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MARCH 2012

CELEBRATING 132 YEARS AS CANADA’S PREMIER HORTICULTURAL PUBLICATION

VOLUME 62 NUMBER 03

Why the greenhouse vegetable sector is ripe for expansion KAREN DAVIDSON While the nightly economic news suggests an umbrella, the Canadian greenhouse vegetable sector forecasts sunshine. A dollar at par, or higher, doesn’t rain on the produce parade, even with 70 per cent production going to the U.S. In Ontario, for example, 2011 was a banner year, with 203 growers adding 148 acres of production for a total tally of 2,047 acres. Rounding up numbers, that’s about $750,000 investment per acre. To put the sector into perspective, the American industry has half the size at just 1083 acres, according to Glen Snoek, market and economic policy analyst, Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers, citing a 2009 USDA survey. What’s driving the expansion? Opportunities abound in the U.S. where field-grown produce is being replaced by the consistent quality and taste of greenhouse produce. Seedless cucumbers, a relative novelty, still have plenty of upward momentum not only for grocers but for foodservice. There’s a host of reasons for any individual operator, but a key factor is low interest rates. Heating, the largest cost of greenhouses, is priced relatively low compared to recent years. “All operating costs, with the exception of labour, are stable,” explains Peter Quiring, principal, Nature Fresh Farms, Leamington,

INSIDE Chile: money trees

Focus: farm safety

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Special: Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention Section B

www.thegrower.org P.M. 40012319

Beverly Greenhouses near Waterdown, Ontario are expanding from 15 to 22 acres of seedless cucumbers this year, taking advantage of economies of scale to deal with declining margins. Jan VanderHout (pictured) and his brother Dale are following the industry trend. Last year, Ontario’s industry added 148 acres for a total tally of 2,067 acres in production. Photo by Denis Cahill.

Ontario. “But growth is really about the need to maintain market share. Mexico is growing uncontrollably, and we need to have a full roster of product to offer our customers.” Field tomatoes and more recently, shade-covered, fieldgrown tomatoes, predominantly from Mexico are encroaching on greenhouse vegetable sales. These tomatoes are not welcomed by the growers of controlled-environment greenhouse produce because they’re grown with pesticides and not always under integrated pesticide management. In the grocery aisles, there are no distinctions made between “shade-grown” and “greenhouse-grown” product. A North American Greenhouse/Hothouse Vegetable Growers group consisting of B.C.’s Houweling Nurseries Group, Windset Farms and Village Farms has tried to change that. To differentiate their products, they promote a precise definition for a greenhouse/hothouse with a third-party

certification program. But to the untrained eye, Mexican produce grown under shade cloth may appear to be the same quality with a lower price. And that’s exactly the competition that B.C. growers face when they market

Mexico is growing uncontrollably, and we need to have a full roster of product to offer our customers.” ~ Peter Quiring, Nature Fresh Farms down the I-5 corridor, including Seattle, Portland and large California cities, says Tom Demma, general manager, British Columbia Vegetable Marketing Commission. They run straight into Mexican product moving north at the end of the fall and

right through the spring months. Spring is just when B.C. producers are at their prime with 690 acres on line. “Prices were good last year,” says Jan VanderHout, Beverly Greenhouses, who is currently expanding cucumber greenhouses at Waterdown, Ontario from 15 to 22 acres. “They’re stable this year, but when you look at pricing of product coming out of Mexico, there’s no way cost of production can be that low.” Here’s how Mexican company Agricola Pony is turning up the heat in Culiacan, in the northwestern province of Sinaloa. They have converted all of their openfield, roma tomato production to 108 acres of Cravo retractable roof shadehouses. These structures provide maximum cooling while transplanting in September, then shade the crop for harvest into June. Next, they have installed drip irrigation systems to boost yields and fruit size while reducing

water consumption. And, labour is plentiful and cheap. The conversion has been so successful that Agricola Pony is planning another expansion of the same magnitude. Their aggressive plans are due, in part, to a marketing partnership with Eagle Eye Produce, a leading grower and shipper of potatoes, onions, watermelons and vegetables with offices in Arizona, California, Idaho and Utah. According to its website, Eagle Eye Produce ships to supermarkets, wholesalers, food service distributors and wholesale clubs across the U.S. and Canada. Greenhouse growers in Canada are casting a wary eye. In late December 2011, a YouTube video from Eagle Eye Produce and Agricola Pony promoted their produce with fanfare: “They look like a greenhouse tomato but taste like garden-fresh.”

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PAGE A2 –– MARCH 2012 THE GROWER

AT PRESS TIME… Potato shortage constrains supply in Canada Compared to a year ago, there are almost 10 per cent fewer potatoes remaining in storage across Canada. Supplies in Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island are all down due to challenging growing and harvesting conditions in 2011, and stronger demand.

NEWSMAKERS

More aid to stamp out plux pox virus

Ontario’s AAC calls for proposals

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced more aid to New York stone fruit growers to offset losses from plum pox virus. That’s good news for Ontario growers who have spent millions on removing infected trees. Whatever is done in New York state also helps to protect Ontario trees.

Groups or individuals interested in applying for grants from the Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC) are encouraged to do so for Thursday, March 15 at 4 pm. All proposals must address one or more aspects of sustainability, defined as: • Economic sustainability - participants in the value chain have reasonable and equal opportunity to prosper • Environmental sustainability the industry conserves, protects and regenerates resources and is resilient to climate and ecological conditions • Social sustainability - the industry generates goods and services reflecting demographic trends of the general population For more information about the process and examples of eligible projects, visit www.adaptcouncil.org.

Walmart spend to stay ahead of Target “A pattern seems to be developing that would indicate a shorter shipping season in 2012, if the current shipping pace continues,” warns Kevin MacIsaac, general manager of the United Potato Growers of Canada. “Eastern Canada is of particular concern. That area produces most of the tablestock or fresh market potatoes sold in Canada, and the supply available to market is down an amazing 560 million pounds compared to a year ago.” If current product usage continues, supplies could become very tight as the marketing season progresses. MacIsaac is advising growers to market in an orderly manner so that no customers are short. “Continuity of supply is critical to the marketplace,” he says.

Peach, nectarine, cherry, plum and apricot growers forced to remove trees infected with the virus will receive $12,737 per acre from USDA, up from $9,429 per acre under a prior compensation program. Under the new plan, USDA will pay 85 per cent of compensation to growers, the state of New York will cover 15 per cent. New York is the only U.S. state still afflicted with plum pox virus, which poses no health risks to humans but reduces the volume and quality of stone fruit. New York growers have been pulling out afflicted orchards since 2006.

Walmart’s Canadian unit will invest more than $750 million in 73 projects in the next twelve months, as the world’s biggest retailer moves aggressively to stay ahead of competitors such as Target Corp. U.S. discount retailer Target said last month it will open its first 24 Canadian stores in Ontario in March or early April of 2013, sparking fears of increased pressure on retailers’ margins. Walmart Canada, which already operates 333 stores in the country, plans to add 4.6 million square feet of retail space to its operations in the next year. The 73 projects will include building new stores and expanding, remodelling or relocating existing stores.

The B.C. Fruit Growers’ Association has elected a new executive. Kirpal Boparai becomes president with the goal to reverse the “ongoing drop in growers’ revenue due to falling apple prices.” He is joined by Jeet Dukhia, vice-president and directors Nirmal Dhaliwal, Peter Simonsen, Denise MacDonald, Amarjit Lalli, Madeleine van Roechoudt and Jora Dhaliwal. Former president Joe Sardinha retired after serving 11 years on the board. The Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers elected new leadership at their recent convention. Bruce Shackleton, Belmont, becomes chair and is supported by Jim Poel, Thamesford, as vice-chair. Phil Richards, Dresden, becomes past-chair. Pure Hot House Foods Inc. has hired fresh-produce veteran Bob Donckers for the newly created position of chief operating officer at its Leamington, Ontario greenhouses. Most recently, he was vice president for food safety and procurement at Mastronardi Produce, Kingsville. Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee medals are hot items, all 60,000 of them to deserving Canadians. Paul Bosc Sr. is one recipient, honoured for his contributions to the Canadian wine industry. Congratulations to John and Laura Hughes, winners of the Producer of the Year award at the Canadian International Farm Show. They operate Springridge Farm, Milton, Ontario. Adrian Huisman, retiring general manager of the Ontario Tender Fruit Producers’ Marketing Board, will be honoured with the Niagara Peninsula Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association Award of Merit on March 8. For the third consecutive year, Paul Mastronardi, president Mastronardi Produce, Kingsville, Ontario is announcing its designation as One of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies. The national awards program, judged by Deloitte, evaluates how companies address business challenges, including: technology, globalization, brand management, leadership, leveraging and developing core competencies, designing information systems, and hiring the right talent to foster growth. The family has been growing gourmet vegetable produce for more than 55 years.

2012 key SDRM deadlines April 30, 2012 - Enrol in AgriStability (if not currently enrolled) June 15, 2012 - File a T1163 for 2011 to the Canada Revenue Agency (individual) June 30, 2012 - File a statement A for 2011 to Agricorp (corporation) February 1, 2013 - Make a deposit • SDRM accounts to not earn interest • The government contribution is considered farming income • The government contribution is taxable at time of deposit For more program details visit agricorp.com.

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MARCH 2012 –– PAGE A3 THE GROWER

Greenhouse vegetable sector is ripe for expansion CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Competition is also growing in the U.S. Village Farms has just announced its first pick from a state-of-the-art, 30-acre greenhouse located in Monahans, Texas. While it’s the fifth greenhouse the company has built in the state, it’s the first to use proprietary building technology. Ontario’s newly built greenhouses match the best in the world, often with technical help from the Netherlands and industrial equipment from Germany. Greenhouse growers think nothing of flying to Europe, just as they did last month for Fruit Logistica in Berlin. Primarily, they go to scout what’s new from the seed companies. Nature Fresh’s Quiring agrees that innovation plays a key role in the greenhouse category. He plans to start growing the new seedless Angello pepper which just won the Fruit Logistica innovation award. In the long run, breeding of specialty tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers may trump field-grown and shadegrown product. In the U.S., there’s a huge appetite for brand extensions in a category that has conditioned consumers to rainbow colours and mini-sizes.

Source: Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers And here’s where the Ontario greenhouse industry has a leg up. Situated beside Lake Erie, growers access potable water and regularly monitor water quality with weekly tests. Other countries – Guatemala and Panama who have sunshine and heat on their side -want to write their own chapter of the greenhouse success story. But clean water is a limiting factor, not to mention transportation costs. Canadian growers also hold another important trump card: food safety. “Consumers prefer Canadian product over Mexican

product because of our food safety record,” says Quiring. “It’s a very important feature in all our discussions with retailers.” Truth be told, food safety was the other reason that Ontario greenhouse leaders attended Fruit Logistica. They wanted to hear, in person, the post-mortem of the European E. coli food crisis that was first blamed on Spanish cucumbers, then German sprouts and finally Egyptian fenugreek seeds. “Food safety has to be a primary driver in the greenhouse segment,” concludes George

LABOUR

FOOD SAFETY

TECHNOLOGY

PROMOTION

U.S. minimum wages stir debate

Cantaloupe listeria deaths now total 32

IBM simplifies how to trace food origins

‘Smellvertising’ arrives in U.K.

Growers in New Jersey are opposed to minimum wage increases to about 20,000 seasonal workers, many of whom come from Mexico. They currently receive $7.25 per hour, but proposals are to change this rate to $8.50 per hour for the upcoming season. Farmers say they would be at a disadvantage with neighbouring states of Pennsylvania, Delaware and New York which currently pay $7.25 per hour. The debate is of interest to Canadian growers who adhere to much higher minimum wages and compete at a dollar that’s basically at par or higher than the American dollar. Ontario minimum wage, for example, is pegged at $10.25 per hour. Source: FreshPlaza.com

The outbreak of listeria in Colorado-grown cantaloupes has claimed another victim, a 62-year old woman also suffering from breast cancer. The epidemic – considered the deadliest outbreak of foodborne illness in the U.S. in decades – sickened 146 people and killed 32. While the crisis was officially declared over last December, two more deaths have been attributed to listeriosis. Investigators have fingered several factors. Traces of listeria could have entered the packing plant via a truck used to ferry culled cantaloupes to a cattle operation. The bacteria then could have multiplied in pooled water, and then spread around the packing shed, contaminating walkways and equipment. Source: foodsafetynews.com

IBM is taking advantage of QR codes to enable consumers, buyers and retailers to trace the origins of their foodstuffs with the use of mobile phones. Called the InfoSphere Traceability Server, it assigns unique barcodes to every step of the food distribution chain. As a consumer, simply take an image of the QR code on the food label and the link will show which farm the food was grown on, when it was harvested and the route it took from source to shelf. "Someday soon, this will become the minimum requirement to participate in the food supply chain," predicts Paul Chang, IBM’s traceability program director. Source: FreshPlaza.com

McCain Foods is installing the smell of baked potatoes at 10 bus stops around the United Kingdom as part of its push for Ready Baked Jackets. A media first, the promotion will introduce a potato pre-baked in sunflower oil, that’s ready in the microwave in five minutes. Six sheets at the bus stops will be fitted with 3D fibreglass jacket potatoes, which on the

Agricola Pony has installed a retractable roof system to shade roma tomatoes on a 108-acre site near Culiacan, in the northwestern Mexican province of Sinaloa. According to a YouTube video, "Eagle Eye Produce and Pony Brand Technology," the roofs can be closed in six minutes. Photo from FreshPlaza.com.

Gilvesy, general manager, Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers. “We cannot expose ourselves to a situation where officials are advising consumers not to eat our product.” As a result, Ontario’s growers will be revisiting their risk

management strategies and emphasizing that there is no room for complacency. With that fresh market intelligence, look for another blazing year of growth.

INTERNATIONAL press of a button, will heat up and emit the smell of an ovencooked jacket potato. These kiosks will also dispense moneyoff vouchers to encourage consumers to try McCain’s new product. "These outdoor specials are really going to stand out and drive sales by bringing the tasty oven-baked smell to warm the consumer,” says Mark Hodge, head of branding at McCain Foods. “We’re adding a whole new meaning to try before you buy.” Source: PotatoPro


PAGE A4 –– MARCH 2012 THE GROWER

CANADIAN PRODUCE MARKETING ASSOCIATION TRADE SHOW APRIL 11 - 13, 2012

Produce is a mountain of opportunities With the Rocky Mountains as a backdrop, CPMA’s 87th Annual Convention and Trade Show in Calgary, Albera is expected to break attendance records. Exhibitor spaces were sold out in January. Based on those early numbers, the show is expected to attract more than 3000 participants from all segments of the produce supply chain.

The show rotates between Montreal, Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver. More than 26 per cent of total attendance consists of retailers, wholesalers and foodservice. Every year, more produce is showcased from around the world. Here are some of the highlights: Follow him on Twitter: @adw_tweets @macrowikinomics

DAVID CHILTON Author of The Wealthy Barber and The Wealthy Barber Returns

Thursday, April 12, 2012 • 10:15 am – 11:15 am

David Chilton, author of Canada’s alltime best-selling book, The Wealthy Barber, is among the most sought after speakers in North America. His unique combination of financial knowledge and humour has helped to take the intimidation out of financial planning for millions of Canadians. Chilton’s speeches aren’t just about money, though. They’re about believing in yourself, overcoming mistakes (many of his are truly hilarious) and, most importantly, they’re about perspective -the missing ingredient in many people’s financial lives.

