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JUNE 2014

CELEBRATING 134 YEARS AS CANADA’S PREMIER HORTICULTURAL PUBLICATION

VOLUME 64 NUMBER 06

OPINION: PLANKLESS IN ONTARIO

Agriculture’s voice ignored in Ontario June 12 election

Four issues are forefront for hor ticulture in the upcoming June 12 Ontario election. Counterclockwise, they are: labour costs, infrastructure, water regulations and access to natural gas to heat greenhouses and other farm structures. Photos by Denis Cahill and Glenn Lowson. KAREN DAVIDSON

INSIDE Hydroponic strawberries debut in Quebec Page 4

Late asparagus crop at higher price Page 6 Focus: Green Technology

Page 12

www.thegrower.org P.M. 40012319 $3.00 CDN

Farm voters are bewildered by their Liberal Ontario premier. Since March 2013, Kathleen Wynne has come to the country often to mend fences in her dual role as agriculture minister. A tinkering carpenter she may be, but she’s no musician. She’s shown a tin ear for the economic issues plaguing competitiveness of agriculture. Hydro rates are soaring, infrastructure needs fasttracking and water regulation is onerous. What rankles most is that on June 1, just days before the June 12 election, minimum wages will rise to $11 per hour. That’s a $30 million hit to horticulture alone. In fairness, the Conservatives and New Democratic Party haven’t communicated much of substance either. It’s surprising given that the NDP’s Andrea Horwath triggered the election and that the Conservative’s Tim

Hudak hails from the epicenter of tender fruit and vineyard country, the Niagara peninsula. “It’s very discouraging,” says Jamie Reaume, newly elected chair of the Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance (GHFFA). “As of May 20, it’s the third week of the campaign and there are no platforms. There are 73 ridings in the Golden Horseshoe area so that’s not small potatoes. Along with the Ontario Federation of Agriculture and the Alliance of Ontario Food Processors, we’ve asked for a debate on rural issues but there are no takers.” The Rural Municipalities of Ontario asked to become a signatory to the debate. Steve Paikin, the host of TVO’s “The Agenda” would have moderated. It was a reasonable request for a debate about agriculture that contributes $34 billion to the economy and represents solutions to many health care issues. It could have been a spotlight on agricul-

ture, the second biggest economic workhorse in the province after automobile manufacturing. The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) president Mark Wales is also disappointed in the outcome of the provincial budget submission to the minister. “OFA clearly outlined what agri-food and rural communities need to increase jobs and sustain growth of the industry,” he says. “We recommended programs and policies that would help our industry meet the premier’s challenge to double the agri-food sector’s growth and create 120,000 new jobs by 2020.” OFA’s wish list included: • access to natural gas throughout rural Ontario • food literacy programs in schools • an improved farm property tax system with adequate transfers to municipalities to pay for services provided to residents • increased funding for agricultural research and the Risk

Management Program. The Alliance of Ontario Food Processors also released its list of key concerns on May 20. Chair Norm Beal identified “managing costs of inputs, including the skyrocketing cost of power” as well as modernizing and streamlining regulations. Access to capital for innovation and technology is a need echoed throughout the entire industry. While the Liberal government announced a $40 million fund over 10 years to develop agri-food processing, no details had been released on how it would work. “What we really need is some common sense,” says Ray Duc, chair of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association, speaking about burdensome regulations on water management. “The regulations around how wastewater is treated are quite onerous.”

CONTINUED ON PAGE 3


PAGE 2 –– JUNE 2014 THE GROWER

AT PRESS TIME… Waste not, want not Ontario growers who have produce rejected because of a simple blemish have a solution. Send it to the Ontario Christian Gleaners who will remove the blemish, dry the produce and make soup and fruit mixes for those less fortunate. Contact Shelley Stone at info@ontariogleaners.org or go to the website: www.ontariogleaners.org

the hives in Ontario and the majority of pollination services offered by the industry will benefit from the program. The province is also exploring options to provide bee mortality insurance over the longer term.

Fresh produce up four to six per cent in Q1

was driven largely by fresh meat and produce. Fresh fruit and vegetables increased by about four to six per cent in the first quarter this year, compared to 2013. Meat was up by just over two per cent. Produce price increases have been driven primarily by supply challenges from droughtridden California and by the immediate cost impact of the depreciated Canadian dollar.

Ontario funds rebuilding of bee colonies Due to last winter’s harsh winter conditions and other pollinator health issues, Ontario’s bee colonies are expected to experience higher than normal mortality rates. “It’s too early for the final tally, but I’d guess 40 per cent mortality on average,” says Dan Davidson, president, Ontario Beekeepers’ Association. He suffered the second worst mortality rate ever in his own beeyard. In addition to the frigid temperatures and length of the winter season, varroa mites and systemic insecticides have weakened hives, says Davidson. To help offset these losses, the Ontario government is providing one-time financial assistance of $105 per hive to beekeepers who have 10 hives or more and lose more than 40 per cent of their colonies between Jan. 1, 2014, and Oct. 31, 2014. Registered beekeepers representing more than 90 per cent of

Grocer competition is leading to food price deflation reports Kevin Grier, senior market analyst, George Morris Centre. 2014 first quarter Consumer Price Index data shows that the increase in the price of food purchased from stores is lagging behind the overall rate of inflation. According to Statistics Canada data, the overall rate of inflation increased in the first quarter by 1.4 per cent, compared to the first quarter of 2013. The price of food purchased from stores increased by 1.3 per cent in the quarter compared to last year. A look at specific commodities shows that the Q1 food inflation

Canada/U.S. agree on potato cyst nematode The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have adopted revised guidelines to manage potato cyst nematode (PCN). Effective immediately, seed potato growers can be eligible to export three crops without any additional soil sampling and testing, if their fields have been tested twice and determined not to be infested with PCN. In the past, seed potato growers were

required to undergo sampling and testing for every crop of seed potatoes destined for the U.S. Small potato tuber samples may now be exported to the U.S. without any additional soil sampling and testing if they were produced in a field that has been tested and determined not to be infested with PCN. While PCN does not pose a risk to human health, it is recognized internationally as a destructive plant pest of economic importance and, therefore, a quarantine pest for the United States and Canada. Growers who intend to ship seed potatoes to the U.S. are encouraged to contact their local CFIA office for more information and to schedule any soil sampling and testing that may be required. "The revision to the PCN guidelines is a step in the right direction, based on science, and it

should reduce the demand on PCN soil sampling and testing. We were pleased to be involved throughout the revision process and the revised guidelines should benefit growers on both sides of the border," concludes Bob Watson, chair, seed potato subCommittee.

Heinz finalizes sale of Leamington plant H. J. Heinz has finalized the sale of its Leamington, Ontario plant. Highbury-Canco will be taking over operations June 27, pledging to produce tomato juice, canned beans and spaghetti. The new company will retain 250 workers. Ten growers have agreed to contracts to provide tomatoes to the plant.

NEWSMAKERS Andrea Lyon is the new deputy minister of Agriculture and AgriFood Canada. She was formerly an associate deputy minister from 2009 and 2011, with a deep resume in trade matters with Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. She succeeds Suzanne Vinet who has retired from public service. Hats off to the field crews! This year, the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus has hired 10 summer students to measure, stake, plant, count and record important field trial data as part of pest management research trials.

(Left to Right) Summer Students and Staff: Corina Bierling (studying at Wilfred Laurier University), Laura Rintjema (studying at Western University), Jocelyn Smith (Research Associate), Todd Phibbs (Research Technician), Charles Bondy (studying at Ridgetown Campus), Carissa Zandstra (studying at Redeemer University), Kim Verbeek (studying at Fanshawe College), and Jeff Reitsma (studying at Ridgetown Campus). Paul Larmer, CEO of Semex Alliance, has been elected to a two-year-term as president and chair of the board of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. Born and raised on an Ontario dairy farm, Larmer has a long record of achievement in promoting Canadian agriculture and youth in agriculture. In 2013, the Royal recorded attendance of 312,000. The 92nd edition runs November 7 – 16, 2014 at Exhibition Place in Toronto. The Ontario Hazelnut Association has appointed Elliott Currie, professor in the Department of Management at the University of Guelph, as executive director. His mandate is to work with growers, aggregators, manufacturers and retailers in developing a hazelnut industry.


JUNE 2014 –– PAGE 3 THE GROWER

OPINION: PLANKLESS IN ONTARIO

Agriculture’s voice ignored in Ontario June 12 election CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Duc also points out that rural infrastructure is lacking in two ways. First, access to natural gas lines would help growers be more competitive in energy costs. Second, the internet highway is still not high-speed for many in rural areas.

“We must be competitive against nearby U.S. jurisdictions,” he says. “ Competitors are crossing the river and luring business with lower tax and energy rates,” he says. In the remaining days of the election, expect a barrage of advertisements that are microtargeted to certain demographics and interests, probably weighted

towards urban voters. It’s also likely that Ontarians residing in different ridings will receive totally different messages from the same party. Call it the age of pizza politics – a thin crust with a hodgepodge of toppings meant to appeal to every palate but ultimately satisfying very few appetites.

Farms Forever At press time, the Ontario Liberals announced that if elected, they would launch a “Farms Forever” program. Acknowledging that agricultural land is “being used up by urban expansion and aggregate extraction,” Wynne said the government would make it easier for landowners to protect land from development if it is prime agricultural land. “At the request of a landowner, an easement can be granted to prevent non-agricultural development from taking place on the land even if the land is sold to another party. We will support landowners and land trusts to encourage more preservation of farmland using easements,” Wynne announced. No details were offered on how this meshes with the Greenbelt legislation or if this program would apply to all areas of the province.

Five new projects announced by Greenbelt Fund The Greenbelt Fund is helping five GTA-based organizations move forward on projects that will increase access to fresh, healthy, local food available to people through public sector institutions across Ontario. With support from the Greenbelt Fund, these projects represent a diverse range of activities. A total of $569,000 is being awarded to groups to put towards their individual ventures. The five organizations awarded funding and their projects are: • Bamford Produce Strengthening the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Value Chain ($120,000) - Effectively marketing local fruit and vegetables to large foodservice companies and retailers. This project will increase market access for 10 to 20 small and medium sized growers, and increase sales of Ontario produce by $1.5 million. • Ryerson University Taking Action: Increasing the Purchase and Sale of Local Food on University Campuses

($75,000) - Creating a market for local foods on campus by engaging the Ryerson community in their new food strategy. The project will also increase Ryerson’s ability to track and report on local food sales and will yield lessons learned, which will be shared with other postsecondary institutions. • The Toby Brand Corporation From Field to Freezer, Ontario Grows ($105,000) - Developing and marketing a range of individually quick frozen Ontario vegetables with a focus on dark-leafy greens. The Kale new frozen products are projected to result in over $300,000 of sales per year.

