held accountable. Growers know who has worked on most of their needs, but there is a long list of researchers in the system who are as totally unknown as are the results of their work. How can growers support this work if they do not know what it is, cannot see tangible benefit, and never sanctioned it in the first place? Is it any wonder why we are frustrated? We understand very well that good research can underpin our futures. We also know that when funding is so tight, none of it should be wasted on ‘nice to know’ or ‘just a few more years will get it done’ approaches. Accountability starts and ends on the farm with results. If there had been unlimited resources, the ‘new directions’ work could be carried on forever, results or not. However, when the funds to support these endeavours came at the expense of research needed here and now to support our producers oftexpressed needs, we must protest

about what has been lost. At one time there were five weed scientists at Harrow, plus one each at Ridgetown, Simcoe and Kemptville. There were a further four at the University of Guelph. They were all kept busy working on growers’ priorities. Today we are facing wide-spread weed resistance issues, a lack of enforcement of the Weed Act (and pressure to eliminate it) and we must do it with a fraction of this support. Those who are left are working hard against tough (impossible?) odds. We once had significant numbers of world-class breeders, soil scientists, plant pathologists and entomologists to deal with the problems facing us. Today we have lost virtually all the entomologists and plant pathologists. We have a few overworked and dedicated individuals trying to impossibly fill the shoes of all their predecessors. This is occurring at a time when we have more new chemistries to work with than in the past three decades. This is also happening at a time of unprecedented resistance issues. This at a time when there is no margin on the farm from pest control failures. To paraphrase a famous quote: “Never in the field of research has so much been required of so few, without the support they need, by so many (Growers).” I’ve been told that you can never go back, but in this case I think we can recapture much of our needs by looking at the past model to re-format our research needs identification AND by having the power restored to direct the research into or out of areas that we support, or do not. Wouldn’t it be nice if the huge ‘overhead’ charges be either eliminated or greatly reduced? Wouldn’t it be nice if researchers were on hand to work on our needs rather than having to spend our precious funds outside Ontario? Wouldn’t it be nice if future meddling with the research process could be kept out of the hands of folks with different agendas? If we do our best job of research needs identification, no one can defend the work being done outside those areas. That would be a good start!

for Fungicides, Miticides & Insecticides in Horticultural Crops

| www.valent.ca | 519-822-7043 Read and follow the label instructions before using. All products are trademarks or registered trademarks of Valent U.S.A. Corporation. © Valent U.S.A. Corporation, 2009. All rights reserved.

Call us at 1-866-613-3336 or visit www.engageagro.com


OCTOBER 2010 –– PAGE 23 THE GROWER

Calibration conundrum (or) units unite!

By Dr. Jason S.T. Deveau, Application Technology Specialist, OMAFRA In the spirit of Rocky and Bullwinkle, I couldn’t seem to settle on one bad title, so I chose both. I was recently invited to demonstrate airblast sprayer calibration to a few apple growers. We followed the brand new OMAFRA factsheet “Calibrating Airblast Sprayers – 10-047” and everything was going swimmingly… until it was time to determine the nozzle output. Anyone that has performed this test knows that it sounds easy until you try it. The problem is all the possible conversions from one

unit to another. Well guess what? We tried and tried, but we couldn’t get the nozzle outputs to make sense. Frustrated, I hopped onto Google and ran the numbers and arrived at the correct answer. You guessed it - we were converting between units incorrectly and no one caught it. Therefore, as a crib-sheet for anyone else that has suffered this embarrassment, here’s a step-bystep for determining nozzle output with ALL the constants for any reasonable situation. As for me, I laminated a copy and it’s now packed away with my calibration toolbox. 1. Clean the sprayer, fill it halffull with clean water and park it on a level surface. 2. With the fan off, bring the sprayer up to operating pressure. 3. Place a collection vessel under the nozzle to be tested. Use a short

length of braided hose to direct the spray into the vessel, if required. 4. Collect spray for one minute, or if the output is very high, for 30 seconds. One minute is preferable because it improves the accuracy. Be sure to double the output if only measuring for 30 seconds. 5. Determine the nozzle output either by looking at the graduations on the side of the collection vessel, or preferably, weighing the output on a kitchen scale. If using a scale, one gram equals one millilitre. Remember to subtract the weight of the collection vessel. 6. Convert the findings to either U.S. Gallons per minute or Litres per minute; whichever corresponds to the ratings in the nozzle manufacturer’s catalogue. 7. Replace any nozzles that are 10 per cent more or less than the rated output; 5 per cent is preferable, if possible. If two or more are out by 10 per cent, replace all nozzles.

If collecting in ounces, converting to U.S. Gallons per minute: U.S. Gallons per minute = Output in ounces per minute 128 (a constant) If collecting in millilitres or grams converting to U.S. Gallons per minute: U.S. Gallons per minute = Output in grams or millilitres per minute 3,785.4 (a constant) If collecting in ounces, converting to Litres per minute: Litres per minute = Output in ounces per minute 33.8 (a constant) If collecting in millilitres or grams converting to Litres per minute: Litres per minute = Output in grams or millilitres per minute 1,000 (a constant) If collecting in ounces, converting to Imperial Gallons per minute: Imperial Gallons per minute = Output in ounces per minute 153.7 (a constant) If collecting in millilitres or grams converting to Imperial Gallons per minute: Imperial Gallons per minute = Output in grams or millilitres per minute 4,546.1 (a constant)