The sequel to The Wealthy Barber, entitled The Wealthy Barber Returns, hit shelves in the fall of 2011 and offers expanded advice--20 years’ worth--to a new generation of Canadians seeking strong, non-technical and reliable advice. Chilton is the opposite of the stereotypical dry financial expert. The Chicago SunTimes calls him "charming, unpretentious and funny." And Maclean’s writes, "Thirty years from now Chilton could be best remembered not as a best-selling author, but as the man who inspired thousands to save their way to prosperity." Besides finance, Chilton took on the billion-dollar food industry with the Podleski sisters. As their company’s president and publisher, he helps them turn their idea of low-fat cookbooks into an award-winning food company. Their cookbook, Looneyspoons, was one of the fastest selling books in Canadian publishing history, joining another classic: The Wealthy Barber.

CPMA HEADS-UP

ANTHONY D. WILLIAMS Coauthor, Macrowikinomics and Wikinomics Anthony D. Williams is a speaker, consultant and coauthor of the groundbreaking bestseller (with Don Tapscott) Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, the breakthrough introduction to the new economics transforming business and competition with the emergence of web 2.0. Anthony helps organizations worldwide harness the power of collaboration, innovation in business, government and society. His recent followup book (also with Don) is Macrowikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World. The global economic crisis is a wakeup call to the world: we need to rethink and rebuild many of the organizations and institutions that have served us well for decades, but now have come to the end of

Social Media Does your marketing strategy incorporate social media? Do you know why it is an important tool to build your business? How can you take advantage of the various tools available? Which ones are the most popular and could serve your business best? Simple questions? This session will provide you with an overview of Social Media as an integrated business tool, which should not stand alone but be incorporated into a marketing and communications plan and used to leverage consumer trust, awareness and product sales. Getting your products from A to B in Canada

Impact of food safety on consumer attitudes. What can you do? Food safety is top of mind with consumers and of paramount importance to those working in the fresh produce sector. Today, the industry faces an expansive range of issues related to food safety as well as an increasing number of guidelines, standards and programs, and regulatory requirements. This session will provide information and direction relative to what you can do to inform and maintain con-

CPMA 2011 Trade Show. Photo by Stephane Landreville.

their life cycle. Anthony D. Williams has unique insight and bold proposals for how to transform these institutions to meet the challenges posed in the new century by new media, a new generation and a new economy.

Having sensational products is just the first step in providing consumers with a great eating experience. Along the way industry must navigate customs and regulatory requirements, meet customer expectations and partner with reliable transportation providers to get product from your back door to the produce department. This session will provide the tools you need including: • An introduction to the newly released Transportation Best Practices and your role in successful transport of produce • What you can do to help move your product as quickly as possible across the border • Insight into customer expectations Friday, April 13, 2012 • 10:30 am – 11:30 am Trends discussion – Do you know

GROW YOUR BUSINESS WITH THE CANADIAN PRODUCE MARKETING ASSOCIATION

Attend CPMA’s 2012 Annual Convention and Trade Show in Calgary for great learning sessions on the trends, issues and challenges facing the produce industry. Visit online for information and registration. www.cpma.ca

CALGARY 2012

Canada? Changes in the Canadian market. The Canadian Marketplace is a constantly evolving environment with a diverse cultural mosaic and aging population. Consumer buying trends vary by region and group. Join the Canadian Trends panel, which will include perspectives from retail, foodservice, and the vendor community, to learn about the current trends observed in Canada and what we expect on the horizon.

@cpmaconvention

sumer confidence in fresh produce including the following topics of discussion: • Loss of trust • Impact of social media • Research on consumer behaviours • Perception of safety of local vs. imports • Industry responsibility • How do you position your organization (i.e. communication) • How do you handle a crisis • What have we learned Lucky Friday the 13th See what’s new in the market and stop by the New Products Showcase displays, located in the Exhibit Hall Foyer. Find out who will be honoured for their dedication, hard work and desire to thrive, inspire, compete, and excite buyers and the entire produce industry. The Best New Product Award will be presented on Friday, April 13 on the trade show floor.

87TH ANNUAL CPMA CONVENTION & TRADE SHOW April 11-13, 2012 • Stampede Park BMO Centre Canada’s leading fruit & www.cpma.ca vegetable industry event!


MARCH 2012 –– PAGE A5 THE GROWER

MARKETING

Fruit Logistica hosts dynamic marketplace for world’s produce sector More than 56,000 visitors from 139 countries upheld the reputation of Fruit Logistica as the biggest trade fair in the fresh produce world. Hosted in Berlin, Germany, the event attracted the same number of visitors as 2011, after years of continual growth. Around 80 per cent of the visitors came from outside Germany to see an

unparalleled number of exhibitors: 2,537. One of the biggest attractions is the showcase for the year’s top 10 innovation awards. The sweet and seedless Angello pepper from Dutch company Syngenta Seeds B.V. was this year’s winner. Second place, as voted by the trade visitors, went to the interactive website

“Lovemysalad.com” also from Dutch company Rijk Zwaan. Salad fans, globally, can access recipe ideas and information on salad products. For more details on four of the top 10 nominees, see below.

LOVEMYSALAD.COM COMPANY RIJK ZWAAN, NETHERLANDS WWW.RIJKZWAAN.COM

Lovemysalad.com is an interactive website and social network forum for salad lovers from all over the world – private or professional – to share their passion for vegetables and salads. Lovemysalad.com provides a new opportunity for fans of a specific product range to interact socially via recipe suggestions, postings and news. It not only provides details of the origins of products but also information on different types of salads and vegetables and how to prepare them. For the professionals involved, Lovemysalad.com is not simply aimed at increasing sales, but rather to enter into meaningful dialogue with the consumer, to increase vegetable consumption generally, and to draw wider attention to subjects such as health, sustainability and the global food supply.

SUNGREEN GREEN CHERRY TOMATO COMPANY TOKITA SEED COMPANY LTD., JAPAN WWW.TOKITASEED.CO.JP Sungreen is a newly developed green cherry tomato, weighing on average 20 g. The calyx is long and straight and remains on the fruit. The skin colour turns from deep green to light green when ripe and the flesh is relatively thick and very crisp. The average brix level of the ripened fruit is eight degrees, competing well with red varieties and representing the highest brix level for green tomatoes. The flavour is a good balance between sweet and sour with a touch of citrus. It has no lycopene but has similar amounts of glutamic acid, and 50 per cent more gamma-aminobutyric acid than fully matured red cherry tomatoes. Sungreen was developed over a period of five years using conventional breeding methods and was trialled by growers in various regions of Japan and other countries.

PURPLE SPROUTING BROCCOLI COMPANY BEJO ZADEN B.V., NETHERLANDS WWW.BEJO.COM Purple Sprouting Broccoli is a new variety of broccoli with small, dark purple side shoots which grow next to the main stem. Several varieties are available for summer, autumn and winter cultivation and for different growing conditions. The shoots have a length of about 10-15 cm and can be packed in different sizes. According to the developer, the variety has higher nutritional values than traditional broccoli. Purple Sprouting Broccoli consists of tasty stems with a flowering head. It combines a distinct broccoli flavour with a delicate taste of asparagus. It is a new vegetable variety that will add colour to any dish, while at the same time offering interesting opportunities for the foodservice sector.

ANGELLO SWEET & SEEDLESS PEPPER COMPANY SYNGENTA SEEDS B.V., NETHERLANDS WWW.SYNGENTA.COM The Angello Sweet & Seedless Pepper is a new variety of seedless red baby pepper, conical in shape and with a sweet and crunchy taste. Because it is seedless, it can be eaten whole as a snack or used for example in salads. With a vibrant red colour and thin skin, it is 5-10 cm in length and weighs between 10 g and 30 g. It is a good source of vitamin C and is currently available all year round from growers in Spain, Israel and Netherlands. The Angello Sweet & Seedless Pepper is marketed in convenience snack packaging. The product has been tested using Syngenta’s own consumer research department and their exclusive partners for this project, Bakkavor and The Greenery.


PAGE A6 –– MARCH 2012 THE GROWER

INTERNATIONAL FRUIT TREE ASSOCIATION

Chile’s robust fruit industry is expanding aggressively Only lack of labour may hobble growth workforce from outside the country. Leaders also realize that it will take more than labour laws to attract workers to the countryside. More public transit, restrooms, canteens and housing will be needed.

KAREN DAVIDSON With its Mediterranean climate, Chile is the envy of the fruit world. Bordered by the Pacific Ocean, a desert to the north, the Andes mountains to the east and icefields to the south, the South American country boasts 324,000 hectares planted with fruits, 255,000 of them in current production. Chile, now producing seven per cent of the globe’s fruit, aspires to grow more. Some industry leaders project a future capacity of 400,000 or even 500,000 hectares, largely encouraged by growth in Asian markets. Last year’s crops were estimated at a value of US $2,794 million. With this background, the capital city of Santiago was a natural venue for the recent 55th annual meeting of the International Fruit Tree Association. A Canadian contingent attended, then toured the countryside. “They have extremely modern agricultural practices,” says Cathy

Cherries likely to make historic record in 2012

The Pre-clearance Program is a cooperative agreement among the Agriculture and Livestock Service, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the Chilean Exporters Association. Here, USDA’s inspectors pre-screen Chilean fruit before export. Photo courtesy Cathy McKay. McKay, an apple grower from Port Perry, Ontario who noted the high-density plantings of Gala, Fuji and Pink Lady varieties. Their industry is impressive: research, weather monitoring stations that report every 15 minutes,

health and safety programs. About 140,000 workers have been given hygiene training. A ChileGAP program has certified equivalency with GlobalGAP. All of this infrastructure supports trade, with 65 per cent of

Chilean fruit production meeting export standards. Thanks to the hospitality of the Chilean Exporters Association (ASOEX), the tour group visited a phytosanitary inspection clearinghouse where Chile has allowed USDA inspectors to look at one per cent of all packed fruit. Those crates pulled for inspection are wrapped in blue tarp and deposited next to a laboratory for testing. The inspector checks for unacceptable pests against a chart of identified thresholds. Growers pay 17 cents per crate for the inspection. It’s a small price to maintain their brand reputation. Of the 30,000 or so Chilean producers, about 8,000 maintain more than five hectares. So what’s the limiting factor for continued expansion? Land? Water? Technology? Labour is the surprising answer. For the industry to prosper, more foreign workers will be needed according to Antonio Walker, president of Fedefruta, an umbrella group for all Chilean fruit growers. He gave the following interview to the website of freshfruitportal.com last fall. “We believe we are lacking a third of the people we need to carry out the next harvest, which is a product of the immigration from the countryside to the city,” he said. “For renewal, people probably will need labour from other countries, but today in accordance with the projections we have for the 2011-12 season, we don’t see there being enough people for the harvest.” McKay says she heard the same assessment in the countryside. One of the growers indicated that he needed 900 pickers to get through harvest and was looking to Peru for help. The issue is so pressing that a national debate will be needed on changing labour laws to allow more foreign workers. At present, Chileans cannot employ more than 15 per cent of their

Labour issues aside, Fedefruta’s Walker notes a changing composition of Chilean fruit exports. Table grapes and apples still hold the number one and two spots respectively. But blueberries are now in third place and cherries are in fourth. “Cherries in the year 2000 represented 1.7 per cent of fruit exports and this year it will represent 6.5 per cent of fruit exports,” says Walker. “This is due to the opening of the Asian market which is buying almost half of the Chilean crop.” The 2012 cherry crop is estimated at 12 million boxes. “The other surprise of the season was blueberries,” says Walker. “In the year 2000 we

They have extremely modern agricultural practices,” ~ Cathy McKay

exported US$30 million in blueberries and now we are exporting US$305 million, going from 2.2 per cent to 8.7 per cent.” For the total fruit category, Fedefruta’s analysts forecast a four per cent year-on-year increase in freight on board (FOB) returns to US$3.639 billion, or the equivalent of a 7.4 per cent rise in volumes to 2.65 billion metric tons (MT). In terms of FOB values, several fruits showed growth including plums (1%), pears (6%), avocadoes (16%), apricots (7%), kiwifruit (6%), blueberries (17%), cherries (35%), walnuts (15%) and almonds (2%). The FOB values of other fruits are expected to fall this year, including grapes (-5%), peaches (-13%), nectarines (-6%), raspberries (-39%), lemons (-11%) and mandarins (-8%). With these statistics informing Canadian growers, McKay returns to her Nature’s Bounty orchard realizing that competition will be steep. “If we don’t plant new varieties and update our orchards, Chile will be more than happy to supply all our fruit,” she says. “They have the capacity.”


MARCH 2012 –– PAGE A7 THE GROWER

INTERNATIONAL FRUIT TREE ASSOCIATION

Canadian growers harvest new growing ideas in South America canals funnel water from the surrounding Andes Mountains. Ever export-minded, the Argentinians are in tune with the environmental sensitivities of their European customers. An example is Hugo Sanchez, operator of organic orchards called Nature and More. On the company’s website, he promotes his “sustainability flower print in action” and calculates the water footprint based on UNESCO methodology. While this orchard was not on the official tour, it’s situated in the same province. It’s an example of the thinking and marketing acumen brought to bear on tender fruits being shipped out of the country. With this year’s International Fruit Tree Association meeting in Santiago, Chile, a number of Canadians were attracted to the sunny venue and the opportunity to see production practices firsthand. Art Moyer, a Grimsby, Ontario pear and apple grower took a side trip to Argentina.

That’s where he saw a new world of modern growing techniques in the province of Neuquén. “We need to learn how to get our production up,” says Moyer. “Depending on the pear variety, the Argentinians are harvesting up to 45 bins per acre compared to our 16 to 20 bins per acre.” These highly productive orchards are due to tree training methods similar to apples, encouraging trees to grow upwards on trellises. Plantings are denser than in Canada, about 4 – 4.5 metres between rows and 1.5 – 1.8 metre spacings within rows. Varieties are familiar such as Bartletts, Anjou and some Bosc. But Forelle pears are grown specifically for export to Italy. With the fortunate inheritance of a canal system built by the British back in the early 1900s, water is not an issue in the peargrowing area that nestles on the northern edge of Patagonia. The

Photos courtesy of Phil Schwallier, IFTA

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PAGE A8 –– MARCH 2012 THE GROWER

CROP PROTECTION

Highlights of Guide to Weed Control OMAFRA’s Publication 75 has been the definitive source of weed control information for more than 50 years. It has the latest information on managing weeds in all crops and agricultural situations. New features this year include: 1) New chapter outlining longterm management strategies for the most difficult to control, yield robbing weeds in field crops 2) QR codes directing clients to educational video content including a. Pesticide drift videos produced through an OMAFRA and Croplife Canada collaboration b. Giant hogweed identification and management

3) Strategies to manage newly discovered glyphosate resistant weeds 4) Quick reference charts for management options to control poisonous and invasive weeds 5) PCP numbers added to table on herbicides used in Ontario for quick reference To order copies of Publication 75, Agdex 640, Price $15.00 + tax: • Visit ServiceOntario Publications website at www.ServiceOntario.ca/publications • Contact ServiceOntario Publications Contact Centre at: 1-800-668-9938 416-326-5300 TTY 1-800-268-7095

A new biofumigant promises an option for spring 2012 KAREN DAVIDSON

Last year’s loss of Telone, a soil fumigant, has created a giant hole in the armour against nema-

todes. That gap may be partially patched with a biofumigant that’s in the final weeks of registration.