• University Health Network Choices for Ontario Food at University Health Network ($124,000) - Investigating the day-to-day barriers that prevent UHN from providing local food to their patients, staff, and visitors throughout their seven sites. They will then create a strategy to increase their procurement of local food by 5 per cent by 2015, and 25 per cent by 2018. • Zast Foods Corporation Local Frozen Food For All Seasons ($145,000) - Creating and marketing a line of individually quick frozen Ontario fruit and vegetables to ensure year-round supply. These products include salsas, peach slices, and asparagus. The estimated impact of these new frozen foods is an increase in local food sales of $1 million by 2015. For a more detailed description of these projects, visit Ontariofresh.ca.

INTERNATIONAL UNITED STATES

NEW ZEALAND

WASHINGTON

Carrots now grown hydroponically

Horticulture makes up 8% of exports

U.S. based Got Produce? is now successfully growing square carrots in a hydroponic system, redefining traditional carrot colours and shapes. Custom-shaped carrots are expected to redefine the root vegetable category explains Deborah Walliser, Got Produce? CEO. Fast-growing carrots are the ideal beta test for other root crops. In California where drought is laying waste to field vegetables, her franchised hydroponic systems may be an alternative. To achieve the proper moisture-to-air ratio, Got Produce? cuts Styrofoam blocks into squares and rounds. Carrot seeds are placed in the moulds, nurtured by hydroponic irrigation. At harvest time, the blocks are turned upside down to release the carrots: orange, white, red, purple and yellow.

In the last year ending June 2013, New Zealand horticulture generated more than $3.6 billion in export revenue, with the major products being wine ($1.2 billion) and kiwifruit ($934 million). Apple exports increased by 40 per cent to $475 million. Almost three-quarters of the exports or 71 per cent go to Pacific Rim countries compared to 59 per cent in 2000. Success is attributed to understanding market needs and tailoring high-quality products that command healthy premiums. The New Zealand industry also meets stringent requirements for food safety and sustainability. For complete statistics, go to www.freshfacts.co.nz

Northwest cherries may reach 20 to 21 million boxes

Source: Hortidaily.com

Source: Hortidaily.com

Washington state’s cherry crop will be underway in mid June and run through to mid-August. The Orondo Ruby variety

volume is predicted to be up this season according to Chelan Fresh Marketing. Combining high sugar and high acid, this cherry has full-coloured skin and white flesh. Chelan is an innovator in packaging options, including a Cup O Cherries. Stemless fruit is packaged in 16-ounce cups that hold approximately two dozen cherries, and the containers' reservoired lids are designed to hold the cherry pits.

Source: FreshPlaza.com

UNITED STATES

Popular club apples challenge growers Twenty years ago, three varieties accounted for 90 per cent of the Washington state crop. Today, the state’s apple crop has doubled, Red Delicious production has halved and more than 24 apple varieties are shipped. Club apple varieties have spiked in popularity, according to Stemilt Growers’ Tate Mathison, because every retailer wants something different. However, retailers feature one club variety for a set period before rotating to another one. “You just have to grow the right amount for the right time and the right reason, and if you don’t have a plan around when and where and how, it could be quite difficult,” Mathison warns. Source: FreshPlaza.com


PAGE 4 –– JUNE 2014 THE GROWER

CROSS COUNTRY DIGEST SASKATCHEWAN

Sour cherries rival the best University of Saskatchewan sour cherry varieties have high levels of phenolics, flavonoids and anthocyanins, stacking up with research on the benefits of American sour cherries. A recent study completed by The Canadian Cherry Producers Inc. concludes that the domestic fruit program is paying off. University of Saskatchewan-bred varieties such as Carmine Jewel, Valentine, Cupid, Romeo and Juliet scored high for total antioxidants. They were compared with sweet cherries, raspberries and green grapes. The Evans sour cherries tested in the lower range of competing varieties. “This project will aid growers, processors and consumers to better understand the benefits of sour cherries grown in Saskatchewan,� says Bruce Hill, president,

Carmine Jewel cherries

Canadian Cherry Producers Inc. “The scientific conclusions will be distributed to the public through web sites and member contacts.� The study was conducted by James Dawson, a PhD candidate, under the supervision of Bob Bors, an assistant professor in the department of plant sciences. Funding for this project was mostly provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program which is administered by the Agriculture Council of Saskatchewan. In addition, the Saskatchewan Fruit Growers’ Association, the Prairie Fruit Processors Ltd and the Canadian Cherry Producers provided financial support.

QUEBEC

Metro buys local, greenhousegrown strawberries

La Frissonnante strawberries

Les Serres RenĂŠ Fontaine Inc., a familyoperated horticultural business, has been producing winter strawberries without any pesticides since 2012. A pioneer in soilfree farming of strawberries, the company is now debuting their strawberries at Metro stores following a winter pilot at two Les 5 Saisons grocery stores. “The commitment made by Metro allows us to develop our production and meet the needs of a great deal of customers who want to buy good local strawberries, even in springtime! We are delighted to be able to share our unique product with Metro customersâ€?, said JoĂŤl Lalancette, production manager for Les Serres RenĂŠ

Fontaine. Under the trade name, La Frissonnante, these strawberries are filling a consumer need for locally grown produce in early spring before field crops are ready. “We are very excited at the idea of extending the offer of La Frissonante strawberries this spring and of contributing to the economic growth of local farmers,� said Bernadette Hamel, vice-president, national procurement for produce, Metro. The growers expect that the production area will grow to one hectare by March 2015, producing 70 tonnes of strawberries annually.

BRITISH COLUMBIA

AAFC invests $2 million in wine grape sector Canada's wine grape sector has gained support in its efforts to become more competitive and sustainable with a $2 million investment from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s AgriInnovation Program.

According to an AAFC press release, the British Columbia Wine Grape Council (BCWGC) will now be able to better compete on domestic and international markets, meet evolving consumer demands and tastes and boost

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producers' bottom line by improving quality and yields, while reducing losses from pests and diseases. This investment

builds on previous support of $2 million provided to BCWGC under the Developing Innovative Agri-Products (DIAP) initiative,

for a project to help improve irrigation and nutrient management to achieve the highest vine and fruit quality.


JUNE 2014 –– PAGE 5 THE GROWER

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PAGE 6 –– JUNE 2014 THE GROWER

GENETICS FIRST

Cold spring, sizzling sales of asparagus in fresh and seed markets KAREN DAVIDSON While a cold spring delayed Ontario’s asparagus harvest by a week, appetite for local product is only sharpened. Ken Wall, chair of the Asparagus Farmers of Ontario (AFO), predicts wholesale prices of $56 - $58 per case delivered to local retail outlets. He bases those numbers on April 28 USDA reports of prices in the range of US$50.75 to $52.75 FOB Stockton, California. That’s welcome news after Mexican asparagus was plentiful in Ontario winter markets at US$20 per 28 lb. case. Asparagus farmers have finetuned their fresh offerings by diverting lesser grades to the processing market. Last year, the

Processing Market Assistance Program, offered by the Asparagus Farmers of Ontario (AFO) helped 27 growers divert more than 588,000 pounds of asparagus at a price of $0.085 per pound. The program continues this season with a total budget of $50,000 and a cap of $0.10 per pound. “This program not only financially supports growers diverting asparagus to processing, but may contribute to maintaining a steady fresh market price and keeping demand by retailers strong throughout the growing season,” says Wall. While weather may be fickle, sales of asparagus seed from Fox Seeds have been steady to strong. Fox Seeds is an Ontario-based company with exclusive rights to

asparagus varieties developed by the University of Guelph. The 2013 seed harvest -- the largest on record – is now meeting international demand. All seed orders were filled for Michigan and the U.K. says Bernie Solymár, AFO’s executive director. Washington state, which has a cool climate similar to Ontario’s, is now buying seed as well, particularly some big crown growers. The dedicated work of University of Guelph breeder Dave Wolyn is paying off with an asparagus variety that’s more suited to the United Kingdom than Ontario. Now named Evolution, this cultivar emerges two weeks earlier in the U.K., helping to capture first-of-season markets. In another clever marketing

move, Fox Seeds has brokered a deal with an American company called Gardens Alive! This catalogue company specializes in seeds, bulbs, crowns and corms. A variety similar to Millennium is now offered exclusively under the name AsparaBest. “None of these moves are getrich schemes, but we have found a home for asparagus varieties that would not have made it here in Ontario,” says Solymár.

The Ontario asparagus industry feels heartened with the extension of the University of Guelph breeding program for the next five years with $512,000 from the Agricultural Adaptation Council and matching funds from AFO. With secure funding and support for the industry at large, there’s been a net increase of 100 acres of asparagus in Ontario from last year’s 2,700 acres. Solymár predicts continued growth and anticipates 3,200 acres in the ground by 2017.

CANADIAN HORTICULTURAL COUNCIL

Proposal for a National Promotion and Research Agency Public hearings to examine the merits for the establishment of a National Promotion and Research

Agency for Strawberries concluded in Montreal on April 23. The day-long session included presen-

tations from registered interveners supporting the application submitted by the applicant, Association

des producteurs de fraises et framboises du Québec, including: Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA), Ontario Berry Growers Association, McGill University, Université Laval and the Canadian Horticultural Council. Those speaking in opposition included the California Strawberry Commission and the Retail Council of Canada. The panel will now consider the pro-

posal and comments and provide a recommendation to the Farm Products Council for consideration. In his closing remarks, panel Chair Timothy O’Connor noted that a number of options will be considered, including accepting parts of the proposal, suggesting changes or declining the proposal. A previous public hearing was held in Vancouver on April 1.

CFIA requests feedback on grapevine moth

European grapevine moth The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has circulated two Risk Management Documents for Lobesia botrana (European grapevine moth) which examines the risk associated with the introduction of this pest into Canada, and outlines risk management options. Lobesia botrana, predominantly a pest of grapes, reduces both grape yields and quality in all areas of the world where it is present. The larvae feed directly on the fruit; this increases the fruits’ susceptibility to fungi, particularly to Aspergillus spp. and Botrytis

cinerea. Lobesia botrana could survive in Canada’s major grapegrowing areas (southern Ontario and parts of British Columbia) where it would have a significant negative impact on grape yields. If this insect were to establish in Canada, it would also impact Canada’s ability to export L. botrana host material to countries where L. botrana is a regulated pest. Written comments may be sent by email to horticulture@inspection.gc.ca or by fax to (613) 773-7163. Deadline is June 10, 2014.


