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FEBRUARY 2012

CELEBRATING 132 YEARS AS CANADA’S PREMIER HORTICULTURAL PUBLICATION

VOLUME 62 NUMBER 02

The fruits of deregulation are spinning out of reach How to harness an unwieldy reform process KAREN DAVIDSON Of all the issues facing horticulture, the relationship with governments is proving to have ever greater importance. Ted McMeekin, Ontario’s new agriculture minister may have his facts right about agriculture being neck and neck with the auto industry as an economic driver, but the stone cold reality is that his ministry’s budget represents only one per cent of the provincial total. And that meager portion is about to be sliced again. “We have to reinvent the delivery of government services,” he told the recent annual general meeting of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFVGA) in a barely veiled preview of the cuts to come. That’s not good news for horticulture that generates $1.5 billion in market receipts (2010 OMAFRA), second only to dairy that generates $1.78 billion. The language is code for more userpay services, in some instances, thousands of dollars for permits and reviews. Repeatedly, the issues that came to the floor of OFVGA’s annual meeting concerned relationships with various provincial ministries beyond agriculture: finance, natural resources, environment, transportation. A minor one is the no-travel policy outside the province that’s preventing horticulture specialists from attending knowledge transfer

INSIDE Food safety lessons from U.S. cantaloupe

Page 5

OFVGA AGM highlights

Page 14

Focus: Crop protection

Page 26

www.thegrower.org P.M. 40012319

Up in the air. That’s the state of the Ontario government budget as everyone waits for looming cuts. Agriculture minister Ted McMeekin (centre) visits with Mac James, (L) Leamington potato grower and new chair of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association. They are joined by Ray Duc, (R) Niagara-on-the-Lake grape grower and new vice-chair. Photo by Denis Cahill.

meetings in Gatineau, Quebec – a quick car ride from Ottawa. More substantially, the industry is grappling with regulatory burdens

on handling washwater in vegetable operations and rainwater from the roofs of greenhouses. As Bob Seguin, executive

director, George Morris Centre, so astutely identified in a recent paper, growers feel a kinship with the Greek mythological figure of

Tantalus. A mere mortal, he was greatly favoured by the gods. CONTINUED ON PAGE 3

OFA seeks moratorium on wind turbines KAREN DAVIDSON Wind turbines, symbols of the greening of Ontario’s energy, have only served to polarize rural communities. That’s why the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA), the province’s umbrella farm organization, has called for a freeze on wind turbines until questions can be answered on pricing, health and nuisance issues. “We are hearing very clearly from our members that the wind turbine situation is coming to a head – seriously dividing rural communities and even jeopardizing farm succession planning,” says OFA president Mark Wales. “The onus is on our provincial government to ensure the interests of rural Ontarians are protected.

OFA is speaking up to clearly outline the issues that must be addressed right now.”

We are hearing very clearly from our members that the wind turbine situation is coming to a head.” ~ Mark Wales, President OFA

The timing couldn’t be more critical as a review of the Feedin-Tariff (FIT) pricing scheme is expected this spring. Wales was to meet energy minister Chris Bentley in late January to discuss how to resolve these key issues.

In a position paper, OFA stated that it has worked with the provincial government since 2007 to clarify regulations, while cautioning farmers on the pitfalls of wind leases and initial enticements of lucrative pricing. Now that many farmers have committed, particularly on the shores of Lake Erie and the Shelburne area, the provincial government is looking to lower prices. OFA says that municipalities would be better positioned to plan for wind farms and to study whether current minimum 550metre setbacks from houses are sufficient. Under the current Green Energy Act, municipalities have no jurisdiction over where turbines will be constructed. While the province’s objective is to pioneer green energy – and

indeed it leads all other Canadian provinces with 2,000 megawatts of wind power capacity -- the economics don’t support the business case. The federation says that the electricity can’t always be stored because it’s produced at non-peak times and is exported at a loss. Ironically, the province has halted any offshore development in the Great Lakes pending further study, while shovels are in the ground for new wind turbines on land. At press time, the federation’s website posed the question: OFA has taken a stand on industrial wind turbine development. Are you happy with the new position? More than 90 per cent of respondents agreed, representing 607 votes.


PAGE 2 –– FEBRUARY 2012 THE GROWER

AT PRESS TIME… USDA reports Canada #2 source of vegetables A recent U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report shows that the value of U.S. fresh and frozen vegetable imports from all countries jumped 12 per cent in the first 11 months of 2011, compared with a 6 per cent rise in the value of U.S. fresh and frozen fruit imports. The top suppliers of vegetables to the U.S. were Mexico (58%), Canada (27%) and Peru (3%). Leading foreign suppliers of fruit to the U.S., in order, were Mexico (34% of total), Chile (20%) and Costa Rica (11%). U.S. imports of Mexican fresh tomatoes were 24 per cent in value but actually four per cent lower in volume in the first 11 months of 2011. Other fresh commodities from Mexico showing double-digit gains in import value included avocados (up 63%), berries (up 10%), asparagus (11%), onions (15%), lettuce (38%), broccoli/cauliflower (39%), carrots (74%), radishes (25%) and okra (41%).

Check expiry dates of water-taking permits Farmers with permits to take water are reminded to check the expiry date of their documents. Ensure that permits remain current or can be renewed prior to the start of the 2012 growing season. Fruit and vegetable farmers with questions regarding their renewals are invited to contact George Shearer at the OFVGA office, a surface water scientist who can assist with permit applications and renewals. George can be reached at 519-763-6160, ext. 219 or water@ofvga.org.

ConAgra expands Canadian presence ConAgra Foods is purchasing Toronto-based Del Monte Canada, including a processing plant at Dresden, Ontario. It’s known for a wide variety of prepared foods including the Chef Boyardee and Healthy Choice brands. Del Monte Canada sells packaged fruits, fruit snacks and vegetables in Canada. The company has 190 employees and reported revenue of about $150 million U.S. While financial terms were not disclosed in the January 18 announcement, a spokesperson indicated that the company intends to operate the business as usual.

Greenbelt Fund issues grants Several Ontario produce associations and food suppliers are among 11 grantees from the Greenbelt Fund. Another 27 projects are already underway. Thanks to the recent round three of $561,000 of funding, more Ontario food is being served at daycares, schools, universities and hospitals. Here’s a synopsis of some projects: Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (OFVGA) – Erie Innovation and Commercialization: Growing Access to the Broader Public Sector Marketplace - $45,000 Encompassing a large region of farmland in Southern Ontario, the Erie Innovation Centre will work with the OFVGA to create a business plan for a regional distribution hub. This project aims to influence purchasing at 103 identified local institutions. Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers (OGVG): Greenhouse Vegetables for the

NEWSMAKERS Public Sector - $65,000 The OGVG have traditionally focused their efforts on export markets and now they are looking to grow their market opportunities with the broader public sector and supply produce from local greenhouses to the foodservice industry. This project will help bring high food safety standards, traceability, quality and availability to Ontario institutions. University of Guelph: Year Round Local Food - $45,000 As an early adopter of local food practices, the University of Guelph is looking to improve their year-round offerings by creating a local food processing facility. The grant will also assist in creating student education programs to build awareness about the importance of local agriculture. More information about the Greenbelt Fund’s program and a complete list of recent grantees can be found at: www.bpsinvestmentfund.ca.

Target announces first 24 stores in Canada

Mac James, the new chair of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFVGA), is a lifelong farmer from the Leamington area, where he grows potatoes, peppers and other horticultural crops on a century farm. He has been on the OFVGA board for seven years, most recently serving two one -year terms as vicechair of the organization. James is also currently a director with the Ontario Potato Board. OFVGA’s 2012 board also includes vice-chair Ray Duc (grapes), directors Brian Gilroy (apples) who is also serving as chair of the property section, Norm Charbonneau (small fruit/berries), Jason Verkaik (fresh vegetable – muck), Jason Ryder (asparagus), Fred Meyers (tender fruit), Jan VanderHout (greenhouse), Don Taylor (greenhouse), Ken VanTorre (ginseng) and Mary Shabatura (fresh vegetable). Ex-officio board members are section chairs Ken Forth (labour), Mark Wales (safety nets), Charles Stevens (crop protection), Harold Schooley (research) and Murray Porteous (Canadian Horticultural Council).

Shane Ardiel (centre) Clarksburg, Ontario was honoured with the annual Golden Apple Award, sponsored by Chemtura. He is flanked by David Tutty (L) Chemtura, and Brian Gilroy (R), Chair, Ontario Apple Growers. Photo by Herb Sherwood.

Minneapolis-based Target Corp. has announced the location of the first 24 of the 125 to 135 stores it plans to open in Canada in 2013. All of the first two dozen are at malls in various communities in Ontario. Target has purchased the leasehold interests of 189 sites currently operated by Zellers Inc. Last September, Sobeys Inc. announced that in early 2013, it will supply Target stores with frozen, dairy and dry grocery products, inclusive of both national brand and Target’s private label brands. No word yet on whether this agreement will eventually include fresh produce through Sobey’s coast-to-coast network of 23 food distribution centres.

Manitoba has a new agriculture minister, Ron Kostyshyn. The rookie MLA and farmer from Ethelbert, has operated a mixed farm for 25 years in the region north of Dauphin. He replaces Stan Struthers who moved to the finance portfolio. Essex County Associated Growers announced the 2011 award winner as Ron Janzen, Janzen Equipment Limited, Leamington, Ontario, acknowledging his pioneering work in modifying mechanical tomato harvesters from California to suit Ontario conditions. His company’s shop has also developed four-wheel drive, self-propelled crop sprayers and picking aids, thanks to the ingenuity of Stacy Morse, Bill and John Hiebert. Congratulations to Anita Stewart, culinary activist, cookbook author, founder of Cuisine Canada and organizer of Food Day Canada. The Governor General has named her to the Order of Canada. Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show and Canada’s Outdoor Equine Expo has appointed Doug Wagner as president. He assumes the position from Lorie Jocius who will now act as vice-president. Last year’s Woodstock, Ontario-based show attracted 42,600 attendees and 723 exhibitors. Jenna Clarke is the new marketing and communications officer for the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute based at Brock University. Congratulations to John Kelly, vice-president, Erie Innovation and Commercialization, who has been honoured with Life Sciences Ontario’s Volunteer of the Year Award. This is awarded to an interactive participant in the life science community who volunteers and receives no remuneration.

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The fruits of deregulation are spinning out of reach CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

Secondly, Seguin warns of the dangers of pursuing early wins or low hanging fruit. “The desire to achieve immediate practical results and remove identified outdated/ineffective legislation is often a key policy trap in itself,” he says. “The focus on early wins shifts the reform process to identifying and removing those regulations which by definition have limited economic impact.” Rather, he advises that establishing a continuous process that removes legislation based upon clear, transparent decisions will be far more effective and sustainable. Don’t expect the same media impact, but count on longer term results. Next, transparency is key. “For any regulatory reform process to work, it is critical to be as transparent as possible in the consultative, analytical and decision-making process,” he says. This is important to industry and public acceptance in that the reform process is fair and appropriate, and that there’s consistency between different jurisdictions. Finally, analytical capacity is required to properly evaluate the real costs of the regulatory burden rather than just provide anecdotal estimates. “In light of potential costs to the public in areas of food safety, environmental degra-

dation, or even on competitiveness and innovation, it is critical that the sector have solid analyses of the impacts of the regulation to be changed,” says Seguin. “This is sadly not the case in most reform processes.” Just as farmers are expected to know their costs of production, so too should sectors know their costs – costs of compliance, costs of duplication, costs of inefficiency in operations, costs in competition with other jurisdictions,

VITALITY

NOVELTY

TRENDY

SUSTAINABILITY

Australia taps into super veggies

U.K. experiments with white strawberries

Specialty tomatoes field-ripened in Florida

Producing energy to irrigate Chilean desert

The colour trends introduced by commercial breeders are expected to be taken up by U.K. gardeners as well. Pineberries, or white strawberries, with a flavour reminiscent of pineapple, are predicted to be the hit of 2012. More than 3,000 plants have been sent to garden centres. The white fruit which has a very pale pink tinge, appears early and can be ready in May. Purple Majesty potatoes are also expected to prove popular after 100 tons of seed potatoes were sent to stores. Experts say the potatoes are high in anthocyanin, an antioxidant which is linked to potential health benefits in treating diabetes, inflammation and age-related disease.

A Wimauma, Florida-based company has launched a specialty vine-ripened tomato to compete against greenhouse tomatoes. Called Ruby Ripes, the field-grown tomatoes are touted for their flavour, firm texture and high brix levels. Tomato Thyme plans to expand acreage to northwest Ohio to extend the season and to be closer to northeast U.S. and Canadian customers. “Our company has been built around the vine-ripe,” said Tomato Thyme owner Javier Torres. “We don’t want to be just another company growing thousands of acres and picking them green. We’re staying away from the gassed greens. That will separate us from the others.”

Source: FreshPlaza.com

Source: FreshPlaza.com

However, Tantalus was jealous of their power, so he embarrassed them and was ultimately sentenced to eternal thirst and hunger in Hades. He was doomed to stand in a pool of water beneath a fruit tree with low branches, with the fruit always eluding his grasp, and the water always receding before he could take a drink. Sound familiar? Seguin’s premise is that despite both provincial and federal governments attempting agri-food regulatory reform under such promising titles as Red Tape, Open for Business, Smart Reform, the sector is caught in the dilemma of Tantalus. Seguin suggests a few lessons to avoid the policy trap of investing time and resources in regulatory reform and yet not attaining longer-term results. First, he calls for measurement. “To start the process correctly,” he writes, “the base case or the measurement of the impacts of the existing ‘regulatory burden’ must be undertaken. Cost/benefit analysis is often offered to assist regulatory decision makers on potential impacts of future decisions….This is not a policy failure or a bureaucratic one – in most cases, the questions were never asked.”

costs to innovation activities. “This is a difficult challenge as agriculture has used anecdotal evidence in the past or high level estimates of overall costs without considering differential impacts by region, commodity, scale of firm, or capacity,” says Seguin. “This also means an effort to analyze not just the incremental burden of a regulatory activity, but also of the entire framework.” Seguin’s paper, “Canadian Agri-Food Regulatory Reform –

The Myth of Tantalus” applies equally to the federal government. With the recent HarperObama agreement on the border, horticulture’s leaders are hopeful of real change on issues ranging from harmonization of crop protection products to a secure perimeter to prevent invasive species. To that end, leaders of the Canadian Horticultural Council are motivated to reach for tantalizing fruit.

Honour to the Honourable OFVGA’s annual Award of Merit was presented to former provincial agriculture minister Steve Peters for his contributions to Ontario horticulture. “Steve is a very deserving winner of this award,” says Art Smith, CEO of the OFVGA. “During his time as Minister of Agriculture, he was very proactive in helping to advance our sector in numerous ways, including research and innovation.” Peters was first elected as Member of Provincial Parliament for Elgin-Middlesex-London in 1999, following three terms as mayor of the city of St. Thomas. He was appointed Minister of Agriculture and Food in 2003, and moved to the Labour portfolio as minister in 2005. Peters served as Ontario’s Speaker of the House from 2007 to 2011, and decided not to seek re-election last year. Steve Peters, OFVGA’s Award During his tenure with the agriculture ministry, Peters was instruof Merit winner. Photo by Herb mental in creating a $17.5 million research and development fund for Sherwood. horticulture under the CORD IV program. He also launched the now popular spring-time Taste of Ontario event held annually at Queen’s Park to showcase Ontario-produced foods.. “Steve was a tireless advocate for Ontario agriculture during his time in politics and we appreciated his ongoing efforts to promote our industry,” says Smith. “He was a real champion of food, farming and farmers and we wish him well as he moves to new endeavours.”

INTERNATIONAL

Vital Vegetables, selected and bred for improved health benefits, are enjoying success in Australia. Booster Broccoli has been available since 2009, with claims of having 40 per cent more active antioxidants than regular broccoli varieties. Several more lines including capsicum, potatoes, carrots, corn, tomatoes, cauliflower and sprouts will launch later this year. Pre-packaged salad and stir fry mixes and coleslaws ("vitalslaw") will also be produced. Developed with leading seed companies through conventional breeding, the veggies will be grown by a group of fresh produce companies under the collective name Vital Vegetable Marketing Partnership. The project has been funded, in part, by Horticulture Australia Ltd. Source: FreshPlaza.com

An innovative fruit trading company is developing a solar energy project in the Atacama Desert to pump underground water for irrigating new table grape crops. The energy produced by this photovoltaic plant will allow for new cultivation zones to be developed in one of the driest areas of Chile. What

makes the area attractive is that it has one of the highest solar radiation levels of the world. “In winter, when the farm doesn’t use all the energy produced, the energy will be transferred south and used to pack kiwifruit and avocados in one of our packing houses located close to Santiago,” says Subsole president, Miguel Allamand. “This will allow us to produce and pack fruit in an environmentally friendly way, while also ensuring stable energy costs and higher efficiency.” Source: FreshPlaza.com


PAGE 4 –– FEBRUARY 2012 THE GROWER

LEADERSHIP

National capital to host Canadian Horticultural Council AGM Circle your calendar for March 13 – 16. Plans are well underway for the 90th annual general meeting of the Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC) to be staged at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier in Ottawa, Ontario. Anne Fowlie, executive vice-president, shares the roster of speakers, including: Lamar Russell: Reaching for the Impossible A recently retired engineer in Cape Canaveral, Lamar Russell was employed by the National Aeronautics & Space Administration at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, for 45 years. He supported the launch preparation and countdowns of all Apollo Saturn 5 rockets and all Space Shuttle launches. From a frontrow seat, he has witnessed the history of sending men and women to the moon and back, building and utilizing the space shuttles and constructing the International Space Station. Andreas Steiner: Innovation in Vegetable and Root Crops Head, Vegetables, Latin America North, Syngenta Born and raised in a small farming town in central Switzerland, Andreas Steiner turned a childhood love of agriculture into a life-long passion. He pursued a university degree in Agricultural Engineering from Switzerland’s Technical University for International Agriculture. Andreas also studied Marketing at the Swiss Institute for Business Administration. He’s had an enduring interest in tropical farming, ever since spending a year working for Nestle in Ecuador. His career has been farflung with responsibilities in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, the Caribbean and Europe. Several years ago, Andreas relocated to Boise, Idaho as Syngenta’s marketing director for the vegetable seeds business in North America, Mexico, Central

Fruit and Vegetable Connection Director of Sales The NPD Group, Inc. (Toronto) David Drexler: Bee Health in Canada Agrology Consultant and CEO, Researchman Inc. (Calgary), Retired Director, Development and Licensing for Bayer

CropScience Program details: The early rate for the companion program has been extended to Friday, February 10. For more information on registration, go to www.hortcouncil.ca

Trans-Pacific Partnership on the table

Lamar Russell, inspirational speaker: Reaching for the Impossible. America and the Caribbean and later, head, portfolio management for the integrated North America vegetables business, including genetics, crop protection and seed care products. In January, 2012, he moved into his current position as head, Vegetables, Latin America North. Jay Bradshaw: The Fruit and Vegetable Equation – Feeding a New World President of Syngenta Canada When Syngenta Crop Protection Canada was formed in 2000, Jay joined the team as president and joined the head office in Guelph, Ontario in 2001. Under Jay’s guidance, Syngenta Canada has launched training programs that support business success and encourage leadership. They include: Leadership At Its Best®, Grower University™ Business Foundations and Syngenta Learning Centres™. His leadership role in Canadian agribusiness was honoured in 2009 with the Canadian Agri-Marketer of the

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Year award from the Canadian Agri-Marketing Association. With 25 years of experience in agriculture and five consecutive years as Chairman for the Executive Board of Directors for CropLife Canada, Jay delivers a unique perspective on Canadian agri-business. Jay was born and raised in a farming community in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. He is a graduate from the University of Guelph’s Ontario Agriculture College in 1982 followed by an M.B.A. from Saskatchewan in 1986. Kathy Perotta: Consumer Trends, The Millenials and the

On November 13, 2011, in a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Harper and President Obama on the margins of the APEC Leaders’ meeting in Honolulu, Canada formally indicated its interest in joining the TPP negotiations. The Government of Canada has published a notice in the Canada Gazette announcing consultations on potential free trade agreement negotiations with Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) members. All interested parties are invited to submit their views by February 14, 2012. Please be advised that any information received as a result of this consultation will be considered as public information, unless explicitly stated otherwise. Submissions should include: 1. Contributor’s name and address, and if applicable, his/her organization, institution or business; 2. Specific issues being addressed; and 3. Precise information on the rationale for the positions taken, including any significant impact that it may have on Canada’s domestic or foreign interests. The Canada Gazette notice can be found here: http://gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2011/2011-12-31/html/notice-aviseng.html These consultations are an opportunity to share relevant information with negotiators, including with respect to particular products of export interest, products sensitive to import competition from TPP member countries (Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States and Vietnam), or commercial market access issues you have encountered in the course of past dealings with TPP member countries. CHC strongly encourages you to share any views or information you have on this matter.