Produced by Mustard Products and Technologies (MPT), the MustGro biofumigant contains the glucosinolates so famous in mustard. The ingredients may taste great in mustard condiments for humans, but are fatal to nematodes. The product has a two-year track record in the organic community because of its use as a fertilizer, says Paul Schorn, MPT’s director of marketing and research. But the Saskatoonbased company is now waiting for the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) to issue registration for the pelleted product as a biofumigant. Schorn expects the approved labels by the end of March. The product also has to be classified for use in Ontario under the review of the Ontario Pesticides Advisory Committee. OMAFRA’s minor use program has taken an interest in this new product and hopes to facilitate label expansions to other crops. The registration timing is agonizingly tight for growers of ginseng and root crops. The product is intended for use from the end of April to early June, depending on geography and most importantly, soil temperature. Instructions are specific not to apply if soil temperature is below 10 degrees Celsius. The product was profiled at western Canada’s Crop Days in early January when efficacy trials in strawberries and raspberries were shared with growers. MustGro suppresses red stele (Phytophthora fragariae), phytopthora root rot (Phytophthora rubi) and root lesion nematode (Pratylenchus penetrans). It must be applied two weeks prior to planting. When water is added, a volatile gas is produced (allyl isothiocynate) which is

what kills the pests. “It’s a very good nematicide,” says Schorn. “But remember how challenging nematodes can be. They are very efficient swimmers in soil water. You can treat the soil today and then find nematodes four weeks later.” It’s the persistence and prevalence of nematodes that poses a problem. “There is a big difference between suppression and control of nematodes and soilborne diseases,” says Michael Celetti, OMAFRA’s plant pathologist for horticulture. “For example, if a grower has 5000 nematodes/kg soil and thinks that applying MustGro will suppress this population enough to grow a susceptible crop, I don’t think that is going to happen. On the other hand, if the grower has 1000 nematodes/kg soil, the product may suppress the population to a point that a susceptible crop can be grown. This is a different situation than using Telone or Vapam.” For organic growers, the option of a new biofumigant will be welcome. The source of MustGro is ordinary mustard seed which is pressed for oil and meal. It’s the meal that’s coveted for its disease-fighting properties. Until recently, no one knew how to convert its fluffy texture into a product that could be handled by everyday farm equipment. A new pelleted formulation allows it to flow freely in a fertilizer spreader at the rate of a thousand pounds per acre. It costs $2,000 per acre – not cheap – but offers a solution where none existed before. “For most growers, commercial control of these pathogens is required to grow an economically viable crop,” says Celetti. “However, if the product is used on land with low populations, it will keep pests suppressed.”


MARCH 2012 –– PAGE A9 THE GROWER

CANADIAN HORTICULTURAL COUNCIL

Strategic planning underway for the next decade Horticulture industry leaders met recently in Toronto for a session that brought together members of the current executive, a number of past presidents as well as invited guests. “As the Canadian Horticultural Council celebrates its milestone 90th anniversary there is need to acknowledge past accomplishments and, even more importantly, focus strategically on moving forward to ensure future success – as an organization and as an industry sector which is a major contributor to Canadian agriculture, the economy and the health and wellness of Canadians,” noted president Jack Bates. Details will be presented to members on March 14 during the Board of Directors’ Annual General Meeting in Ottawa. Bottow row: (L-R) Markus Janzen (BC), Charles Stevens (ON), Ken Forth (ON), Jack Bates (President, BC), Andy Vermeulen (NS), Murray Porteous (ON) Row closest to railing, bottom to top: Keith Kuhl (MB), Bruce Hill (SK), Steve Levasseur (QC), Claude Laniel (QC), Alvin Keenan (PE), Jacques Demers (QC), Don Taylor (ON), Robert MacDonald (PE) Row away from railing, bottom to top: Anne Fowlie (CHC EVP), Gary Cooper (ON), Ken Porteous (ON), Dean Thomson (QC), Greg Connell (invited guest), Dave Jeffries (MB)

Past, present and future Editor’s note: Jack Bates, outgoing president of the Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC) shares his thoughts of traversing the country in the last year. We live in an era where everything moves at internet speed. The pace and nature of change is absolutely unprecedented. The past year has been a whirlwind and the last few months have been particularly energizing for the CHC and the horticulture sector in general. Examples of this include: • A detailed study is now underway to assess options for the establishment of the Plant Pest Response Plan for Canada. • The Fall Harvest Event, a joint initiative with our colleagues at the Canadian Produce Marketing Association, provided an opportunity to intensify advocacy activities through meetings with numerous MPs and Minister Ritz and a reception featuring the very best of products Canada’s horticultural industry has to offer. • The Farm Records Management project has led to the development of farm records software with capability to integrate information generated by existing onfarm GPS technology. Field generated GPS data (e.g. GIS, application information, yield data) can now be directly imported into farm records software providing producers with detailed information about their operations leading to improved farm management decisions. The potato industry-led initiative will have application for a wide range of crops. Of course, having a number of our issues included in the Action Plan of the Regulatory Cooperation Council, particularly developing comparable approaches to financial risk mitigation for

fruit and vegetables, is a significant and tangible result to the hard work and advocacy of many. As I travelled from coast to coast, meeting with producers, participating in farm tours and visiting research centres, I experienced a renewed sense of awe at Canada’s vast geography and a deeper understanding of the commonality within our diversity. There is little difference between the land issues in Nova Scotia and my home area in British Columbia’s lower mainland. Amid the speed and pace of change are the constants that we count on every day: passion for

what we do as farmers, commitment to our chosen profession and those who share their time and talent with our agricultural associations – at the regional, provincial and national levels. The opportunity to serve as president of the Canadian Horticultural Council has been a privilege and an experience which has been very enriching professionally and personally. A lot has been accomplished in 90 years but there is so much more to do. The issues are numerous and complex. Many hands and the passion and commitment from so many over the years has brought

us to where we stand today. I truly believe it is up to us to engage and mentor the leaders of

tomorrow. I look forward to a continued involvement with CHC and doing my part.

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

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Jack Bates at his B.C. blueberry farm.

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PAGE A10 –– MARCH 2012 THE GROWER

Credits and challenges other commodities, have had sev-

in general terms that field

trust for secure payment between

requirements, would save not

eral major accomplishments to

drainage falls under the category

producers and buyers, not only

only producers but government,

their credit, such as the streamlin-

of sewage works, and there is a

between the U.S. and Canada, but

considerable time and money.

ing of water-taking permits and,

clear exemption from the permit

also within Canada.

most recently, the establishment

requirement for all land that is

of the Self-Directed Risk

being used for agricultural pur-

sion with Agriculture Minister

of our sector to Minister

Management Program for horti-

poses.

McMeekin and Finance Minister

McMeekin in the near future.

culture.

MAC JAMES CHAIR, OFVGA Over the past several years, the OFVGA in cooperation with

At a recent round table discus-

The Beyond the Border

There are always new chal-

OFVGA will be presenting an outline of the most pressing needs

Dwight Duncan, the challenges or

Initiative launched by President

barriers to food production were

lenges to address. One current

Obama and Prime Minister

quite common from all sectors of

question involved a need for a

Harper is moving forward. In the

agriculture. The need to be work-

water-taking permit for field

same area, OFVGA is seeking the

ing for the common good with

drainage. This question was pre-

support of both federal and

one voice from government,

sented to the Ministry of

provincial governments for the

preferably OMAFRA, rather than

Environment. Their reply states

establishment of a PACA-like

several ministries with conflicting

problems of farming. It won’t.

tracked and the redundancy elimi-

tations by an inspector with costly

It’s more than numbers should be intended to do.

ART SMITH CEO, OFVGA Now that the Drummond

Interesting, as there will likely be

History has shown that every

nated. We need to eliminate per-

results for the farmer. This crazi-

very little payout in the grain sec-

time there has been new technolo-

sonal interpretations of the regu-

ness needs to stop.

tor for 2011(and prior years) and

gy in the form of equipment or

lations to suit an individual’s

cattle and hog prices have been

yield increases that any monetary

vested interest or desire.

rebounding. Also the program is

advantages are in fact very short

designed to trigger payments only

lived and are gone when wide-

must be purposeful. They need to

neering reports for farmers who

when costs outstrip returns. I

spread use of the technology has

consider the needs of business. It

wash off vegetables and then

guess when you are fighting to

occurred. Those who have not

is business after all that creates

want to irrigate that wash water

pay off debt there may be little

adopted become heavily penal-

the vast majority of the jobs in

back onto their land. It’s over-kill

money left to go to innovation….

ized typically through lower

this country. There is no need or

and it has as much to do with the

Funny how the banks want paid

prices. This has been the norm

place for excessive amounts of

problems facing our sector as

back first!

and I see nothing in the near

data if it has no or minimal use;

inclement weather.

future that will change that.

there is no need or place for

Self-Directed Risk

Report has been released, the

Management is different in as

The current global financial

government of Ontario and all its

much as it is not triggered by

ministries are scrambling to see where they can cut back and save the treasury some money. It’s not just the bureaucrats who are con-

just as he is suggesting they

cerned, as there is likely to be job

should.

loss but also those who have been

There are so many more examples of this insanity such as the

We need regulations but they

need for costly permits and engi-

Regulations are necessary but

duplication of data or agencies.

they cannot be created in isolation

situation makes it very clear that

All this does is add cost and

from business or developed so as

negative returns so in those cases,

all governments need to be fiscal-

cause frustration. We need to put

to impede businesses already per-

many of the dollars will go to

ly responsible and the govern-

an end to inspectors who can shut

forming best practices. Yes we

new technology and innovation

ment of Ontario is no exception.

a business down for no valid rea-

have a responsibility but so does

son or rewrite the law on their

government to ensure that the

own.

regulations that they create are

It is clearly time to rethink how we do business in Ontario

When it comes to innovation

and if we are to get out of the

As an example, the classifica-

reasonable, doable and allow

on the receiving end of the funds

there is no group of people who

hole that we are digging, then it

tion of rainwater coming off a

as many programs will be down-

are more innovative than farmers

will be business that gets us out.

roof as industrial waste is ludi-

sized or eliminated altogether.

and there is no group which is

It is business that creates the jobs

crous and subjects farmers to

Open For Business table and get

Mr. Drummond mentioned

business to flourish. We need to get back to the

more prepared to spend money on

we need. We can’t all work for

undue costs and hardship. And for

some of these issues resolved.

Risk Management Programs

new technology. Yet it concerns

government, as tax revenue needs

what? Classifying the floating of

Our problems facing Ontario are

specifically in his report, as he

me when folks in government,

to be largely generated from out-

apples out of a bin, instead of

far greater than just government

did not see them as promoting

politicians and bureaucrats alike,

side.

dumping them onto a roller, as an

expenditures.

innovation and therefore falling

suggest that innovation and new

short of what he thought they

technology will resolve all the

Regulations are going to have

industrial or commercial step is

to be changed, streamlined, fast

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

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

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

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

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

another example of poor interpre-

ONTARIO FRUIT AND VEGETABLE GROWERS’ ASSOCIATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS 2012 MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE Chair Vice-Chair Fruit Director Veg Director Director

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

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

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

For what it’s worth, it’s the way I see it.

OFVGA SECTION CHAIRS Crop Protection Research Property Labour Safety Nets CHC

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


MARCH 2012 –– PAGE A11 THE GROWER

PERSPECTIVE One million viewers see God Made A Farmer

OWEN ROBERTS UNIVERSITY OF GUELPH Agriculture has long wondered how to get the public and other decision makers to pay attention to it, to see that it’s different, new and exciting. Some fear that if agriculture doesn’t adopt a more modern image, young people won’t be attracted to it. But I’m not so sure image is a problem anymore. Here’s why. In February, London-based Farms.com announced an unassuming video put together last summer by one of its interns. Mackenna Roth has reached a

video plateau normally reserved for scandal, tragedy and rock stars. God Made A Farmer, an accessible, easily digestible PowerPoint video barely two-anda-half minutes long, had garnered one million views on the farms.com website. The PowerPoint images provide a Canadian backdrop for an original, live-audience narrative by legendary U.S. radio voice Paul Harvey (of “The Rest of the Story” fame). In it, the renowned broadcaster, who died in 2009, squeezes the realities and the romance out of farming, with his folksy one-of-a-kind delivery. Based on the biblical story of Creation, Harvey takes journalistic license to describe how, on the eighth day, God made a farmer to be the caretaker of the planned paradise. Part of the narrative goes like this: “God said I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board, so God made a farmer…God said I need some-

body willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt, and watch it die, then dry his eyes, and say ‘maybe next year’…so God made a farmer.” You get the picture. Big arms, big heart, big soul. Members of the public love

Agriculture must work hard to marry the public perception of farmers with farming, and it needs farmers to do it.” ~ Owen Roberts this image, whether they live in Wiarton or downtown Toronto. We know from public opinion surveys that farmers are among the most respected professionals, right up at the top alongside those who serve the public, such as

nurses, scientists, firefighters and other first responders. Interestingly, it seems farmers like the here-to-help image too, even though they shy away from it in public. As a website, Farms.com mainly attracts farmers. And although the God Made A Farmer video has gone viral, many of the initial views that propelled it into the stratosphere most likely came from the farming community. Nonetheless, farmers continue to worry about their public image. For years, they bucked the hayseed stigma by explaining patiently to urbanites how complicated and sophisticated farming has become. Indeed, it has. But I don’t think that’s what the public wants to hear. Also in February, I was fortunate to address the fledgling and energetic Ontario Lavender Association in Guelph, about how farmers can involve the media in their marketing endeavours. I was asked what kind of an image I thought farmers should portray -modern, or traditional. My response basically reflected Paul Harvey’s message: big

arms, big heart, big soul. It’s got the best of everything. Why fiddle with one of the best public images in existence? People want to know their food is being grown by real people who care about them and their families. They want to know farmers have some measure of public responsibility in their credo. Interestingly, farmers are seen differently than farming, which outside of local food circles is often villainized by some as being corporate and industrial...even though some of farmers’ best opportunities involve the industrial use of their crops for energy and manufacturing. Agriculture must work hard to marry the public perception of farmers with farming, and it needs farmers to do it. Farmers are the most credible spokespeople for their sector. It takes time and effort to represent your sector. But if a million people are watching – and learning, hopefully -- it’s time very well spent. Watch God Made a Farmer at http://goo.gl/i3ooz.

Examining the fine print of the Drummond Report I have had a chance to review parts of the long anticipated Drummond Report which provides numerous recommendations to the Ontario government for

cost cutting and changes to programs and services in order to reduce Ontario’s massive deficit. Many of the recommendations seem to be reasonable such as

immediately eliminating full day Junior Kindergarten (seen by most as subsidized Day Care). Most of those who are reading this article survived without full

Operators plan now to attend:

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

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day J.K. But, that’s just my opinion (rant). Another recommendation is to eliminate the massive subsidies on energy. I know that many farmers have installed solar panels and see them as an alternate and likely much needed income source, but who are we kidding. Someone has to pay, if not the end user, then the taxpayer who just happens to be the end customer as well. It’s just not sustainable. The report also includes thoughts on Risk Management Programs (RMP) offered to farmers including the RMP/SDRM programs. He states that these programs are geared towards stabilizing the industry instead of transformation. Mr. Drummond does not have an agricultural background and misses the point that these programs were designed, after much thought, to provide some relief from factors out of the control of farmers such as exchange rate declines, border disruption, dumping of subsidies, foreign imports and diseases such as mad cow, swine flu and the Plum Pox Virus. They are not designed as income supplements. The RMP program only kicks in when prices fall below the cost of production. As markets improve, government transfer payments decline and that has been the case for many agricultural sectors

ADRIAN HUISMAN ONTARIO TENDER FRUIT PRODUCERS (thank goodness). Unfortunately, not all sectors have seen similar improvements. All growers would much sooner make their living from the market place. This being said, consideration should be given to programs (such as the BUILD Program) that provided incentives for infrastructure improvements which would help to transform our industry and make it more selfsustaining i.e. modern cold storages, forced air cooling units, improved packing lines, picking and pruning aids, etc. It will be interesting to see which direction the government follows. Hopefully, they won’t discontinue programs such as RMP and SDRM without simultaneously introducing useful replacement programs designed to assist our industry in its “transformation” efforts.