JUNE 2014 –– PAGE 7 THE GROWER

OFVGA

Highlights from the April 2014 OFVGA board meeting Following are highlights from the OFVGA board meeting held April 17, 2014. The purpose of this brief is to keep you up-todate on the issues that the OFVGA is working on, as well as projects and initiatives the organization is involved in. Labour A new regulation under Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act requires health and safety awareness training for all Ontario workers and supervisors by July 1, 2014. Training guides for employees and employers are available online at www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/ training/ or can be requested in hard copy format through Service Ontario.

that prey on fruit and vegetable crops is the main trial activity. Thirty nesting boxes have been constructed for distribution to a number of sites, with the majority being established in the Niagara Region. Brian Gilroy is OFVGA’s representative on this committee. Gilroy also represents the OFVGA on the board of Farm & Food Care. The organization has just announced funding to a new series of projects focused on water conservation and quality, which is a follow-up to the successful Water Resource Adapation Management Initiative (WRAMI) program that ended earlier this year. More information on Farm & Food Care’s environmental initiatives can be found at www.farmfoodcare.org/ index.php/environment.

Property Research The Bird Damage Mitigation Advisory Group continues to work at getting mitigation trials established for this year. Susan Fitzgerald is co-ordinating activities with all interested parties. Attracting American Kestrels to act as a natural deterrent to birds

Research Chair, Harold Schooley reported that the number of horticulture faculty at the University of Guelph continues to decline through attrition. He, along with CEO Art Smith, have met with several others to discuss ways of

come together in one place. Minimum wage

American Kestrel remedying the situation and to look at mechanisms regarding stable funding for research. There will be no full-scale research priority consultation process this year. The edible horticulture research priority shortlist will essentially remain the same as last year, with the exception that the priority “Reducing labour and increasing production efficiencies” will be moved up to the number one position due to heightened importance with the

N O I T C A F O E D O NEW M CITED IN APHID DEAT THS.

rising minimum wage this year.

OFVGA’s lobby efforts on the minimum wage issue are ongoing. OFVGA and member associations have been encouraging growers to write to Premier Wynne and other politicians about what the impact of the minimum wage increase will be on their farms, their businesses and their families. Fruit and vegetable growers, as competitors in a global marketplace, have no mechanism to recover any cost increases through the marketplace. The big three Ontario retailers continue to push back on any price increases for this year; in fact, they are asking for price reductions.

Crop protection Harmonization is at the top of the national crop protection issues priority list, followed by the Grower Requested Own Use program and re-evaluation of old chemistries. The price difference between products in the U.S and Canada is a key concern to growers. The national minor use priority setting meetings were held in Gatineau Quebec in March. They were well attended by IR-4 representatives from the U.S., as well as product registrants and representatives from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Pest Management Centre and the Pest Management Regulatory Agency, which is part of Health Canada. More growers were in attendance this year as well, which is encouraging. These meetings are the only ones of their type in Canada where everyone involved in crop protection regulatory affairs can

Fresh from the Farm Healthy Fundraising program OFVGA is again working with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Dietitians of Canada and the Ministry of Education to offer the Fresh from the Farm Healthy Fundraising pilot program. Students at over 900 Ontario schools will be able to sell fresh produce as a way to raise funds for their schools. In addition to London and Northern Ontario, which were part of the pilot in its inaugural year, the program is expanding west to Windsor as well as to selected regions of Toronto. Produce will be delivered to the schools for distribution in late fall. The Ontario program is modeled after the highly successful Farm to School program in Manitoba. The next OFVGA board meeting will take place Thursday, June 19 starting at 10:00 a.m.

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A toast to Smitty duction. Art was not satisfied just growing grapes. He saw the need to value add and was one of the first growers in Ontario to produce icewine juice to market to local wineries. Today most of the juice required for icewine production is processed by growers and sold to wineries; even then Art was ahead of the curve.

RAY DUC CHAIR, OFVGA At the end of this month, Art Smith, CEO of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association will be retiring. Horticulture has been part of Art’s life from his childhood to the present. Art’s passion for horticulture started on his family farm in Vineland Station where they had a mixed fruit farm. After high school he received a degree in agriculture at the University of Guelph where he built many relationships and contacts in the horticultural industry. Not long after graduating he had his own farm, with a focus on wine grape pro-

It was during this time that Art began his involvement in farm associations. He started by sitting on the growers’ committee of the Grape Growers of Ontario, and before long, he was a director. He continued with the GGO and became vice-chair under Brian Nash and then chair. He led the grape growers through a time of uncertainty as the NAFTA agreement was being forged. This agreement would bring sweeping changes to the grape and wine industry. The changes the industry needed to become competitive in a global market were substantial and expensive. These changes would have been too onerous for the growers to accomplish without financial assistance. Seeing that the industry was in jeopardy, Art went to work on the Grape and Wine Adjustment

Photo by Denis Cahill Program. Art was instrumental in developing this program, which was critical to the current success of today’s industry. The grape and wine industry was the only industry affected by the NAFTA agreement that would receive compensation. In the early 2000s, Art’s career changed from farming to becoming the executive director of the Grape Growers of Ontario. It was at this point that I began to work closely with Art as I had been elected chair of the GGO. During

this time Art and I developed a strong working relationship that was based on respect and trust. I remember it was a beautiful spring morning when I spotted Art coming up my driveway unexpectedly. Art had come to tell me that he was resigning to become the CEO of the OF&VGA. This was a loss to the grape industry but would prove to be a major gain for horticulture in Ontario. Art took the position at a difficult time for the OF&VGA,

because the association was virtually bankrupt and its future was being questioned. Art and the board of the time set a path to bring financial stability and relevance back to the organization. The path was not an easy one but it was one that led to a rejuvenated association. The OF&VGA is now on solid financial footing and has regained its position as the voice of horticulture In Ontario. Art, you can leave this industry knowing you have left your mark. You will be remembered as a leader who took grower issues to heart and never backed away from a challenge. You used your passion and keen analytical mind to solve problems and create opportunities in a professional manner. So as you head into the next chapter of your life, I wish you good health and happiness. On behalf of all fruit and vegetable growers in Ontario, a very profound thank you. May your bogies be few and yes I do forgive you for leaving me twice. I will sign off by quoting Smitty: “For what it’s worth, it’s the way I see it.”

And now the time has come . . .

ART SMITH CEO, OFVGA When I started as CEO in the spring of 2003 I soon found that one of the most difficult parts of my job was to write my monthly column. It was, as I was to find out, a bit of a learned skill. It is not easy to take what are often random thoughts on a subject and put them to paper in such a manner as to make it both reasonable and capable of holding the reader’s interest. Hopefully a few of my columns were able to accomplish that. At first it often seemed to take

days to try and figure out what I should write about and then sit down and write it but in time the task got easier, the words flowed a little better, and the task became less daunting. As an aside, I have always been amazed at the number of people I have met that tell me how much they look forward to reading my column and how much they enjoy it. I would like to thank all those folks who have told me that; it means a lot. No matter how much easier the task has become, I sit here today not knowing just exactly what to write. I guess it’s mixed emotions. At our AGM back in January I announced my retirement which is slated to take effect at the end of June. So this will be my last column as CEO of the OFVGA and I just wanted to thank you folks for giving me the opportunity to serve you and this great agricultural sector. When I started in May of 2003 I said I would do the job for five years and it has now been over 11 and it is time for a change at the

STAFF Publisher: Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association Editor: Karen Davidson, 416-557-6413, kdavidson@ecomente.ca Production: Carlie Robertson, ext. 221, production@thegrower.org Advertising: Herb Sherwood, 519-380-0118, advertising@thegrower.org 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.

helm of this organization. During my tenure as CEO, the OFVGA has enjoyed many accomplishments: we are in a very healthy financial position, we have paid over a million dollars in Canadian Horticultural Council annual membership fees on behalf of all sectors that pay us a container fee and we have given $1.1 million to our member associations by way of a research and promotion fund. The OFVGA lobby has resulted in more than $200 million paid to edible horticulture producers and another $20 plus million to our sector associations for research and promotion. During that time, the OFVGA has been involved in numerous programs. A few of them include the northern school snack program, Erie Innovation and Commercialization, new world crop development at the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, a surface water specialist to help farmers with their water taking permit needs and the development of the all-sector inclusive Self-Directed Risk Management program. There are many other

OFFICE 355 Elmira Road North, Unit 105 Guelph, Ontario N1K 1S5 CANADA Tel. 519-763-8728 • Fax 519-763-6604 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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projects as well. It takes more than one person however to have accomplished all of this. That credit needs to go to my staff who have given so much to the sector and who all share a passion for both what they do and for the fruit and vegetable farmers of this province they serve. The credit also needs to go to the boards of directors that have set policy and helped guide the organization and of course to all of the Chairs that I have had the privilege of working with. Yet with all that has been accomplished, there is still so much left to do. Times have changed, governments and policies have changed, trade and retailing has changed. Altogether, more challenges are created for our producer members. As I look to the future of our sector I see the need, more than ever, for a strong unified voice for our farmers. Our society takes food for granted, our food is cheap, the shelves are full, the supply is plentiful and few out there could envision it any other way. This,

my friends has become “our” challenge of abundance. The OFVGA will need to play a crucial role in educating government and its policy makers about our farming businesses. That the downloading of costs unto the backs of our farmers is counter-productive to the development or even sustaining a strong vibrant sector that provides tens of thousands of jobs, while at the same time, is capable of producing inexpensive fresh local healthy nutritious food for all Ontarians to enjoy. Although it is a good beginning, we need more than a Local Food Act. We will need a strong food policy that can be used to help inform other legislation and regulations. Farmers can no longer afford to be collateral damage of policies designed for societal benefit. The OFVGA I believe, has its work cut out. For what it’s worth . . . I did it my way! Thank you, it has been a privilege and an honour to have served such a great sector and great group of farmers.