FEBRUARY 2012 –– PAGE 5 THE GROWER

FOOD SAFETY

What are your house rules for food safety? U.S. experience underlines need for heightened vigilance in Canada KAREN DAVIDSON The Canadian produce industry can’t be complacent about food safety. In 2011, U.S. consumer confidence was pummelled after unprecedented recalls on everything from tomatoes and bagged salad to strawberries and cantaloupes. The Listeria monocytogenes outbreak in cantaloupes killed 30 people, the worst case of foodborne illness in 25 years. Since listeria is a common culprit in processed meats and cheeses, its appearance as a first-time contaminant of whole cantaloupes surprised food safety experts. A review of food-borne illness reveals that more outbreaks are now linked to produce rather than meat says Heather Gale, CanadaGAP national program manager, Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC). She gave a comprehensive overview to the Ontario Apple Growers annual general meeting, citing a variety of pathogens: E. coli 0157:H7, Salmonella spp and Listeria monocytogenes.

More outbreaks are being recorded due to better surveillance, a more sensitive and aging population, wider distribution and consumption of produce, and changing diets that are incorporating more fruits and vegetables. As a result, retailers and food service companies have been sensitized, not only to liability issues but to the reputations of their brands. Traceability initiatives are now standard, but growers complain that the problem is always assumed to be at the farm rather than somewhere in the value chain. To date, Gale noted that there has been little in the way of food safety regulation for fresh produce. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency, for instance, has no jurisdiction on farms except for field packing. The last decade has been a huge learning curve in gathering baseline data on farms and, for CHC, in developing a national standard and certification system, training tools, guidance and educational resources for growers. “The Canadian response has been a hybrid solution,” says

Gale. “We’ve developed an industry standard that is subject to review by the government.” In 2008, the CHC program officially became CanadaGAP, based on Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HAACP) models specific to each commodity. Voluntary and market-driven, CanadaGAP now boasts almost 2000 producer enrollees who submit to third-party certification.

The Canadian response has been a hybrid solution.” ~ Heather Gale Meanwhile, the global situation has been fractured by varying customer demands leading to multiple audits, elevated costs and duplication. Out of this chaos emerged the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), driven by a recognition of the challenges

facing suppliers of global retailers such as Walmart, Tesco and Groupe Carrefour. GFSI’s goal for suppliers is: ‘once certified, accepted everywhere.’ Gale reports that CanadaGAP was formally recognized in May 2010 under the global initiative, the first Canadian food safety program to receive this international distinction. To maintain that status, CanadaGAP is currently rebenchmarking to new criteria issued in 2011. GFSI examines both the technical

standards and CanadaGAP’s management system. Growers can be forgiven if they are confused about another program called GLOBALG.A.P. Gale explains that it was founded in Europe and goes beyond food safety to include such elements as worker welfare and environmental stewardship. “We are interested in GLOBALG.A.P. equivalence,” says Gale, “but formal benchmarking is on hold pending time and resources.”

Critical lessons to be learned from American cantaloupe crisis A Colorado farm’s new processing equipment and lack of control over washwater quality were contributing factors to a deadly listeria outbreak in cantaloupes that killed 30 people and sickened 146 people in 28 states last fall. Inspectors found several compounding issues when they visited Jensen Farms last September. First, was failure to remove field heat before the melons were put into cold storage. Secondly, food safety audits left the impression that all was well, but after a 2010 audit, the farm purchased and retrofitted potato processing equipment to replace a hydrocooler that handled cantaloupe. Finally -- and fatally --the farm quit chlorinating water used to wash the cantaloupes. For the family-owned farm which had contracted with Primus Labs, one of the country’s largest food safety auditing firms, the crisis was a shock. The auditing company had given Jensen Farms a 95 per cent, superior rating in 2010 and an even higher rating of 96 per cent in July 2011, just two months before the disaster. Auditors only deduct scores if a method or technique is not followed according to FDA regulations. No deductions were made if FDA guidance was not followed. There are no specific regulations on cantaloupe processing, only guidance. These gaps were addressed on January 12, 2012 with an invitation-only conference held by the Center for Produce Safety at the University of California, Davis. For starters, Food Safety News reports that California cantaloupe growers plan to plant fewer acres while research identifies best practices. The succinct, eight-page report from the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce is highly recommended reading. It’s called the “Report on the Investigation of the outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes in cantaloupe at Jensen Farms.” Postscript: the Jensens were also fined in mid-January for failing to provide migrant workers with housing that meets safety and health regulations.


PAGE 6 –– FEBRUARY 2012 THE GROWER

CONSUMER EDUCATION

A spoonful of common sense puts chemicals into context KAREN DAVIDSON “If you smell coffee, you are sniffing more than a thousand different chemicals,� says Joe Schwarcz, director of McGill University’s Office for Science and Society. “There’s benzene, styrene and numerous other compounds that are toxic at high doses but are benign to humans in this small dose.� With that example, Schwarcz kicked off his guest appearance at the annual banquet of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFVGA), giving confidence to a crowd of converts that chemicals are not the evil substances that many consumers believe them to be. In the U.S., the Environmental Working Group fuels the debate of pesticide residues on commonly consumed produce by publishing an annual list of the ‘dirty dozen.’ Apples, celery and strawberries often top the list. And if consumers were to take this group’s advice verbatim, they would also reject peaches, spinach, nectarines, grapes, sweet bell peppers, potatoes, blueberries, lettuce and kale. But these findings should not translate into anxiety just because several residues may be present in tiny amounts. Schwarcz points out that a scientifically illiterate society may not appreciate that it’s not the number of different residues present that matters but their amount. Only the dose makes the poison, and that context is extremely important in understanding that chemicals, the building blocks of matter, are not “good� or “bad.� Chemical-free is “nonsensical� he says, in a world that has 60 million chemicals, most of which are naturally occurring. In fact, plants protect themselves against pests with natural pesticides. Pyrethrum, a natural insecticide from the chrysanthemum flower, is one such example.

Best-selling author Joe Schwarcz has a new book on the market, Dr. Joe’s Health Lab: 164 Amazing Insights into the Science of Medicine, Nutrition and Well-Being.

With chemicals so pervasive in our natural environment, Schwarcz points out that the consumer ingests about one gram of natural pesticides each day. The body handles synthetic and natural toxins in the same way, with no distinguishing differences between the two. Until the early 1900s, everything was “organicâ€? he says. But gradually, farmers started using various compounds to fight insects, weeds and fungi. There’s a long history of sulphur, nicotine and DDT, for example, to ward off pests. In 1948, Paul MĂźller won the Nobel prize for medicine for his discovery of DDT. Over the years, that chemical has zigzagged in popularity, from pariah to panacea. At first, it was in high demand during World War II because of dwindling supplies of pyrethrum to fight typhus and malaria. Then a connection made to declining populations of birds of prey, the American eagle in particular, prompted a ban in 1969. More research on proper use has rehabilitated the chemical’s benefits. As recently as 2006, the World Health Organization suggested DDT has a role in combating malaria as a powder sprayed in third-world homes. Today, manufacturing companies and subsequently, farmers, are more astute in how and when to use chemicals in food production. In some cases, less than one teaspoon of active ingredient is used per acre. All of this is not news for growers of fruits and vegetables, however the scientific context is welcome for growers who must communicate to neighbours how their chemical inputs benefit society and do no harm to the environment. “I’ve yet to meet a farmer who says that he/she hasn’t spent enough on chemicals this year,â€? says Schwarcz. “They only use what’s necessary. And they know that there are no safe or dangerous chemicals, only safe or dangerous ways to use them.â€?

      

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FEBRUARY 2012 –– PAGE 7 THE GROWER

TECHNOLOGY

Bartlett’s customize European equipment for Canadian markets See labour-saving platform at this month’s Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention KAREN DAVIDSON As the great-grandson of the founder of N. M. Bartlett Inc., sales rep Sean Bartlett carries a lot of history on his shoulders. But these days, the century anniversary of the horticultural services company founded in 1912 is an easy load to celebrate. Today’s customers likely don’t remember that the founder of the company was Norman Millet Bartlett. He would be proud of his legacy with the third generation taking the business forward: Craig Bartlett, Don Peters and David Bartlett. Several other Bartlett’s help to staff the 45-employee company. Based in Beamsville, Ontario, the company is well positioned to serve the tender fruit region in Niagara where they provide crop protection products as well as a full line of equipment. In the U.S., they sell Fruit-tec blossom thinners, the Orsi platform and Greefa packing equipment. Family firms are notoriously hard to turn over to the next

generation, but this family is well entrenched with Craig Bartlett as president and brother-in-law Don Peters as vice-president. “Our motto these days is to keep at the forefront of technological advancements,” says Sean Bartlett. Only recently has labour-saving equipment become part of the business offering. About 85 per cent of the business is still in offering crop protection products to Canadian fruit and vegetable growers. “With the ever shrinking world of transporting goods, there are more competitors with some key advantages such as lower input costs,” says Bartlett. “For our growers to compete, they need to produce the best product possible with the lowest input cost possible. That’s where our equipment lines come in. We’ve chosen to align ourselves with like-minded companies that are looking to provide quality, reliable products that will help improve efficiencies in the workplace.” They source and customize European machines including:

The Orsi platform can be used for such jobs as thinning, picking, pruning, and any kind of trellis work. It replaces the need for a ladder. For a video demonstration, go to: www.youtube.com/user/mattpetersbartlett Greefa packing lines, VanWamel ‘Perfect’ mowers, Orsi Group S.R.L. platforms and Fruitec blossom thinning machines. To that point, a labour-saving platform will be on display later this month at the annual Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention in Niagara Falls. “It’s specifically

designed for picking or pruning in high-density apple orchards,” says Bartlett. The platform has been imported from Italian company, Orsi, which won an innovation award for their Cross model in 2010. Bartlett’s has made the specialized world of orchard

equipment more accessible with YouTube. Just three years ago, the company introduced mechanical blossom thinners to increase efficiency in peach orchards. As part of that launch, the company filmed a YouTube video of the machine in action. As Matt Peters, Bartlett’s sales rep explains, “There will be no major changes to the design for the 2012 season. We will be adding a heftier protective sheath for the control box cable to help protect from pinching. Although the strings we have adopted as our standard for the past three years have worked very well, the founding company, Fruitec, is investigating new materials to increase the string’s life span. Although there are many variables, on average, we start to see visible signs of wear on our current strings after approximately 150 acres of use.” It’s this candour and continuous development that’s kept Bartlett’s in business for a century.

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PAGE 8 –– FEBRUARY 2012 THE GROWER

PROMOTION ACROSS CANADA

Ontario: Apples may cure the moody blues KAREN DAVIDSON Citing research that more than five million Canadians suffer the winter blues, the Ontario Apple Growers are currently running a promotional campaign that apples – local apples – can help keep the blues at bay. Mood food expert Patricia Muzzi says it’s a simple formula: mood foods = healthy brain = good mood. “Most people make the connection between food and its effects on their physical body but overlook the profound effect it has on their overall mood,” says Muzzi, personal chef and founder of Mood Food Culinary. “People need to shift their mindset and habits and start eating to feed their brain.” “The seasonal drop in sunlight affects our brain chemistry which leads to a change in brain functions, such as concentration and mood,” says Muzzi. “The key to healthy brain chemistry lies in knowing how and what foods impact brain health. Mood foods are important year-round,

but especially during the winter months when the potential for depression or ‘moodiness’ is much higher.” Apples are a powerful mood food, says Muzzi, because of the high levels of antioxidants, flavonoids and vitamins that they contain. Antioxidants and flavonoids protect brain and neuron function thus heightening thinking ability and alertness while complex carbohydrates and B vitamins are critical for balanced serotonin levels which can increase optimism and improve sleep. Even the pure juice of apples has been shown to help reduce problems associated with memory loss. When combined, all of the properties found in apples help to nourish the brain and produce ‘happy’ chemicals that can help improve one’s mood. As part of the media campaign, Muzzi has created four recipes to use 2011-harvested apples. They are: Baked Ontario Apple Frittata Cups, Ontario Apple Mac and Cheese Bake, Quesadillas with Ontario Apple Salsa and Ontario Apples and Almond Butter Whole Wheat Cookies. For these and other recipes, visit www.onapples.com.

Nova Scotia: IncrEDIBLE February promotions feature apples Nova Scotia Fruit Growers’ Association kicks off apple month as part of IncrEDIBLE February promotions to eat local. Major apple wholesalers and a number of farmers’ markets participate in the promotion says Dela Erith, executive director. Collaborating

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packers are: Scotian Gold Cooperative Ltd., Glooscap (Van Meekeren Farms), Blomidon Produce, Stirling Fruit Farms and Noggins Corner Farm. Activities include radio, TV commercials and various apple giveaway activities. Apples are the

major tree fruit grown in Nova Scotia, contributing more than $50 million annually to the local economy.


FEBRUARY 2012 –– PAGE 9 THE GROWER

PROMOTION ACROSS CANADA

Quebec: Apples are for winter snacking

The Federation of Quebec Apple Growers is very active with winter promotions through to March. Their message? Apples aren’t just for fall, but for winter too. The campaign is carried out on several platforms including Radio-Canada television, websites, social media and bus banners. It’s easy to chuckle at the winter toques on provincial favourites: Cortland, Empire, McIntosh and Spartan. These humorous banners are currently on transit buses in Montreal and South shore, Laval, and Quebec City. The bus campaign is reinforced with 10-second clips on Radio-Canada television stations which direct consumers

to a website: croquetapomme.com. The concept is to give each of these varieties its own personality, says Diane Allie, information and communication agent. What’s interesting about Quebec’s campaign is its deployment of another website – amoureuxdelapomme.com – loosely translated, for apple lovers. This Internet site is for a younger demographic and to supplement activities on social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. Contest winners are eligible for Apple products, as in trendy Ipads. On Facebook, Pommes Qualité Québec had 8,200 friends at the end of January. The contest is also advertised using coupons in

British Columbia: Growers focus on Ambrosia “bliss break” promotion For anyone in British Columbia or the prairie provinces, eating an Ambrosia apple could be bliss for a moment or an entire weekend. Growers of the fabled fruit of the gods are sponsoring the Okanagan Bliss Break Contest that runs to April 2. It’s worthwhile to check the contest details at the website www.ambrosiaapples.com operated by the New Varieties Development Council. The contest is the latest of several promotional efforts to build awareness of a homegrown sweetheart beyond its B.C. borders. The winner receives an expense-paid weekend in Kelowna, including both a winery and orchard tour, a round of golf and three nights at a luxury resort. Value: $1850. Growers are not leaving promotion to chance, unlike the random discovery of the apple itself, says Marc van Roechoudt, acting chair of the New Varieties Development Council. Finding Ambrosia in the Mennell family’s orchard in the Similkameen Valley in the early 1990s was a fluke. But since a licensing regime has been established under the Okanagan Plant Improvement Corporation (PICO), Ambrosia has been carefully nurtured. “We know this apple is superior in appearance and eating quality and does extremely well in sensory tests,” says van Roechoudt. “It does have to compete on the market with other new varieties which are also heavily promoted.” Tactics include a dedicated website (ambrosiaapples.com) with recipes and news, but also promotional materials for events such as those planned for Alberta. Ambrosia apples will be featured at wine and food events on

We know this apple is superior in appearance and eating quality and does extremely well in sensory tests.” ~ Marc van Roechoudt

February 17, 18 in Edmonton and February 24/25 in Calgary. Rather than a blitz for all apple

varieties, the Ambrosia growers have banded together under the New Varieties Development Council, obtaining the right from the B.C. government to collect a 2.5 cents/lb mandatory levy for apples sold on the fresh market. This mandate was renewed last spring for another five years. The 2011 Ambrosia crop, estimated at 500,000 boxes in the Okanagan and Similkameen valleys, ranks behind Gala, McIntosh and Spartan in volume. But the new variety’s prospects are brighter for better returns.

apple bags or kwik Loks, depending on the packer’s choice. No food promotion would be complete without a recipe contest. Just announced in early January in collaboration with Radio-Canada television, the winner’s recipe is for an apple tarte, made truly Quebecois with the infusion of Oka cheese. Their sophisticated, interactive campaign uses a number of media channels, targeting different demographics, but pushing all consumers to their websites for a touch – and hopefully – a taste of Quebec apples.