PAGE A12 –– MARCH 2012 THE GROWER

Influencing public opinion about agriculture Building bridges starts on the farm LILIAN SCHAER Outdated images of farming, skewed media stories and antiagricultural campaigns tend to get farmers a little hot under the collar. Many wish they could do something about it - but don’t know what or how.

situation six years ago. South Dakota ranchers Troy and Stacy Hadrick will be the keynote speakers at the inaugural annual general meeting of Farm & Food Care Ontario on April 17. The organization was launched January 2012 following the amalgamation of AgCare and the

Advocates for Agriculture Troy and Stacy Hadrick. In 2010, Troy helped lead a successful protest against a U.S.-based animal rights group. Hear their story – and what you can do to speak up for agriculture – on April 17.

Next month, you’ll have the chance to hear from one farming couple who was in precisely that

Ontario Farm Animal Council. Troy shot to fame in 2010 when he helped lead a social

media campaign against Australian winery Yellow Tail after he learned they had donated $100,000 to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), a powerful animal rights activist group. His now famous homemade video “Yellow Tail is now Yellow Fail” went viral and the ensuing social media furor caused the winery to stop all subsequent donations to HSUS. You can follow Troy on Twitter @TroyHadrick. But their efforts go beyond social media. Troy and Stacy are passionate about agriculture. They both grew up on farming and ranching operations in South Dakota and have roots in American agriculture that go back several generations. In 1998, they graduated from agriculture programs at South Dakota State University and returned to ranch with Stacy’s family in western South Dakota on a cow/calf operation. Together, they became active in the Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers program. They realized right off the bat that the best way to combat negativity toward agriculture was to stand up and tell their food and farming story – and that this is something all farmers should take an active part in. They also recognized that their fellow farmers needed encouragement, tools and resources in order to feel comfortable speaking up. In 2006, their advocacy for the agriculture cause began with a short speech at the South Dakota Women in Agriculture conference. Today, they’re internationally acclaimed speakers who challenge their audiences to look for everyday opportunities to pro-

mote and explain food and farming to non-farmers. They are also the founders of Advocates for Agriculture (www.advocatesforag.com). Sustainable food – from the farm to grocery stores and restaurants Also speaking at the Farm & Food Care meeting are Tim Faveri, director of sustainability and responsibility with Tim Hortons, and David Smith, vice president of sustainability at Sobey’s. They’ll be looking at the changing challenges of sustainable food from the corporate customer’s perspective, including what their customers are demanding and how it’s changing their practices from packaging to procurement. The day will also feature an introduction to Farm & Food Care and its mandate of building

Mark your calendar – Farm & Food Care AGM April 17. www.farmfoodcare.org awareness and appreciation for agriculture in Ontario, the presentation of the inaugural Friend of Farm & Food Care award and elections by the membership of the 2012-2013 board of directors. Meeting details The Farm & Food Care annual meeting will take place April 17 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at St. George’s Banquet Hall, 665 King Street North in Waterloo. Tickets are $75 each at the early bird rate and $100 each after March 27. You can register at www.farmfoodcare.org or by calling 519837-1326.

COMING EVENTS 2012 March 1

FARMS 25th Annual General Membership Meeting, German Hall, Delhi, ON 9 am – noon

March 1, 2 2nd Annual BC Tree Fruit Horticultural Symposium, “Moving Forward,” Trinity Baptist Church, Kelowna, BC March 6

Tomato Day, Country View, Chatham, ON

March 9

Ontario Agri-Food Technologies Annual General Meeting, Springfield Golf and Country Club, Guelph, ON

Mar 13 – 16 Canadian Horticultural Council 90th Annual General Meeting, Chateau Laurier, Ottawa, ON Mar 26 - 28 Bringing Bioproducts to Market, Sarnia, ON www.bicsarnia.ca Mar 28, 29 61st Annual Muck Vegetable Conference and Trade Show, Bradford & District Memorial Community Centre, Bradford, ON

Accessing Accessin ng the Marketplace Mar rketplace

March 29

OnTraceability 2012 Conference, Delta Hotel, Kitchener-Waterloo, ON

March 29

Ontario Agri-Food Education Inc. Annual General Meeting, Arboretum, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON

April 3, 4

Value-Chain Innovation Forum, “The Why and How of Successful Agribusiness in the 21st Century,” Delta Meadowvale Conference Centre, Mississauga, ON

April 4

Grape Growers of Ontario Annual General Meeting, Club Roma, St. Catharines, ON 7 pm

April 17

Farm & Food Care Annual General Meeting, St. George’s Banquet Hall, Waterloo, ON

Identifying th the e path to market for gro growers owers and buyers

A detailed Market Report designed designed to ease and increase access to the e market for both producers and buyers: Understand the current c barriers Evaluate food dis distribution stribution models Compare case studies sttudies of businesses successful busin nesses

Apr 11 – 13 Canadian Produce Marketing Association Trade Show, Calgary, AB May 1 – 3

Access the full report at www www.erieinnovation.com/documents

United Fresh Produce Show, Dallas, Texas

July 15 – 17 13th Annual Oenology Viticulture Conference, Penticton Convention Centre, Penticton, BC


MARCH 2012 –– PAGE A13 THE GROWER

OFVGA

Board briefs Following are highlights from the OFVGA board meeting held February 15, 2011. 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 Seasonal workers: The Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) has been in the media following the traffic accident that recently killed 10 Peruvian farm workers in southwestern Ontario. Foreign Agricultural Resource Management Service (FARMS) president Ken Forth conducted numerous media interviews on the issue, even though the workers involved were not part of SAWP. Approximately 250,000 temporary foreign workers come to Canada every year to work across many different sectors, including agriculture. Of those, 20,000 are part of the SAWP, which is a program open to workers from Mexico, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados and the eastern Caribbean islands. Approximately two full-time Canadian jobs are created in the

A

agri-food industry for every seasonal farm worker in Ontario horticulture. Wrongful dismissal suit: FARMS and the Attorney General for Canada have been named in a wrongful dismissal lawsuit involving an Ontario farm. Both have asked to be removed from the case; a decision will be made at a hearing in September. Crop protection Growers can now apply for permits to import crop protection products through the Grower Requested Own Use (GROU) program for 2012. There are 24 products available for import this year. New additions include Velpar and First Rate, both herbicide products. Captan-80, a fungicide, is being reviewed for potential future inclusion on the program. Property Section chair Brian Gilroy reported on a section meeting held in early February. Recent enforcement actions by the Ministry of Environment concerning the need for horticulture operations to have

Environmental Compliance Approvals (ECA) to manage agricultural waste streams are a key issue. The Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers (OGVG) has made a formal request to the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs to have these issues regulated under the Nutrient Management Act (NMA) for their sector. Other OFVGA members are being polled to ask if they are supportive of similar inclusion for their sectors. The NMA originally was designed to apply to all farming operations, although currently only some livestock operations are regulated under this legislation. Safety nets Safety nets section chair Mark Wales reported that uptake in the Self-Directed Risk Management (SDRM) program in the horticulture sector to the end of 2011 represented approximately 71 per cent of sector Allowable Net Sales (ANS). The deadline for 2011 SDRM participation was February 2012. AgriStability program numbers show decreasing payments due to rising margins in livestock and

program designed to help Ontario farmers with water taking permit needs

S G

urface Water Services

grains sectors. Approximately 11 per cent of farm entities are still triggering payouts annually under the program. CHC legacy project A motion made in December by the OFVGA board to give the Canadian Horticultural Council up to $50,000 per year for five years for its new Legacy Project was rescinded until such time that more information and program parameters are available. The Legacy Project that is being developed will serve as a road map for the organization leading up to the celebration of its centennial in 2022 and to focus its lobbying activities on key areas. The OFVGA is supportive of the concept but is awaiting presentation of final documents. Governance and planning A presentation on governance was made to the Board by Matthew Simon of Simon and Associates. In addition to that, Board members were also presented with a draft strategic planning document for the organization. New vice chair and management committee Mac James was elected as Chair of the OFVGA at the organization’s annual general meeting in January and Ray Duc as Vice Chair. Norm Charbonneau, Jason Verkaik and Jason Ryder join the Chair and Vice Chair on the organization’s Management Committee. OFVGA’s audit committee consists of Jason Verkaik, Jason Ryder and Norm Charbonneau, with Jason Ryder serving as committee chair.

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Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association 105-355 Elmira Road North Guelph, Ontario N1K 1S5 ph: 519-763-6160 ext. 219 cell: 519-222-3272 fax: 519-763-6604 email: water@ofvga.org

OFVGA appoints committee representatives Farm & Food Care – Brian Gilroy Agricultural Adaptation Council – Len Troup, Ed Dehooghe Canadian Horticultural Council - Murray Porteous, Brian Gilroy Canadian Federation of Agriculture – Mac James, Mark Wales, Ken Forth Canadian Produce Marketing Association – Mac James, Ray Duc, Art Smith Erie Agri-Food Innovations – Harold Schooley, Mary Shabatura FFV Tel – Art Smith

Farm Safety Association – Norm Charbonneau, David Lambert FARMS – Tony Cervini, Trevor Falk, John Ardiel, Tom Meidema, Ken Forth, Ken Porteous (rep), Trevor Falk (alt) Guelph Food Technology Centre – Harold Schooley Horticultural Value Chain Round Table – Brian Gilroy, George Gilvesy Labour Regional Representatives - Ken Forth, Tony Cervini, Hector Delanghe, Steve Versteegh, John Ardiel Ontario Agri-Food Technologies – Harold Schooley Ontario Agricultural Commodity Council – Brenda Lammens, Brian Gilroy, Mark Wales, Art Smith Ontario Federation of Agriculture – Mac James, Brian Gilroy OMAFRA Research Advisory Network/Theme Advisory Group, Plants – Harold Schooley Royal Agricultural Winter Fair – Brian Gilroy National Safety Nets Representative – Mark Wales Canadian Horticultural Council Science Advisory Committee – Brian Gilroy, Harold Schooley Vineland Research and Innovation Centre Stakeholders Advisory Committee – Harold Schooley Resolution from Flowers Canada The Board agreed to support a resolution from Flowers Canada asking for the establishment of a newly funded SDRM-like program for non-edible horticulture in Ontario. The existing SDRM program, established in Ontario last year, only includes edible horticultural production. Annual General Meeting 2013 The 2013 OFVGA annual meeting will be held January 14-16, 2013 in Niagara Falls. Summer tour and barbecue The 2013 summer tour and barbecue will focus on the Niagara Region this year. The event will take place August 22, followed by the OFVGA summer board meeting on August 23. The next board meeting will take place March 22 at the OFVGA office starting at 9 a.m.

Powerful, flexible disease control for high-value fruits and ve egetables. vegetables. Questions? Ask your retailer retailer,r, call 1-800-667-39255 or visit cropprotection.dupont.ca As with all crop protection products, read and follow label instructions instruuctions carefully. carefully. The DuPont Oval Logo, DuPont™, The miracles of science™ and Fon Fontelis ntelis™ are registered trademarks or trademarks of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company Company. y. E. I. du Pont Canada Company Com mpany is a licensee. Member of CropLife Canada. © Copyright 2012 E. I. du Pont Canada Company. Company. All rights reserved. reservedd.


PAGE A14 –– MARCH 2012 THE GROWER

FARM SAFETY

When it comes to safety, priorities change, values don’t REPRINTED FROM HEALTH & SAFETY ONTARIO In 2007, Jeremy Shorthouse joined Vincor Canada as its first national environmental health and safety manager. The company with well-known brands of Jackson-Triggs, Sawmill Creek and Inniskillin, employs 2,000 across the country. “When I started, our injury statistics were probably pretty close to 400 to 500 per cent higher than our U.S. counterparts,” says Shorthouse. Since then, Vincor Canada has achieved the following improvements: • 40% fewer incidents • 88% fewer lost-time claims • 93% decrease in injury severity rate. Last year alone, the company saved $2.1 million in injury costs. Starting at the top “My passion for safety is about getting people to buy in, from our senior management right through to employees on the floor,” says Shorthouse. Buy-in starts with the corporate vision and mission. “Plain and simple, our vision is zero. We are going to work until we get to zero. Is it going to happen overnight? No way, but our goal every single day is zero, and that is an important vision that everyone should have.“ The corporate mission, continues Shorthouse, “is to make every one of our Vincor employees a safety leader… It’s critical to us being successful.” “One thing that always scares me is people coming in and saying, ‘Safety is No. 1.’ I’m standing up here in front of you as a health and safety guy, and saying that for our company safety is not No. 1. Making, producing and selling good wines at a profit is what we’re about. Safety is just an integral part of the process… We don’t go to work for safety, we go to work to make a product safely.” The first thing Shorthouse did was to get a feel for where everyone perceived the safety program to be. “Our perception survey has five questions,” says Shorthouse. “They’re basic, simple, straight to the point health and safety questions, but it’s an amazing process that gives you a real idea of how your organization feels about health and safety. Typically, after

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you’ve done it, these are the results. Your senior managers score the company between 80 and 90, your supervisors score you between 60 and 70, and your employees score you between 40 and 50.” “Now, the challenge here is to eliminate the gap. So if your senior managers are ranking you at 85 and your employees say you’re 45, who makes all the decisions on the money spent on training? The senior managers. And why would they spend more money on training when they think it’s working?” It’s critical to eliminate the gap. “In most organizations you need to reduce the mentality of senior management on how great your health and safety program is, which isn’t an easy task but you have to do it,” says Shorthouse. “At the same time you have to pump into workers that you’re doing a great job in health and safety.” “Relationships is where I made the most headway with my organization, both internal and external. Your relationships have to be positive, there has to be honesty. Honesty gives you credibility and integrity, and as health and safety specialists, if we’re missing any of these with our employees or management, you know how much trouble there already is. “The next one is critical: self honesty. Are you, your supervisors and your managers going to take every reasonable precaution to protect the workers? That’s the question you have to keep asking yourself. ‘Could I have done something a little different? Could I do something a little more? Should I have talked to that employee who wasn’t wearing the personal protective equipment?’ Whatever it is, are we doing it? Be honest with yourself. Typically, we find out that we could be doing a little more, and that’s critical.” After Shorthouse developed relationships with facilities and employees across the country, he began working with them on hazard assessments of every single site. “When I walked into the sites, the first thing they wanted to tell me was how good their health and safety programs were.” This may have been true, said Shorthouse, but many sites hadn’t recognized what their most serious hazards were.” Shorthouse took the joint

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health and safety committee and senior management through the hazard assessment process, ranking all the hazards. ”Typically, the highest ranking hazard was forklifts, and I went back to them

saying, ‘Tell me about what we’re doing about forklifts, tell me what we’re doing about machine guarding… “We would put a three-year plan together, a top 10 list. ‘These are the 10 things we

need to work on from our list for the next three years if we’re going to see any improvements.’ It was a very important piece of the puzzle. “If you have not done a hazard assessment,” Shorthouse says, “you need to do it. Plain and simple, it’s going to give you the hazards. It’s going to tell you where to prioritize and where your resources should go.” Shorthouse is also a proponent of • physical observations. “I guarantee if you walk through your site, somebody is going to be doing something you won’t like. So you need to concentrate on getting your managers and supervisors when they’re out doing their daily duties to watch what the employees are doing, and if they’re doing something outside your standards you need to let them know.” • communication. “We still post our statistics on our health and safety board, but we… also put every single thing we’re doing to improve health and safety. If we have new guarding, if we’re having a new health and safety training session, we put up a photo. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE


MARCH 2012 –– PAGE A15 THE GROWER

FARM SAFETY

When it comes to safety. . . CONTINUED FROM LAST PAGE We put everything we do for health and safety on that board. It’s visible. And a picture does a lot more than statistics up there. So if you can take anything away from this presentation, show your work. • positive reinforcement. “We’re spread out. It’s very difficult for me to get everywhere. Communication has to be positive. Risk communication, the power of silence, off the job safety, long term motivation… I always start off positive. I talk about ‘opportunities,’ and then I always finish on a positive note.