ONTARIO FRUIT AND VEGETABLE GROWERS’ ASSOCIATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS 2013

OFVGA SECTION CHAIRS

MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE

Crop Protection Research Property Labour Safety Nets CHC

Chair Vice-Chair Fruit Director Veg Director Director

Ray Duc, Niagara-on-the-Lake Jason Verkaik, Bradford Norm Charbonneau, Port Elgin Jan Vander Hout, Waterdown Charles Stevens, Newcastle

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

Charles Stevens, Newcastle Mary Shabatura, Windham Centre John Thwaites, 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

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


JUNE 2014 –– PAGE 9 THE GROWER

PERSPECTIVE This election, rural priorities are vital to urban Ontario

OWEN ROBERTS UNIVERSITY OF GUELPH Is rural Ontario unique – or indispensable? Some would argue both. And a new poll designed to draw out rural priorities suggests they’re right. The week-long poll, which opened right after the provincial election was called, was led by the Rural Ontario Institute. And while it’s among dozens of surveys that set out to check the electorate’s pulse -- with campaigning for the June 12 election in full swing – it’s the only online poll I’d seen soliciting rural participation. This kind of open survey does not provide accurate enough results to be considered watertight. But the results offer a glimpse of what people think. For example, respondents said their top priorities were job opportunities, access to quality medical services nearby, youth employment and underemployment, services for aging population and the cost of electric power. Notice there’s nothing about agriculture! That’s good and bad I suppose…it suggests farm issues aren’t driving rural people crazy. But then again, it also suggests rural people are not making the connection between rural issues and farm issues. But what about the connection between rural issues and urban issues? It’s an important consideration. The institute described this poll as “an opportunity for respondents to share the most important priorities for the rural Ontario community they are most familiar with.” Note that wording. It didn’t restrict responses to farmers. Or even to farmers and non-farming rural residents. Instead, it solicited thought from anyone who believed they had a stake in the place to chime in, any citizens interested enough to put their rural-oriented concerns to their local candidates, and find out what plans they have to address them. Clever. So right off the bat, the

institute flung a wide net. And rightly so, when you look at the survey’s suggested priority list, the ones the institute used to draw responses. For example, the survey asks respondents to prioritize efforts to improve local water and sewage systems, roads and bridges, and provincial highways. These appear to be “rural” matters. But who from urban Ontario doesn’t think that’s a priority for them, too? Provincial highways passing through rural Ontario are how we get from town to town, from city to cottage. That’s a priority for manufacturers, processors, truckers, cottagers, and many more. And what about municipal infrastructure? That sounds local and community-specific. But for many urban Ontario towns and cities, their drinking water either comes from or flows through rural Ontario, in rivers they value for recreation or aesthetics. So of course they’d consider modern and sound rural municipal infrastructure vital, if they thought about it. Then there’s climate change and invasive species, which likewise appear on the rural Ontario suggested priorities list. But I believe Ontarians, regardless of where they live, have taken a new interest in the unusually unpredictable weather and wild swings in extremes. They also care whether they’re going to be able to catch something other than Asian carp in the fragile and precious Great Lakes. Again, these are rural matters for the survey, but they affect many people. And how about economic priorities, such as job opportunities, local food development and rural tourism? Or human resources matters, such as youth retention, services for the aging, “newcomer attraction” and housing affordability? No one will move to rural areas if services are lacking, and young people will be reluctant to build lives and careers there if the demographic is out of whack. Likewise, urban Ontario – or any city anywhere -- is poorly served if job-seeking ruralites flock there expecting to find work. When labour needs are met but people keep pouring in, cities then have to look after them. That creates new needs all by itself. And we haven’t even touched on urban sprawl, farmland preservation and renewable energy. Some of these become rural issues because urban Ontarians force them on their rural counterparts. But that cause-and-effect hardly makes it fair to call these purely “rural” issues and priorities.

Urban sprawl encroaches on Milton, Ontario, one of the fastest growing communities in Canada. Photo by Glenn Lowson. It's clear to me rural Ontario is indeed indispensable to urban Ontario, just like any rural areas

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PAGE 10 –– JUNE 2014 THE GROWER

Pay attention to water use: live off the interest, not the capital BRUCE KELLY In California and much of the American southwest, there is a critical shortage of water for agriculture and human consumption. A recent article reads: “Amid California's deep drought, calls for strengthening groundwater management have gotten louder as water supplies have become tighter. Water experts say they anticipate policy debates on groundwater will pick up speed in coming weeks, and representatives from the California Farm Bureau Federation urged farmers and ranchers around the state to pay attention to the discussions” (Kate Campbell, Ag Alert; California Farm Bureau Federation). What can Ontario agriculture learn from this? Could this be a headline in Ontario someday? Could Ontario be the Canadian equivalent of California? It all depends on what we do next. Here is a sampling of the commodity-specific headlines about the droughts over the past two months in AgAlert, a weekly newsletter for California farmers: • Drought brings new attention to groundwater • Cotton producers feel impact of water shortage • UC expert offers tips on growing alfalfa in drought • As citrus trees bloom, ‘dismal’

water year looms • Drought leads to early removal of almonds • Drought reduces bee forage and pollination demand • Analyst predicts hay prices will rise due to drought • Drought influences dairy farmers’ feed plans • Cattle ranchers seek strategies for drought These headlines paint a grim picture as the shortage of water impacts every aspect of California agriculture and related economies. In the San Joaquin River valley, farmers have already been advised to expect 2014 water supply allocations of 0 to just 10 per cent. Even if it does start raining, we should expect that more than 500,000 acres of valley farmland (an area as large as the state of Rhode Island), will be fallow in 2014. Lance W. Johnson, a water resources engineer, points out this will equate to the loss of billions of dollars in economic activity and thousands of jobs. (AgAlert January 15, 2014 and the California Farm Bureau) California produces about half of the fresh vegetables sold in the United States and two thirds of the processed vegetables. They are now looking at cutting back production due to a lack of water for agriculture and personal use. The implications of California’s over-use of its water

The implications of California’s over-use of its water resource, combined with an extended drought, are concerning in an age when we think we have a good handle on sustainability in Nor th American agriculture. resource, combined with an extended drought, are concerning in an age when we think we have a good handle on sustainability in North American agriculture. The headlines above give insight into how the water shortages are impacting every facet of California agriculture including: cotton, avocadoes, rice, almonds, citrus, dairy, beef ranchers, and even apiarists. The situation that California, Nevada and New Mexico find themselves in is complex and somewhat self-created as mega projects and “land owner rights” legislation have allowed the water resource - both surface and ground - to be used in excess of their natural ability to regenerate. What lessons can be learned from California’s woes? • Live off the interest, not the capital. Do not use more water than is naturally re-supplied annually to a watershed. • Use technology to improve water use efficiency. • Recycle and reuse water as many times as possible within a watershed. • Measure and understand the water use demands of people, agriculture and the natural ecological function. Ontario has great water resources, but we must not become complacent about water use and water use policies for

agriculture and other purposes. Expanding municipal demands, increases in agricultural usage, dry years and the uncertain impacts of climate change will impact future water use policy and practice. Currently only users of more than 50,000 litres per day are required to have a Permit To Take Water (PTTW) from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment which administers the permit process, encourages efficiency and monitors water takings. The province does not charge the users for water, but monitors the overall water use in the province. Agricultural research projects such as the Water Adaptation Management and Quality Initiative (WAMQI) are currently helping to improve our understanding of agricultural water use and efficiency and are increasing productivity of agricultural water resources and protecting the quality of the water used in agricultural processes. Ontario must continue to be

vigilant regarding its water resources to protect both the quality and quantity of its supplies. Our next task must be to expand our understanding of how water is used in agriculture, to clarify use vs. consumption and to plan a map forward for water use in the province. As we learn from California’s woes, if you get to the point where shortages force government to turn off someone’s taps, the consequences for business, society and the environment are pretty drastic. Ontarians must limit water use and live ‘off the interest’ or off the water replenished by seasonal rains and snow melt and not dip into our ‘capital’ of either ground or surface water reserves. If we can continue to respect the minimum ecological flow in surface waters, we can continue to live and farm in a sustainable way for generations to come. Bruce Kelly is environmental program lead, Farm & Food Care.

COMING EVENTS 2014 June 4

Ontario Produce Marketing Association Annual General Meeting, Ontario Food Terminal Boardroom, Toronto, ON

June 10–13 FMI Connect & United Fresh Produce Association, Chicago, IL June 25

Alliance of Ontario Food Processors Annual General Meeting, Peninsula Ridge Estates Winery, Beamsville, ON

June 26

11th Annual Horticulture Nova Scotia Stokes/Veseys Golf Tournament, Berwick Heights Golf Course, Berwick, NS

June 28

Garlic Growers of Ontario Field Day, Farm of Felix Furmanek, Arthur, ON

July 5, 6

Prince Edward County Lavender Festival, Hillier, ON

July 12, 13 Taste of Niagara Lavender, Great Mountain Centre, Stone Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON July 18

University of Saskatchewan Haskap Day, Saskatoon, SK

August 2

Food Day Canada

Aug 9, 10

Perth Garlic Festival, Perth, ON

August 17

Newmarket Garlic Festival, Newmarket, ON

August 23

Sudbury Garlic Festival, Sudbury, ON

August 30

Verona Garlic Festival, Verona, ON

Sept 6, 7

Stratford Garlic Festival, Stratford, ON

Sept 9 – 11 Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show, Woodstock, ON Sept 13, 14 Niagara Garlic Festival, Great Mountain Centre, Stone Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON


JUNE 2014 –– PAGE 11 THE GROWER

RETAIL NAVIGATOR

H.Y. Louie has a solid multi banner offering same market as Walmart, Loblaw and Costco, but the competition is really the traditional food stores. Prices are higher to pay for the expanded selection in fresh and the service. There are 38 stores with the core being in the lower mainland of B.C. London Drugs

PETER CHAPMAN H.Y. Louie has two offerings for consumers in the grocery store channel, and one in the drug channel. The origins are with the IGA banner in B.C., with London Drugs being acquired in the mid ‘70s, and the Fresh St. stores opening recently. The stores I have visited are good stores with solid execution. IGA & Marketplace IGA These are traditional food stores with the Marketplace IGA stores being in more upscale locations. They offer superior fresh departments. The stores are smaller than the competition, which are Safeway and Overwaitea. They operate in the

London drugs started as one pharmacy in Vancouver and has grown to a 78- store chain stretching from B.C. to Manitoba. The stores have been successful at driving traffic with items in demand. They were a destination for photo finishing in the ‘80s, computers in the ‘90s, and have now put more emphasis on health and wellness. It is interesting to be a drug store, but drive traffic with photo finishing and computers. On the company’s website they claim that consumers in Western Canada get more small appliances from London Drugs than any other single retailer. The stores have a significant amount of shelf stable grocery with higher regular prices and deep discount ads. The stores that I visited had limited amounts of fresh food, if any. Fresh St.