PAGE 10 –– FEBRUARY 2012 THE GROWER

Chair ’s report to the OFVGA AGM BRIAN GILROY The year 2011 is behind us now and “In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield.” I am pleased to report that the OFVGA, with industry partners, has made significant progress in a number of areas, during the past year. It was a year in which we had both a federal and provincial election. There were increased opportunities to discuss the issues affecting horticulture farmers and recommend solutions, with campaigning politicians. As clearly stated at last year’s Annual General Meeting dinner by our guest speaker, Bruce Vincent, a logger from Libby, Montana, “ Democracy/politics works but it is not a spectator sport.” Policy makers are trying to save the environment and our current provincial government is committed to a “Green Ontario.” Unfortunately these policies often put the rural way of life in jeopardy. We have and will continue to bring the message forward that farming and other rural activities are the “Green Choice.” The speed at which significant public policies are being put into effect has been both a good and challenging thing. The late summer announcement of a Risk Management Program for most non-supply managed agriculture with almost immediate implementation was a significant accomplishment for all involved. The Self-Directed Risk Management (SDRM) Program for edible horticulture has been welcomed by all, is more predictable and will help offset some of the dramatic cost of production increases that we have been experiencing. Other policy programs that are being implemented have been very challenging for our sector and the “Greening of Ontario” certainly needs more farmer input. The December 7th signing of The Joint Action Plan for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness for Canada and the United States may hold many opportunities for horticulture but some of the challenges have already negatively impacted some of us. The recently implemented Perimeter Security of plant products will dramatically limit our ability to import trees and rootstock from historical suppliers like Holland. Farmers need to be fully engaged with policy makers

as these policies and regulations are developed. The potential benefits of this new perimeter deal are numerous and will address some of our long standing issues. Developing common approaches to food safety, crop protection products, financial risk mitigation tools to protect fruit and vegetable farmers from

Don Taylor the added input has been most welcome. It is essential that we work together to turn as many of the challenges we are facing into opportunities, that will strengthen fruit and vegetable farming in Ontario and all of Canada. We also spent a significant amount of time looking at our

and accomplishments from the past year but there a few areas that I need to mention. The Supreme Court of Canada ruling on the Fraser Case is significant as it helps stabilize our labour force for the foreseeable future. The work that the Labour Issues Coordinating Committee, Ken Linington, Ken Forth and others

2011 OFVGA chair Brian Gilroy presents his report to the annual general meeting in Niagara Falls. Seated L-R: Deanna Hutton, executive assistant; Art Smith, CEO; Peter Tonin, auditor and Ray Duc, management committee. Photo by Denis Cahill.

buyer default, the orderly border crossing of perishable goods and funding mechanisms to support research and promotion are all on the table. Murray Porteous, one of OFVGA’s representatives to the Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC) and the current CHC Vice- Chair will be providing more details on the CHC Legacy Campaign during our Annual Meeting. The goal is to increase funding to our national horticulture organization to increase the lobby efforts regarding the issues noted above. To ensure that the policies are developed with our input is imperative. One of the most significant developments for the OFVGA in the past year has been the renewed spirit of cooperation among all member organizations. The Board of Directors for the OFVGA was expanded from 10 to 11 directors with Greenhouse having a second seat. The second Greenhouse seat may also be their appointed chair and with the position, for the past year, held by

governance and operational policies and procedures. Some of the highlights achieved include the development of a Board Audit Committee and a commitment to

have done on this file is appreciated. The Ontario Agriculture Sustainability Coalition is a group that represents most of the non-

In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield.” ~ Brian Gilroy

formalize goal setting and evaluation procedures. This is indeed a work in progress and something your new Board of Directors will need to complete. In an effort to reduce the length of this report I am unable to touch on all of the activities

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:

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supply managed agriculture in Ontario. It was this group, working together with then Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Carol Mitchell who made the RMP/SDRM programs a reality. To implement this program so quickly was amazing and to the

ONTARIO FRUIT AND VEGETABLE GROWERS’ ASSOCIATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS 2011 MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE Chair Vice-Chair Fruit Director Veg Director Director

Mac James, Leamington Ray Duc, Niagara-on-the-Lake Norm Charbonneau, Port Elgin Jason Ryder, Delhi Jason Verkaik, Bradford

BOARD OF DIRECTORS 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 Greenhouse

Brian Gilroy, Meaford Mary Shabatura, Windham Centre Fred Meyers, Niagara-on-the-Lake Jason Ryder, Delhi Ray Duc, Niagara-on-the-Lake Jason Verkaik, Bradford Mac James, Leamington Norm Charbonneau, Port Elgin Ken Van Torre, Burford Jan Vander Hout, Waterdown Don Taylor, Durham

people at OMAFRA and Agricorp, “Job well done.” The Research and Promotion Fund Pilot is ending soon but not before it fulfilled its goal of helping to offset the cost of research and promotion activities for our member commodity groups. The rate of change in agriculture is not slowing down and the section chairs have been very active trying to guide the changes related to their areas. I encourage you to take the time to read the different section reports to appreciate the dedication that the section chairs give to their areas of responsibility. Thanks to; Ken Forth Labour Mark Wales Safety Nets Charles Stevens Crop Protection Harold Schooley Research Dave Lambert Property Your efforts on our behalf are greatly appreciated! The Board for the past year has been a very dynamic group whose efforts to be solution focused have been greatly appreciated. Your Vice Chair is Mac James who has been called on regularly to help process some of the challenges we have had to deal with. The rest of the Board, Ray Duc, Fred Meyers, Jason Ryder, Norm Charbonneau, Doug Bradley and Ken VanTorre, Jason Verkaik, Mary Shabatura, Jan VanderHout and Don Taylor, Thank you. To our CEO Art Smith, thank you for your devotion to the OFVGA. The past year has been challenging, but together we have strived to build on the strengths of our organization, which you have been a big part of developing. When I first came into the role of Chair I commented on how impressed I was with the staff at the OFVGA. They are a group of talented, professional individuals who work hard on our behalf. Working for a group of farmers has its unique set of challenges but your dedication is greatly appreciated. To Deanna, Alison, Craig, Carlie, Dianne, George, Lilian, Karen, Carl and Herb, you are outstanding in your fields of expertise. It has been a privilege to work on your behalf for the past year and together we can make a difference.

OFVGA SECTION CHAIRS Crop Protection Research Property Labour Safety Nets CHC

Charles Stevens, Newcastle Harold Schooley, Simcoe Brian Gilroy, Meaford Ken Forth, Lynden Mark Wales, Alymer Murray Porteous, Simcoe


FEBRUARY 2012 –– PAGE 11 THE GROWER

PERSPECTIVE Food means bargaining power in the new world order

OWEN ROBERTS UNIVERSITY OF GUELPH I almost never start a column, story or blog post (or speech) with a direct quote. I got pummeled for doing so back in the 1970s by a veteran editor, and I've never forgot. He said it’s a journalist’s job to tell the story in his or her own words, not in someone else’s. And he was right. But to me, this quote bears our attention: "The world cannot afford a failure as big as China." That’s the alarming warning from Chinese agricultural journalist Zhou Siyu, in his fine 2012 outlook story about his country's

projected agricultural fortunes – or misfortunes -- published in the China Daily. Zhou, who visited Guelph and other parts of southwestern Ontario last fall as a participant in the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists congress master class, says China's farmers are fighting a battle on two fronts. First, he says, they’re experiencing less available arable land, water and other natural resources than ever. China outfits the world with consumer goods, not agricultural products. Land is more likely to be developed for manufacturing than preserved for farming. Equally as problematic is China’s need to contend with the continuing surge in demand for food, stemming from the ever-increasing population. To meet the demand, says Zhou, production is increasing. China has harvested more grain every year for eight years in a row. And last year it realized a record grain output, 4.5 per cent more than the year before. Still, China is not a highly industrialized country when it comes to farming. In some cases, it does indeed sport row crops cultivated on large farms such as

those you might see here, except the farms are owned by the government. But much of rural China still relies on peasant farmers who have not benefited from new technology. So despite gains in production, including fruit and vegetables, China still needs to bring in more food and feed. For example, prior to 1996, China did not import soybeans. But by 2010, it was buying almost 55 million tons a year. That made it the largest soybean importer in the world -- a huge turn of events in a relatively short time. All this points to one very hungry country. China has traditionally counted on the U.S. to buy its consumer goods. Now, it’s counting on the Americans to help keep it fed. In fact, in 2011, China, a world away, surpassed Canada to become the largest importer of agricultural goods from the U.S., our next door neighbour. But that’s a mere sidebar to this story. The real point is that China is spending a lot of money on food. And in doing so, from its perspective, it’s helping keep economies such as the U.S. afloat when other sectors have crashed

and burned. That, says Zhou, is why the world can't afford to have China fail. Globally, he wonders, who else is spending money besides China? Who else has something to sell that everyone needs? Once, highly industrialized countries had that market cornered. Now, the future may belong to countries who can grow food most effectively. Food equals bargaining power. No one anywhere is going to buy a refrigerator, stove or microwave built in China if they don’t have anything to store in it or cook on it. Food is more precious than factories. But food, as a raw commodity, can certainly be processed in factories – in many cases processing is a must, to make it edible -- and give people jobs. That makes agriculture and food the perfect sector to invest in, for a province or country trying to pull itself out of the economic doldrums. People are waking up to the

need for efficient, research-based food production. Research is how the Chinese are increasing their yields. We do the same, and have for decades, through such initiatives as the research agreement between the University of Guelph and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. And we need to keep it up. The world is hungry . . . and getting hungrier everyday.

Where will the budget cuts come from in agriculture?

ADRIAN HUISMAN ONTARIO TENDER FRUIT PRODUCERS (From an article in Better Farming) - The Conservative Government has ordered a government-wide search for at least $4 billion in savings to partially deal with the massive federal deficit accumulated during the recession. This undoubtedly will include agriculture. Each department has been told to find between five and ten per cent in cuts. This comes at a time when the federal and provincial governments are negotiating the next agricultural policy plan “Growing Forward 2.” One recent study based on a cross section of farms in the west indicated that agricultural profits are improving and there may be less need for support programs and more spending on innovation.

Unfortunately, the study was based on only 400 grain farms in the west, a sector that has shown strength in recent years but this is not reality for all of agriculture. Figures lie and liars figure! This certainly is not the case in the horticultural sector neither in Ontario nor the rest of Canada where growers have been forced to become price takers not price setters. Import competition, sharply increasing costs and narrowing exchange rates have taken their toll. In Ontario for example, the recent increases in the minimum wage alone have cost the edible horticultural sector about $400 million dollars annually with little or no hope of ever passing this on to consumers. Government programs such as AgriInvest, AgriStability and the recently announced SDRM program in Ontario are vital to the horticultural sector and relied upon by our producers. If anything they need further investments not less in order to meet their objective of sustainability. We expect that every component of “Growing Forward 1” will be scrutinized and likely tampered with but hopefully they won’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. Also, hopefully, the government will keep in mind that the recent recession was not caused by farmers and it wasn’t farmers who were the recipients of the massive bailouts provided

to other sectors of the economy. Before I forget, I have one more rant: what on earth is Canada doing by providing $35

million in aid to China, a country with one of the strongest economies on earth, when it is the production from China that has

caused the downfall of many of our industries such as canned fruit and the apple concentrate market? Unbelievable!


PAGE 12 –– FEBRUARY 2012 THE GROWER

Promoting food and farming: AGCare 2011 year in review KELLY DAYNARD In 2012, the amalgamation of AGCare and the Ontario Farm Animal Council (OFAC) became a reality with the creation of Farm & Food Care Ontario. Since their founding in 1987, both AGCare and OFAC have worked with each other, their members and other like-minded groups across North America to promote responsible farm practices and find new ways of talking to the public about food and farming. Here are some highlights from 2011:

create clips about Canadian farming for the chance to win a wide variety of prizes in the Farm Flicks contest. Providing expertise and leadership on issues: • Two board members sit on the Great Lakes Water Quality Working Group. • Two Speak Up team training sessions were hosted for Ontario farmers in 2011. The goal is to create confident spokespeople on issues related to food and farming. Hundreds of farmers across Canada have now participated in this Ontario-led initiative.

Education and events: • OFAC and AGCare led farm tours for 130 students from four Ontario culinary colleges. Students from Fanshawe College in London, Sir Sandford Fleming College in Peterborough and Toronto’s George Brown College learned first-hand about the work that goes into raising the products they use in their kitchens. Foodland Ontario sponsored lunches for each tour. • The annual Toronto media tour resulted in a sold out trip for 50 attendees to horticulture and livestock farms and food facilities in Perth County. Attendees included representatives from Toronto Sun, Toronto Star, Food and Drink, Reader’s Digest, Kraft Canada and Foodland Ontario. • The FarmzOnWheelz exhibit was the recipient of a regional Premier’s Awards for Ag Innovation. It spent 135 days at seven events in 2011, reaching 1.15 million people. • Oprah and Owen, OFAC and AGCare’s spokes-robots, continue to be two of the organizations’ more popular attractions, attending 17 events last year. • Approximately 57,500 Ontario students visited at least one of AGCare and OFAC’s displays at various locations throughout the 2011 fair and exhibition season. • The annual creativity contest received more than 1600 entries – up from 961 entries in 2010 and only 40 in the contest’s first year in 2006. Students participate by documenting their visit to a farm, farm exhibit or fall fair through drawing a photo and telling a story about their experience. • Over 5,200 Ontario schools received new farming resources, including the Real Dirt on Farming book, a virtual farm tour CD and the accompanying teachers’ guides for both. Both were co-sponsored by OFVGA. • New in 2011, young Canadians between the ages of 16 and 24 were encouraged to get out their video cameras to capture and

• AGCare and OFAC continued building their Young Ambassador training program with presentations to 290 young people last year. These included agricultural college students, junior farmers, 4-H members, fair ambassadors and queens of the furrow. Public outreach: • As a continuation of the “Hit the Trails” project, 22 new signs with positive agriculture and environmental messages were posted along walking trails on the Oak Ridges Moraine from Caledon to Warkworth. • Seven thousand copies of the 2012 Faces of Farming calendar were printed and mailed to politicians (federal, provincial and municipal), media, grocery stores and butcher shops, as well as offered for sale to consumers. OFVGA was a new sponsor of

this project in 2011. • Farm & Food Care has about 1600 followers on Twitter and 200 fans on Facebook. A new YouTube channel was launched in 2011 featuring 80 Ontario farm videos. • Work continues in partnership with OAFE and Farmers Feed Cities on recruiting teachers for a “Friend a Farmer” program designed to connect farmers to students in an urban classroom. • OFAC and AGCare work on behalf of Ontario commodity groups to maintain www.farmingsources.com, a media database on agricultural issues. It is searchable by organization and topic and features an ongoing index of current Ontario agriculture news stories from AGCare and OFAC’s members. • In 2011, staff gave 77 presentations and training workshops to farmers, commodity staff, agri business employees, service club members and politicians. Staff also conducted 71 media interviews about food and farming. Thanks to supportive members, involved and committed directors and dedicated staff, AGCare has always taken pride on its accomplishments with a modest budget. With the creation of Farm & Food Care, the organization is excited about its role in building a stronger voice for Ontario’s agri-food sector. A sincere thank you to OFVGA for its continued commitment to both AGCare and Farm & Food Care and your

The Annual “Muck” Conference is moving!!!! NEW LOCATION

61st Annual Muck Vegetable Conference and Trade Show will be located at the . . .

Bradford & District Memorial Community Centre March 28th and 29th 125 Simcoe Street Bradford, ON L3Z2A8 Contact: Matthew Sheppard Phone: (905) 775-3317 Fax: (905) 775-3318 sitehttp://www.uoguelph.ca/muckcrop/muckconference.html

efforts in cultivating awareness and building trust in food and farming in Ontario. For more information: www.farmfoodcare.org.

Kelly Daynard is Farm & Food Care Communications Manager.

COMING EVENTS 2012 February 2

Farm Credit Canada Learning Tour: Food Safety and Technology for Better Management, Old Orchard Inn, Wolfville, NS 9:30 am – 1:30 pm

February 6

Farm Credit Canada Learning Tour: Food Safety and Technology for Better Management; Club de Golf Triangle d’Or, St-Remi, QC 9:30 am – 1:30 pm

Feb 7, 8

Canadian Food Summit, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto, ON

Feb 7, 8

Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association Annual Meeting, Lamplighter Inn, London, ON

Feb 7 – 9

Canadian International Farm Show, Toronto, ON

Feb 8 – 10

Fruit Logistica, Berlin, Germany

February 14 OMAFRA pre- and post-harvest water webinar, 10:30 – noon; to register call 877-424-1300 or go online omafra.webex.com Feb 15, 16

Agricultural Management Institute Conference “Take a New Approach: Global Perspectives on Growing Farm Profits,” Delta Hotel, Guelph, ON

Feb 21 – 23 Canadian Organic Science Conference and Science Cluster Strategic Meetings, Winnipeg, MB Feb 22, 23

Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention, Scotiabank Convention Centre, Niagara Falls, ON

February 23 Ontario Lavender Association Annual General Meeting, Niagara Falls, ON March 1, 2 2nd Annual B.C. Tree Fruit Horticultural Symposium March 5 – 7 Growing the Margins Conference, London, ON March 6

Ontario Potato Conference, Delta Hotel, Guelph, ON

March 7

Ontario South Coast Wineries and Growers’ ssociation Annual General Meeting, Burning Kiln Winery, St. Williams, ON

March 13

Farm Credit Canada Learning Tour: Food Safety and Technology for Better Management; Gibson Centre for Community, Arts and Culture, Alliston, ON 9:30 am – 1:30 pm.

Mar 13-16

Canadian Horticultural Council Annual General Meeting, Fairmont Chateau Laurier, Ottawa, ON

Mar 19 – 22 Canadian National Biopesticides and Minor Use Priorities Setting Meeting, Hull, QC Mar 26 – 28 Bioindustrial Innovation Centre International Conference, “Bringing Bioproducts to Market: Overcoming Risks to Commercialization,” Holiday Inn, Point Edward, ON Editor’s note: www.thegrower.org for a listing of more events.


FEBRUARY 2012 –– PAGE 13 THE GROWER

POTATOES

Watch for symptoms of zebra chip disease EUGENIA BANKS Zebra chip is the latest potato disease to plague the potato industry. It was first detected in 1994 in Mexico and in 2000 in the southwestern United States. For 10 years, it was assumed that zebra chip would be limited to the warmer potato-growing areas of the U.S. southwest and Mexico, but late in the summer of 2011 it was found in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. This demonstrates that the potato pest complex is constantly changing. Growers should be aware of potential pest problems and management practices to avoid crop losses. Zebra chip is caused by a bacterium called Candidatus Liberibacter Solanacearum. The vector of this bacterium is the potato psyllid, a small insect that can overwinter in greenhouses in Ontario. The diagnostic symptom of zebra chip in tubers is the brown discolouration of medullary rays. This discolouration is enhanced by frying when producing potato chips or French fries. The dark brown stripes that develop after frying tubers resemble the stripes of zebras and render potato chips unmarketable. Zebra chip can

Brown discolouration of medullary rays distinguish the effects of zebra chip disease. cause severe economic losses not only in the chipping and French fry industry, but in the seed and fresh market as well. Usually, affected seed tubers do not sprout or if they do, they produce hair sprouts or weak plants. Thus, many researchers have indicated that seed potatoes are probably not responsible for spreading the zebra chip disease. Most of the processing and

fresh market varieties are susceptible to zebra chip. Zebra chip-affected plants are either scattered throughout the field or form clusters of collapsing plants that die early. Infected plants exhibit a range of aboveground symptoms that include: • Plant stunting • Leaf yellowing and scorching • Swollen nodes causing a zigzag appearance of the upper growth

• Proliferated axyllary buds • Aerial tubers Below ground symptoms include: • Collapsed stolons • Enlarged lenticels External tuber symptoms Crop protection materials that have being evaluated in the U.S. and have reduced the incidence of zebra chip are: Admire, Movento, Fulfill and Rimon. Mineral oils have shown excellent efficacy as

repellent or oviposition deterrents. is strongly recommended that Ontario potato growers have their fields scouted to monitor potato psyllids, the vectors of the zebra chip pathogen. Joe Munyaneza, an entomologist from USDA based in Washington State, suspects that these tiny insects carrying the zebra chip bacterium could be carried north by winds from southern areas of the U.S. Another problem to add to our long list of potato pests! Eugenia Banks is potato specialist, OMAFRA.

BASF halts development of GM potatoes in Europe KAREN DAVIDSON Due to distrusting consumers and an unfavourable political climate in Europe, BASF has pulled the plug on 13 years of research on a genetically modified potato. The announcement is surprising, given that the German company wagered that industrial uses, not food uses, would be accepted for their environmentally green benefits.