Farm safety plans contribute to business success Year-long safety campaign launches March 11 – 17 Farm Credit Canada’s (FCC) Farm Safety Report Card showed that 85 per cent of Canadian producers understand the importance of maintaining farm safety – to prevent financial loss due to incidents, protect their family members and to keep employees safe. Despite their good intentions, only one in 10 producers has a written farm safety plan. The study surveyed farmers’ perceptions of the current state of farm safety in Canada. The study also revealed that 34 per cent of Canadian producers want training in the basics of preparing a safety plan for their operations. The good news is that help is available through the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA). It’s called the Canada FarmSafe Plan. “This resource is flexible enough to be used by any sector in any province and can easily be customized to each producer’s specific operation,” says Marcel Hacault, executive director of CASA. www.casa-acsa.ca

If you do that, you’ll develop positive relationships, and be able to work with people to get better.” “When something is outside the norm,” continued Shorthouse, “stop. All of the critical injuries I’ve had to deal with, and the one fatality, have all happened due to something outside the norm – not a day-to-day thing we normally do. Something’s happened, and we change what we’re going to do. We haven’t sat back and said, ‘Okay, we have to do it this way.’ Instead, they went and did it as fast as they could, and somebody’s been critically injured. “You need to get your employees to understand that when something’s outside of the norm, stop. Get the managers and super-

visors over there, come up with a plan, and deal with it.” “Put all of these components together,” concludes Shorthouse, “and we get a health and safety program, which will change the culture… You need to make health and safety a value of the organization, not a priority. Priorities change, values don’t.” This article originally appeared in HSO Network News, a monthly e-newsletter published by Health & Safety Ontario which provides updates on health and safety news, legislation, products and services and events. For more information about Health & Safety Ontario, visit www.healthandsafetyontario.ca.


PAGE A16 –– MARCH 2012 THE GROWER

FARM SAFETY

Time management improves safety on your farm KAREN DAVIDSON Zero would be the best statistic in Canadian farm safety. Unfortunately, no year goes by without the grim reality of deaths and injuries. In Ontario, an average of 22 deaths are recorded each year. Of those, four or five are farm workers, but the majority are family members says Gary Mawhinney, AG HR Solutions. The consultant based in Norfolk County has been a long-time member of the provincial farm safety board, and recently gave advice to the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention. “The best approach to farm safety is time management,” says

Mawhinney. “That way you won’t be distracted.” Here’s a shortlist of his best tips. 1) Use a smartphone to schedule your day. For example, allot time to check email over the lunch hour. Schedule sales representatives from 7 am to 9 am. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted. 2) Set aside down time. It’s important to recharge your batteries. Not everyone can afford a two-week break but perhaps you can plan to take in the International Car Show in Detroit. The point is to be totally divorced from thinking about your operation and physically removed.

3) Plan for crisis. What if you get sick or are hospitalized? Be sure to have a back-up plan for your business. 4) Keep equipment in topnotch shape. Some preparation in winter and early spring will prevent accidents at the peak of the season. 5) Change the culture. As farmers age, learn to accept physical limitations. Farmers are notorious for being jacks of all trades. But it’s not sensible for 60-yearolds to be climbing roofs. Attention spans fade and focus declines.

Accident survivor reminds all farmers of hazards Chris Palmer, survivor of a horrific farm accident in May 2008, is long on courage these days. Not only can he remember every second of having his clothes ripped off by a tractor power takeoff, the pain of a leg amputation and multiple bone fractures, he chooses to relive the tale. That’s his mental strength at play, in choosing to share the accident with other farmers in an effort to save lives. As a guest speaker at the

Ontario Potato Association annual meeting, Palmer laid out the facts. Despite 34 years of hog farming experience, he got complacent. “The PTO shaft is the most useful tool we have,” he says, “but it’s equally the most dangerous.” His coveralls got tangled in the PTO shaft. His first inkling of something wrong was the feeling of a cat tinkling his ankle. But in an instant, he was on the ground with only the collar of his T-shirt

intact. He managed to use his elbows, even though one was dislocated, to get away from the tractor. His father found him, barely alive. Palmer had lost eight litres of blood. Stabilized at the Wingham hospital, Palmer was airlifted to London where he faced surgery, four months of recovery and then rehab. The hardest hurdle is the mental strength required for long days of rehabilitation. “It takes lots of mental exercise,” he says.

“You can’t worry about how you look. You have to exercise the brain.” Part of that period was making decisions on a prosthetic for his amputated leg. The government will pay for a “Chevy” leg, but Palmer elected for a “Buick” computerized leg that cost $25,000. This new leg allows him to ride a bike now, an activity that gives him much pleasure. Perhaps his proudest accomplishment is finding a new career

as a parts manager at a Lucknow, Ontario business. This is his life now, ever grateful for another opportunity. “A close call to you is a lesson for someone else,” he concludes.

Prohibition on Propagating Plants Susceptible to Plum Pox Virus

Interdiction de propagation de plantes sensibles au virus de la sharka

A ban on propagating all species of plants that are susceptible to plum pox virus is in effect for the Niagara Quarantine Area. Under the Plum Pox Virus Infested Places Order, 2008, this measure is being taken to prevent the spread of this virus.

Une interdiction de propagation de toutes les espèces de plantes sensibles au virus de la sharka est en vigueur dans la zone de quarantaine de Niagara. Cette mesure, adoptée en vertu de l’Arrêté – lieux infestés par le virus de la sharka, 2008, vise à prévenir la transmission du virus.

Propagation includes producing new plants from seed, cuttings, grafting or any other method.

La propagation comprend la production de nouvelles plantes à partir de graines, de boutures ou de greffages ou selon toute autre méthode.

Susceptible species include peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots, almonds and ornamental varieties such as purpleleaf sandcherry.

Parmi les espèces sensibles figurent les pêchers, les nectariniers, les pruniers, les abricotiers, les amandiers et des variétés ornementales comme le prunier pourpre des sables.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will inspect rural and residential properties in the Niagara Region in order to verify compliance with the propagation ban. For a listing of the regulated plants and more information about the quarantine area please call the CFIA at 905-938-5060 or visit www.inspection.gc.ca.

L'Agence canadienne d'inspection des aliments (ACIA) inspectera des propriétés rurales et résidentielles dans la région du Niagara afin de vérifier la conformité à l'interdiction de propagation. Pour obtenir une liste des plantes réglementées ou pour obtenir de plus amples renseignements au sujet de la zone de quarantaine, veuillez téléphoner à l’ACIA au 905-938-5060 ou consulter le site Web www.inspection.gc.ca.


MARCH 2012 –– PAGE A17 THE GROWER

FOOD SAFETY

Weakest links lie with food services and households The weakest links in food safety are found closest to the plates of Canadian diners, according to a Conference Board of Canada report, released at the Canadian Food Summit 2012. “Canada’s food safety system generally does a good job at protecting the health of Canadians, but improvement is needed,” said Daniel Munro, principal research associate. “It is commonly assumed that farms and food processing companies hold the most responsibility for ensuring safe food, and their role is critical. But most food-borne illnesses are associated with the preparation and storage practices of restaurants, food service operations, and consumers themselves.” In its report, Improving Food Safety in Canada: Toward a More

SAI Global hosts food safety symposium For a registration fee of $149, growers can access some of the key players from Canada’s retailers on food safety. The symposium will be held in three cities as listed below. Speakers include:

Risk Responsive System, the Conference Board estimates that there are close to 6.8 million cases of food-borne illness annually in Canada. Most are mild and involve minor discomfort and inconvenience. It is rare for consumption of unsafe food to cause serious illness or death in Canada. In 2008, there were 40 such deaths. Seventy to 80 per cent of food poisoning illnesses are associated with mistakes in the final preparation and handling of food products. About half of all food-borne illnesses are acquired in restaurants and other food service establishments, while many of the remaining cases are linked to food that is stored and prepared in the home. While farms and food proces-

sors are less often the source of food illness, they too are part of the solution. Given their position in the food supply chain and the huge numbers of consumers, even infrequent failures can affect the health of many people. The Conference Board of Canada report, prepared by the Board’s Centre for Food in Canada, identifies five potential areas for improvement: • Providing small and medium restaurants and food service operators with management advice and information on how they can minimize food safety risks and take effective action in the case of outbreaks. The current model emphasizes inspections, but they occur too infrequently to have a decisive impact on day-to-day food safety practices.

• Encouraging better behaviour among consumers by building on current consumer awareness programs. Consumers appear to know what they should be doing to prepare and handle food safely, but they often don’t put that knowledge to use. • Harmonizing private standards to protect the public interest. It is not well known how well the alphabet soup of private food safety standards contributes to consumer protection. • Making greater use of technology to improve visibility and traceability. Technologies, such as innovations in manufacturing processes, better machinery, food additives, and/or information technologies that assist in tracing the origins of ingredients or products, can help improve food safe-

ty. But some of these technologies entail new risks of their own. Canadians would be well-served by an open debate on the potential benefits and harm of food technology innovations. • Adding resources to address the potential increase in risks from international food sources. As Canadian meals include more imported foods and ingredients than ever before, additional resources would help ensure that international foods meet Canadian standards.

The best fruit comes from growers with a vision for better disease control.

• Dianne Gangerdeen, director of quality assurance, Loblaw Changing the culture – evolution or revolution? • Katherine Di Tomasso, senior manager, food safety and quality control, Walmart Canada HACCP to GFSI, concerns with GFSI from a small processor perspective – “Managing Compliance Paperwork” • Ranjeet Klair, senior manager, food safety and quality assurance, Embassy Flavours (Toronto) • Katherine Morissette – Directrice Générale (General Manager), AgroExpert (Montreal, Vancouver) Key changes for the packaging industry • Larry Dworkin, director of government relations for The Packaging Association (Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver) The symposium will take place: April 12, 2012 - Doubletree by Hilton, Toronto Airport April 26, 2012 - La Plaza Holiday Inn, Montreal May 3, 2012 - Empire Landmark Hotel, Vancouver For more information, contact: Carlos.Araujo@gmisaiglobal.com or 416-401-8703.

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PAGE A18 –– MARCH 2012 THE GROWER

MANAGEMENT

“Productivity is the one thing we have in our control�: Amanda Lang KAREN DAVIDSON Work smarter, not harder. That’s nothing new for the leaders of many agricultural sectors who attended a recent Agricultural Management Institute conference on awareness of global business opportunities. However, the message of increasing productivity to add value and wealth has more urgency in the global context and in understanding what competitors are doing. The table was set by Merritt Cluff, senior economist, trade and markets division of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) based in Rome. “Food has never been cheaper than it was a decade ago,� said Cluff. The food price index, adjusted for inflation, has doubled from 2000 to 2011. Four-fifths of food demand growth is in developing countries, with Brazil now a top exporter of food commodities. Eastern Europe is coming on strong with wheat production, to the extent that he predicts Russia/Ukraine will take over the lead in wheat exports by 2020. Cluff noted, however, that these countries are not stable, thereby making the world more vulnerable to supply disruptions. Global agriculture is growing at a rate of about two per cent a year, yet agriculture is falling as a percentage of GDP in almost every country. The price of oil is critical to agriculture. In FAO’s predictions, Cluff said it is factoring $100/barrel for oil for the shortterm future. “Cellulosic ethanol is a not a major factor in the next decade,� he said. “In fact, if the U.S. is serious about its green mandate, it will be importing sugarcane-based ethanol from Latin America. Biofuel production would not be viable without government policy.� Cluff’s assessments on oil were echoed by Dawn Desjardins,

Productivity can be measured in small steps that pay off big dividends. Miscommunication is avoided by numbering equipment by year and rig. Holland Marsh onion grower Doug van Luyk labels all of his irrigation booms so that he can direct workers to pull a specific rig from the fields. This simple numbering system saves time, simplifies servicing and keeps track of equipment inventory. assistant chief economist, Royal Bank of Canada. “Relatively speaking, I think oil prices will remain high at $106/barrel this year, but will fall back to $100/barrel in the longer term,� said Desjardins. Interest rates are predicted to remain low for a considerable time, so she counselled reinvesting in new technologies. Although risks abound from external global shocks, she is optimistic about Canada’s economic prospects because there isn’t the same interest payment drain on the federal treasury compared to other G7 countries. Those facts were buttressed by Amanda Lang, senior business correspondent for CBC News. “2011 was one of the busiest news years in history covering external shocks around the world,

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from the Arab Spring to the Japanese tsunami,� she said. “The biggest external risk is how interconnected we are.� Lang outlined a strong case for Canada’s need to improve productivity. “It sounds boring,� she admitted, “but it’s the one thing we have in our control.� Productivity, she explained, is not about working more hours but generating more wealth with the same hours. As an example, she indicated that the Germans work 700 fewer hours per year than the Greeks. The quality of life throughout millennia has been improved by key technological advancements. Lang points to the 15th century’s Guttenberg press as one of the most important of all time. “Give us the information and we will make our lives better,� she said. Lang observed that Canadian industry does not invest enough in research and development. “Innovation begets productivity,� she said. “No one makes anything for a moral principle. Productivity is an outcome.�

In Lang’s opinion, part of the Canadian psyche is molded by parents and a school system that does not reward children who ask “why� and “why not?� “Children are born scientists,� she said, “but we need to be more tolerant of their questions.� Reawakening our “toddler� selves, our authentic selves, will lead to more questioning of the status quo. Too often, employees aren’t allowed to think for themselves, because someone in the chain above won’t give permission. She pointed to the army as a very innovative organization, because battles don’t happen in playbooks. They have to solve problems on two levels: analytically and through the limbic or emotional system. In moments of stress, the two parts of the brain work together resulting in better decisions. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE


MARCH 2012 –– PAGE A19 THE GROWER

MEDIA WATCH

Twitter is “tweet” success KAREN DAVIDSON The most common question I have fielded during my journalism career is: Where do you get your story ideas? More often than not, stories have evolved from reading other newspapers – farm ones to be sure, but also the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and the National Post, all of which arrive at my door daily. Not only do they provide context to business trends, but insight into consumer concerns and urban lifestyles. But in the last six months, the axis has shifted. Since joining Twitter, news now breaks from other agricultural journalists, horticultural groups and individual growers. I consider Twitter my own newswire service. Years ago –

decades actually – a newsroom subscribed to various newswire services: Canadian Press, Associated Press, Reuters. And somebody had to rip the hard copy off the wire and distribute it to the appropriate desks of news, business, arts and sports. A day later, based on these kernels, the newspaper would print the edited or amplified stories, slanted for the local perspective. No more. As an individual, you can follow those influencers in your sector, those newsmakers in your fields of interest that contribute valuable information to you. Twitter is a powerful tool to customize your own newswire service, streaming the comments of those you respect. It’s up to you to cruise the comments on your own time. Still not convinced about

social media? Perhaps most surprising, for me, are the results from joining LinkedIn’s Fresh Produce Industry Discussion Group led by Tom Karst, the national editor of the U.S.-based The Packer. In just one week, I was introduced to the threads of several conversations that posed the following questions: - Should prison labour be utilized to a greater degree to help meet demand for agricultural and packing house labour? - What is the future of RPC containers in the fresh produce business? Is RPC more green than cardboard? - Does social media marketing get too much or too little attention from fresh produce marketers? For the sake of this column’s theme, let’s pursue the discussion about social media. It was reveal-

ing to read the input from the produce chain across North America. “Distribution is free but content is not,” concluded one member of the discussion group. “It’s not about the size of the network, but the quality of the relationships. And relationships take consistency and commitment.” Another wise soul wondered if it’s really social media or rather social networking. His decision to go to a party is based on who’s there, not what’s being served. He suspects that as social media encroaches on the social networking space, the “cool kids” will abandon it. To market, to market, says another discussion member. Whether it’s a covered bazaar or a camel caravan, produce marketers have been shouting out their wares for time immemorial.