Recently the company has launched two new stores called Fresh St. Market and Fresh St. Farms. The first store was Fresh St. Market, which is located in an affluent part of the city in West Vancouver. And the second store is Fresh St. Farm in Surrey. The Fresh St. Market store is a great store with a very strong fresh offering. The store has a real market feel and a great

atmosphere for shopping. Pricing is not the first concern of shoppers in this store. The produce department had a QR code on each price sign. The QR code links to detailed product information and suggested uses. Great for selling the unique items. One observation about the Fresh St. stores is there are two of them, and they each have different names and different websites -

a lot of complexity for two stores. It is tough enough to get attention from consumers today, so retailers need to make it as simple as possible. This also adds complexity and costs within the organization. Here are my top considerations when developing relationships with H.Y. Louie: 1. Local items, especially in fresh departments are more important to a regional chain such as H.Y. Louie. 2. A chain with 38 stores is a great size to test new or unique offerings. 3. Look for opportunities that are unique to the different banners, no different than with the larger chains. 4. Respect that they have to compete with the national chains. 5. London Drugs are operated as a separate entity. 6. H.Y. Louie operates in a smaller geographic area and should be able to respond faster. 7. Fresh St. stores service some very upscale clientele. If you have specialty items, this could be a good opportunity. 8. The IGA stores are smaller footprints competing in a challenging market. Understand the fact that they can’t carry everything.

Global foods continue to be in the news On May 7, Loblaw announced they had purchased Arz Fine Foods. Although this is a one store chain with some private label products, the move is still significant. Our Canadian consumer is changing. People in the food industry need to recognize it and provide products to meet these needs. The Arz store caters to Middle Eastern clientele and is a good complement to the T&T stores specializing

in Asian products. Loblaw are buying the expertise and the access to the products sold by Arz. In their news release they say they will be making the Arz items available across many of their banners. There is demand and there are opportunities for food producers and processors.

Are you getting their attention? that you will use their bread! I have to admit it did catch my attention. Peter Chapman, a retail food

This sign got my attention! It is tough to get the consumer to stop during the shopping trip. When I read this sign from Canada Bread it made me stop and think. People in stores can be on a mission and POS is expensive. If you are going to invest in it, make sure that you are going to get the attention of the consumer! The idea here is that if a four person household replaced one bought sandwich with a homemade sandwich the savings are $5 per person and over 52 weeks that adds up to $1,000. The hope is

consultant and professional speaker, is principal of GPS Business Solutions, based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Peter works

with producers and processors to help them navigate through the retail environment with the ultimate goal of getting more items

into the shopping cart. pchapman@gpsbusiness.ca.


PAGE 12 –– JUNE 2014 THE GROWER

FOCUS: GREEN TECHNOLOGY

Canadian-built greenhouse is no mirage in Utah’s food desert KAREN DAVIDSON Delta, BC -- Utah – a food desert with 2.9 million captive consumers– makes total sense for building a 28-acre tomato greenhouse. When completed next November, all production is expected to remain in-state, says Casey Houweling, chief executive officer, Houweling’s Tomatoes. From a transportation perspective, it’s a market that’s expensive to ship to. Refrigerated trailers have no back haul. From a production perspective, Utah is situated in a high-light area. The benefit of 3029 sunlight hours per year is offset by the colder temperatures of the high elevation. Recent weather statistics report a 11.6°C annual mean. The heating bill would take a bite from profits except for one major factor: the new site at Mona, an hour’s drive south of Salt Lake City, is right across from an existing natural gas power plant. “Low-grade heat extraction is what’s new here,” says Houweling, spreading the conceptual drawings over his boardroom table in Delta, British Columbia. “We’ll tap into their exhaust stack, redirect their waste heat and take carbon dioxide if and when needed. The ability to use low-grade heat is essential in an operation like this, made possible through our patented Ultra Clima greenhouses.” Houweling is a pioneer in developing the Ultra Clima design with Holland-based Kubo Greenhouse Projects. It’s the

integration of many technologies -- from solar to water to integrated pest management -- that has earned kudos for sustainability. The U.S. awarded a patent four months ago, following the Netherlands, Canada, Israel, the European Union, Australia and New Zealand. The controlledenvironment system which debuted in Camarillo, California in 2008 is a monument to engineering precision. Some of the benefits are: • higher CO2 levels inside the greenhouse • optimized humidity and temperature control • lower pest pressure because the system uses four per cent of the normal number of vents, the traditional entry points for insects • over pressure also limits insect • higher buffer zones with 23-foot high structures • minimal water usage through recirculation of water used for irrigation and nutrients • energy conservation of 15 – 25 per cent with solar-powered panels “The more drastic the climate outside, the greater the advantage we have inside,” says Houweling. “Yields are 25 per cent higher than conventional greenhouses.” What’s conventional is hard to gauge as greenhouse technology becomes more sophisticated. The Ultra Clima system is now installed on 360 acres globally, with a new system underway in Japan. Houweling is convinced that he’s aligning with several global

Houweling’s Tomatoes has a significant propagation business at home base of Delta, British Columbia. Here, Casey Houweling checks plants destined for a U.S. customer. trends. First, grow produce locally and eliminate the freight. “There’s a premium of about 15 per cent for local that’s bigger than organics,” he says. “The days of concentrated areas of greenhouses are coming to an end,” he predicts, citing the regulatory and environmental pressures in Holland. “That same trend is coming to North America.” Secondly, land sources and appropriate zoning will continue to be depleted for greenhouses. “There may be power plants in industrial areas, but not room for greenhouses to be built near them,” says Houweling. “We must match available space with

accessible markets.” Thirdly, year-round production is a requirement to keep loyalty of retailers. “We’ve installed sodium lights in 20 of our 125 acres in our Californian greenhouse to flatten the production curve,” says Houweling. “Our philosophy is that if our logo is on it, we have grown it.” With three-quarters of the company’s greenhouse acreage

now in the U.S., Houweling’s is not investing any more chips in Canadian expansion. The 50-acre base in Delta, British Columbia is home to a significant propagation business that supplies plants to his U.S. facilities and other customers.

Image 1: Artist rendering showing a side profile of ducting coming off the power plant stacks to condensers to strip out thermal energy and CO2. Image 2: Overhead view of condenser and back-up boiler system for Houweling’s Utah.


JUNE 2014 –– PAGE 13 THE GROWER

FOCUS: GREEN TECHNOLOGY

Biological control of onion maggot fly wins converts Irradiation success may lead to control of other major pests

KAREN DAVIDSON Quebec onion growers plan to sterilize and release 23 million male flies of the onion maggot this summer, confident that females will lay dud eggs. The unprecedented numbers are based on several years of conclusive research in Quebec’s muck soils, an hour’s drive south of Montreal. The hope is to reduce or replace chemical control with biological control of a pest that causes tunneling damage to dry onions and seedling damage in green onions. It’s a pest worth tackling. Between 10 and 23 per cent of dry onions showed significant damage in the last two years. “The onion maggot fly is a good candidate for irradiation,” says Francois Fournier, a researcher with the department of biology, College Montmorency. The pest has no appetite for alternative host plants, is present only in onion fields and females mate only once. Sterile males are still competitive after irradiation. To date, field success is so convincing that about 15 per cent of the 6200 acres Quebec dry and green onions will be ‘treated’ to the fly release this summer. About three-quarters of the crop consist of dry onions while the remainder are green onions. “The last hurdle is to estimate release rates that efficiently reduce damage and are economically acceptable to growers,” says Fournier. As the chart demonstrates, release rates have been decreasing with no negative effects. The cost this summer is five dollars per thousand flies. That translates to $400 per hectare (2.47 acres) for dry onions and $600 per hectare for

green onions, a higher-value crop. These costs are acceptable compared to conventional chemical control of in-furrow treatment or a scouting program that triggers foliar insecticides when damage is at one per cent. Once the economic threshold is reached, growers must spray three times within 10 days, preferably in the evening. Adhering to that crop protection regime is timeconsuming and expensive. That’s why biological control may be more cost-effective as well as

more environmentally-friendly. Several grower investors have banded together under Phytodata Inc. to verify and refine the economics of sterile male release. Fournier says that an average of 100,000 flies are needed per hectare. The process includes: rearing flies over the fall and winter, irradiating and colouring prior to field releases, monitoring the ratio of sterile to natural flies on sticky traps at the rate of three traps per 10 hectares, monitoring onion fly damage, deciding to increase or decrease release rates or recommending foliar sprays. “We have found that as the treated area increases, it’s easier to get higher sterile male ratios,” says Fournier. “There’s a margin effect from neighboring sites.” While conducting this research, Fournier says that another pest has been found to have significant damage in onions: seedcorn maggot. Growers have assumed this is an onion maggot and not differentiated. Field scouting has revealed that adult seedcorn maggots are present in all onion fields but cause damage in less than 10 per cent of fields. A three-year project is now underway to establish characteristics of a field with seedcorn maggot damage. With this additional insight, researchers will be monitoring fields to adjust release rates of onion maggot flies and to prevent unexpected damage from seedcorn maggot. Fournier says that this year’s objectives are to improve

production facilities and procedures as well as to automate the readings of sticky traps using near infrared technology. Other pest species such as the cabbage maggot are now in the spotlight

because of their damage in Brassica crops such as broccoli. Potentially, irradiation of male flies may be successful with a broader range of pests.

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PAGE 14 –– JUNE 2014 THE GROWER

FOCUS: GREEN TECHNOLOGY

Technologies tested to “scrub” vegetable washwater 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

Food science professor Keith Warriner (right) is using what's called a dissolved air flotation system to remove waste from vegetable wash water, with help from engineering students Xiaoyan Chen (centre) and Deanne Durward. Photo by Maritza Vatta

INDIA ANNAMANTHADOO Technologies to clean water have been known since the mid1800s, yet how to “scrub” water economically is still a challenge in the 21st century. A small-scale water treatment/recycling unit can cost nearly $1 million, an amount that’s prohibitive for many fruit and vegetable producers. At the University of Guelph, Keith Warriner of Food Sciences and Richard Zytner of Engineering are distilling several technologies that will best treat different types of wastewater. Funded by OMAF, Canadian Water Network and the Centre for Fresh Produce Food Safety, they are researching ways to reduce organic and inorganic loading that accumulates during vegetable processing. Washwater needs to be treated to remove contaminants such as suspended solids, organic loading (measured through the biochemical oxygen demand parameter BOD) and nutrients. The process also needs to inactivate microbes that can be potential spoilage agents and disease-causing pathogens. To reduce BOD levels, the researchers are developing three treatment technologies: electrocoagulation, air flotation tanks and treatment through the

use of natural coagulants. In electrocoagulation, electric current is used to precipitate out the organic content without the use of chemicals. The team is also evaluating a dissolved air flotation system, which uses nano-bubbles to bring organic material to the surface for skimming off later. A third option is to coagulate organic material through natural agents such as chitosan, a non-toxic polymer found in the shells of crustaceans. “In this project, we are trying to match different technologies to different types of water,” says Warriner. “It could be that the treatment of potato wastewater requires both electrocoagulation and air flotation tank technology, while lettuce water may only need natural coagulating agents. That is what we are trying to find out.” Research results could be available as early as summer and quickly adopted as industry practice, improving product quality and meeting food safety regulations. According to Warriner, a small-to medium-size processing facility could save up to $200,000 a year by implementing these technologies. India Annamanthadoo is a SPARK writer based in Guelph, Ontario.