Amflora potato The Amflora potato, specifically, seemed a good bet, because it was genetically modified to produce pure amylopectin starch, which is then processed into waxy potato starch for applications in paper coatings, additives for sprayable concrete, textiles, adhesives and packaging. Although the Amflora potato was registered for use in Germany, Sweden and the Czech Republic in March, 2010, the logistics of growing the crop became impractical. Farmers were restricted in their land rental contracts and the

administrative burdens were too onerous. As a consequence, BASF is moving its plant science headquarters from Limburgerhof, Germany to Raleigh, North Carolina. That leaves only Ghent, Belgium and Berlin, Germany as other key centres of BASF plant research. “We are convinced that plant biotechnology is a key technology for the 21st century,” says Stefan Marcinowski, member of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF, responsible for plant biotechnology. “However, there is still a lack of acceptance for this technology in many parts of Europe – from the majority of consumers, farmers and politicians. Therefore, it does not make business sense to continue investing in products exclusively for cultivation in this market. We will therefore concentrate on the attractive markets for plant biotechnology in North and South America and the growth markets in Asia.” Indeed, the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA) reports that China, India, Brazil, Argentina and South Africa are the developing countries with the fastest adoption of biotech crops, planting 63 million hectares in 2010 or 43 per

cent of the global total. “I expect that developing nations will exceed industrialized nations in the planting of biotech crops by 2015,” says Clive James, ISAAA director.

Canada is fifth among nations in hectarage of biotech crops, right after the U.S., Brazil, Argentina and India. Upon learning about the BASF news announcement, Gord Surgeoner,

president, Ontario Agri-Food Technologies responded: “This is an opportunity for Canada if we had potato starch processing capabilities. We can grow identity-preserved product in Canada.”


PAGE 14 –– FEBRUARY 2012 THE GROWER

OFVGA AGM

CEO’s report

ART SMITH Safety nets The business of lobbying especially for a sector as diverse as ours is a very time consuming and challenging task. Often it seems like years before you get any results then all of a sudden it happens. Such was the case this past year. After three years of lobbying, the provincial government announced a new risk management program for most of the non-supply managed sectors of Ontario agriculture. Of course for us that is SDRM. For the 2011 crop year, the SDRM payments should amount to approximately twenty million dollars to our sector’s farmers. Next year, this figure should increase to about twenty five million dollars due to a change in ANS percentages for matching contribution amounts. The first cheques were sent out in early December, with the balance slated for March 2013. It has long been the position of the OFVGA that large farmers should not be capped out of risk management programs. The changes next year will see ANS percentages of two per cent up to $2.5 million ANS, 1.5 per cent ANS from $2.5 to $5 million and one per cent on all ANS above $5 million. While we had hoped for two per cent ANS across the board, we are none the less

pleased that the numbers moving forward recognize the needs of larger farmers and that no one will be capped out of the program. I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the Government of Ontario for this program, to former Minister Mitchell for all of her effort and support and to the staff at OMAFRA and Agricorp who worked tirelessly and very quickly to get this program up and running. I would also like to thank our own members who sat on the sector reference committee. Without everyone’s effort this program could not have been rolled out as quickly as it was. On the same topic, I would also like to thank the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) and in particular Bette Jean Crews for all of her efforts and the work she did with the OASC group. As I mentioned last year, our greatest strength lies with a single voice, a single message and a single purpose. This is not something that is easy in an industry as diverse as ours. Thanks also to all the OASC leaders and staff who worked so diligently on these RMP programs for the non-supply managed sectors. Research and Promotion Fund The OFVGA was in a very healthy financial position a year ago and as a result, decided to establish a research and promotion fund in the amount of $300,000. This was given back to association members based on the amount of fees generated from each commodity sector. The money was to be used for either

Share representative, participated. The crops produced were very well accepted by the various communities and were paid for this year – a true test of product acceptance. Next year this will be expanded and more farmer participants are being sought. This is a huge market and one that will take time to develop, but we are most encouraged by our early findings. Water

Delegates from the muck vegetable growers, included: (L-R) Kyle Horlings, Tom Miedema, Herman Gasko, Jason Verkaik. Suzette Moniz, OMAFRA joins the table. Not visble is Mark Srokosz and missing Jamie Reaume, executive director, Holland Marsh Growers’ Association. Photo by Denis Cahill. research or promotion activities. There is a list in this book of the activities that these funds were used for. Financials Once again this year, the OFVGA had revenues well in excess of our expenses. In fact, we were within $48 of year ago at $301,000. This solid financial position will enable us to once again commit $300,000 to the member associations for research and promotion. This will be done as last year based on the percentage of membership and container fees that come from each sector. As of October 31st we had over $1.5 million of unrestricted cash and guaranteed investments on hand. We are very fortunate to be in this comfortable position. Canadian Horticultural Council

Our ongoing healthy financial position allowed us to once again pay CHC membership fees on behalf of all of our members who are also members of CHC and whose members pay container fees. This past year, this amounted to approximately$132,000. The combination of the research and promotion fund mentioned above and the CHC fees totaled $432,000. This is money that was given to association members or paid on their behalf and represents just over 36 per cent of all container fees collected. New world crops This past year our New World Crop program was expanded because of grant money from the Agricultural Adaptation Council. An advisory committee including several retailers and wholesalers of ethnic crops, as well as a Food

The whole issue surrounding water escalated this past year. It has grown from Permits To Take Water to issues regarding the disposal of wash water and rainwater. MOE is requiring that farmers who wash soil off their produce have an Environmental Certificate of Approval (ECA) for that wash water if it is more than 10,000 liters per day. Greenhouse operators are also being required to have an ECA for rain-water coming off the roofs of the greenhouse. This in my opinion is regulation for the purpose of regulation and needs to be stopped. Rest assured the OFVGA will be very active on this file in the months ahead. On the permit side of the equation George continued to be very busy this past year and he is bracing for an even busier year ahead. To date, he has completed 235 projects, projects and while there is a cost to those who use his services, it still very cost effective for our members. Apart from the grant money received, his work brought in an additional $55,777.00 dollars to the organization. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE


FEBRUARY 2012 –– PAGE 15 THE GROWER

OFVGA AGM

CEO’s report continued Erie Innovation and Commercialization We are currently in our third year of this program and John continues to do an excellent job for us and for the folks in the sand plains area. John’s report is on page 152 in which he outlines the projects that he has been working on. I would urge you all to read it. Northern School Snack program The report for this program

can be found on page 148 and I urge you to read this as well. I will say that the program has not grown the way that we had hoped it would, not because its importance isn’t recognized, but rather because of the financial situation the province is in. In addition, the Ministry of Health Promotions even with its very small budget was eliminated after the provincial election this past fall. The program however is still alive and is being funded through the Ministry of Health. This past year, the program saw snacks go to 18,000 students in 107 schools

in the Timmins, Cochrane and Algoma areas. Alison has again done an excellent job on this program and the schools and health units continue to be pleased with the selection and quality of the produce they are receiving. FIP The application time period for FIP is now officially closed and all projects will need to be completed and submitted to the Agricultural Adaptation Council by October 1st 2012. The horticulture sector was allocated $3.6 million in total for this program, all of which has been allocated. The FIP horticulture review committee reviewed 80 plus programs and approved 73, which were sent on to AAC for further approval. Administration allowances sent back to OFVGA from AAC totalled $20,000 for the year. Conclusion There are always so many people to thank but I would like to reiterate my appreciation to former Minister Mitchell for her hard work and diligence in championing the various RMP pro-

grams. Also to former OMAFRA Deputy Minister John Burke for his support and again to the folks at OMAFRA and Agricorp for all their hard work regarding this program and the other services they provide. We are very well served by these people. To the folks at VRIC I say thank you as well, not just for your work on our New World Crops project, but also for your enthusiasm and vision for the future. I also want to thank the standing committee chairs for all the work they do and to the Board of Directors for their efforts on behalf of all fruit and vegetable producers in the province. To Mac and Brian for your guidance throughout the year - it is greatly appreciated. None of the good work that the OFVGA does or the accomplishments that we have been able to achieve would be possible without a good staff. They are all committed not only to the organization but to the members that we serve. Each and every one cooperate with each other and help where ever they can. I am indeed privileged to have such a great staff. Thanks to each and every

one of you. And finally, one very special thank you and that is to my friend Adrian Huisman. As many of you know, Adrian will be retiring in just a few short weeks. Adrian has been involved in this industry since he graduated from high school in the late sixties. He started his career with the Fresh Fruit Board and later the Tender Fruit Producers Marketing Board. He has given close to 50 years to this industry and its grower members and always, always with their best interests in mind. Along the way, whether here at the OFVGA or when I was at the grape growers, I could always count on him for his support, guidance and assistance. Thank you Adrian and good luck and good health in your retirement.


PAGE 16 –– FEBRUARY 2012 THE GROWER

OFVGA AGM

Property report

DAVE LAMBERT OFVGA’s property section was kept busy with a number of issues this past year. Municipal taxation OFVGA continues to push for clarification of the definition of farming practices. Farm assessment should apply to all on-farm practices that are required to transform agricultural commodities into a marketable state. Currently, the province does not have a consistent definition of farming as it relates to taxation issues. This means that property tax issues are being addressed or resolved on an individual instead of provincial basis. The OFVGA and other farm organizations are part of a working group whose goal it is to develop a definition that can be accepted by government and farmers. We look forward to working with you on this issue. Permits to take water The surface water scientist project funded through the Agricultural Adaptation Council continued for another year. In 2011, OFVGA staff member George Shearer continued to help growers with completing permit

applications, providing information and troubleshooting issues related to water taking. Shearer also continues to be actively involved in helping address issues that have arisen between growers and Ministry of the Environment’s Central Region. There is a sense that regulations governing permits to take water may be interpreted differently by Central Region than other MOE regions across the province, causing barriers and confusion. OFVGA continues to work on facilitating some meetings in an effort to resolve these conflicts. Wash water discharge The Ministry of the Environment is stepping up enforcement activity in the area of farm wash water by requiring fruit and vegetable farmers in some parts of Ontario to obtain a Certificate of Approval to dispose of wash water. This is water used to rinse soil off crops like carrots and potatoes – required by retailers buying the produce – and then reapplied to the land through irrigation. The application to obtain a permit is lengthy and expensive, so OFVGA is currently working to seek a moratorium on the requirement of these Certificates for farmers who are washing produce. National sustainable water strategy for horticulture I represent OFVGA on a committee working to develop a national sustainable water strate-

gy for horticulture. This initiative is taking place as part of the national Horticulture Value Chain Roundtable. OFVGA submitted comments to the committee including: • Water is an essential ingredient for agricultural production and should not be considered as a consumptive use on the same level as residential or industrial water uses. Without ongoing access to water, many horticultural crops will not grow or mature to market readiness, leaving farmers without crops, and more importantly, consumers without food products. • The vast majority of water used in horticultural production is recycled back into the environment, whether through evaporation, application onto crops or consumption of locally grown food. Only 30 per cent of Ontario’s total consumption of horticultural products is actually grown in this province; the rest is imported from other provinces or countries. Outside of greenhouse vegetable production, the majority of fruits and vegetables produced in Ontario are also consumed here at home. • Food production must be designated as an essential use so that water continues to be available during times of low water emergencies. Water is needed to feed people and water use in agriculture should not be subject to restrictions or limitations determined by local or regional nongovernmental decision-making bodies. • All water users, including farmers, have a role to play in efficient

water use and should take a proactive approach to water conservation. In horticulture, irrigation of crops is an expensive undertaking and not something that is done with a wasteful intent. New irrigation technologies combined with incentives for infrastructure upgrades and educational initiatives for farmers will go a long way to help horticultural water use become even more efficient. Canadian Water Summit I attended the Canadian Water Summit, where agriculture was highlighted several times as being the most consumptive water user. There are efforts underway to begin charging industry for water

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FEBRUARY 2012 â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C; PAGE 17 THE GROWER

OFVGA AGM

Safety nets report MARK WALES It is always a pleasure to highlight a big win on the safety net file. We do not get them very often these days and after a lot of lobbying by many people, the Self-Directed Risk Management (SDRM) program was approved and rolled out during 2011. Many thanks again to Minister Mitchell for the push to get the program rolled out along with the other commodity risk management programs before the election. Self Directed Risk Management (SDRM) As I write this on December 14, the first batch of checks are arriving in the mail, and growers have until Feb 1, 2012 to finish signing up for the 2011 year. Hopefully everyone will by the deadline. Thanks to all who participated in the SDRM Working Group. This was a very efficient and effective way for our industry to work with Agricorp and OMAFRA to get all the design details worked through so that the program delivery would be as smooth as possible. A series of grower info sessions across the province were well attended. There was a great level of cooperation between ourselves, Agricorp and OMAFRA to get

Representatives from the Ontario greenhouse vegetable growers included, L-R: George Gilvesy,general manager; Glen Snoek, market analyst; Don Taylor,chair; and directors Naunihal Gill and James Neven. Photo by Denis Cahill. the program up and running on time, and despite numerous rewrites of documents, we were able to get the program out in record time. Already the Working Group is preparing to finalize the details and documents for the 2012 program, where there will be three key changes. For 2012, growers will have to participate in Agri-Stability in order to qualify for SDRM, and they will have to have Premise ID for at least their home farm. As well, the Allowable Net Sales (ANS) coverage levels will be raised for 2012. For growers with ANS above $2.5 million the matching contribution will be 1.5 per cent from $2.5 million up to $5 million and then one per cent on all ANS above that. These changes should allow about $24 million to flow into the program.

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The Agri-Invest program continues to work well for growers and by February we should have the final numbers for 2011 participation. This program so far remains the same, at a contribution rate of 1.5 per cent on ANS up to $1.5 million. Lobbying continues to raise the contribution rate and eliminate the cap of $1.5 million. So far, the federal minister has shown no willingness to budge on any of the programs. There is a working group of nonsupply managed commodities that OFVGA participates in that is working with federal MPs to try and get some change in funding for SDRM and Agri-Invest.

The service delivery of programs at Agricorp continues to achieve high standards of delivery. In terms of crop insurance, payments currently are over $45 million with more to come as corn and soybean harvest wraps up. The final number will still be a lot less than it could have been. The Fresh Vegetable Acreage Loss program continues to grow slowly with about 80 participating growers in 2011 covering a wide range of crops. The industry working group will be meeting in the new year to effect further changes and evolution of the program. National Safety Nets At the national level it

continues to be difficult to get much interest in safety nets. With a flurry of provincial elections this year, there are many new agriculture ministers so everyone has been learning files as well as dealing with deficit cutting. Many provincial organizations have limited resources and struggle to have someone dedicated to safety nets. In Ontario, we look forward to working with our new Minister Ted McMeekin who has already been a strong supporter of our programs. Our key focus in 2012 will be enhancing the delivery of SDRM, and, maintaining current levels of government funding for all safety nets programs. Also, we will be participating in consultations for Growing Forward 2 that will establish funding levels and program details for the next five years. This will be especially important in the years to come, as dealing with deficits will be a huge priority with both levels of government. As always, we have the solutions. Horticulture continues to be the largest employer in agriculture in Ontario and will be needed to get the economy rolling again. Also, with the cost of health care, it is even more important that society consumes more fresh fruit and vegetables, and of course that we produce them.


PAGE 18 –– FEBRUARY 2012 THE GROWER

OFVGA AGM

Research report

HAROLD SCHOOLEY This past year has been relatively uneventful for the research section although the number of meetings and conference calls were normal. It seemed to be a year of stay the course. The National Science Clusters are working towards their Mar 31, 2013 conclusion. Interestingly, in late summer additional funds (almost $903,000) were “found” and some hastily submitted projects in the apple and potato sectors will receive further research focus. At this point the Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC) Science Advisory Committee has received no information regarding Round 2 of Growing Forward funding. Your chair participated in the Production Systems Plants Theme Advisory Group meeting last March as they tried to refine the list of research priorities. The major TAG deliverable for the Production Systems theme is an annual updated priorities and emerging issues document which forms the foundation of OMAFRA’s research agenda. You come to realize something in this process of refining and updating priorities. You can update them annually (although things don’t tend to change that quickly), but continual refinement will tend to warp things as you strive too much to make changes. It will be interesting to see the direction taken in the next round.

Erie Innovation and Commercialization hosted three interesting and information-filled days last March regarding castor production, genomics and hazelnut production. While castor hasn’t yet piqued much curiosity in the grower community, hazelnuts have and are, perhaps, ever so slowly moving forward towards industry status. Perennial crops, especially tree crops are not adopted quickly. Your chair serves on OFVGA’s Steering Committee for the Asian Vegetables Project. Vineland has been conducting both on- and off-station research on different soil types looking at different varieties of Asian vegetables to determine their suitability for production here. Of interest is that retailers sit on this committee and are making input as to the potential of different crops and the quality characteristics consumers desire. It is expected that next year will see even more commercial production than the 2011 demonstration plots as these retailers met recently with growers to discuss market needs. No further information is available at time of this writing. As you may be aware the GTA is home to a very large and expanding Asian community which spends a great deal on imports of their favourite foods. Opportunity knocks. The Research Station in Simcoe celebrated its 50th anniversary this past summer. Your chair was invited to contribute an article to the anniversary booklet which led to an interesting fact finding interview mission for input to this. Excerpts from this article are included below.

Research continues on asparagus cultivars under supervision of Dave Wolwyn (R) and grower Murray Porteous, Simcoe. Photo by Denis Cahill. The University of Guelph’s Department of Plant Agriculture Simcoe Research Station, as it is now called, services the horticulture industry’s need for fruit and vegetable research and extension for sandy and sandy-loam soils. It’s also the centre for commodity organizations like ginseng and asparagus, as well as home quarters for Erie Innovation and Commercialization. There is a close link between research and extension here. Production systems research is carried out for a wide variety of tree fruits, vegetables, berries and specialty crops. Supporting these crops are extension staff with expertise in a wide variety of disciplines. Countless innovations and solutions to problems have

been developed here over the years. There are over 100 different vegetables grown in Ontario and most of these have been researched at Simcoe in one way or another. Unlike research in other life sciences, ag research stations like this are vital to the field experimentation and research process. But, we are in the age of austerity and government cutbacks. Research stations are costly to maintain. Attrition has reduced faculty numbers, and will continue to do so. Faculty positions are now linked to student enrollment, not industry research needs. Research capacity is under threat. Horticulture’s Challenges

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The horticulture industry has always dealt with challenges. Nature supplies them. Ever changing pest dynamics, weed control methods, plant nutrition and irrigation requirements, new crop cultivars and their proper handling and storage have long been fruitful areas for production research. But there are now some new challenges in the mix. Consumers have their finger in the pie and their concerns are a consideration as well. And what are they asking for? Cut the pesticides, keep the quality. Don’t use so much water. And certainly don’t let anything leach into it. Certify that your food is safe. Accept responsibility for land stewardship practices that preserve air, soil and water resources. Manage and preserve wildlife and wildlife habitat. As solutions are sought for all these emerging concerns, the horticulture industry must maintain economically viable levels of yield, quality and production efficiency to face the onslaught of stiff foreign competition. Challenges at the forefront: the changing focus by consumers on food; environmental concerns with agriculture; and economic sustainability for farms and producers. Food

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FEBRUARY 2012 –– PAGE 19 THE GROWER

OFVGA AGM

Research report continued In response to this there is a need to re-focus horticulture research efforts to develop fruits and vegetables with enhanced health and nutritional benefits as well as enhanced flavour and freshness qualities. These characteristics will increasingly be sought by discriminating consumers who are well aware that “hardware produce” capable of travelling from far-away places without bruising, often possesses little flavour appeal.