Social media is just the latest channel for “shouting out.” If you thought that Twitter was only for 20-somethings, think again. Last month’s cover story on wind turbines was initially sourced from Twitter, factchecked against the website, given context from the Globe and Mail, reinforced with additional Internet research then finalized with a phone interview. Those are five channels a journalist can’t live without. The question is what are you missing by not being part of the conversation. For those who want to observe, open a Twitter account and follow others. You’ll be surprised. Before you know it, you’ll exclaim: I didn’t know that. @karenthegrower

Productivity is the one thing we have in our control CONTINUED FROM LAST PAGE Lang outlined three areas of innovation that could help agriculture. • Process innovation. Stop doing what consumers won’t pay for. • Product innovation. Incremental change can pay. Ford retooled for a smaller Fiesta

car but outfitted it with GPS and heated seats. Margins actually improved from $1,000 to $2,000 per car. • Collaboration. Ask your clients what would make them happier with your product. Kim McConnell, founder and former CEO, AdFarm, is bullish on Canadian agriculture and challenged leaders to position the sector as producing the highest quality,

safest, healthiest food and food ingredients in the world. When he visited the Netherlands recently, he realized that Canadian agriculture , in the global sphere, is positioned something akin to milk at a fine banquet. It’s pristine and taken for granted against the backdrop of more exciting food developments. Canadians need to beware the speed of change, globally. In Hungary and Poland,

women and youth are the drivers. In China, speed is just the order of the day. As busy as you think you are, McConnell advises taking time to take people to lunch. “Engage people who can advance your industry,” he says. “Think about the top five people you’d like to have lunch with this year and make it happen. You’ll be amazed at what that can do for your business.”

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PAGE A20 –– MARCH 2012 THE GROWER

SOUTH AMERICA

Potato production in Chile varieties that now feed the world trace back to the south of Chile, to the island of Chiloe. This is because the potatoes grown there are adapted to the long summer days of the temperate zone where most of the world’s potatoes are now grown. Chiloe serves as a sanctuary for native varieties that are still grown and used in traditional cuisine. Evercrisp Frito Lay Chile, is the main manufacturer of potato chips. ConAgra-Unisur Alimentos Ltd. is the main producer of frozen French fries and dehydrated potato products. In Chile, the per capita consumption of potatoes is 150 lb per year. When I go to the grocery stores in Chile, I always look at shopping carts; rarely do I see carts without the typical red mesh bags!

EUGENIA BANKS Chile is a long strip of land pressed between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes mountains. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far south. It is 4,270 km long with an average width of only 175 km. The Northern Zone is warm and dry year round. Only five per cent of the potato production comes from this region where all crops must be irrigated. Harvest lasts from September through November, and these early potatoes command high prices in the market because they arrive during a period of scarcity. The Central and South-Central Zones are the richest agricultural areas of the country because of good soils, irrigation and a Mediterranean climate. In these areas, potato yields are high, close to 300cwt/acre, and the harvest extends from March to June. These two areas grow approximately 75 per cent of the national production. The main urban centers are in this zone. There are many fresh-market

Yellow flesh with white center GEOGRAPHY AND PRODUCTION ZONES varieties of potatoes grown in Chile. Red skinned varieties with yellow flesh like Desirée are most popular in the Central and SouthCentral Zones. White-fleshed varieties are grown in the northern areas. In grocery stores, potatoes are usually marketed in four

kg red mesh bags. Production costs for potatoes are high compared to other crops. There are no guaranteed prices, so profit margins are variable, and risks are high. Although potatoes were domesticated in Peru, many of the

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Although potatoes can be grown widely throughout Chile, production is most concentrated in the northern provinces between Coquimbo and Chiloe. In general,

an area of very high potato production. • The Central-Southern Zone extends from the Maule River to Cautin Province. In this zone almost all potatoes are planted in rainfed areas, where average annual rainfall ranges from 800 to 1,200 millimeters (mm). Potato production in this zone is orientated to local markets. Yields are the lowest of the county, due to minimal rainfall and lower technology levels. • The Southern Zone covers the provinces of Valdivia, Osorno, Llanquihue and Chiloe. Rainfall is higher, averaging over the 1,800 mm per year. This zone has a cold climate and only two months of drought. Potato yields in this zone are the highest of the country, and this zone offers excellent conditions for potato seed production. PRODUCTION SYSTEMS AND CONSTRAINTS In general, potatoes are produced by small farmers with an average plot size of less than one hectare. Only ten percent of all

Zone

Area (%)

Production (%)

Average yield (T/HA)

Norte Chico

6

5.4

8.7

Central

25

27.0

12.7

Central Southern

35

23.7

6.7

South

32

42.9

12.5

1.0

4.3

Other Provinces 2

Chile, Summary of Potato Production Zones Source: Grandon, 1983 Chile’s potato crop is cultivated at altitudes between 20 and 700 meters above sea level (masl), in areas where the average day temperatures vary from 18° C to 24° C during the growing season (Callejas, 1975). Four zones can be distinguished: • The Norte Chico (Small Northern) Zone, includes the provinces of Coquimbo, Aconcagua and Valparaiso. This area is semi-arid with some fertile valleys, where potatoes are grown exclusively with irrigation. This zone provides potatoes to the Santiago market during October and November, when potatoes reach their highest prices. • The Central Zone extends from Santiago to the Talca Province. This is the richest agricultural zone of the country because of the good soil, irrigation, mild climate and the proximity to main urban centers. A quarter of Chile’s potato area is located in this zone where potato yields are high due to soil conditions and higherinput agriculture. Chiloe Island, at the southern fringe of this zone, is

potato growers plant more than five hectares (Grandon 1983). Potato production costs are high compared to other crops, often undertaken with financing from the banking system. There are no fixed prices for farmers, so that profit margins are variable, potentially higher for larger scale growers, but risks are high (Fu 1979). The extreme north-south range of Chile determines very distinct cropping seasons and strong ecological distinctions, also affected by the availability of irrigation and access to urban markets. Three seasons can be distinguished: • Early potatoes: Arriving at the market from September to November, most from the northern area, they command high prices in the market as they arrive during a period of scarcity. • Late potatoes: Harvested between March and June, they represent around 75 per cent of the national production, produced in the central, south central and southern zones. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE


MARCH 2012 –– PAGE A21 THE GROWER

SOUTH AMERICA

Potato production in Chile CONTINUED FROM PAGE A20 These potatoes can bear up to six months of storage in good storage conditions. • Middle season potatoes: Arriving at the markets in November and during the summer, they are grown in the central zone under irrigation (Fu, 1979). VARIETIES AND SEED SYSTEMS There are many varieties of potatoes grown in Chile, but they have not yet been fully described (Fu, 1979). In 1964, the Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias (INIA) started a breeding program, which has developed some of the most important commercial varieties grown in the country (Rojas, 1984), although several varieties introduced from the Netherlands in 1968 have become popular: Arka, Desiree, Spartaan and Ultimos. People in northern Chile prefer varieties with white skin, but those in the central and southern regions prefer red skin varieties (Grandon, 1983).

The quality, amount and variety of seed are the most important technological factors of the production process, especially since tubers used as seed can transmit pathogens, especially viral diseases, causing gradual declines in yields (Fu, 1979). The southern zone’s climatic conditions (cooler than the coast farther north) permit a healthier crop, especially in relation to viral diseases, which make the are a source of high quality seed to the rest of the country. (Fu, 1979). The amount of seed used seems to vary by region, less in the southern zone (roughly an average of one ton per hectare), as opposed to an average or around two tons elsewhere. However, farmers in the southern zone are more likely to use seed retained from the previous harvest, obtaining new seed as degeneration is apparent and/or to grow a different variety. CONSUMPTION, STORAGE, AND MARKETING The national per capita consumption is 50 kilograms, per

ly populated southern zone, potatoes must be transported, often to markets at great distances from points of origin (Fu, 1979). Fluctuations in price affect widely varied seasonal prices and contribute to the risk of commercial production (Grandon, 1983). REFERENCES Callejas Fuentes, P.A. Report on potato production in Chile. International Potato Course, IAC, Wageningen, 1975. Fu Alvarez, Guillermo. Producción y utilización de papa en Chile. Lima, CENDERCO, INIA, CIP, 1979. Grandon, M.H. Report on potato production in Chile. International Potato Course, IAC, Wageningen, 1983. Chilean native potatoes year (note: as of 2003, closer to 69 kg). However, the national average obscures strong local differences. In areas of high potato production, average annual per capita consumption can reach 250 kilograms. Less than two percent

of the potato crop is processed, including some starch, potato chips and packaged mashed potato mix. Roughly 60 percent of the crop is marketed. Since much of the country’s crop is from the sparse-

Santos Rojas, José. Proyecto: Fortalecimiento y consolidación de los programas de mejoramiento genético y producción de semilla de papa en Chile. manuscript, 1984. Eugenia Banks is ONAFRA’s potato specialist.


PAGE A22 –– MARCH 2012 THE GROWER

TRADE SHOW

Canada’s Fruit & Veg Tech X-Change to launch three XPOs

Vanden Bussche Irrigation

Permanent site, St. Williams, Ontario

Plans for the 2012 edition of Canada’s Fruit & Veg Tech X-Change (CFVTX) are well underway says Jordon Underhill, founder. Mark the dates of July 12 – 14 in St. Williams near Simcoe, Ontario. Three new XPOs will be launched including: Fruit & Veg Organic XPO, Farm Female XPO and a Woodlot XPO. Fruit & Veg Organic XPO, housed in a new building, will educate both organic and non-organic producers on the size and scope of the sector, and products and services offered to support on-farm organic activities. “We are thrilled to see the organic sector get the credit and exposure it deserves in the fruit and veg category,” states Jodi Koberinski, executive director for the Organic Council of Ontario, a founding parter. They are also joined by supporter National Farmers Union. Willsie Equipment, Thedford, Ontario will be showcasing their line of organic tillers through live demonstration. Underhill Farm Supply,Vienna, Ontario

will be planting a plot of radish root to showcase the application of natural soil aeration and organic matter regeneration. “We are committed to helping expose and grow the organic category anyway we can,” says Kait Schuster, XPO coordinator. “Today’s consumer is educated and needs options when it comes to buying nutritious produce for their family.” Producers are also encouraged to attend the “Meet the Buyers - Broker Brunch” on opening day, with a chance to meet elite organic buyers such as Whole Foods Market. Immediately following, the Organic Council of Ontario will be holding an informal seminar on farm transition to certified organic. Farm Female XPO This XPO will feature culinary demonstrations, bookkeeping courses, quilting, a chili cook-off, silent auction and fundraiser for breast cancer.

Thai basil in trial plots Woodlot XPO An active woodlot owners’ association in Norfolk County will share tips on wood processing, forestry management and landscaping equipment. Other attractions A Producer Innovation Contest, sponsored by Underhill Farm Supply and the Agromart Group, will welcome customfabricated producer equipment and part innovations. Attending producers will judge on uniqueness and practical on-farm application. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three finalists. Leading manufacturers will showcase their technology in the Irrigation Field Days, such as Zimmatic, Vanden Bussche, Ocmis and Cadman Power. See the latest in sprinkler guns, pivot booms, integrated software and GPS monitoring technology. Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA), the largest general farm organiza-

tion in Canada, has become an Official Partner. Together with DeCloet Structures, CFVTX will erect a permanent building onsite, trimmed with red and white OFA colours, and branded “Proud to Farm.” OFA president Mark Wales of Aylmer, Ontario will be on hand for the building’s opening ceremonies. TD Waterhouse Private Investment Advice and the Ontario Federation of Agriculture are sponsoring Canadian icon David Chilton, author of “The Wealthy Barber Returns.” He will counsel on smart financial planning as it relates to agriculture. To facilitate attendance at this event, Vanden Bussche Irrigation will be chartering coach buses (“VandenBUS”) from the Leamington and Niagara regions. Once at the show gate, patrons can use $5 off coupons for an admission price of $12. For coupons, go to www.fruitvegtechxchange.com.

On-farm food safety manuals for fruit and vegetable producers and packers updated for 2012 OTTAWA — The Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC)‘s CanadaGAP On-Farm Food Safety (OFFS) Manuals have been updated for 2012. The revised OFFS manuals have been reviewed and the changes approved by Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The documents are available as a free download on the CanadaGAP website at: www.canadagap.ca Documents summarizing commodity-specific differences and changes made from previous ver-

sions of the manuals are available at: www.canadagap.ca/en/manuals/offs-manualdownloads.aspx. Five commodity-specific manuals (used by operations producing, packing and storing field, orchard and vineyard-grown crops) have been consolidated into one manual, called the Fruit and Vegetable OFFS Manual. The Greenhouse OFFS Manual continues to be a standalone module. This change was made to consolidate the program materials and facilitate implementation of

the manuals by the many companies that grow, pack or store multiple commodities within their operations. Merging the manuals also ensures ongoing alignment of requirements that are common to all crop groupings. Where differences exist, commodity-specific requirements are clearly outlined. "At least 90 per cent of the program requirements are the same across all crop groupings, so amalgamation of the manuals has been a natural progression and long-time goal of the CanadaGAP

(CHC OFFS) Program and its users," said CanadaGAP national program manager Heather Gale. “The hazard analyses remain commodity-specific, which ensures that any issues or scientific developments affecting an individual commodity will continue to be addressed with the appropriate technical rigour,” added CanadaGAP technical manager Amber Bailey. In general, requirements for all crop groupings remain largely unchanged for 2012, except

where additions were needed to meet new requirements of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), to which CanadaGAP is benchmarked. Otherwise the majority of revisions to the manuals are editorial in nature, to clarify or further explain existing requirements. For certification purposes, the new manuals take effect on April 1, 2012. A corresponding update to the CanadaGAP audit checklist will be issued prior to that effective date.

Leah Erickson BC/AB 604-957-2359


MARCH 2012 –– PAGE A23 THE GROWER

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


PAGE A24 –– MARCH 2012 THE GROWER

Field notes on raspberry varieties 2009-2011 Several new raspberry varieties were set out in commercial fields in 2007 and 2008. Here we report on observations made by the growers and our summer students in 2009-2011. We will continue to make notes on these varieties in 2012. Two summer red raspberry varieties were planted in 2008 in three locations in southwestern Ontario .

out much shine, neck strength is good and skin strength is good. The drupelets are very large, making the fruit seem solid, and “meaty.” It suffers from more cane dieback than Moutere. Although this variety is of interest it will not be commercially available in Ontario until 2014. Several new primocane fruiting raspberry varieties have been released with potential for Ontario. Five of these varieties were planted at two sites in 2007: one in eastern Ontario and one in Niagara region. However, few show improved earliness, fruit brightness, quality or colour over the current standard Autumn Britten. The most promising varieties of those tested are Polka and Joan J, especially for high tunnel production. Autumn Britten: Autumn Britten is sometimes less vigorous than the other selections in this trial, however it produces the earliest primocane crop. Fruit size and quality of Autumn Britten are good, but the fruit is dark after harvest.