JUNE 2014 –– PAGE 15 THE GROWER

FOCUS: GREEN TECHNOLOGY

Biodegradable mulch: thickness, size and colours for every crop

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Only rins sed containers can be recycled

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Helps keep collec ction sites clean

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Use all th he chemicals you purchase

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Maintain you ur farm’s good reputattion

No o exc cuse no ott to o! Now, take your empty e fertilizer containeerrs along for the ride! i

KAREN DAVIDSON The cost of biodegradable mulch is decreasing by as much as 15 per cent this season, making it more affordable for growers. That news is straight from Eric Ménard, business development manager for Dubois Agrinovation, one of Canada’s major suppliers of compostable mulch. The company’s cornstarchbased product Bio360 is now manufactured in Laval, Quebec rather than Italy where it first made a debut in 2005. Its benefits are appreciated by certified organic grower Juniper Turgeon at Wakefield, Quebec. “We’re really happy to have an environmentally-friendly option to protect our soils and to keep our vegetable crops weed-free,” says Turgeon. “It’s good for squash, tomatoes and zucchini.” Biodegradable mulch is not the “crackerjack box” it used to be, explains Ménard. Years ago, photodegradable mulch decayed in the sun and there was no consistent timing on when it would break down. The next evolution was oxo-degradable mulch which contained an additive to speed breakdown. However, the additive -- small amounts of metal salts -- was not environmentally acceptable.

“We’re trying to demystify the market,” says Ménard. “Today’s biodegradable mulch breaks down after four months. We recommend disking it into the soil where micro-organisms can further help the process. Be sure that the biodegradable claims are true in the product you choose.” “Biodegradable mulch is getting better,” says John Zandstra, a researcher with the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus, who has worked with these products for 15 years. “My best advice is to try out the product on a row. The ideal is to have a product that’s intact until midSeptember.” A wide range of thicknesses, sizes, and colours are available to suit growers’ needs. While about 90 per cent of the market requires black, sweet corn growers prefer clear and cole crop growers prefer white on black. Biodegradable plastic can be cost-effective compared to the labour costs of “picking” petroleum-based plastic at the end of the season. In some scenarios, growers can be harvesting pumpkins rather than removing plastic from fields. “Where it’s tough to pick plastic – in vine crops such as cucumbers, watermelons, eggplants, tomatoes – growers will appreciate biodegradable mulch,” says Ménard.


PAGE 16 –– JUNE 2014 THE GROWER

ALTERNATIVE CROPS

Quinoa: change agent Herrle’s Country Farm Market is popular for a reason: it’s always got something new. From edamame to quinoa, Trevor Herrle-Braun and his family are innovating from field to fork at their St. Agatha, Ontario farm. “We always need to be on the cutting edge,” says Herrle, “not just with technology but with marketing.” Last year, Herrle grew five acres of quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah). This ancient grain is naturally drought- and frost-tolerant with a pedigree rooted in the Andes. While technically a pseudo-grain because it’s a broadleaf rather than grass species, its growth habit is well suited to class two and three soils in Ontario. Gluten-free, it’s caught on with recipe developers and restaurateurs who have built a cult following and a new market. As one of the 2013 participants in quinoa trials at 15 locations, Herrle sees an opportunity for diversification and a rotation crop for his vegetables. He was approached by Jamie Draves, Katan Kitchens to experiment

with the crop following successful cultivar trials. These trials were funded through the Sand Plains Community Development Fund and the provincial Agricultural Adaptation Program in 2011 and 2012. Ontario-grown varieties such as Quinta lead Draves to believe that an industry can flourish if 10,000 acres can be planted in the next five years. That kind of growth would support a processing facility. He wants to incorporate traceability and food-grade standards as part of a business plan to become the largest producer and processor of quinoa in North America. Quinoa has one hitch. Its bitter-tasting saponin coating must be mechanically removed before the crop is sold. “This is a crop that fits well into vegetable rotations,” says Evan Elford, OMAF new crop development specialist. “Quinoa and hops are the two crops that I get asked about most, followed by haskap.” Quinoa demonstration plots will be planted at the Simcoe

Jamie Draves, Katan Kitchens, believes in the prospects for Ontario-grown quinoa. He’s shown in a demonstration field at the farm of Trevor Herrle-Braun. For the video, go to episode 13 at www.biotalk.ca Research Station this summer, so that researchers can evaluate weed and pest control. It will also be showcased at Canada’s

Outdoor Farm Show as part of a gluten-free crop plot which also includes grain amaranth, tef and Job’s tears. Elford expects 2014

to be a pivotal year for quinoa, moving from the demonstration to commercial production stage.

A future hazelnut industry is taking shape The fledgling Ontario hazelnut industry has tripled in size with approximately 60 to 80 acres of hazelnut trees planted this spring. Most of the plantings are in Kent/Essex counties and along the northern shore of Lake Erie. “Hazelnuts are a crop with untapped potential,” says Linda Grimo, whose Grimo Nut Nursery at Niagara-on-the-Lake is sold out of rootstock. With suitable soils and climate, there is potential for 20,000 acres to be planted in the next two decades. The perennial crop requires five to seven years to reach full productive capacity. After that, orchards can last 50 to 100 years. Grimo’s confidence is based on the stability of a local buyer, Ferrero Canada’s confectionary plant in Brantford. “They are here to stay and they have been supportive of the research to encourage Ontario farmers to plant.” University of Guelph’s Adam Dale has focused on varieties resistant to Eastern filbert blight as well as those with small, round shapes that are desirable for roasting. Some of the traditional hazelnut varieties have ovalshaped nuts which do not roast evenly. Today’s varieties such as Lewis, Geneva, Jefferson and Yamhill are planted side by side to enable cross-pollination. Until recently, most of the world’s hazelnuts were sourced from Turkey. In 2012, 16,000 tonnes valued at $105 million were imported into Canada. However, Ferrero Canada is look-

ing for diversified supplies that won’t be impacted by geo-political upheaval. With Chile’s crop maturing in the southern hemisphere, the company is interested in a stable supply in the northern hemisphere. That’s where Ontario growers can fill a need. While growers are always skeptical about a one-buyer market, they are encouraged by a local Ontario company which has expressed interest in making hazelnut milk. This would be an ideal secondary market for those nuts that don’t grade to specific standards. “Our role is to identify the diversity of markets,” says Elliott Currie, executive director for the Ontario Hazelnut Association. “If you think about it, there’s a west-east band from China through Central Asia, the Mediterranean and the Caribbean where cultures are used to eating tree nuts: Brazil nuts, pistachios, chestnuts, macadamia nuts, cashews, hazelnuts. With the immigration changes in Canada’s society, there’s a large opportunity to fill a market need with protein-rich nuts.” Currie’s economic analysis shows that for every farm job generated through hazelnuts, there will be 1.8 jobs in the community. For every food processing job generated, there will be 2.3 to 2.8 jobs created in the community. An Ontario-grown hazelnut industry could support 3,000 to 5,000 permanent new jobs in the future.


JUNE 2014 –– PAGE 17 THE GROWER

. w o n k u o y , p My beauty isn’t skin dee sh! e l f ? t c u e o f r y e p m o s r i f h t s ll hi a t t e a k ta . t s Look o e t p a t e m o o p s l . et u e l f v i u t o o l u y r a u ld e u o b o y r W u d o e y e n m I a I

Sucking pests like aphids and psyllids shouldn’t come between you and your potatoes. Show your potatoes the love they deserve with the unique two-way systemic activity of Movento®. A Group 23 insecticide, Movento provides exceptional long-lasting residual activity, even protecting new plant growth for a wide variety of crops – blueberries, onions, apples and many more. Your crop demands the best. Learn more at BayerCropScience.ca/Movento

BayerCropScience.ca/Movento or 1 888-283-6847 or contact your Bayer CropScience representative. Always read and follow label directions. Movento® is a registered trademark of the Bayer Group. Bayer CropScience is a member of CropLife Canada.


PAGE 18 –– MAY 2014 THE GROWER

NEW PRODUCTS

WeighPack’s VS Bagger ideal for pre-made wicketed bags Designed for pre-made wicketed bags, the VS bagger is an excellent entry-level machine for the produce industry says Kimberly Brown, sales and marketing administrator for WeighPack Systems. “This machine has been used to package products such as bulk apples, potatoes, onions and so on,” says Brown. “If the end package has a twist tie, this machine is perfect for it.” Operate with manual loading

or completely automatic operation. The VS bagger runs either polyethylene or laminated bags from six inches to 20 inches long and six inches to 14 inches wide. Reliable and compact, the stainless steel construction of the VS Bagger makes it easy to set up, operate and maintain. This machine can be easily integrated with a twist tie machine or a horizontal sealer. Several options are available including a plunging funnel, bag

shaking to settle the product in the bag, bag support table for heavy bags, and foot pedal for semi-automatic operation. To see a video on bagging apples, go to: www.weighpack.com Source: Weigh Pack Systems news release

Belorta Sort & Pak Service chooses Posie Packer Belorta Sort & Pak Service, Borgloon Belguim has chosen the Posie Packer poly bag labelling machine to apply the required labels to the wicketed produce bags used for their pear and apple packaging. “The key feature of the machine is the ability to apply two labels on the same cycle per bag – significantly cutting our labour costs of applying the mandated labels,” said Dirk Luyck managing director of the Sort and Pak Service. The machine is imported from Canada, with sales, service and distribution through Heto of

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Holland. John Vandergrift of Posie Packer said “ I am pleased to see that the machine is being used in the top fruit sector of the European produce industry. To meet today's key issues of food safety and traceability, time sensitive information is required on each consumer package. Poly bags not only are the lowest cost method to package produce, but are also the most environmentally friendly method for packaging. The bags provide a convenient and reliable place to apply time sensitive information labels (traceability, COOL, pull date,

best before date) as well as promotional labels. The produce bag labelling machine offers a cost effective accurate alternative to manual application of these mandated labels.” For information visit www.producebaglabeler.com. Source: Posie Packer news release

Nunhems unit rebrands as Bayer CropScience Vegetable Seeds The Nunhems unit of global agriscience giant Bayer CropScience changed its name and visual identity in early April, to become Bayer CropScience Vegetable Seeds. The rebranded business unit will be responsible for all of Bayer CropScience’s vegetable seed activities worldwide, from research to after-sales, the company said. The “Nunhems” name will be retained as the product brand, but its new visual identity will be aligned with Bayer CropScience Seeds and Crop Protection product brands. Packaging, advertisements, brochures and internet presences have also been redesigned and will be rolled out gradually. Source: Nunhems news release


JUNE 2014 –– PAGE 19 THE GROWER


PAGE 20 –– JUNE 2014 THE GROWER the lifespan of an asparagus plantation, the benefits of zero-till systems outweigh the associated stemphylium risks. • Second and third year asparagus

plantings often act as a source of secondary innoculum. Begin scouting these fields for signs of infection immediately after harvest.