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Environment The environment has consistently been one of the top-ofmind issues among Canadians of late. All production practices in agriculture are now viewed through an environmental microscope. Producers are being asked to review their farming practices to see how they affect the air, soil, water sources, and wildlife around their farms. Land stewardship is now a commonly used phrase. Pest management practices are brought into question. Water use management increases in importance with concerns about water shortages and food safety issues. These issues require research that is not always tied to production efficiency with an obvious economic payback. Should producers foot the bill for these “emerging” issues? Should ag budgets fund the research around these issues? These questions have received little discussion.

Ahmed Bilal (left), research associate for Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, discusses seedlings for experimental plantings of okra, Asian eggplant and bitter melon. His collaborator is Harpreet Cheema, farm manager for J. Collins and Sons Limited at Troy, Ontario. Photo by Denis Cahill. Economic Sustainability But what of the economic viability of producers? Labour costs are the single greatest expense for most horticulture commodities. Producers of highlabour horticultural crops now face extreme pressure from production in low-wage countries. Energy costs continue to rise. Electricity and fuel are now a major cost of production. Pest management costs are always present and continually rising.

And all the while globalization continues to have a price leveling effect on domestic production. How we solve our challenges of rising labour, energy and pest management costs will have the greatest impact on the sustainability of Ontario producers. Energy efficient production systems that can be fitted with robotics or further mechanization will be a necessity. Environmentally friendly pest management practices that fit the economics of today would be a bonus.

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Agriculture is one of Ontario’s largest and most important industries contributing more than $5 billion to the provincial economy annually. When you add the technical supply and value-added chains to farm production, the net value to the economy is more than $15 billion. Fruits and vegetables necessary for good nutrition and health provide jobs and income to thousands of people in the production, processing, wholesaling and retailing of fruit and vegetable products. In addition, thriving agricultural businesses contribute to the attractiveness of Ontario, encouraging tourism and recreation and enhancing the environment. A recent Deloitte study on the impact of the OMAFRA/U of G research funding agreement puts the value of the $54.8 M investment in research at over $1.1 Billion . . . annually! That’s 20:1! A good investment of public money to be sure. Today’s agriculture is increasingly high tech, and high risk. Consumer demands, environmental concerns, declining profits, increasing investment and operating costs, threaten the very existence of Ontario horticulture. To stay competitive the industry must be positioned to adapt to change and to capitalize on business opportunities. Providing a constant level of research capacity for this positioning to happen is important to both the industry and to society. Industry requires a base of research talent! Providing this research capacity or “platform” allows researchers to leverage the capacity with project specific funding. Nature is unpredictable and initiates both long and shortterm changes to the productive

capacity of our food supply. Research capacity is required to deal with these. Publicly funded research provides solutions that have both industry and consumer confidence. Publicly funded research capacity is required to deal with societal concerns about food safety, environmental sustainability, managing climate change, renewable energy, plant biomaterials, rural development and other issues. And a 20:1 ROI to get these benefits is just good for the economy. In this era of government austerity it’s to be hoped that the value of horticultural research capacity, like that in Simcoe, is recognized and research facilities and faculty are maintained. If they are, the horticulture industry is quite capable of adapting to emerging change. The opportunities for Southern Ontario have never been better. There are 100 million consumers/customers living within a day’s truck drive from our farms. The productive soils, favourable climate, water for irrigation and proximity to markets are all ideal for horticultural crops. There is an increasing focus on fruit and vegetables for health, on buying local food, on safe food, food produced using practices responsible to the environment and to worker welfare. At some anniversary down the road will it be said we recognized the opportunities, and we seized them? It has been a pleasure to serve as your Research Chair for the past year.

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PAGE 20 –– FEBRUARY 2012 THE GROWER

OFVGA AGM

Labour report

KEN FORTH As always this section has been very busy. There are many fronts, two very important ones. Labour Issues Coordinating Committee (LICC) On April 29, 2011 the Supreme Court of Canada, Ottawa, in a historic decision in Frazer (8 to 1) the high court ruled in favour of the rights of the Ontario Government to craft its labour laws, the Agriculture Employee Protection Act was under fire from the UFCW, that act assured agriculture employees have many rights including right of association, and the court found that collective bargaining rights are not part of the charter of rights and freedoms. Therefore this decision upholds Ontario law and prevents trade unions with collective bargaining rights from infiltrating your farm. I would like to thank the Premier, the Minister of Agriculture at the time of the appeal Leona Dombrowsky, the Attorney General Chris Bentley, and Steve Peters for staying the course, and defending the legislation. LICC has also been working on many other fronts including WSIB, MOL, WSPS; this is the amalgamation of three safe work associations including the old Farm Safety Association. When the WSPS was put together it was responsible to the WSIB, now this has been moved to the Ministry of Labour. It will take a great deal of time for the dust to settle and we will see where we are, one

Carribbean workers hustle to plant broccoli on the farm of Ken Forth, Lynden, ON. Photo by Denis Cahill.

thing is for sure it will be different than the old FSA days. Time will tell and I am remaining optimistic with a wait and see position. LICC is now involved in yet another court action with a strawberry grower. Anything you have read in the press has been sensational as usual, and to be clear, no accusations have been proven, we don’t expect them to be , and when it’s all said and done this case will be viewed very differently. Foreign Agricultural Resources Management Services (FARMS) The 46th year for the SAWP is coming up, there are no big changes, except that the LMO process will probably in time,

involve more documents. The other thing that is key is this, if an employer (for any temporary program not just agriculture) is found to be in violation of the contract that business could be suspended from all temporary worker programs for two years. This program remains a model for the world for migrant worker programs. The benefits to farmers and the supply countries are well known, by all participating including the Canadian Government, now we must put the continual attacks in context. First I sit on a variety of BODs, there is not one industry in this country that is not being attacked, from the chemical industry (which a small part touches ag), the hospitality, car manufacturers, the airline industry, mining, the livestock indus-

try, including supply management, these are only a few examples, we do not hear or pay attention to the ones we are not involved in. My point here is that everyone is being attacked . . . to feed the news, I think sometimes about the groups that dream this stuff up, why does it bother us? It is so simple, you are producers of something, in your case farm products, we cannot understand these groups that keep on making sensational accusations, at the end of the day YOU feed the world THEY just bitch; it’s all about their 15 minutes of fame, and I think their time is up, other than us being attacked there has been so much garbage does anyone really listen to them, I say not many. We will keep telling our story. There are some things in the

works but it is too early to talk about right now, you will hear more in the future. We are now moving more to a proactive approach rather than reactive. At this time I would like to thank some persons you have heard before, the labour section of the OFVGA, and the staff and BOD for their support this year, The staff and BOD of FARMS and CANAG TRAVEL for keeping our program going, Doug Connery a Manitoba farmer representing CHC on all labour issues, and lastly; to the executive and staff of the Labour Issues Coordinating Committee, Hector Delanghe, Anthony Cervini, Mark Wales and staff Ken Linington for their tenacity, and never quit attitude in the Frazer case.

OFVGA 153rd 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 153rd annual general meeting. We would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their generosity. Your donations helped to raise over $5000 this year and more then $26,000 total in the past four years! Via Rail Kubota Canada Pioneer Equipment Parks Blueberries Ricter Web Printing Data Media Premier Equipment Union Gas DeKalb Micro 50 Sarjeant Co. Ltd. Sherwood Marketing Delhaven Orchards Ltd. Chatham Mazda Blenheim Chrysler Van Kesteren Hyundai, Chatham

Mamma Maria’s, Chatham Reif Estate Winery Strewn Winery Lailey Vineyard Winery Burning Kiln Winery Embassy Suites, Niagara Falls Best Western, Simcoe Simcoe Comfort Inn Casa Bella, Chatham T-Bones, Chatham Romero's Restaurant, Guelph Turtle Jack, Guelph Boston Pizza, Chatham Plasponics Diamond Detailing, Guelph Borealis Grille & Bar, Guelph

Shoeless Joe’s, Guelph Swiss Chalet, Guelph City of Niagara Falls Crown Plaza/Sheridan, Niagara Ayr Farmers Mutual Rumble Homes, Chatham Cardinal Golf Club Farm Credit Canada Essex County Growers Links of Kent, Chatham Travel Lodge, Chatham Ridgetown Golf Club, Ridgetown Deer Run Golf Course, Blenheim Blenheim Golf Club, Blenheim Landini Canada DuPont Canada

Licks, Guelph Ontario Bee Keepers Kent Farm Equipment, Blenheim RJ Equipment, Blenheim McGrail Farm Equipment Elm Hurst Inn Aberfoyle Mill Restaurant Victoria Park Golf Club West, Guelph Supreme Full Service Carwash, Guelph Andrews Scenic Orchards TD Bank, Ag Services Canada’s Fruit & Veg Tech XChange Richmond VW Motors, Chatham

DuPont Days Inn, Leamington Bank of Montreal Best Western, Guelph Best Western, Toronto Airport Amway Grand, Grand Rapids MI Janzen Farm Equipment Bank of Nova Scotia Comfort Inn, Chatham Country View Golf Course Chatham Baldoon Golf Club R.W. Thomas Tours OLG Slots: Getaway Dining


FEBRUARY 2012 –– PAGE 21 THE GROWER

OFVGA AGM

Pesticide issues CRAIG HUNTER The past year has been spotted with issues related to specific products. Many of these have serious implications for the fruit and vegetable sectors in Canada. There have also been a number of positive developments that will assist our industries in the future. Last March I was able to ‘intervene’ when I was made aware of an impending proposal document that would have led to the banning of Linuron. This document had several serious flaws which I pointed out to the PMRA. These included the use of dubious water monitoring data to implicate Linuron as a water-polluting substance. It looked to me like much of that data was from known spill sites, not as the result of labeled uses. Furthermore, many of the so-called alternatives listed, which were meant to show no hardship to growers if Linuron was banned, were in fact grass herbicides with no broadleaf controls available for some crops! This document is currently being re-written and I hope a very different outcome arises. All year long we have been trying to get an alternative product available to replace Telone, which DOW had voluntarily withdrawn from the Canadian market. After much work, we had an audience at PMRA where we

learned the ‘real’ reason for Telone being withdrawn. As a result, we have now dropped our attempt to get a similar product registered, and have turned our focus to a couple of alternative active ingredients that are especially good on root knot nematode-- a quarantine pest on carrot for instance. Wireworm continues to be a serious problem country-wide. Thimet has been renewed for three more years as we struggle to get an alternative. Work done by Dr. Bob Vernon has shown that a seed treatment of a grain crop the year ahead of potato planting will effectively eliminate the wireworm damage. The active ingredient he has used is put on at about one gram!! per acre with the grain, and no residue is detected. However, he has not yet been able to get the registration needed for this. We will continue to work on this. Another active under assault this year has been carbaryl or Sevin. Although it is a carbamate, the same family as Lannate and Furadan, it is quite different in its toxicity and longevity to the rest of that family. Nonetheless, PMRA has treated it the same, and have proposed a 28 day reentry time -- the EPA time is 12 HOURS! We have tried very hard to make them understand the impact of such a change on growers’ normal farm practice. Many

STAN STAND ND OUT T FROM M THE CROWD CROOWD leadership based on the endu leadership enduring uring values values of our members. members. If you you also also stand out from from the crowd, crowd, d ma m ke 20 12 the yyear ear yyou ou join with others others stand make 2012 share your your passion for for responsible, responsible, family-based family-based farming. farming. Choose C Choos e who share CFFO to to support your yourr values, values, your your family family and your your farm. farm m. the CFFO

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Photo courtesy of Douglas Agricultural Services, Simcoe, ON of the former uses have been revoked, but we are defending many as it is still an effective and safe product for our use. The Canadian Minor Use program continues to flourish. There were 37 projects approved at the March meetings, plus another eight biological products. Further good news came this fall when 25 projects were chosen at the IR-4 meetings to be conducted as Joint Projects with Canada. This is an unprecedented level of activity! All of this is on top of the Minor Use Program having virtually eliminated its backlog of older projects from the past regime. They have been able to expand their work with IR-4 as we move toward brand new actives to work on, rather than the past concentration on older actives as we sought to catch up on past missed opportunities. I am strongly in favour of this new direction. Working closely with IR-4 also means closer relations with the U.S. company bases, and having the Canadian companies more onside with new actives as well. The next big step is to get international cooperation to move ahead. It is not enough to get a

registration here if the path to foreign trade of treated commodities is blocked because trading partners have no registration and/or no MRL for that crop. The second Global Minor Use Summit is to be held in February, and I have been asked to participate in the program. One area of ‘cooperation’ will be the sharing of databases, and the Canadian Grower Minor Use Database is seen as a model. Our lists are based on registration needs, by crop and pest, and are widely consulted by government and the pesticide industry. The first step for other nations to get ahead in pesticide registration and use will be to identify what pests they need to control, and the possible controls they would like to get. Our first such list was created in 1995, and the current list has over 3,000 entries! Your interests are always there and ready to be acted upon when the opportunity arises. The GROU nominations for import in 2012 were held this fall. Included as possible inclusions were almost every one I had been asked for by Hort producers. These include: Captan, Pardner, Primextra, Casoron, NAD, Ultim,

Devrinol, Gramoxone, Ridomil Gold, Distinct, and Pounce. It remains for PMRA to approve these as having a U.S. equivalent, so they can be imported in 2012. The final issue I want to raise is the possible impact of invasive pests. Both the Spotted Winged Drosophila and the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug have now been found here. The trapping efforts by OMAFRA are to be commended. There have already been some registrations made to deal with these, but we can expect serious losses in the future until a suitable biological solution is found. The host ranges are wide, and we must be vigilant as we move ahead to deal with these threats. It has been another ‘interesting’ year. I hope that I have been able to provide the kind of input into these pesticide issues that the industry expects. I would like to thank all members who have been supportive of these activities this year. I especially want to thank Charles Stevens who has done an excellent job on the Crop Protection file this year. He has attended many meetings on growers’ behalf, taking time away from his own farm. He has been a strong voice for Ontario at the national level, and has established good rapport with the Minor Use Program in particular.


PAGE 22 –– FEBRUARY 2012 THE GROWER


FEBRUARY 2012 –– PAGE 23 THE GROWER


PAGE 24 –– FEBRUARY 2012 THE GROWER

OFVGA AGM

Crop protection report

CHARLES STEVENS As I begin to place the current crop protection issues according to priority for this report, I am amazed at their size and complexity. The only way to tackle the scope of these issues is to develop partnerships within the industry to share in the workload, thus, building positive relationships. Some of the new issues that were dealt with this past year include: invasive species, government budget cutbacks at PMRA, and occupational exposure regulations. As well, some continuing issues include: resistance management, lack of grower participation at all levels, GROU pesticide import program, loss of Telone and reducing the pesticide technology gap. The issue surrounding the invasive species was well defined at the past Minor Use Priority Setting meeting held in Ottawa this past March. Both the Marmorated Stink Bug and the Spotted Winged Drosophila have been found in Ontario this past year with no crop damage. However, extensive damage has occurred in other parts of North America, including British Columbia. These two pests received special priority at the meeting with an agreement between the Pest Management Centre (PMC), Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the provin-

cial pest agencies to work on possible control measures. To date, only older broad spectrum chemistries have shown to obtain sufficient control. The present lack of profile of these two insects with no chemical or biological controls suggests that we must place extra monetary and people resources into finding a suitable control. OMAFRA must be congratulated for their efforts on this issue in the past year. It is disappointing that CFIA has not contributed to finding a solution but, has the power, upon making a risk assessment, to request an emergency use of a non-registered product to control these pests. The continuing global economic slowdown has hit the Crop Protection section of OFVGA as PMRA must make cuts to various programs in order to meet the federal government’s cost reduction targets. We have been given assurances that the Pest Management Centre’s budget, funded through PMRA, will not be cut. It is interesting to note that PMRA is funded by the Ministry of AAFC but is regulated by Health Canada. There exists a huge problem within the industry when one ministry funds another bureaucracy but is controlled by a different ministry. Both OFVGA and the Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC) have submitted a list of key priorities that they want kept. PMRA states that they are looking into cost recovery increasing costs to the grower. A more suitable solution would be the harmonization of the registration of crop protection products between Canada and the U.S. Conflicting stories will exist as to how these cuts are made but it is the job of the Crop Protection

section to minimize the damage to our industry. When we speak of global and joint registrations with other countries, non-harmonization data requirements such as safety factors, MRLs, formulation changes, environmental guidelines and occupational exposures present major stumbling blocks. Before we can establish a truly global system, we must address the standardization of worldwide guidelines. For example, with occupational exposure testing is done on crops after treatment so that a tolerance level may be determined. In Canada, the safety margin is set at 300 fold below a no-effect level. In the U.S. this margin is set at 100 fold. This difference in data requirements has played havoc when formulating re-entry periods. An example is with Sevin (Carbaryl). In the U.S., the re-entry period is set at 12 hours whereas in Canada; the re-entry period that PMRA would like to see is 28 days. That’s right; we are talking about days. Through effective lobbying, we should be able to establish a 10 day re-entry period which is still 19 times longer than the U.S. This difference is not acceptable.

Jason Deveau, OMAFRA’s application technology specialist offers tips at an apple sprayer workshop near Thornbury, ON. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE


FEBRUARY 2012 –– PAGE 25 THE GROWER

OFVGA AGM

Crop protection report continued The point that I am attempting to make is that the regulation of pesticides is all about human safety. A person’s safety is no different whether they are in France, the U.S., Mexico or Canada. I submit that this issue should be given a high priority at CHC’s Crop Advisory meeting to be held this coming March. On a positive note, our working relationship with the IR-4 minor use program in the U.S. continues to grow thanks to the combined efforts from all government and grower pesticide organizations in Canada. Working together they are making considerable headway in removing pesticide data roadblocks, as mentioned previously, to do more joint registrations to ensure free trade for horticultural commodities. During the last meeting with IR-4, we have learned that 23 out of the 45 selected projects for registration of new actives could be joint Canadian and U.S. projects. This allows us to access the same new actives at the same time for the same crops with the same MRL’s. Looking ahead a decade, we could have harmonization of crop protection materials under the minor uses programs in Canada and the U.S. This is good news. As an additional point of interest, the European Union is considering establishing its own minor use program.