Moutere: This variety was developed in New Zealand and is of interest because it is resistant to raspberry bushy dwarf virus. The raspberry variety Moutere does not have acceptable flavour for most Ontario markets. It is very productive and has a nice large, oblong berry. It had good winter hardiness in Essex County in 2009 and 2010. The berries are red to dark red, with a weak neck.

Glen Ample

Glen Ample: Glen Ample was early, large and firm, However the flavour was mild and further

testing of this variety is needed. It was not overly productive but

Jaclyn:. Although early, fruit of Jaclyn was difficult to harvest. It is a long, conical bright red berry. The fruit is irregular in shape. Jaclyn was the next earliest to Autumn Britten in this trial. Leaf rust was prevalent on Jaclyn.

large berry size made it appealing. The fruit is round, red, with-

Polka: Fruit is well formed and firm with tight drupelets. Polka is interesting for its excellent fruit quality and good yields. Fruit colour is bright red tending to

dark red, and size is large at first, but mostly average. Polka is very susceptible to fire blight, a serious bacterial disease. Joan J: Fruit colour is dark red, however other aspects of fruit quality are very good. The fruit has excellent neck strength and skin strength, and is large in size. The canes are nearly spineless. It is a productive variety with fruit quality and earliness that make it promising. Drawbacks include the darker colour and susceptibility to fire blight. Caroline:. Caroline is known for its excellent flavour and yields, however it is generally too late for field production in most of Ontario. Caroline is a very vigorous variety, with high yields but it is later than Autumn Britten being ready for harvest only a week earlier than Heritage. Caroline and Himbo Top were the latest selections in this trial. Foliage is bright green. Leaf rust was prevalent on Caroline. Himbo Top: Himbo Top is too late for field production in most of Ontario but should be evaluated further for high tunnel production. It is a very vigorous variety. Caroline and Himbo Top were the latest selections in this trial. Thanks to the Ontario Berry Growers Association who supported this and other variety test plots with funding from the Farm Innovation Program.

Monitoring for spotted wing drosophila in Ontario in 2011 Spotted wing drosophila (SWD) is an invasive vinegar fly from Asia that can cause extensive damage to soft-skinned fruits before harvest. First detected in North America in 2008, this pest has spread quickly. SWD is different from other vinegar flies because it lays eggs in healthy ripening fruit, rather than overripe or damaged fruit. This means that SWD larvae may be in fruit at harvest, and consumers are likely to notice larvae in fruit when it is cooked or frozen. Infested fruit breaks down quickly, and is especially leaky, reducing the shelf life. Blackberries and raspberries are preferred hosts, followed by blueberries, cherries, strawberries and a wide range of other softskinned fruit. OMAFRA staff coordinated a survey for SWD throughout Ontario in 2011. The goal was to determine if, when and where SWD was active, and to monitor the level of activity. Information on pest activity was provided weekly through OMAFRA newsletters and our SWD website (visit: ontario.ca/spottedwing) Monitoring: Traps for SWD were located at over 60 sites in 16 counties. We used vinegar fly traps (purchased from Contech Inc.), baited with apple cider vinegar (ACV) from H.J. Heinz

tions. SWD were found in traps near peaches, apricots, raspberries, blackberries, day-neutral strawberries, blueberries, grapes, and tomatoes. Although we were able to rear SWD adults from fruit at some sites, no commercial crop losses reported. Conclusions:

Ltd. Most traps were placed in the plant canopy (near fruit, in the shade), but some traps were placed in adjacent woods or hedgerows. The apple cider vinegar was replaced weekly, and samples were collected and processed from early May until December. We moved traps from early-season crops such as strawberries and apricots to late-season

crops such as grapes and tomatoes, and attempted to monitor for SWD as fruit began to ripen until well after it was harvested. Monitoring results: The first field detection of SWD was in mid-August in Niagara region, followed by first detections in Essex, Kent, Oxford and Norfolk in late August. New positive sites

and SWD numbers increased through the fall and by late November, SWD was present at over 50% of monitored sites (36 sites) in 12 counties (Figure 1). Most trap captures occurred after harvest (Figure 2). Highest numbers of SWD were trapped in Essex and Kent counties, and trap catches continued into November and early December at some loca-

We believe that SWD has spread to many of Ontario’s fruitproducing regions. All growers should be monitoring for this pest in 2012 in susceptible crops. Late harvested crops are at the greatest risk. The traps and bait we used trapped many types of small insects and drosophila, and presented some problems. Magnification is needed to identify SWD male and female flies. Research is needed to develop more attractive traps and/or baits. We wish to thank the many private consultants, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and University of Guelph staff, as well as numerous summer students who helped us collect and process samples in 2011. Thanks to H. J. Heinz Co., the Ontario Highbush Blueberry Growers Association and the Niagara Peninsula Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association for their contributions.


MARCH 2012 –– PAGE A25 THE GROWER

Management strategies for spotted wing drosophila in Ontario HANNAH FRASER, PAM FISHER, LESLIE HUFFMAN, DENISE BEATON, WENDY MCFADDEN-SMITH, JANICE LEBOEUF, MARGARET APPLEBY, OMAFRA Spotted wing drosophila (SWD) is attracted to and can lay eggs in healthy ripening fruit, rather than overripe or damaged fruit. Cherries, blackberries and raspberries are preferred hosts, followed by blueberries, strawberries and a wide variety of other soft-skinned fruit. To prevent damage, growers and consultants must learn how to monitor and manage SWD in susceptible crops. Since SWD is a new pest in Ontario, there are many unknowns in terms of its biology and potential impact. An integrated pest management strategy includes cultural controls, moni-

toring and the use of insecticides. SWD is a manageable pest. Monitoring: Susceptible crops are only at risk when SWD flies are present. While there are no established action thresholds for SWD, monitoring with baited traps will help to detect flies early and trigger management intervention. Use the following guidelines for monitoring: • Monitor when temperatures are consistently over 10°C and/or when fruit starts to form. • Hang traps in plant canopy, or set firmly in the ground within the plant row, in a shady location. Use at least two traps per site, and for sites larger than two hectares, use one to two traps for each additional hectare. • Place some traps in woods or hedgerows adjacent to crop fields, where alternative hosts may encourage the build-up of early

season populations. • Empty traps and replace bait weekly. Use magnification to identify males and females. • Watch for late-season build-up of SWD, especially in late-season raspberries, blueberries, tender fruit and crops in high tunnels. Cultural Controls: Cultural controls may help reduce breeding sites that encourage the build-up of SWD populations over the season. This could reduce the risk of injury and crop loss from SWD. • Remove alternative wild hosts from areas near the crop. • Shorten picking intervals where possible. Pick early, clean and often. • Destroy cull fruit to prevent larvae from completing their development. Do not leave culls exposed for more than one day. - Remove and bury fruit at least 30 cm deep. - Cull fruit can be solarised by

covering with plastic and sealing the edges. - Crush or mow fallen fruit to promote desiccation of larvae. • Avoid introducing SWD. SWD can be easily introduced into new areas in infested fruit and containers. If you bring produce to your farm from other farms or areas, bury or carefully dispose of waste fruit and containers within one day or less. Chemical Control Emergency use registrations for Delegate, Entrust, Ripcord and Malathion were in effect for 2011 only. These products kill adult SWD flies by direct contact or exposure to insecticide residues on fruit and leaves. We expect to have new registrations with short pre-harvest intervals in place for 2012. • Start spray program when SWD flies are trapped in the

region, and susceptible fruit begin to ripen. If infested fruit are found, pick the field clean before applying insecticides. • Protect fruit throughout harvest. Check the pre-harvest intervals and consider the residual activity of insecticides. • Check OMAFRA newsletters and the SWD webpage for updates on emergency use registrations for 2012. Remember that eggs and larvae are under the fruit surface, and not susceptible to most insecticides. In addition, the hole created by the female’s ovipositor creates a wound in the skin that allows for entry of pathogens and rapid fruit breakdown. For more information visit ontario.ca/spottedwing

Laurel: new strawberry cultivar ‘Laurel’, formerly tested as K93-20, is a new shortday strawberry cultivar introduced from AAFCKentville in 2012. ‘Laurel’ is from ‘Allstar’ x ‘Cavendish’, a cross meant to improve on the firmness, colour uniformity, and disease resistance of ‘Cavendish.’ Ripening in the mid-season, ‘Laurel’ produces large, aromatic, flavourful fruit especially suited to please pick-your-own and direct marketing customers. Trial marketable yields are best described as medium; the highest being 15 t/ha (~10,700 quarts/acre) in 2011 at Kentville. Growers in eastern Canada who have tested ‘Laurel’ on a commercial scale have reported acceptable yields of large berries with excellent flavour that are appreciated by discerning customers. ‘Laurel’ has demonstrated a high level of resistance to red stele root rot and also some tolerance to black root rot.

Field testing for pathogens with a handheld biosensor DON BLAKELY Testing for pathogens has required taking swabs of equipment and utensils and sending those swabs off for analysis in laboratories. Getting results can take several days and by that time

the product may be in the food chain and on consumer’s tables. Ultimately some contaminated products are consumed before any recall is enacted. This whole scenario is about to change. Researchers at the Michigan State University have recently developed a handheld nanotechnology-

based bio-sensor that can detect pathogen threats such as E. coli, Salmonella and Listeria. Instead of waiting days for results this new device can give results in as little as an hour. If this new device gets widespread use there is huge potential for reducing pathogen contaminated produce

entering the marketing system, ultimately reducing the number of consumers getting sick from foodborne illness. For additional information: www.foodqualitynews.com/Innovation/DNAnanotech-development-willmove-pathogen-testing-from-labto-field-developer

For additional food safety information on your farm, visit our website at www.ontario.ca/goodagpractices or call us at 1-877-424-1300. Food Safety Question? Ask us.

Small changes now make a big difference later COLLEEN HASKINS Are you usually swamped during the production season finding it difficult to get some of the smaller tasks completed in the barn, storage or packing facility? Well, now

is the time to do those things that need to get done. Things such as changing the weather stripping around doors and windows, sealing any holes that lead to the outside and installing protective light coverings or shatterproof bulbs, are examples of small changes that will make a big difference later on, especially if you’re thinking of

implementing a food safety program at your farm. For more ideas on other changes you can make to help increase food safety on your farm, visit our website at www.ontario.ca/goodagpractices or call us at 1-877-4241300. Food Safety Question? Ask us.

Measuring social media and smartphone use in Ontario JANICE LEBOEUF, OMAFRA, RIDGETOWN A team of OMAFRA field staff are leading an OMAFRA/University of Guelph initiative to determine the level of usage of various smartphone and mobile device platforms and communication tools, including social media, in the Ontario agriculture industry. An online survey has just been launched, aimed at those working in agriculture across the province. The questions will focus on whether you are using social media, smartphones, or

other internet, media, and print resources in your agricultural business. Agricultural students are also included in the survey. The online survey is being conducted by Ipsos Forward. The project team hopes to get participation from a wide range of people across the industry – and from those who get their information from a wide variety of sources, not just those with smartphones and social media accounts. The existing ways of sharing information aren’t being thrown out just because we have some new tools, but with so many options out there, it’s a good time to ask people

how they want to get their information. The online survey is found at: http://www.ipsosresearch.com/omafra. It should take less than 10 minutes to complete. Results will be available early in April. The data will help agricultural organizations and businesses make decisions on where to focus their efforts in the fast-changing landscape of mobile tools and online communication. This project is funded by Agri-Food and Rural Link, the Knowledge Translation and Transfer program under the OMAFRA-U of G Partnership.


PAGE A26 –– MARCH 2012 THE GROWER

MEETINGS

B.C. Fruit Growers to modernize storage facilities British Columbia’s tree fruit growers will save on operating costs and continue to drive the economy thanks to support from the Governments of Canada and British Columbia to modernize the Okanagan Tree Fruit Cooperative’s storage facility in Lake Country. Member of Parliament Ron Cannan (Kelowna – Lake Country), on behalf of federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, and B.C. Agriculture Minister Don McRae announced the investment at the 123rd Annual General Meeting of the British Columbia Fruit Grower’s Association. "Our Government’s top priority is creating jobs and economic growth and B.C.’s tree fruit industry plays an important role

in keeping our economy strong," said MP Cannan. "Through this investment, hardworking tree fruit growers will have the tools they need to modernize their packing house, increase efficiencies, lower costs and grow their businesses." "As the recently released final report from the Tree Fruit Working Group pointed out, modern packing houses will result in more efficient operations and better position B.C. apple growers to compete in domestic and international markets," said B.C. agriculture minister Don McRae. "The Province is committed to work with industry on the findings of the Tree Fruit Working Group to promote sustainability and profitability within the industry as a means to ensure British

Columbians continue to have local and healthy foods on our tables, while also stimulating new investment and employment opportunities in our communities." This investment of almost $2.7 million from the Tree Fruit Market and Infrastructure Initiative will help the Okanagan Tree Fruit Cooperative (OTFC) modernize packinghouse controlled atmosphere storage facilities and enhance returns to growers. This investment is expected to reduce total operating costs by $340,000 annually. Created in July 2008 through the amalgamation of four tree fruit packinghouses, the OTFC is the largest packinghouse operation in the Okanagan Valley and

in Canada. It is a grower owned cooperative with over 700 members combining their talents to grow, pack, and ship over 3.5 million boxes of fruit each year. "We are extremely grateful in receiving this funding which will really benefit our cooperative and B.C.’s tree fruit industry," said Gary Schieck, CEO of the Okanagan Tree Fruit Cooperative. "These dollars will allow us to leverage new technology in improving our controlled atmosphere storages at our Lake Country plant utilizing a more environmentally friendly, lower cost refrigeration process which will enhance fruit quality and yield to the market place, ultimately leading to increased returns to our growers. This

improvement is part of a facility consolidation and technological shift our organization is undertaking." In July 2010, Governments of Canada and B.C. together contributed $5 million to the Tree Fruit Market and Infrastructure Initiative. The federal funding investment is made through the Agricultural Flexibility Fund (AgriFlex), a five-year fund created to help the sector reduce costs of production, improve environmental sustainability, promote innovation, and respond to emerging opportunities and market challenges.