Pest of the month – purple spot (Stemphylium) of asparagus ELAINE RODDY, VEGETABLE CROPS SPECIALIST, OMAF-MRA Identification Tan-to-brown sunken, elliptical lesions with purple edges appear on infected spears, stems and fern. As the disease spreads, the lesions expand and merge together killing the affected tissue and eventually causing widespread defoliation. Small black spores (pseudothecia) may be visible in the centre of the lesion, particularly on the previous season’s crop residue. Initial infections commonly occur on the bottom 30 cm (12 inches) of the stem, moving upwards onto the fern as the season progresses. Infections occurring during harvest reduce the marketability of the crop. Severe summer infections result in the premature defoliation of the fern, which can reduce the following year’s yields by up to 52 per cent. Biology

The sexual stage of this disease is known as Pleospora herbarium. P. herbarium produces pseudothecia that mature and overwinter in asparagus crop residue. In the spring, the pseudothecia release ascospores which are the primary source of infection in the emerging asparagus crop. After the initial infection, the asexual stage of the fungi (stemphylium vesicarium) begins to release conidia. The conidia are responsible for continuing infection periods throughout the growing season. The temperature range for purple spot is 0-30°C; however the disease reaches its peak activity from 15-25°C. Infections during harvest often occur as a result of microscopic wounds caused by wind damage or sand blasting. The stomata also act as a point of entry for this pathogen. High humidity and prolonged periods of leaf wetness promote disease development. Infection can occur in as little as three to 24 hours of leaf wetness. Purple spot is most prevalent during cool, wet conditions. It is

often active during the early spring and again in the late summer. Hot, dry conditions in July and August will slow the progression of this disease, however levels of infection can increase dramatically as the temperatures cool in early fall. Management notes • Apply registered fungicides preventatively. Do not wait for symptoms to appear on the fern and in the upper canopy before initiating a spray program. • Reduced tillage and the use of cover crops and windbreaks can help reduce the occurrence of sand blasting. • Maintain a seven- to 21-day preventative fungicide program. Use the shorter spray interval during periods of cool, wet weather or prolonged heavy dewfall. • No-till fields may host higher levels of stemphylium inoculum. However, tillage damages the crown, impacting the long term productivity of the field. Tillage also increases wind erosion and subsequent sand-blasting. Over

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Stemphylium on asparagus

Stemphylium on asparagus

Why are iron, copper and boron soil tests not accredited? CHRISTOPH KESSEL, NUTRITION (HORTICULTURE) – PROGRAM LEAD The iron, copper and boron soil tests are not accredited under the OMAF & MRA Soil Laboratory Accreditation Program. Since they are included on a soil test report, it is often asked why they are not accredited. They are not accredited because of challenges in the methodology or correlation between reported soil test value and crop response. • Iron is not accredited because the soil test does not correlate well with plant uptake or fertilizer response. • Copper deficiency is rarely observed on mineral soils. It may occur on muck soils but these soils are unique in having more than 35 per cent organic matter. And like the iron soil test, copper is also poorly correlated with plant uptake and fertilizer response. • Soil test boron levels are often less than one ppm, making it difficult to get an accurate

measurement. As well, boron is also mobile in the soil and its concentrations will change over the season depending on leaching and mineralization. Although these three soil tests are not accredited, they can still be useful if you keep in mind the following four points: 1. Stick with one soil laboratory for your soil analysis. This will ensure that the same extractant is used, consistency in the laboratory procedures, and that reported critical ranges reflect that extractant. 2. Check the reported soil pH and make sure it is correct for the crop. Soil pH affects micronutrient availability. 3. Complete a tissue analysis along with your soil test. Plant analysis can be a much more reliable indicator of micronutrient availability and uptake. 4. Build a history of both plant and soil test results for each for your sampled fields. More information on micronutrients and soil testing can be found in the Soil Fertility Handbook (OMAF publication 611).


JUNE 2014 –– PAGE 21 THE GROWER

VEG FOCUS

Three ways to reduce off-target drift

DR. JASON S.T. DEVEAU, OMAF & MRA TARA WIEDEMAN, SUMMER RESEARCH STUDENT, OMAF & MRA

10 kmh into a 10 kmh headwind is essentially spraying in a 20 kmh wind. Here are the results of spraying with a medium spray quality in 10 kmh and 15 kmh wind (see Wind speed chart). The water-sensitive papers and graph indicate that there is more downwind drift in higher winds. Boom height

There is no excuse for off-target herbicide drift because the spray operator can reduce the potential impact using these methods: • Apparent wind speed (i.e. the sum of wind speed and travel speed) • Boom height (i.e. release height) • Droplet size (i.e. nozzle spray quality) We recently conducted a short demonstration to show the impact of these factors on spray drift using a backpack sprayer, a variable-rate fan and some water-sensitive paper positioned every 1.5 metres downwind.

Spray operators raise their booms to ensure their nozzles clear the crops, but this contributes to off target drift and greatly reduces coverage – particularly when using twin-fan style tips. Dr. Tom Wolf explains how to set your boom height here: http://www.realagriculture.com/2 014/04/spray-tips-tom-wolf-ep-5/. Here are the results of spraying with a medium spray quality in a 10 kmh wind at 50 cm and 100 cm from the ground (see Boom height chart). The water-sensitive papers and graph indicate that downwind drift increases as the boom gets higher.

Wind speed

Droplet size

Spray operators know they should not spray when the air is calm or when the wind is too high, but they often forget that the nozzles experience “apparent wind speed” which means driving

The coarser the spray quality, the less likely the spray will drift off target. Remember that shifting to larger droplets means fewer droplets, so application volumes may have to increase to compen-

sate for potentially reduced coverage. Here are the results of spraying with a medium spray quality versus spraying with an extremely coarse spray quality (see Droplet size chart). The water-sensitive papers and graph indicate that there is more downwind drift from smaller droplets.

Take-Home So even when the spray window is small and the spray has to go on, take a moment to drop the boom, use a coarser droplet size and if it’s too windy, don’t spray. See the entire spray demonstration on Real Agriculture: http://www.realagriculture.com/2

014/05/three-tips-managingspray-drift/ For more information about pesticide drift, go to: http://sprayers101.ca/additionalinformation/spray-drift/ Always follow the pesticide label and STOP DRIFT BEFORE IT STARTS!

Low-acreage and specialty crop priority process, 2014 industry are captured in research programs. A list of priorities from all sectors is used to align provincial research programs with the needs of the industry. For

The 2014 research priority setting process is underway. Ontario low-acreage and specialty crop growers are encouraged to provide feedback at the link below to ensure the needs of this

field vegetables, the Low-Acreage and Specialty Crop Report captures priorities for cucurbit crops (melons, pumpkins, squash, cucumbers),

eggplant, peppers, sugarbeets, table beets, and other low acreage or specialty vegetables. Feedback is also being sought from other specialty crop

growers. See ONspecialtycrops (http://onspecialtycrops.wordpress.com/2014/05/14/lowacreage-and-specialty-crop-priorities-survey-2014/) for details.


PAGE 22 –– JUNE 2014 THE GROWER

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JUNE 2014 –– PAGE 23 THE GROWER

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PAGE 24 –– JUNE 2014 THE GROWER

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Drip Irrigation

489 Main St. W., Grimsby, ON. L3M 1T4

$6,500

PHONE 705-458-4003

• Cummin 4 cyl & 6 cyl • John Deere, 4 cyl & 6 cyl • Iveco/Cummins, 4 cyl & 6 cyl • Kubota & Deutz etc, etc.

Winona Concrete & Pipe Products Ltd.

Sfoggia model California transplanter, NEW, 2 row

MISCELLANEOUS

NEW IRRIGATION PUMP UNITS ON TRAILER

Greenhouse Ground Cover

Visit our website to view our complete line

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


JUNE 2014 –– PAGE 25 THE GROWER

MARKETPLACE

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

AUCTION

Equipment Auction Sale For John Laurenssen Farms and Wildhagen Greenhouses (905) 659-7041 • (905) 691-9981 who are changing their farming operations Saturday, June 21st at 10:00 a.m. Preview Friday 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. Tractors – Farm and Market Gardening Equipment Trucks – Fork Lift – Bob Cat Skid Steer Antique Tractors and Equipment – Irrigation and Packing Items (etc) Located at 117 Concession 10 East, Flamborough, ½ miles east of Hwy 6, 1 mile South of Freelton, Ontario, Approximately 7 miles North of Clappison’s Corners, 6 miles South of Hwy 401 (Watch for signs). Tractors – Trucks – Excavator – Skid Steer: Case IH MXU 115 4 x 4 Cab 18’ 4” x 38 rears (2200 hrs), Ford 5610 Ser II open Station with 7210 QT Loader (3750 hrs), Ford 4610 Series II open Station power shift wheels (2300 hrs), Ford 5640 open station, Ford T.S. 100 open station, White 1370 4 x 4 with Loader (2375 orig hrs), Int 300 utility with 3 P.T.H. Fork Lift assembly – 1993 Freightliner single axle – Cummins Diesel with 24’ insulated Van and thermo-king T.S. 300 refer (700 hrs) and power tail gate (430,000 kms) good shape, Hino Flat deck diesel with hi-ap hoist. – Bob Cat gas skidsteer with QT bucket and forks, Komatsu 18-2 stage propane forklift 12’ Lift hard tire – Oliver 77 Goodinson Diesel wide front, W-6 McCornmick, 1941 Farmall A with I F. Plow, Farmall 100 with Loader some cultivator parts – Antique Wooden threshing machine Ernest Bros. Co. Limited Mt. Forest, Massey-Harris 7’ Binder redone (good shape) Irrigation – Containers – Trays: Large qty of Wade Rain 3” - 4” - 6” 30 ‘ pipe, qty of Ames 3”- 4” pipe misc fittings, 3 - Hale gas irrigation portable pumps (1 with Chrysler Hemi), P.T.O. pump, qty of 1 Bus Plastic Picking Boxes, qty of 200 black seedling trays Farm and Gardening Equipment – Packing and Grading (etc): – Case – IH model 7500 Vari-Width 5 Furrow semi-mount plow, Case IH 3800 12’ wheel disc, white 271 - 21’ wing disc, John Deere 20’ centre fold disc, IH 5100 - 21 run D.D. Drill with press wheels, Vicon 18’ wing disc, Triple K 12’ Leveler with rolling harrows, Kvernland 3 shank 3 P.T.H. Sub soiler, M.F. 14’ disc, IH - 12 wheel disc, Wilrich 12’ 3 P.T.H. spring tooth cult, 3 P.T.H. Lely double fert. spreader, 2 - John Deere 495-A 4 row 32” corn planters, Lucknow 6 ½’ double Auger snow blower, Ford 6’ 3 P.T.H. flail mower, 2 gravity boxes and wagons with fert Augers, John Deere #54 manure spreader, G.B. 2000 Litre Tandem Air blast sprayer, 8’ 3 P.T.H. cultivator, 2 row Lockwood potato planter with applicator, 2 row hillers, 4 portable irrigation guns, Delhi water wheel planter (never used), 1 row transplanter, 2 - 2row Cole 3 P.T.H. seeders, John Beam tank sprayer – 2 potato cutters, 10’ grading table, 2 - 24” sponge dryers, squash washer, misc. conveyors, Hibco bag tier, bin dumper, mini sizer, 10 lb bagger, dip tank, 24” veg washer, 4’ - 6’ cooling units and compressor (good shape) Good Clean offering. Many more related items to choose from. (Not many small items. Please be on time.)