COMING EVENTS 2010 October 2

Apple Day Open House, Simcoe Research Station, Simcoe, ON 1 – 4 pm

October 6, 7

Canadian Greenhouse Conference, International Centre, Hall 5, Toronto, ON

October 13

Women in Agri-Business Symposium, Springfield Golf and Country Club, Guelph, ON

October 15 – 18

PMA Fresh Summit, Orlando, Florida

October 16

Holland Marsh Soupfest, Springdale Christian Reformed Church, Bradford, ON

October 21

Ontario Harvest Gala, Delta Guelph Ballroom, Guelph, ON 6:30 pm www.ofac.org

November 5 – 14

Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, Direct Energy Centre, Toronto, ON

November 7 - 9

The Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association bus tour. Contact info@ontariofarmfresh.com

November 12

Ontario Produce Marketing Association Annual Gala Event, Liberty Grand, Toronto, ON

November 12, 13

Saskatchewan Green Trades Saskatoon Inn, Saskatoon, SK

November 16, 17

Canadian Agricultural Safety Association Conference 2010, Hilton Suites Airport Hotel, Winnipeg, MB

November 17

QMI-SAI Global On-Farm Food Safety Program Webinar at 1 pm. Contact: Carlos Araujo at 416401-8703

Nov 20 – Dec 5

“Wassail” Prince Edward County Wine Growers Association throughout the “County”

November 22, 23

Ontario Federation of Agriculture Annual General Meeting, Toronto, ON

November 23, 24

Essex County Associated Growers 60th Annual Trade Show, Leamington, ON

Nov 30 – Dec 2

Grow Canada Conference, The Westin, Ottawa, ON

December 7 – 9

Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Market Expo, DeVos Plaza Convention Centre and Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, Grand Rapids, MI

Conference,

All nozzles should be calibrated regularly… or as in this case, given a proper burial.

FARMERS: TAKE ACTION! Recycle ALL your empty pesticide containers.

Getting involved is no cost to you, and it’s simple –

RINSE + REMOVE + RETURN 1. Triple or pressure RINSE 2. REMOVE caps and booklets Without these simple steps, your containers cannot be properly recycled. 3. RETURN them ALL to your local collection site to ensure no product is wasted.

For locations in your area, please visit our website.

™ www.cleanfarms.ca


PAGE 24 –– OCTOBER 2010 THE GROWER

Carrot growers receive emergency use registration for white mold By Jim Chaput, OMAFRA, Minor Use Coordinator, Guelph The Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) recently announced the approval of an emergency use registration for SCHOLAR 50WP (fludioxonil) for control of white mold (Sclerotinia) on stored carrots in the provinces of Quebec, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Manitoba,

Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario. Scholar WP was already labeled in Canada for control of post-harvest diseases on pome fruit and stone fruit. Furthermore a complete minor use submission is underway with the Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, Pest Management Centre (AAFC– PMC) minor use program to seek eventual, full registration of

White mold on stored carrots

SCHOLAR for white mold control on stored carrots in Canada. White mold (Sclerotinia sclerotiorum) is a serious disease of carrots and many other crops around the world. In Canada, white mold is considered to be one of the major limiting factors to the successful long-term storage of carrots. Losses of 50 to 100 per cent have been reported by growers in Canada in recent years. Since the loss of the fungicide Benlate several years ago, carrot growers have had no post-harvest fungicide treatments to reduce losses to this disease. Scholar fungicide was identified as a viable solution to help manage while mold of stored carrots. There have been no new products registered in Canada for white mold management on stored carrots in many years and control failures continue to increase. The emergency use registration of Scholar 50WP Fungicide will help in the interim to manage white mold on stored carrots, however management of white mold still requires a comprehensive integrated pest management (IPM) and resistance management program with access to all available tools and strategies. The following is provided as general information only. Users should consult the complete label before using Scholar 50WP. Scholar 50WP Fungicide can be used for control of white mold on stored carrots in Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia and Prince Edward Island until December 31st, 2010 only. Scholar 50WP can be applied once as a post-harvest dip or drench immediately before storage. Mix 227 g of product in 378 L water. This amount can treat up to 90,000 kg of carrots. IMPORTANT: FOR DOMESTIC USE ONLY, NOT FOR USE ON CARROTS INTENDED FOR EXPORT. Follow all other directions for use on the Scholar 50WP Fungicide label carefully. Scholar 50WP Fungicide should be used in an IPM program and in rotation with other management strategies to adequately manage resistance. For copies of the emergency use label contact Marion Paibomesai, OMAFRA Vegetable Crops specialist at Guelph (519) 8264963, Jim Chaput, OMAFRA, Guelph (519) 826-3539 or visit Syngenta Crop Protection Canada at www.syngenta.ca

USED KUBOTA R420 WHEEL LOADER, PALLET FORKS & BUCKET KUBOTA L3600 4WD, CAB KUBOTA R520 WHEEL LOADER, FORKS & BUCKET KUBOTA R520 WITH BACKHOE KUBOTA M120 4WD, CAB, 98 HP, LOADER 960 KUBOTA M7040 LOADER, CAB, BACKHOE FARMALL 140 WITH CULT. LANDINI 6830 WITH MID CULT.

557 Highway 5 West, RR 2 Dundas, Ontario L9H 5E2 Tel: (905) 628-0551 Fax: (905) 628-4316 galer@bellnet.ca

$17,000 $13,000 $21,000 $29,000 $39,000 $39,000 $4,500 $7,500

www.galerfarmequipment.com

The Grower Newspaper October 2010  

Volume 60 Number 10

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