We must nurture the positive relationships that have been built over the last ten years.” ~ Charles Stevens

At the CHC Annual General Meeting and the Minor Use meeting held in March of this year, we dealt with issues concerning the GROU program. As this program is not yet regulated, not all products make it on the list but should before next year. A few growers in horticulture used the GROU program and successfully obtained some products from the U.S. at substantial savings. The GROU program was lobbied for by the entire agricultural industry so that the use not only benefits the grower but the entire horticultural sector. One snag in the GROU process is the restricted use of a product in the U.S. In order to purchase a restricted product you must first obtain a State pesticide application license. The Crop Protection Section of the OFVGA is working with Susan Kelner of the Ontario Pesticide Education program to determine if we can get New York and Michigan States to accept equivalence of the Ontario Pesticide license. The most important reason for faster registration of crop protec-

tion products is resistance management. When a product becomes ineffective, it results in a total loss of resources for the government, for manufacturers and for growers. In placing a priority on which products to register, consideration of managing resistance should be a key factor in the decision. When a product loses its effectiveness, farmers will tend to spray with older chemistries that the government is attempting to de-register if there is no new replacement product. It is imperative that we eliminate the roadblocks to promote more global and joint registration. PMRA’s policy for registering a product at the lowest effective rate is one reason for resistance. While this may seem to be the right direction, in the long term we will lose more new actives. On a positive note, Jason Deveau has been hired by the Ontario government to assist growers with their sprayer calibrations. I had the pleasure of hosting a sprayer workshop this past spring and thought it was well worthwhile and informative. Our newer chemistries must be applied at precise rates in order to be effective. For this initiative, I congratulate both Jason and OMAFRA. In discussing a product’s effectiveness leads me to Telone. The loss of the registration in Canada of Telone, a soil fumigant, will cost growers millions in lost income. The very costly replacement, Chloropicirn, is only partly effective. On November 12, 2011, a meeting was held with PMRA and Ontario growers. It was confirmed, at this meeting, that Telone was entering our water table and 1-3D, a compound in Telone, will not be allowed in Canada. CHC and OFVGA, along with the other agencies, are working to bring a new fumigant to the marketplace. This product is currently in a joint review with the U.S. IR-4 program and, if field trials do well in the upcoming summer; we may have a new much needed fumigant by 2013. In March of 2012, the Priority Setting meeting will be held in Quebec. Given the restrictive policy relating to out of province travel, some of our Ontario crop specialists will not be able to

attend this important meeting. I then submit that the commodity groups should appoint a grower to attend this meeting and act as a representative of their individual commodity. A show of consolidation amongst the commodities is important to achieving a solution to our crop problems. To achieve our goal of harmonization

of pesticides with the U.S.; we must nurture the positive relationships that have been built over the last ten years. We need positive dialogue between the OF&VGA, CHC, PMC, PMRA and IR-4 to achieve this, as well as, monetary funds. In the end, harmonization of minor use pesticides will increase trade, reduce govern-

ment, grower and industry cost, eliminate programs such as GROU, build resistance management, and increase productivity in the horticultural industry. In North America, this meeting has the potential to help us achieve a goal of double our food supply by 2050. In closing, I would like to again thank everyone that I have had the pleasure of working with in the past year. There are too many people to name that participate in the improvement of our industry but I would like to offer a special thanks to Craig Hunter, Gary Brown, Anne Fowlie and Art Smith for their hard work in keeping crop protection a top priority for our growers.

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PAGE 26 –– FEBRUARY 2012 THE GROWER

CROP PROTECTION

Slow down to improve airblast spray penetration

DR. JASON DEVEAU Airblast spray operators are always pressed for time and a common practice is to drive faster to complete the job more quickly. Studies have shown that it takes time for spray-laden air to displace the air in the plant canopy. Therefore, airblast applicators have been told that slower travel speeds generally improve spray penetration and deposition. This is not welcome news for many operators, and it was decided to demonstrate the principle. Using a three-point hitch airblast sprayer with a 24” fan (see Figure 1), two apple tree varieties with different morphologies (Red Delicious and McIntosh) were sprayed from one side at two different travel speeds: 2.5 km/h and 5.5 km/h. The sprayer was

Figure 1: Spraying Reds with a 3-pt hitch GB re-nozzled between speeds so that the same spray output (600 L/ha) was emitted. Water sensitive paper was placed across the width of the tree, facing the sprayer, as an indicator of spray penetration (see Figure 2). The papers are yellow until contacted by spray, whereupon they turn blue (see Figure 3). Cards were digitally scanned and analyzed for total percent-coverage and droplet density. The trees were sprayed in August and again in early November. During the August trials, the

wind was blowing directly into the spray, making canopy penetration difficult for such a small sprayer. The wind was low (2.0 km/h) during the 5.5 km/h travel speed, and much higher (6.0 km/h) during the 2.5 km/h travel speed. Interestingly, spray penetration depth, and per cent coverage appeared similar for both speeds (see graphs 1 and 2). Intuitively, the higher winds should have prevented spray from penetrating as deeply. From graph 2, it appears that a greater number of droplets made it into the tree at

Figure 2: Experimental Design

Figure 3: Water Sensitive Papers

Graphs 1 and 2: Card Coverage (left) and Droplet Density (right) for August trials with variable wind.

Graphs 3 and 4: Card Coverage (left) and Droplet Density (right) for November trials with constant wind. the slower travel speed. From this, it can be inferred that slower travel speed will counteract opposing wind to some degree. In the November trials, the wind remained low and constant for both travel speeds. Both applications penetrated deeper into the canopy than in the August trials. This might be because the wind was lower, and/or because the leaves had begun to senesce. Surprisingly, there still did not appear to be a difference between the two travel speeds as far as total card coverage was concerned (see Graph 3). However, once again, the slower, 2.5 km/h speed gave a higher droplet densi-

ty much further into the canopy compared to the faster 5.5 km/h application (see Graph 4). From this, it can be inferred that slower travel speed permits higher numbers of small droplets to make it further into the canopy, improving coverage. This can be especially important when using contact products or spraying for disease where a higher droplet count per square centimetre means a better chance of impinging on a target. This work was made possible through a grant from Horticulture Crops Ontario and the generous use of the Bell Brothers’ orchards.


FEBRUARY 2012 –– PAGE 27 THE GROWER

CROP PROTECTION

Testing preplant soil treatments for ginseng SEAN WESTERVELD MELANIE FILOTAS Most ginseng growers apply fumigants to control a wide range of soil-borne pests including nematodes and various fungi. When it was announced that Telone, the industry standard, would be pulled from the market in December 2011, there was a need to identify alternative controls. Possible treatments included the fumigants Busan/Vapam and chloropicrin, as well as various nematode-suppressive cover crops. Until now none of these had been studied in ginseng gardens, and growers were concerned about the level of pest control these would provide. To address this, a research project was initiated in 2010 to compare Telone C-17, Busan 1236 and Pic Plus (chloropicrin) fumigants with or without nematode suppressive cover crops for control of soil-borne pests of ginseng. The biofumigant cover crops, ‘Cutlass’ mustard, daikon radish, and fodder rape were seeded in a typical ginseng field in June 2010 and incorporated in early August. Fumigants were applied a few weeks later (Fig. 1). It is important to note that ideal fumigation practices were followed in this trial including: thorough cultivation to prepare the soil, irrigation before and after fumigation to saturate and seal the soil, and close adherence to label recommendations for soil injection and other application parameters. Ginseng was seeded in September 2010 and monitored throughout the seedling year in 2011. Seedling roots were harvested in late August 2011 for a preliminary comparison of the treatments. Final assessments for this trial are planned for 2013, when roots are at a marketable size. None of the cover crops tested had any impact on nematode levels or damage. There were problems establishing all three crops during the hot and dry conditions in 2010, and this may have reduced their effectiveness. These results are not conclusive and biofumigant cover crops could still be beneficial for ginseng. Trials in other crops have shown reduction in nematode levels from these cover crops. However, they were certainly more challenging to manage than the chemical controls normally used in ginseng. In our preliminary assessment of seedling roots, all fumigants tested reduced damage due to soil-borne pests compared to untreated plots, but Busan and Telone resulted in the highest total seedling root weight, probably due to maintaining a higher plant stand. Roots from plots treated with Busan also had lower levels of damage than roots from any of the other treatments. The cause of this damage, which consisted mostly of rusty constrictions, could not be conclusively

identified. The symptoms are consistent with typical nematode damage; however, nematode levels in this field were always low. A best guess is that the damage was due to nematodes in conjunction with soil-borne fungi, but further investigation will be needed. This is important because different fumigants control different pests. For any grower, selecting the best fumigant or cover crop requires a good understanding of the pests you are trying to control. Does this mean a good alternative to Telone for ginseng has been identified? It is too early to tell. First, this trial has only been tracked for one year and it is not known if the differences between fumigants will still be present at harvest, when it really matters to growers. Second, products were

farms. This field had low levels of nematodes, but a survey of over 60 ginseng gardens conducted as part of this study showed that this is fairly typical of Ontario ginseng. Overall, the results suggest that fumigation is important for reducing damage due to disease in seedling gardens, and metamsodium products like Busan may provide a viable alternative to Telone. While the research is a good starting point, more experience is needed with these products across a wider range of growing conditions. Growers can gain more information for their specific conditions by conducting side-by-side comparisons of the available products and cover crops. Keep in mind that costs associated with proper application

Fig. 1: Application of fumigant. only tested at one site, which may not have the same conditions and pest issues as other ginseng

of each product will differ, and that should be taken into account when comparing products. This project was funded by a Farm Innovation Program grant, administered by the Agricultural Adaptation Council, to the Ontario Ginseng Growers Association. A&L Canada Laboratories Inc. provided support for nematode analysis. We thank Douglas Agricultural Services, Agrospray Ltd., and Sylvite Agri-Services Ltd. for their support of fumigant application. Sean Westerveld, Ginseng and Medicinal Herbs Specialist and Melanie Filotas, Specialty Crops IPM Specialist OMAFRA, Carl Atkinson, C&R Atkinson Farms Ltd., and Catarina Saude, University of Guelph.

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PAGE 28 –– FEBRUARY 2012 THE GROWER

CROP PROTECTION

How to spray field tomatoes

DR. JASON DEVEAU MICHAEL CELETTI Spraying field tomato in August is difficult - period. The crop canopy gets dense and holds in humidity, making it an ideal place for nasty diseases such as late blight. Adding insult to injury, it is difficult to penetrate a dense canopy with fungicide spray and this often leads to inadequate disease control. Working in a market garden operation in Bolton, the spray coverage from four different nozzle configurations was compared. After calibrating the sprayer to ensure it was operating optimally, we used the grower’s typical spray parameters: a travel speed of 4.5 kilometres per hour (2.8 miles per hour), an operating pressure of about 4 bar (60 pounds per square inch), a boom height of 45 centimetres (18 inches) above the ground, and a sprayer output of 550 litres per hectare (about 60 gallons per acre). To monitor spray coverage, water sensitive paper was placed throughout the tomato canopy. This paper is bright yellow until it contacts moisture (such as spray droplets) when it turns blue. As a generality, good coverage is about

85 distinct droplets per square centimetre in the hardest-to-reach portion of the canopy. For each trial, we placed papers on the upper surface, deep inside the canopy near the ground and within clusters of fruit. This particular sprayer was equipped with an air assist sleeve (see Figure 1) that blew a curtain of air into the canopy at about 100 kilometres per hour (65 miles per hour) as indicated by an air speed monitor placed at the air outlet. The purpose of the air assist sleeve is two-fold: to rustle the leaves and make holes in the canopy for spray to enter, and to prevent small droplets from drifting by blowing them downward. We sprayed using the four different nozzle configurations, with and without air assist. Here is a relative description of what we observed (see Table 1). After inspecting the papers deep in the canopy, we agreed that the air assist did not appear to improve canopy penetration, but it did do a great job of reducing drift by driving small droplets downward. Water sensitive paper cannot resolve droplets smaller than 50 µm, so it stands to reason that because the droplets were not drifting, they must have been blown into the tomatoes. In other words, even though we couldn’t see it, coverage was likely improved with air assist. The air induction nozzles performed poorly in this situation, giving splatters of spray rather than even coverage, and resulted in very little canopy penetration. Twin fans and conventional flat

fans were both inconsistent with inner-canopy coverage. The twin fans contributed to higher drift but otherwise produced coverage similar to the conventional flat fans. The best results were achieved with hollow cones. Admittedly, the tips we used had an output of about 750 litres per hectare (80 gallons per acre) which was higher than the other nozzles by about 200 litres per hectare, but the spray distribution throughout the canopy was superior, with very little indication of drenching or run-off (see Figure 2). When we attempted lower volumes using the hollow cones the spray still NOZZLE TYPE / SPRAYER OUTPUT

Figure 1 – Boom sprayer with air assist sleeve operating WITH AIR ASSIST

WITHOUT AIR ASSIST

80 degree flat fans / ~550 L/ha (60 g/ac)

• Good coverage in upper canopy • Moderate/poor canopy penetration • Low drift

• Good coverage in upper canopy • Poor canopy penetration • Moderate drift

80 degree air induction flat fans / ~550 L/ha (60 g/ac)

• Inconsistent upper canopy coverage • Poor canopy penetration • “No” drift

• Inconsistent upper canopy coverage • Poor canopy penetration • “No”/Low drift

Twinjet dual 80 degree flat fans / ~550 L/ha (60 g/ac)

• Good coverage in upper canopy • Moderate/poor canopy penetration • Moderate Drift

• Good coverage in upper canopy • Poor canopy penetration • Moderate/High drift

Hollow cones / ~750 L/ha (80 g/ac)

• Good coverage in upper canopy • Good canopy penetration • Low drift

• Good coverage in upper canopy • Good/Moderate canopy penetration • Very High drift

Table 1 – Relative Coverage and Drift from Four Nozzle Configurations with or without Air Assist

gave consistent coverage throughout the canopy, but it did not achieve the threshold of 85 drops

Operators plan now to attend:

Airblastt Sprayerss 101 Airblas 101 An interactive worksh workshop hop with Dr. Dr. Jason Deveau, Application Technology Te echnolo ogy Specialist from OMAFRA, that includes hands-on hands-on demonstrations and dialogue with an experienced experienced airblast technician. Learn how to calibrat calibrate, te, maintain and adjust your sprayer to the crops you y spray. spray. To T o register i callll (Nanc (Nancy): (N cy): ) 416.622.9771 416 622 9771 $20 $ 20 Workshop Workshop F Fee. ee. S Space pace iiss llimited. imited.

Brought to you by:

Workshop W orkshop D Dates ates and and Locations Locations February 27, Brighton: 8am – noon no oon Cordington Community Centre February 28, Simcoe: 8am – noon noo on Little River Inn February 29, Vineland: 8am – noon noon OMAFRA Vineland March 1, Harrow: 8am – noon Harrow Research Centre

Figure 2 – Acceptable spray coverage deep in canopy using hollow cone nozzles per square centimetre. Further, winds were only about five kilometres per hour (three miles per hour) during the trials. Using such low volumes in windier conditions means less spray will get to the crop before it is whipped away on the wind. In conclusion, the penetration of the spray droplets into a dense canopy such as that of tomatoes

at this time of year is extremely important to control tomato diseases such as late blight. The hollow cone tips created smaller droplets at higher outputs than flat fans and improved canopy coverage and penetration. They are, however, very prone to drift and their use is not recommended without an air assist sleeve to counter the spray drift.


FEBRUARY 2012 –– PAGE 29 THE GROWER

®

A sweeping strategy for success. DuPont™ Altacor® insecticide delivers long-lasting insect control in caneberries, grapes, pome and stone fruits, tree nuts and now, blueberries too. Say goodbye to oblique-banded leafroller, codling moth, grape berry moth, climbing cutworm, oriental fruit moth and others. Powered by Rynaxypyr®, Altacor® sweeps away these damaging pests, with minimal impact on bees and beneficials to protect your high-yielding, high-quality crops.

Questions? Ask your retailer, call 1-800-667-3925 or visit cropprotection.dupont.ca

As with all crop protection products, read and follow label instructions carefully. The DuPont Oval Logo, DuPontTM, The miracles of scienceTM, Altacor® and Rynaxypyr® are registered trademarks or trademarks of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company. E. I. du Pont Canada Company is a licensee. Member of CropLife Canada. © Copyright 2012 E. I. du Pont Canada Company. All rights reserved.


PAGE 30 –– FEBRUARY 2012 THE GROWER

CROP PROTECTION

Optimizing sprayer efficiency to improve onion thrips control JENNIFER ALLEN Onion thrips, Thrips tabaci Lindeman, are economic pests of onion crops worldwide and have been identified as the number one pest of onions in Canada. They feed by piercing and rasping leaf tissues, removing cell contents and leaving plants susceptible to disease. During dry, hot months, crop losses may reach over 40 per cent, forcing growers to make two to ten insecticide applications per growing season. Although individual thrips are easily killed with insecticides, plants may become heavily infested as local populations are able to grow exponentially in a very short period of time. Rapid

increases in field populations are also caused by immigration. The tendency of thrips to congregate between new onion leaves, deep within the onion leaf axils, provides them with protection from the environment, predators and spray coverage. Studies have shown that only one t0 five per cent of a given foliar insecticide reaches the intended target under field conditions. These factors make onion thrips control a major concern for onion growers. The purpose of this project was to improve the delivery of currently registered products to the inner onion leaf axils, as this is essential to maximizing insecticide efficacy and minimizing amount of insecticides released into the environment. This is especially important with

reduced-risk pesticides which possess narrower activity spectrums. This project aimed to establish spray parameters to maximize the delivery of insecticides to the target site by identifying the most effective (1) carrier volume, (2) surfactant, and (3) nozzle angle. The project also evaluated reduced-risk pesticides as potential candidates for future data generation and registration activities. Access to newer pest control products is not only important for economic and environmental reasons; it also helps to manage resistance, which has been documented in onion thrips populations in North America. Testing of factors affecting pesticide spray coverage

From 2007 to 2009, trials were conducted in organic soils of the Holland Marsh area of Ontario to evaluate different spray angles, surfactants, and water volumes for their ability to penetrate the crop canopy and cover the inner leaf axils. Results Analysis of the water-sensitive paper revealed that in all years, regardless of nozzle angle, more spray reached the target site (inner leaf axils) when the solution was applied in greater amounts of water (500 and 600 L/ha, compared with 400 L/ha). When nozzle angle, water volume, and surfactant were considered in combination, the top treatment for each year was

applied at a 22° angle. The most effective treatments were: Sylgard 309 at 600 L/ha (2007); water at 500 L/ha (2008); and water at 600 L/ha (2009). Due to the absorbent surface of the paper rectangles, spray coverage was essentially the same with or without surfactant, thus the advantage of adding a surfactant to the spray mix could only be demonstrated on leaves. Analysis of spray coverage on actual onion leaves revealed that, regardless of nozzle angle, the surfactant Sylgard 309 provided better coverage than water. Additionally, using 500 or 600 L/ha provided better coverage than using 400 L/ha. When combinations were compared, the top treatment for each year was applied with Sylgard 309 at the 22° angle: 500 L/ha (2007); 600 L/ha (2008); and 600 L/ha (2009). These results demonstrate that all three factors (water volume, surfactant, and nozzle angle) affect spray coverage. The one factor that had the greatest impact was water volume. Depending on local conditions, a grower may not always be able to modify all three factors. In cases in which adding a surfactant is not feasible, increasing the amount of water as a carrier can help to improve delivery of the product to the target site. Conversely, when limitations exist regarding water volume output, adding a surfactant can increase coverage even if water volume is low. Spraying early in the morning or later in the evening (after sunset) is another helpful tip for maximizing thrips control. Dew in the morning will help the insecticide find its way into the leaf axils where thrips typically reside. Evening spraying, when temperatures have cooled down, helps to maximize efficacy of pyrethroid insecticides. The project also evaluated registered and non-registered reduced-risk insecticides for their efficacy in controlling onion thrips. Active ingredients that were found to be effective (spinetoram, cyantraniliprole) are currently being pursued for registration under the Minor Use Pesticide Program of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). By maximizing the efficacy of insecticides, onion growers can reduce the number of applications per season and still maintain commercially acceptable levels of thrips control, benefiting growers (by reducing the cost of pest management activities), the environment, and human health – all of which are core goals of AAFC’s Pesticide Risk Reduction Program. For more information contact Dr. Jennifer Allen at (604) 6663714 or e-mail jennifer.allen@agr.gc.ca


FEBRUARY 2012 –– PAGE 31 THE GROWER

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Keep your potatoes’ potential at full strength with Titan , the broadest spectrum seed-piece insecticide available. It gives you everything you need to produce stronger plants and higher yields year after year. Titan overpowers all major above-ground pests: Colorado potato beetle, leafhopper, aphids and flea beetle and reduces the damage caused by wireworms. Witness the power of Titan right from the start.