Terms: Cash – Cheque – Interac day of sale Lunch Booth on Ground

Jim McCartney Auction Service Ltd. 905-689-8778 Waterdown For photos check www.auctionsfind.com/mccartney

JULY 2014 Book by June 15 Herb Sherwood 519-380-0118

@karenthegrower


PAGE 26 –– JUNE 2014 THE GROWER

MINOR USE CRAIG’S COMMENTS

Import MRLs sideswipe growers

CRAIG HUNTER OFVGA The Canadian Horticultural Council has a long-held policy that we would be very vocally opposed to the setting of only an Import MRL where we had previously identified a need and a desire for a registration of that Active Ingredient on that crop. When I raised this at a recent CropLife Canada meeting, there was some consternation amongst some company folks. Let me explain why we take this position! When Canadian horticultural crop producers identify a pest control need on a crop and a possible solution chemistry, they usually start first with what is registered for that problem on that crop in the U.S., and then possibly go further to global possibilities if the U.S. options are not viable/available. Most of these possibilities are identified each year at the annual Minor Use Priority Meetings. Others have been identified as far back as the original “Tech Gap” list of 2001 and in later iterations. These lists are widely known and used by companies as they seek a fit for new products that could solve the same pest problem. When the solution product is already registered on the crop in another country (usually at least in the U.S.) we feel it should be submitted here for USE. It is when only an Import MRL is asked for, to allow importation of treated commodity from elsewhere to enter Canada, that growers here are perturbed. After all, we would then be competing right here in our domestic market where we are denied the use and the benefits that could accrue,

with a foreign grower who has access to the use benefits of the products. We feel that is unfair and this policy is meant to address that unfairness. We recognize there may be registration ‘barriers’ here in Canada that the company is unwilling to meet and thus will not register it here. That is when we are more than willing to ‘intervene’ to facilitate a way around the problem. After all, if we are to benefit from the registration we must be willing to fight for it. On the other hand, if only the Import MRL is granted, the real or biggest benefit to the company will have been met -- access to Canada for treated produce from elsewhere where a ‘sale’ has been made. If this was accomplished, we lose any hope of getting it registered here -- ever! None of the foregoing in any way applies to crops not grown here. I recall in the past that a case was being made that we should even oppose a request for an Import MRL on citrus if we wanted a registration on apples or grapes, because juice is juice and our producers could be negatively affected. We do not go that far! Likewise, if the use is not needed on the crop or is not identified as a need here, there is no issue. There have been cases in the past where we wanted to add a new use to an active ingredient only to find that the “Risk Cup” (The total allowable residue limits from all sources) was already completely used up, including several Import MRLs. We wanted PMRA to ‘create room’ by cancelling some Import MRLs that would allow a new domestic MRL to accommodate a new domestic use. That request set off a mini firestorm as the question had never come up before. Fortunately an accommodation was arranged, but it does beg the policy question about whether MRLs to support domestic use supersedes any Import MRL request. We also understand that when we have treated commodity needing Import MRLs for trade entry into other countries, we had better not complain if growers there have a similar policy. In fact, that

Do Import MRLs help these cherries enter our market? Photo by Glenn Lowson. is one of the key drivers for a Global Minor Use scheme. If the up-front registrations were done on a global basis as would be the MRLs, this problem would disappear. At the same meetings PMRA made it quite clear that when they participate in Global Registration Reviews, they are doing so to facilitate registrations to assist Canadian Agriculture competitiveness. (The PMRA funding in part derives from AAFC and that is one of their mandates) That competiveness does NOT extend to Import MRLs. As such they will not entertain these as part of the package. Later follow-up ‘normal’ submissions are needed to fulfill that piece. The recent Cost Recovery Proposals from PMRA include a substantial fee increase for Import MRLs. Ever since 1997 when fees came into being, Canada has given these applications an extremely low rate versus the U.S. fees of $56,000+ each!! Now we will even up these costs, and there seems to be a rush to get as many Import MRLs done as possible before the new fee sets in. It is interesting if one goes back to the origins of the NAFTA Technical Working Group on Pesticides in 1996. The first order

of business was for each country to identify proven MRL/Trade problems so they could be ‘corrected.’ The three identified by the U.S. growers were fixed almost overnight because it was cheap to do so. The ONE identified by Canadian growers took over three years to fix, because of the cost. Interestingly, that use was finally registered in the U.S. long after the Import MRL was granted, as their growers recognized the benefits of the use. Much of the data to support that registration came from Canada! It was also interesting that only those MRL issues that had a ‘proven’ problem were considered, because someone tried to export produce that had an illegal residue. Almost all growers/exporters know the trade barriers so well that they already avoid the problem actives. Thus, the list of ‘proven’ problems was small, but the list of real problems is actually very large. As part of a national project we are trying to document those actives that are registered here but NOT used because of the trade restrictions around the world. (I will have more on that later in the year.) Probably the most important thing to leave with companies is that we are most willing to work

with them to resolve registration barriers for products we need. The whole Minor Use Program is designed to help facilitate registrations. Over and above that, we can find ways to get information, or accommodate it. We are most grateful for the help that companies give us year in and year out. I am sure they understand that we are in the same spot they would be in if there was no data compensation plan when the data protection time was over, and a competitor could just show up in the market with a ‘similar’ product overnight. Growers feel like that when they see foreign growers using a pesticide that gives them significantly better quality, yield, and cost of production, being allowed free access to compete here against us. It is tough enough to compete with them head to head in a third country, but downright unacceptable to have to do it here! Bottom line is that we seek fair access, understanding of our position, and a message that we are very willing to help resolve a registration issue if it means our access to a needed pest management technology!

The best offense is a good defense. So switch on your crops’ natural defenses and protect them from disease with Regalia Maxx.

engageagro.com

Regalia is a registered trademark of Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. © 2013 Engage Agro Corporation.


JUNE 2014 –– PAGE 27 THE GROWER

MINOR USE

Matador & Warrior insecticide to control insects on tree nuts JIM CHAPUT, OMAF/MRA, MINOR USE COORDINATOR, GUELPH The Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) recently announced the approval of an URMULE registration for Matador & Warrior insecticide for control of several insect pests on crop group 14-11, tree nuts in Canada. The tree nuts crop group includes beech nuts, butternuts, chestnuts, hazelnuts (filberts), heartnuts, hickory nuts and walnuts. Matador & Warrior insecticide was already labeled for management of numerous insect pests on a variety of crops in Canada. These minor use projects were submitted in 2012 as a result of minor use priorities established by growers and extension personnel in Canada. Leafrollers, aphids, codling moth, walnut husk fly and butternut curculio have been identified as key pests of tree nuts in Canada.

The minor use label expansion for Matador & Warrior insecticide is a helpful step towards developing an improved pest management toolkit for tree nuts in Canada. The following is provided as an abbreviated, general outline only. Users should consult the complete label before using Matador or Warrior insecticide. Matador or Warrior insecticide should be used in an integrated pest management program and in rotation with other management strategies to adequately manage resistance. This product is TOXIC to aquatic organisms. Do not contaminate aquatic habitats when cleaning or rinsing spray equipment or containers. This product is TOXIC to pollinators when exposed to direct treatment, drift or residues on flowering crops or weeds. DO NOT apply this product to flowering crops or weeds if pollinators are visiting the treatment area. Minimize spray drift to reduce harmful effects on pollinators in habitats close to the application site.

Crop(s) Crop group 1411 (tree nuts)

Pesticide

• planting, • mowing, • roguing, and • packing produce into containers in the field or greenhouse. You can only do these tasks after the Restricted Entry Interval has passed. An REI can range from 12 hours to several days. A pesticide label may state different REIs that are specific to a crop and post application task (e.g. thinning, scouting, harvesting). If the REI is not stated on a label, use a 12 hour REI. Here are examples of REIs stated on pesticide labels:

Restricted Entry Interval

Matador:

24 hours (all crops)

Scala SC:

12 hours except 24 hours for hand-thinning on apples and for hand labour (training, tying, leaf pulling) on grapes

Switch 62.5 WG:

12 hours except 10 days for hand harvest and hand pruning on Saskatoon berries

Saskatoon berries

Oblique-banded leafroller

83

Aphids Butternuts, heartnuts, walnuts

104

Codling moth

83

Butternut curculio, walnut huskfly

104

No. apps / year

Notes

PHI

4 Apply as required by scouting, 14 days usually at intervals of 7 or 3 more days. Timing and frequency of applications 4 should be based upon insect populations reaching locally 3 determined thresholds

Hazelnuts Follow all other precautions and directions for use on the Matador & Warrior insecticide label carefully.

Restricted Entry Interval (REI) Restricted Entry Interval (REI) is the period of time after a pesticide has been applied that agricultural workers or anyone else must not do hand labour tasks in treated areas. The REI allows the pesticide residues and vapours to dissipate to safe levels for work to be done. Hand labour tasks involve substantial worker contact with treated surfaces such as plants, plant parts or soil. Examples of these activities include: • harvesting, • detasseling, • thinning, • weeding, • scouting,

Rate (mL/ha)

Pest

For a copy of the new minor use label contact Melanie Filotas, OMAF/MRA, Simcoe (519) 4264434 or the Society of Ontario

Nut Growers or visit the PMRA label site www.hc-sc.gc.ca.


PAGE 28 –– JUNE 2014 THE GROWER


The Grower June 2014