BayerCropScience.ca or 1 888-283-6847 or contact your Bayer CropScience representative. Always read and follow label directions. Titan™ is a trademark of Bayer. Bayer CropScience is a member of CropLife Canada. H-25-01/12-BCS11069-E


PAGE 32 –– FEBRUARY 2012 THE GROWER

OMAFRA reads! A winter reading list for vegetable growers ELAINE RODDY Winter is a great time to catch up on reading. In the era of electronic communication, there is no end to the resources available at our finger tips.Although sometimes it is very easy to get side tracked by totally unrelated (albeit interesting) topics. The OMAFRA Vegetable Team members have compiled the following list of “good reads.” First up (and slightly biased) is ONVegetables Ontario’s own vegetable blog, written by the OMAFRA Vegetable Team. Articles are posted chronologically and by subject matter. Also follow us on Twitter @ONVeggies and @ontariotomato. Are you tired of typing in long, complicated URLs? Direct links to each of the following newsletters are available on the OMAFRA website. Simply visit http://bit.ly/News4Veg and click on the newsletter of your choice. University Extension Newsletters Cornell Veg Edge Newsletter http://blogs.cce.cornell.edu/cvp/ve g-edge-newsletter “Veg Edge is a shared publication of two Cornell Cooperative Extension teams, the Cornell Vegetable Program, serving 12 counties in Western & Central NY, and the Capital District Vegetable & Small Fruit Program, serving 11 counties in the Capital Region of NY.”

Newsletters are issued weekly during the growing season and monthly during the rest of the year.

topics, extending beyond traditional crop production issues, to include food safety, economy and regional issues.

Illinois Fruit and Vegetable News http://ipm.illinois.edu/ifvn/ “A Publication of University of Illinois Extension and the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences.” Each issue includes a list of upcoming programs, local issues and articles on fruit and vegetable production and IPM.

Other Newsletters

Indiana Vegetable Crop Hotline http://www.btny.purdue.edu/pubs/ vegcrop/index2011.html “Providing the commercial vegetable grower with timely information about disease, insect and weed pests, fertility practices, post-harvest problems, pesticide label changes, meetings and much more.” Newsletters are posted regularly during the growing season and monthly during the winter. This website site has a handy newsletter index for each year, allowing readers to view the season’s topics listed by crops and by subject matter.

Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada http://www.organicagcentre.ca/Ne wspaperArticles/na_welcome.asp A regular selection of articles produced by The Organic Science Cluster, a collaborative effort between Agriculture and AgriFood Canada, the Organic Federation of Canada and industry partners.

Michigan State University Extension News http://news.msue.msu.edu/news/c ategory/vegetables This blog-style newsletter also allows readers to sign up for email alerts when new content is posted online. Its content encompasses an extraordinary range of

Vegetable Growers News http://vegetablegrowersnews.com/ index.php/magazine Published monthly, this newspaper gives a good overview of vegetable production issues and research south-of-the-border. Readers may also follow VGN on Twitter @VGN_News.

Food and Produce Related Food Safety News http://www.foodsafetynews.com/ “A daily Web-based newspaper dedicated to reporting on issues surrounding food safety.” An interesting perspective on food safety, the articles often cover the legal and political implications of foodborne illness. Perishable Pundit http://www.perishablepundit.com/ index.php

Provides a unique and thought provoking perspective on key issues within the food industry. Books (a tribute to “old-school” paper technology) Vegetable Diseases – A Colour Handbook Steven T. Koike, Peter Gladders and Albert O. Paulus Academic Press, 2007. Common vegetable diseases are organized by crop groups. Key information includes; symptoms and diagnosis, a description of the causal agent, disease cycle and control. Excellent colour photos throughout the book for each disease. Ontario Soil Fertility Handbook OMAFRA, Publication 611 Don’t let the low cost fool you! This is one of the most comprehensive soil fertility books on the

market. There are detailed sections on the macro and micronutrients, organic nutrient sources and fertilizer materials. The soil testing section provides important insight to the nutrient-related characteristics of Ontario’s soils. Knott’s Handbook for Vegetable Growers Donald N. Maynard and George J. Hochmuth John Wiley & Sons Inc., 2007 Easy-to-read tables and charts cover every aspect of vegetable production from greenhouse transplants, to field seeding, harvest and storage. Also includes nutrient sufficiency ranges for tissue analysis, irrigation application rates and pesticide toxicity. Elaine Roddy is Vegetable Crops Specialist for OMAFRA, Ridgetown

Preparing for a food safety audit – do you have what it takes? COLLEEN HASKINS . . . the short answer is “yes, you do.” Knowing what it takes however, may be a bit more challenging. Whether you are considering implementing an on-farm food safety program, or know you will be participating in a third-party audit, there are some key things you should do to help navigate and assist you with this process.

i. Know your food safety program a. Obtain the corresponding manual and checklist ii. Ensure all areas of the program are complete a. Write your procedures and records iii. Prepare and organize required information a. Properly train workers and keep organized records iv. Have product traceability a. Practise a Mock Recall and keep documentation v. Annually review your food safety program and practices

a. Review, update and sign off on your program documentation If the above items are still leaving you with questions on how you start to implement a food safety program or prepare for an audit, contact us 1-877-424-1300 or visit our website at www.ontario.ca/goodagpractices for more information and food safety resources. Food safety question? Ask us.

Jim Inksetter Canadian Sales Manager


FEBRUARY 2012 –– PAGE 33 THE GROWER

No snow to push - check out your nozzles HELMUT SPIESER, OMAFRA RIDGETOWN Through the growing season, repairs on your field sprayer were carried out on an as needed basis. If something had to be replaced to continue spraying it was done. Apart from that, you likely have not given your nozzles much consideration. Nozzles are the single most important component on a sprayer since they serve three basic functions. They meter the liquid flow, they produce droplets and they distribute the droplets in a predetermined pattern. In the middle of the winter you likely won't get the sprayer out, totally unfold the wings and run water through the system. You can however, look at the nozzles to get a sense of their condition. First, check to see that all the nozzles are exactly the same. In season, in an effort to

get going when a nozzle plugs and can't be cleaned you may find one in a jar that looks close and

install it on the boom. This nozzle may not be a perfect match. Think back to all your spray

jobs and try to remember if the product and sprayer setup worked to your expectations. You have to realize success depends on many factors including product selection, spray timing, water volume, nozzle type, nozzle size and operating pressure. Your spray records will help you with the details. Did you use the best nozzle available for the job at hand? Remember, nozzles serve three basic functions. The challenge comes for you to use these nozzles to deliver pesticides in a manner that will maximize product performance. What you are trying to determine by evaluating your nozzles is things like; • do my nozzles provide drift reduction in windy conditions • are the spray droplets of a size that will provide good coverage for contact products • what droplet size are my nozzles delivering • can one nozzle be used for dif-

ferent spray jobs • should I upgrade my nozzle technology Various farm shows will come up in the next few months. New nozzle catalogues will be available from the manufacturers and you know there will be even more nozzle choices. You need to determine if the nozzles you currently use are good enough for your spray jobs. If the nozzle you use for a specific job is wanting, study what is available and do some reading. Do your homework before you go nozzle shopping. Helmut Spieser will be taking an in-depth look at nozzle selection in the Vegetable Weed Management Session at the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention on Wednesday February 22nd in Niagara Falls. Visit http://www.ofvc.ca/ or phone 905-945-5363 for more details.

How OFVC can boost your vegetable operation sessions, too). JANICE LEBOEUF, OMAFRA VEGETABLE CROP SPECIALIST, RIDGETOWN Looking to pick up some information, ideas, contacts, and resources to improve your vegetable production or to help you in your business? The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention will be worth the trip. Scheduled for February 22-23 at the Scotiabank Convention Centre (6815 Stanley Avenue) in Niagara Falls, it will provide two full days of field vegetable programming as well as a large trade show (and a variety of other educational

Highlights Vegetable Diseases – Wednesday, Feb. 22, 9:30 – 11:30 am: This session will cover tomato late blight, clubroot in brassica vegetables, pumpkin and squash harvest rots, and bulb and stem nematode in garlic with speakers from Cornell University and University of Guelph research stations. Vegetable Weed Management – Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2:00 – 4:00 pm: Speakers from the University of Guelph’s Ridgetown Campus

New spray drift awareness videos educate DR. JASON S.T. DEVEAU, APPLICATION TECHNOLOGY SPECIALIST KRISTEN CALLOW, M.SC., WEED MANAGEMENT PROGRAM LEAD - HORTICULTURE Pesticide spray drift has become a prominent issue in recent years. Both industry and the farm community take it very seriously, recognizing that even extremely low amounts of spray drift can impact sensitive crops, human habitats or environmentally sensitive areas. CropLife Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs have partnered to develop two Demonstrating how fine droplets drift educational videos on using food-grade red dye pesticide application best management practices in an effort to educate, and ultimately reduce the incidents of spray drift. The first video, ‘What is Spray Drift?’, highlights the various causes of spray drift. The second video, ‘Equipment and Methods to Reduce Spray Drift’, focuses on how applicators can modify equipment to reduce spray drift. The videos were are available to educators, pesticide safety organizations, sprayer manufacturers and retailers, agrichemical companies and agricultural associations. Translated into French, the videos are posted at www.ontario.ca/spraydrift. In addition to the videos, this web page hosts the most up-to-date resources on pesticide drift.

and OMAFRA will discuss cover crops and weed suppression in pumpkins, the impact of perimeter weeds, herbicide resistant weeds, and sprayer maintenance and nozzle selection. Sweet Corn – Thursday, February 23, 9:30 – 11:30 am: Not just for sweet corn growers, this session will cover the emerging pest, western bean cutworm, an update on new pest control products for vegetables, options for soil remediation after a wet fall, and tillage and cover crop solutions, featuring speakers from Michigan State University, the University of Guelph’s

Ridgetown Campus, OMAFRA, and crop protection companies. Vegetables – General Topics – Thursday, February 23, 2:00 – 4:00 pm: This session features topics that cut across commodities – a research update on vegetable insects, soil management for crop health and pest management in high tunnels, accessing niche markets, and an introduction to the new OMAFRA vegetable publications and review of other vegetable resources for Ontario. Join speakers from Cornell University, OMAFRA, and Ridgetown Campus, as well as a prominent farm innovator,

for this set of presentations. For general conference information call 905-945-5363 or visit http://www.ofvc.ca/. You can register online or by mail, email, or fax. The deadline for pre-registration is February 15. On site registration is also available. Access a printer-friendly version of the OFVC Field Vegetable Program at http://bit.ly/OFVCveg. Follow us on Twitter! Go to http://twitter.com/ and search for #OFVC12 to join the conversation.

The 'AQUA Wetland System' “A new breed of constructed wetland” AQUA Treatment Technologies Inc. designs and installs the 'AQUA Wetland System' (AWS) for tertiary treatment of many types of waste water including sanitary sewage, landfill leachate, dairy farm & abattoir wastewater, greenhouse irrigation leachate water & mushroom farm leachate water (i.e. manure pile leachate) and high strength winery washwater. The 'AQUA Wetland System' is operated out of doors and can achieve year-round tertiary treatment of wastewater. This sub-surface, vertical flow constructed wetland consists of sand & gravel beds planted with moisture tolerant plant species. Water is pumped vertically from cell to cell. There is no open or standing water. Treatment occurs through physical filtration & biological degradation. Plants shade & insulate the cells, cycling nutrients while preventing algae growth. There is no production of sludge. The AWS has been approved for use by the Ontario Ministry of Environment through over 40 Environmental Compliance Approvals. Recently the Region of Niagara began approving the AWS for treatment of 'small flow' winery washwater I.e. < 10,000 liters per day. Other agencies who have issued approvals include Health Canada, USEPA and OMAFRA. Recent projects include: 1) treatment of cider mill washwater at Bennett's Apple and Cider in Ancaster 2) treatment of winery washwater at DiProfio Wines and Lincoln Farm Winery in Niagara 3) treatment of pond water at Hihojo Farms for supply of hog drinking water

For additional information please Contact Lloyd Rozema at: cell. 905-327-4571 email. lrozema@aqua-tt.com


PAGE 34 –– FEBRUARY 2012 THE GROWER

MARKETPLACE

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

Wide variety selection for retail sales and commercial cut flower production Catalogue available upon request or visit our website at www.lmbolle.com

L.M.Bolle & Sons

Producers of Quality stock for 46 years. Grown under the Nova Scotia Certification Program. Shipping across North America. Contact us for more information and a free brochure

G.W. ALLEN NURSERY LTD. 7295 Hwy 221 Centreville, N.S. B0P 1J0 ph. 902-678-7519 fax: 902-678-5924

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Choose from Persian and black walnut, heartnut, butternut, chestnut, hazel, pecan, hickory, gingko, pine nut, mulberry, persimmon, pawpaw, fig & more.

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PRUNING Good Reasons to Contract Your Pruning: • Experienced crew • Exact costing • Free estimates • Job completion on time • No additional costs associated with general labour • Improved quality • reduced harvesting and maintenance costs

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]

WARWICK ORCHARDS & NURSERY LTD RR 8, 7056 Egremont Rd. Watford, ON N0M 2S0 warwickorchards@brktel.on.ca Tel: (519) 849-6730 Toll free: 877-550-7412 Fax: (519) 849-6731

Proprietor Ernie Grimo

C.O.

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• Certified Strawberry Plants & Raspberry Canes • All popular varieties available • Grown under the Nova Scotia Certification program. Plants shipped across North America. Contact us for a FREE brochure! 982 North Bishop Road, Kentville, Nova Scotia, Canada B4N 3V7 Ph: (902) 678-4497 Fax: (902) 678-0067 Email: keddynursery@xcountry.tv


FEBRUARY 2012 –– PAGE 35 THE GROWER

MARKETPLACE

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

EQUIPMENT

Pipe & Fittings for Water Systems

The best producing orchards start with exceptional trees. Apples Apricots Cherries Nectarines Peaches Plums

Quality Fruit Trees for 60 years. Mori Nurseries

1695 Niagara Stone Rd., RR#2 Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S1J0 T: 905-468-3217 F: 905-468-7271 Email: fruittrees@morinurseries.com

• 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

SEE OUR BIG DISPLAY AT FRUIT & VEG CONVENTION NIAGARA, FEB. 22, 23.

ALL STAINLESS STEEL Made in Canada

Now is the best time of year to buy, lease, or trade for best pre-season pricing and more time to recondition, advertise, and sell your trade. NEW 2012 models with tall spray towers are here! Turbo-Mist 600, Centrifugal, Used 3 Yrs,, Like New . . . . . . . . . COMING Turbo-Mist 500 gal, Narrow, (High Output) Almost New . . . . . . . $16,500 Turbo-Mist 500 gal, Narrow, Hydraulic Controls, Like New . . . . . $15,900 FMC LV500 Good Piston Pump, Hydraulic Controls, Good Paint, New Nozzle Bodies - Very Clean Good Sprayer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $5,500 Perfect KG220, H.D. Flail Demo - 5 Hrs, Full Warranty . . . . . . . $9,200 Seppi 200 H.D. Flail Shredder - Almost New . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $5,500 Perfect DR365, Variable 7ft to 12 ft Rotary Mower . . . . . . . . .COMING Perfect ZA380, 13ft Rotary Mower, New Blades . . . . . . . . . . . $5,500 SPECIAL: 2012 Turbo-Mist 400 Gal, (Only one at this price) .$16,750 ** Tall Spray Towers in Stock, Fit New and Used Turbo-Mists*** GOOD CLEAN TRADE-INS NEEDED

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WARWICK ORCHARDS & NURSERY LTD. R.R. #8 Watford, Ontario N0M 2S0 Tel: (519) 849-6730 Toll free: 877-550-7412 Fax: (519) 849-6731 Email: warwickorchards@brktel.on.ca

Orchard Equipment & Supplies Munckhof Orchard Sprayers Votex Shredders Votex Mowers New & Used Tree Stakes & Tie Material

3 John Bean Modulars Coming Soon • NEW Hardi 3pt. Air Cannon, $4500.00 • NEW 100gal 3pt JB Air, $7500.00 • New Durand Vineyard Sprayer, $25,900.00 list $35,000.00. • Barely used Hardi Mercury, $8,900.00 only used 1.5 seasons • 1 Hardi 800 gal sprayer , Tandem, 50 ft. Hyd. $8800.00 • 1 Used Hardi 950, 80ft. Hyd., Raven, Amazing Shape. $18,000.00 GOOD TRADES WELCOME

RR 3, PO Box 3613 Guelph, ON Phone: (519) 763-2400 Fax: (519) 763-3930


PAGE 36 –– FEBRUARY 2012 THE GROWER

MARKETPLACE

To advertise phone: 519-380-0118 • 866-898-8488 x 218 • Fax: 519-380-0011 EQUIPMENT CALL ABE FIRST FOR BETTER PRICES, MORE CHOICES, FAST, AND FRIENDLY SERVICE. BUY A DIESEL ENGINE FROM THE DIESEL MECHANIC.

AVAILABLE NOW NEW IRRIGATION PUMP UNITS ON TRAILER • Cummin 4 cyl, 80 HP, $11,900 • Cummin 4 cyl turbo, 105 HP $13,850 • John Deere, 4 cly, 80 HP, $13,175 • Cummin 6 cyl, 165 HP-5.9L, $15,750 • Iveco/Cummins 130 HP (134-H), $12,950 All with Rovatti Pumps, etc. And many more new or used up to 550 HP. We build them all big or small. Also couplers, hoses, clamps, for suction, camlock, ringlock, etc.

A. KOOLMEES R.R. 1, Otterville, ON N0J 1R0 (519) 879-6878 Fax: (519) 879-6319

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

ORCHARD FOR SALE. Outstanding orchard Farm in full production with very good varieties including strawberries and younger trees. List of varieties available with age and quantity of trees, crops not included in asking price, but available. Also list of equipment available but not included. The orchard is recognized as the best or one of the best orchards in Ontario. Very good home and storage buildings on property. Great opportunity to get into the business with increased production in the coming years. Asking $1,300,000.00. Address: 5893 Sawmill Road and 5894 Sawmill Road, RR2 Aylmer, Malahide TWP, Elgin County

Squirrell Farms SEED POTATOES Heritage Varieties • Banana Fingerlings • Irish Cobbler • French Fingers • Purple Chiefs • Linser Delicatess

Old Favourites • Yukon Gold • Chieftain • Kennebec • Superior • Dark Red Norland • Eramosa

Newer Varieties • Dakota Pearl • Gold Rush • Cal White • Classic Russet • Blazer Russet All seed is C.F.I.A. inspected and is tagged as to variety and level of certification. Contact Penny and Glen Squirrell RR 2, Shelburne, ON L0N 1S6 Ph: 519-925-5247 Fax: 519-925-5603 email: pmsquirrell@yahoo.com Call for pricing. Small orders Welcome! Delivery can be arranged!

Advertise your business in Canada’s favourite agriculture newspaper! Call Herb Sherwood 519-380-0118


FEBRUARY 2012 –– PAGE 37 THE GROWER

MARKETPLACE

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

LOUTH & NIAGARA ORCHARDS P.O. Box 43 • Virgil, Ontario • L0S 1T0 • 905-468-3297 4000 Jordan Road • Jordan Station, ON • 905-562-8825

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PAGE 38 –– FEBRUARY 2012 THE GROWER

MARKETPLACE

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FEBRUARY 2012 –– PAGE 39 THE GROWER


PAGE 40 –– FEBRUARY 2012 THE GROWER

Use or lose Self-Directed Risk Management Program (SDRM) KAREN DAVIDSON At the OFVGA annual general meeting, it was reported that 3,792 packages were mailed to Ontario fruit and vegetable producers eligible to receive payments under the new SDRM program. As of early January, only 1,549 deposit requests had been received according to Kevin Ferraro, OMAFRA’s lead on SDRM. Of those, 1,357 withdrawal requests were made. While only half of the eligible growers have submitted claims, Ferraro points out that about 75 per cent of the money set aside for this program has been claimed. “The larger growers have responded,” Ferraro says. “The program is progressing as anticipated.” Why hasn’t there been greater uptake? Some producers may be ineligible for SDRM

because they gross less than five thousand dollars per year, Ferraro explained. If you are one of the remaining 1,500 who hasn’t sent in a notice, the deadline is February 1, 2012. Other important dates to remember are: February 1, 2012 Deadline to submit deposit and withdrawal requests for 2011 program March 2012 Agricorp begins processing 2011 spring withdrawal cheques April 30, 2012 Secure coverage for AgriStability June 15, 2012 File a 2011 T1163 to CRA (individuals, partners) June 30, 2012 File a Statement A to Agricorp (corporations) September 2012 Agricorp to mail the majority of 2012 Deposit Packages February 1, 2013* Deadline to submit deposit and withdrawal requests for 2012 program *or 90 days from the date of your deposit notice – whichever is later.

New transportation guidelines The North American Produce Transportation Working Group (NAPTWG), representing produce transportation stakeholders from associations and industry groups across North America, has announced the availability of the new North American Produce Transportation Guidelines. The document integrates multiple existing transportation guidelines into one best practices document which can be used throughout North America to ensure the

ongoing vitality of the carrier sector. These best practice guidelines were agreed to by various stakeholders in the produce supply chain and were reviewed and endorsed by the Blue Book and the Dispute Resolution Corporation (DRC) to ensure compliance with industry trading guidelines for North America. The NAPTWG aims to provide necessary guidance for seamless product movement and to ensure that the produce industry contin-

ues to have sufficient access to carriers to meet the needs of the produce industry in North America. “The new guidelines represent an incredible volume of work by industry associations and produce organizations involved in the transport of fresh produce,” noted David Dever, President and CEO of Sun World International and NAPTWG Chairman. “We all know how crucial ensuring the vitality of our carrier industry is

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to the long term viability of the North American produce industry and this is one tool to support that.” Best practices are generallyaccepted, informally-standardized techniques, methods or processes that have proven themselves over time to accomplish given tasks. By following proper processes, checks and testing, a desired outcome can be delivered more effectively with fewer problems and unforeseen complications. In addition, a "best" practice can evolve to become better as improvements are discovered. The NAPTWG compilation of

best practice guidelines is intended to be an evolving document to guide efficiency in produce transportation. “Transportation carriers are facing increasing costs and complexities today,” said David Owen, President of National Association of Small Trucking Companies (NASTC). “If we don’t all play our part in assisting carriers and making produce a desirable industry to do business in, we could face shortages of carriers in the future. The guidelines should be used by all to ensure that doesn’t happen.”

Funding available for labour planning Small or large, farm operators should mitigate their risk with a labour plan that anticipates sickness and unexpected crises. Take a moment and quickly answer these questions developed by the Canadian Agricultural Resource Council (www.cahrc-ccrha.ca) Bets are that you’ll uncover a few holes that could benefit from advance planning. List all of your labour requirements for the year and identify your key people. If one of those key people became ill and they could not perform the tasks they usually complete, what would happen to the business? Think of the skills required to complete the work on the farm. If you could train in-house workers to complete work that you usually have to contract out, how much could you save in time and money for the farm operation?

How can a farm manager manage increased paperwork requirements? During the succession of a farm business how will the training and change of management progress effectively? The Growing Forward – Business Development for Farm Businesses program can assist in the planning process. After attending a Grow Your Farm Profits workshop, eligible farm operations can access money to offset the costs of creating formal business plans, including a Human Resource Management Plan. Current funding is available until March 2013 on a first come, first serve basis. For more information on how you can access this funding go to: www.ontariosoilcrop.org/en/bdfboverview

CPMA’s Trade Show has sold out Having already sold out once and expanding to meet demand, exhibit spaces at the Canadian Produce Marketing Association’s (CPMA) 87th Annual Convention & Trade Show, to be held in April 2012 in Calgary, Alberta, have officially and completely sold out! CPMA will now accept exhibit applications for the waiting list. CPMA’s annual Convention & Trade Show is produced in a cyclical fashion, visiting the same

four cities (Montréal, Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver) across Canada every four years. As it takes on a different theme and attracts a variety of participants, the overall sustained development of the show, year after year, continues to be positive. CPMA’s Trade Show, welcomes a dynamic blend of exhibitors and attendees who are active within the Canadian fruit and vegetable marketplace.


FEBRUARY 2012 –– PAGE 41 THE GROWER

Auditors needed for CanadaGAP On-Farm Food Safety Program Training course to be held in February The CanadaGAP On-Farm Food Safety (OFFS) program is in need of auditors who are qualified to audit fruit and vegetable farms to ensure they are meeting the program's standards for certification. "Nearly 2,000 farms across Canada have enrolled in the CanadaGAP program to date, and that number is expected to increase as retailers continue to require certification to the program," said CanadaGAP National Program Manager Heather Gale. "This is why the demand for auditors is also expected to increase." You can become a CanadaGAP auditor by successfully completing an Auditor Training Course. QMI-SAI Global, a Certification Body for the CanadaGAP program, will be holding a CanadaGAP Auditor Training Course February 13-17, 2012 in Toronto.

Who should consider taking this course? This course may be of interest if: · You are qualified to become a CanadaGAP auditor · You are already working as an internal auditor · You are responsible for the food safety program within your company, and/or you are conducting internal audits in preparation for CanadaGAP certification To find out more about the Auditor Training Course or CanadaGAP auditor qualifications, visit our website <http://www.canadagap.ca/en/blo g/2011/10/17/qmi-sai-global-tohold-canadagap-auditor-trainingcourse.aspx>

With assistance from Agriculture and Agri Food Canada’s (AAFC) Canadian Integrated Food Safety Initiative (CIFSI) funding, CPMA’s Repacking and Wholesale Food Safety Program (RWFSP) began the CFIA Post Farm Food Safety Recognition Technical Review Part 1 formal process this fall; completion of the process is expected by early spring 2012. CPMA was selected by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to be the pilot program for the Post Farm Food Safety Recognition Program (PFFSRP) The PFFSRP is led by the CFIA with the participation of the provincial and territorial governments and industry and will evaluate the technical soundness

and administrative effectiveness of Post Farm Food Safety programs previously not eligible for federal recognition programs. The Canadian Produce Marketing Association and the Canadian Horticultural Council will be moving forward with Phase II of their initiative to integrate the delivery of their respective food safety programs, the RWFSP and CanadaGap; CHC‘s application for funding assistance from CIFSI has been approved for the project. The objective of the initiative is to provide a national, auditable, technically sound, and internationally recognized food safety program from the grower to the repacker/wholesaler. A feasibility study completed

in December 2010 concluded and recommended that integration of these two existing food safety programs for the fresh produce industry – CanadaGAP for the primary production and packing sector, and the CPMA RWFSP for the repacking and wholesale sector – is feasible, and can best be accomplished over a three-year timeline. Included among the many potential benefits of the project, integration will provide: a potential solution to the “multiple” audit issue; increased overall participation in Canadian national programs due to potential efficiencies in an integrated delivery system; affordable costs to producers/operators due to increased efficiencies in delivery of services.

Course Details The five-day course, including the final exam, is designed to train potential auditors specifically for the CanadaGAP program. It includes an intensive review of the OFFS manual requirements, with the incorporation of practical examples specific to commodity or region, and an optional ‘HACCP overview’ unit.

Checklist for employing farm workers If you employ people on your farm operation whether it is seasonal or permanent there are some important regulatory issues that may affect your business. There are three provincial Acts you need to be familiar with if you are employing workers on your farm, these are: • The Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, • The Occupational Health and Safety Act, and • The Employment Standards Act. This checklist www.ofa.on.ca/uploads/userfiles/files/Regulatory%20Compli ance%20Checklist%20%20Sept%2026%202011(1)(1).p df will provide you with a simple and practical understanding of the Acts so that your farming operation will be in compliance with the Acts. It is not intended to replace or supplement the Acts themselves but rather should be used as a resource that explains your responsibilities as a farm employer.

See your farm like never before Field Manager PRO 360 with GIS gives you a complete picture It’s a whole new way to manage your farm. With current satellite images of your farm, you can map and compare your operations, all linked to your Geographic Information System (GIS). Get all your management details right down to field level.

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PAGE 42 –– FEBRUARY 2012 THE GROWER

MINOR USE CRAIG’S COMMENTS

OFVGA Minor Use Pesticide Program

CRAIG HUNTER OFVGA The OFVGA decided to underwrite the costs of an in-house staff specialist to deal with pesticide issues starting in the year 2000. This was in response to an on-going vacancy at OMAFRA for the person who had dealt with many of these issues in the past. There was no assurance at that time that this position would be refilled. Pesticide issues had been and continued to be amongst the top priority of those brought forward by resolution at the annual meetings. This had been increasing since the late 1970s, and became chronic when over 35 resolutions were made on pesticide issues alone one year! There were many serious issues surrounding pesticides, including: extremely frustrating dealings with the federal pesticide regulatory group, serious underfunding for minor use pesticide data generation, serious understaffing at federal and provincial research facilities to deal with pesticide and pest management issues, and a long and growing backlog of registrations. Many of those needs came as a result of the losses of active ingredients through deregistration of many old products under the FQPA process in the U.S. and the new federal ‘Re-evaluation’ process. It had already been identified that Canada had more than 140 active ingredients LESS than what U.S. producers had available for use. There was an increasing need and use of emergency registrations annually due to the scarcity of

registered products in the marketplace. At the same time as this was occurring, OMAFRA had given notice that their long-term support for in-field Integrated Pest Management (IPM) delivery was ending and that growers would need to cover the slack. In other words, a perfect storm was about to converge on Ontario Horticulture -- lack of controls and a non-receptive agency to deal with registrations, lack of research capacity to fill in data requirements to add uses, and loss of in-field expertise and support for IPM programs. On top of this came the new requirement that all residue data submitted to support Minor Use registrations would need to be done under GLP (Good Laboratory Practice). There were NO government research facilities available that were qualified! OFVGA worked from the ground up by using their existing Crop Protection Committee, and the accumulated knowledge around that table. Work commenced on several fronts to get changes. Partners were sought out, including the Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC) at the national level, Canadian Federation of Agriculture to also work parliament for support, AGCare for strong Ontario-wide commodity group support and CropLife Canada member companies to get their support and data for putting together minor use submissions. We were successful in getting some increased federal funding for minor use data generation, albeit on a cost-share basis, despite an attempt by a staff person at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) to substantially reduce this funding, but we successfully prevailed. There was also a serious impasse in the Pesticide Directorate that needed to be resolved. This issue was raised to various MPs and at the Standing Committee on Agriculture. A group of three (myself, Jeff Wilson, Jim Fischer) met with the Hon. Allan Rock, the then

Federal Health Minister, and apprised him of the seriousness of the situation. This finally started to make things happen, albeit slowly. The CHC took the lead to present a document, which we played a major role in producing, called Crop Protection: A Better Future for Canada. This succinctly laid out our concerns and our problems and focused on solutions for each issue. This was delivered in November 2001, and was the beginning of the changes needed to give back to Canadian farmers what had been denied for

are responsible for pesticide recommendations. Results Ontario growers have a very much expanded arsenal of products to choose from and use in their Pest Management Programs as compared to 13 years ago. In spite of the loss of over 90 actives in that time, we have seen over 100 registrations of new active ingredients. Added to that is almost 1000 new uses added to existing labels. Furthermore, there

Ontario growers have a very much expanded arsenal of products to choose from and use in their Pest Management Programs as compared to 13 years ago.” ~ Craig Hunter so long. Almost all these issues that were raised have been satisfactorily resolved by 2012. The most important was the creation and funding of the Pest Management Centre (PMC) to produce data and to make submissions for registrations. A few more are still underway and only a couple are still problematic. Of course, other issues have arisen, and continue to be dealt with on an on-going basis. We remain vigilant on several fronts including: advisory committees to the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (CPAC & EMAC), advisory committees to the AAFC Pest Management Centre, NAFTA technical working group on pesticides, IR-4 (USA Minor Use Program), CropLife and its member companies both sides of the border, and many others. We also maintain our support for various Crop Protection sub-committees in Ontario that

is a now a well-funded program to add many more uses every year to that total. The regulatory agency is receptive and willing to work with us to meet grower needs -- a far cry from the atmosphere of 15 years ago. There have been long-sought changes proposed that will make it easier to submit new registrations that have already resulted in major increases of new products coming into the system. Another breakthrough was implementation of a special program to catch up on the “Technology Gap” products not registered here but available in the U.S. This is helping to get long awaited submissions as well. The implementation of an extra five years of data protection in exchange for adding Minor Uses to company labels has worked wonders too. We actually proposed that back in 1996, when we were told “It couldn’t be done.” When Dr. Karen Dodds was at the helm of PMRA things

like that ‘could be done!’ We have indeed come a long way. Every grower of every commodity group in Ontario is better off because OFVGA took the bull by the horns and funded a staff position on pesticide issues that in large part helped to make these happen. There are many measurables, such as the increases in actual available products, and intangibles, such as the better regulatory atmosphere in place with ‘friendly faces,’ that will assure continued support from registrants. The work is not over, as many of these are still fragile and need on-going support to keep in place. Many of the gains have resulted from increased confidence and trust between the partners -something that must continue. It happens through close personal interactions, willingness to work on committees, flexibility and firmness on issue resolution, and a strong personal desire to make a difference. The next ‘frontier’ is international cooperation. As Canada becomes closer to the U.S. in terms of registrations, we face together the need for global harmonization. Even with registrations here, we face the need for import residue tolerances from all the trading partners we have globally. There is much collaboration with the U.S. IR-4 program and our PMC to facilitate this. OFVGA remains at the forefront to push to make this happen. The OFVGA has allowed me the freedom to operate to facilitate much of this effort. It cannot be done just from a desk, or by written briefs. It takes interpersonal relationships, the offer of assistance whenever and wherever, and above all the trust between parties to make things happen. So far, we have made lots of progress. I trust that will continue, as long as I can show positive results. The great partnerships we have must be maintained, and the willingness to collaborate must continue.


FEBRUARY 2012 –– PAGE 43 THE GROWER

MINOR USE

Revus fungicide: emergency use registration for greenhouse cucumbers Revus fungicide, when used in a tank-mix with Previcur N aqueous solution fungicide, has received Emergency Use Registration for suppression of downy mildew on greenhouse cucumbers in Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia until December 31, 2012. "This Emergency Use Registration of Revus with Previcur N means that greenhouse cucumber growers will be able to protect their cucumbers against a very difficult-to-control and quickly spreading disease that can significantly impact yield,” stated

New disease added to Quadris fungicide label Quadris fungicide now has control of the disease, black dot, added to its label for use on potatoes. “Quadris is a well respected and well used fungicide because it delivers effective control of a multitude of challenging potato diseases,” stated Eric Phillips, Asset Lead for Syngenta Canada Inc. “With this label expansion to include control of black dot, potato growers now have one less disease to worry about.” Black dot, or Colletotrichum coccodes, is a common disease in potatoes. It is most often found on tubers but can affect all parts of the plant. On potato foliage, symptoms of the disease are nearly indistinguishable from early blight, and on tubers, it produces blemishes sometimes mistaken for silver scurf. Black dot can significantly impact potato production, as it can affect the plant’s vascular system causing the plant to wilt; while below ground, it can cause severe rotting of roots, shoots and stolons, leading to early plant decline, discoloured tubers and reduced yields. Quadris is a broad-spectrum, preventative fungicide with systemic properties. Optimum disease control is obtained when Quadris is used as a protective treatment prior to disease establishment. In addition to black dot, as a foliar spray, Quadris is also registered on potatoes for control of early blight (Alternaria solani) and late blight (Phytophthora infestans). For control of black dot, Quadris should be applied on a seven- to 14-day interval, starting prior to disease establishment at a rate of 500 to 800 mL/ha. Source: Syngenta Canada news release

Eric Phillips, Asset Lead for Syngenta Canada Inc. Downy mildew is a disease caused by the fungus-like water mould, Pseudoperonospora cubensis, which attacks only cucumbers and related crop species such as gourds, squash, pumpkins and melons. The disease primarily affects the foliage and can cause severe yield losses in a short period of time. The initial symptoms of downy mildew typically consist of angular, yellow spots on the upper leaf surfaces. The disease can then travel to other parts of the cucum-

ber leaf and, if left untreated, will lead to leaf kill. If even only a few spots appear on some of the leaves, this signifies that the disease is in the early stages of development and treatment is recommended as soon as possible. Since the spores are readily dispersed by air currents within the greenhouse, further disease development may be very quick under favourable environmental conditions. Growers must apply Revus fungicide as a foliar application in a tank-mix with Previcur N when plants begin to vine or when the

disease threatens. The recommended application rate is 400 mL/ha of Revus with 1.5–2.0

L/ha of Previcur N fungicide. For more information, go to www.syngenta.com.


PAGE 44 –– FEBRUARY 2012 THE GROWER

DuPont Coragen

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Take command of your fields. Controlling insects in your valuable potato fields takes power and precision. That’s why growers trust DuPontTM Coragen® insecticide over other products. Coragen® is an advanced, new-generation insecticide with a unique mode of action for extended residual control of European corn borer and Colorado potato beetle. It even controls insect biotypes that are resistant to other products. For growers, Coragen® means exceptional control of their toughest insect problems, and who knows, it may give you a bit more time to play.

Questions? Ask your retailer, call 1-800-667-3925 or visit cropprotection.dupont.ca As with all crop protection products, read and follow label instructions carefully. The DuPont Oval Logo, DuPont™, The miracles of science™, Coragen® and Rynaxypyr® are registered trademarks or trademarks of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company. E. I. du Pont Canada Company is a licensee. Member of CropLife Canada. © Copyright 2012 E. I. du Pont Canada Company. All rights reserved.

The Grower Newspaper_February 2012  

Volume 62 Number 02