Experts share value-chain strategies Take two days to consider the impact of this upcoming conference: The Why and How of a Successful Agri-Food Business in the 21st Century. Some fascinating case histories will be presented at the Value Chain Innovation Forum 2012 on April 3 and 4. Organized by Vineland Research and Innovation Centre as well as the Value Chain Management Centre and federal/provincial partners, the conference will be staged at the Delta Meadowvale Conference Centre in Mississauga, Ontario. Speakers include:

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Martyn Jones, Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC: The U.K.’s fourth largest grocery chain and second largest fresh food processor

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Peter Hines, Lean Enterprise Research Centre: A U.K.-based international expert in lean processes for company and supply chain improvements

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Colin Siren, Ipsos Forward: The latest research on consumer trends in retail

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Jack Barclay, CRF (Colac Otway) Pty Ltd: Lamb processing company in Australia that has adapted to market demands by partnering with producers

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David Tanner, Zespri International: Fruit business coordinating the production and marketing of 370,000 tonnes of kiwis annually For more information and to register, go to: www.vcif2012.com


MARCH 2012 –– PAGE A27 THE GROWER

BITS AND BITES

Salanova hits the market in a pot The Dutch potted plant grower Bunnik Plants has developed a new concept with Salanova from Rijk Zwaan. This concept, Salafresh, was presented last month at the largest ornamental and flower exhibition in Europe: IPM Essen in Germany. Sales will start this spring with various European retailers. The product will be sold with a special packaging concept ‘your own salad garden in the kitchen’. Chain manager Maarten van der Leeden of Rijk Zwaan: “With its numerous, smaller leaves and compact size, Salanova is the perfect lettuce type for this purpose. The consumer has a fun product in the kitchen and it stays fresh for a long time!” Link to Love my Salad Rijk Zwaan cooperated with Bunnik Plants from the initial stage and assists the company with the cultivation and market-

ing wherever possible. The packaging has a QR code that consumers can scan with a smart phone. They will be directed automatically to Lovemysalad.com where they can find and share salad inspiration, recipes and all kinds of other ‘fresh fun.’ The IPM Essen is visited every year by more than 60,000 people- buyers from supermarkets, garden centres, home improvement stores, flowershops, wholesalers and growers. According to Maarten, there is a lot of interest in the Salafresh concept. “We are convinced that we will find more market for Salafresh and expand the possibilities for Salanova lettuce.” Source: FreshPlaza.com

First-ever agriculture literacy week celebrated across Canada Students in 866 schools to learn more about origins of food, Feb 26 – March 3 Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) organizations have launched the first-ever Canadian Agriculture Literacy Week (CALW) in schools across the country. It’s a hands-on program that encourages children to learn about and celebrate agriculture in various ways, including reading books about farming, watching videos and meeting with farmers

and other agricultural representatives. An important element is the connection between students and local farmers and/or agriculture industry representatives. AITC organizations in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, PEI and Newfoundland are participating in the project. The groups are supporting programming in 866 schools across Canada. This

Fill out skills survey Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Horticulture Value Chain Roundtable (HVCRT) is conducting a survey to validate the results of research conducted on the industry’s skills requirements and the training and education available to the horticulture value chain in Canada. The results will help direct future efforts by Canadian academic institutions and other educational organizations charged with enhancing capacity to train and develop horticulture sector employees. The questionnaire, to be completed in the months of March and April 2012, will take no more than 15 minutes to complete online and participants can be assured that their responses will remain completely anonymous. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact: Tom Baker, HR Committee, The Ontario Greenhouse Alliance (TOGA), tebaker10@gmail.com to obtain further information. To fill out the survey English: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/236FYRZ

initiative is made possible through generous core funding from Farm Credit Canada. “Agriculture matters to Canadians,” says Ron Podbielski, FCC Vice-President, communications and corporate social responsibility. “Canadian Agriculture Literacy Week is an opportunity for students across Canada to learn more about the industry and its valuable contributions to the

economy and world. The students of today will be the producers and consumers of tomorrow. Increasing their ag literacy is an important part of our long-term commitment to growing the business of agriculture.” Agriculture in the Classroom Canada is a network of AITC organizations, and is supported by individuals and the agriculture industry. Provincial AITC organi-

zations offer a variety of programs in support of the AITC-C mandate to heighten awareness and importance of agriculture in schools. AITC also develops and distributes resources to help teachers integrate agriculture information into the school curriculum.

SAV ET HE DAT E T Why The y and How of a Successful Successfful Agri-Food Agri-F ood Business Business in the 21st Ce entury Century

KEY SPEAKERS

April A pril 3 3-4 -4 | 2 2012 012

Peter Hines

Delta Meadowvale Conference Conference Centre Centre, e, Mississaug Mississauga a

What are the la What latest test str strategies rategies in agri-food agri-food b business usiness inno innovation vation and suppl supply yc chain hain man management? nagement? Leading far farm m to retail e experts xper ts from around the globe e share their e experiences. xperiences.

For F or more inf information fo or mation and to register regis ster go to:

www.vcif2012.com ww w.vci f 2012.com Sorting equipment is adjusted by this worker at Fred Meyer’s peach packinghouse near St. Catharines, Ontario. Photo by Denis Cahill.

Martyn Jones Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC The UK’s fourth largest grocery chain and second largest fresh food processor Lean Enterprise Research Centre, UK International expert in lean processes for company and supply chain improvements

Colin Siren Ipsos Forward Latest research on consumer trends in retail

Jack Barclay CRF (Colac Otway) Pty. Ltd. Lamb processing company in Australia that has adapted to market demands by partnering with producers

David Tanner Zespri International, NZ Fruit business coordinating the production and marketing of 370,000 tonnes of kiwis annually


PAGE A28 –– MARCH 2012 THE GROWER

MINOR USE

History and progress in OMAFRA’s Minor Use Program JIM CHAPUT The evolution of the minor use program has been one of laborious, compelling and devoted activities for many years. The concerted and dedicated efforts of OMAFRA and minor use stakeholders during the past decade have contributed to the program we see today. In 2001 when the crisis of the minor use program and pest control product regulatory system reached its peak, OMAFRA collaborated with partners in other provinces and grower associations to tackle the problem head on. Face-to-face meetings between OMAFRA senior staff and the OMAFRA minor use coordinator with PMRA’s chief registrar and executive director highlighted not only the seriousness of the issues, but put forward remedies to address them. At the same time a sustained and concerted effort was brought forward by grower associations and the Canadian Horticultural Council to address the growing tide of minor use issues. With these combined and persistent efforts a number of critically needed changes in PMRA regulatory policy occurred and the AAFC-PMC was established to more adequately address the needs of Canada’s minor and specialty crop producers. The number of minor use label expansion submissions has doubled since 2003 and access to critically needed pest management tools has increased. • In 2001 Canadian producers

This onion trial is one of several in the Holland Marsh. Photo courtesy Kevin Chandler.

had access to 35 per cent of the reduced risk active ingredients that U.S. producers had access to and access to less than one-third of the approved crops and crop group uses. • In 2011 Canadian producers have access to 68 per cent of the reduced risk active ingredients that U.S. producers have access to and access to approximately half of the approved crops and crop group uses. The OMAFRA minor use program has remained steadfast in its resolve to address grower-identified needs and has remained as a strong and consistent contributor to this program. Recent statistics from the minor use program highlight the successes and mile-

stones. • OMAFRA was the first to organize and host the PMRA summer tour for front-line evaluators to take them from Ottawa to visit real life minor and specialty crop producers. OMAFRA has hosted three subsequent summer tours for PMRA personnel. • Between 2000 and 2011, there have been more than 250 Ontariosponsored minor use label expansion registrations covering every crop group, many vegetable, fruit, field, ornamental and specialty crops securing uses for many insects, diseases and weeds. • Currently there are approximately 500 active minor use submissions in the system. • 64 per cent are minor use pro-

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jects submitted by AAFC-PMC â&#x20AC;˘ 26 per cent are minor use projects submitted by Ontario [some are co-sponsored with PMC] â&#x20AC;˘ 3 per cent are minor use projects submitted by Quebec [some are co-sponsored with PMC] â&#x20AC;˘ 6 per cent are minor use projects submitted by B.C. â&#x20AC;˘ 3 per cent are minor use projects submitted by the Prairies â&#x20AC;˘ < 1 per cent are minor use projects submitted by the Maritimes â&#x20AC;˘ Of all provincial minor use submissions currently active, Ontario has submitted 66 per cent of them. â&#x20AC;˘ Of all AAFC-PMC submissions currently active, an Ontario minor use need is being addressed in two-thirds of them. â&#x20AC;˘ Several minor use submissions have also been made by Ontario for brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) on a range of labelled vegetable, fruit and field crops. â&#x20AC;˘ In the past decade, OMAFRA has supported the submission of approximately 150 emergency use registration requests to address critical pest outbreaks. â&#x20AC;˘ OMAFRA made the first-ever apiculture minor use label expansion submission in 2011. It goes without saying that none of these successes would have occurred if not for the support and collaboration of key people and organizations. The minor use program is only as successful as the partnerships it creates and nurtures. The support of the management team in the Agriculture Development Branch of OMAFRA has been critical to the programâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s success and longevity. In addition the support and confidence of growers and provincial organizations including OFVGA, OGVG, FVGO, OPVG, OPMA, Flowers Canada â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Ontario, OBA, OHBGA, OBGA, OGGA, GGO, OTFPMB, OAG, GFO, SONG, OBPMB, OSBGA, CTFO, HMGA, Crop Life Ontario Council, University of Guelph and others have been a hallmark

of our success. Furthermore collaborations with national and international minor use stakeholders are vital to securing Ontarioâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s place in the global economy for agriculture and food. This includes other provincial ministries of agriculture, Pulse Canada, CMGA, Flowers Canada, CHC, AAFCPMC, PMRA, CFIA, Crop Life, other registrants, Codex, U.S. IR4, UK HDC, APVMA, OECD and UN FAO and many others. Finally OMAFRA will be the only Canadian province representing the interests of minor and specialty crop producers at the second Global Minor Use Summit in Rome. Trade in both food and non-food crops is a global endeavor requiring that we make every effort to establish professional and enduring relationships with jurisdictions with similar concerns. The need for minor crop producers to have equitable and harmonized access to effective and reduced risk pest control products is the key factor driving these global initiatives. Minor crop producers in many European countries face the same pest management issues as producers here in Ontario. This includes insects, diseases and weeds of most crops produced here such as sugar beets, carrots, onions, leeks, garlic, Brassicas, cucumbers, melons, squash, ornamentals, corn, soybeans, grains, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, berries, herbs, grapes, canola, turnips, mushrooms, greenhouse vegetables and many more. Furthermore Ontario producers have had to face numerous new pest outbreaks by pests native to Europe and Asia including swede midge, leek moth, Duponchelia fovealis, European crane fly, spotted wing drosophila, brown marmorated stink bug, emerald ash borer, Asian soybean rust, kudzu and many others that threaten our producersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; livelihoods. Trade related issues continue to create friction between jurisdictions and access to pest control products and the establishment of maximum residue limits (MRLs) must be harmonized if trade is to continue back and forth between countries. Other countries have taken an interest in the Canadian minor use programs with the goals of establishing improved linkages to address minor use priority setting and establishing harmonized and streamlined policies to secure much needed pest management tools. By nature, the minor use program is a dynamic and evolving entity; one which requires constant vigilance and attention. Ontarioâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s minor use program remains in a strong position to tackle the current challenges facing this sector. Jim Chaput is OMAFRAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s minor use coordinator.


MARCH 2012 –– PAGE A29 THE GROWER

MINOR USE

Savvy Farmer offers free version of popular software The Savvy Farmer Inc., Guelph, Ontario, is launching Savvy Farmer lite, a free version of its popular Savvy Farmer software. The "lite" version allows growers and other pest control professionals fast access to pest control information including: • listings of all products that control any weed, insect, disease, or nuisance animal problem in more than 750 crops including field crops, fruits and vegetables • product rates of application • all product labels, including co-packs and newly registered products • identification photos of more than 1,000 pests, including weeds, insects, and diseases “This new service was created in response to farmers

who want quick and easy access to pest control information but do not feel they need the added features found within the full Savvy Farmer paid software," says Savvy Farmer president Warren Libby. "While Savvy Farmer lite contains fewer features than the Advanced version, we believe many farmers will find it an extremely convenient tool that they will refer to often. Since there is no subscription required, users can bookmark the site on their computer or tablet and use it as often as they want, free of charge.” The complimentary service operates as a cloud-based application; therefore its data can be updated every day. "It’s a rare day that there isn’t new information to add to Savvy Farmer... and we work hard to be the most complete and current source of pest control information in

Canada," says Libby. The company will continue to offer more "in-depth" information through its subscription-based Savvy Farmer Advanced and Savvy Farmer Pro services. These versions of Savvy Farmer offer more in-depth information on treatments including all tank-mixes, advanced tools to customize treatments, additional information, mobile access, and electronic record-keeping capability. First launched in 2011, Savvy Farmer is already trusted by farmers, agricultural retailers, custom applicators, agronomists, and government across Canada as a source of unbiased pest control information. Savvy Farmer lite can be accessed at www.savvyfarmerlite.com while information on all the Savvy Farmer softwares can be found at www.savvyfarmer.com

UAP to distribute Rovral fungicide UAP Canada Inc and FMC Agricultural Products have reached an agreement that will see UAP serve as the exclusive distributor of the wettable powder formulation of Rovral fungicide in Canada. FMC Corporation acquired the Rovral brand fungicides from Bayer CropScience in 2011. The wettable powder (WP) formulation has a particularly good fit with a number of high-value fruit and vegetable crops and is registered for use on cherries, grapes, peaches, plums,

raspberries, strawberries, garlic, ginseng, lettuce and onions among others. In addition to its disease control properties, the fungicide also

delivers a number of other benefits including improved storability in crops such as cabbage and cauliflower. As a Group 2 fungicide, Rovral is also a good

rotational product on fruit and vegetables that typically receive multiple treatments. The active ingredient is iprodione. The wettable power formula-

tion may be applied using aerial, field, knapsack, orchard or small sprayers. Source: UAP Canada news release

Know your RMP

New Directory of Biopesticides available The Pest Management Centre (PMC) has recently upgraded the Directory of Microbial Pesticides to the Directory of Biopesticides. The directory, an initiative of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, provides a current and detailed list of biopesticide products registered for managing agricultural pests in member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. In addition to the previously available information regarding microbial biopesticides, the new directory now includes biopesticides for which the active ingredient is a non-conventional product. The third category of biopesticides, semiochemicals, will be added to the directory in the first half of 2012. The PMC hopes that this new and improved tool will help Canadian growers, researchers, extension specialists and others obtain relevant and up-to-date information concerning the use and availability of agricultural biopesticides. For more information on the Directory of Biopesticides, please contact: todd.kabaluk@agr.gc.ca.

Get a head start on SDRM in 2012 To be eligible for SDRM: Edible Horticulture in 2012, you must have a premises identification number and be enrolled in AgriStability. See our brochure included in this edition of The Grower. You can act now: t(FU ZPVS QSFNJTFT *% – contact OnTrace at 1-888-388-7223, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or register online at www.ontrace.ca t4JHO VQ GPS "HSJ4UBCJMJUZ – call Agricorp at 1-888-247-4999 or download the New participant form at agricorp.com


PAGE A30 –– MARCH 2012 THE GROWER

MINOR USE CRAIG’S COMMENTS

Economic arguments for pesticide research programs

CRAIG HUNTER OFVGA First off the disclaimers- I am not an accountant, but I can count. I also understand the difference between a deficit and a debt. After all that, I guess it is all just a matter of common sense! Farmers cannot register pesticides on their own. Only a registrant can do that, and they are private for-profit companies. When Canada got into problems with a lack of registrations starting back in 1977, farmers’ voices had been lost in government circles. It took many years and full-out efforts by the Canadian Horticultural Council to get recognition of our plight, and further years to get a solution put on the table. It also took the willingness of registrants to make submissions as we started to turn the table and deal with ‘The Technology Gap,’ as I coined it at the time. There were many changes made; to the management approach at the Pest Management Regulatory Agency, and to the approach to Minor Use registration at many chemical companies. We showed we could work WITH them, and reduce the hassle we had been providing, in return for better cooperation in registration. We were also able to convince Agriculture and Agri-food Canada (AAFC) of the need to create and fund the Minor Use and Reduced Risk Pesticides Program. One of the most pressing arguments was that with the new data requirements being imposed for “GLP” (good laboratory practice) we had been effectively put out of business in

Canada. None of the AAFC research stations nor any of the universities that had been doing residue data generation work for us were then qualified to produce GLP data. The very few private consultants who had QLP-qualified could not begin to do the volume of work needed (even if the funding had been available). In an instant, we were going to fall even further behind! This was all happening at the same time as re-evaluation of ALL currently registered products was starting, and further gutting our arsenal of tools. Not only were we losing tried-and-true old chemistries, we couldn’t access the new ones either! This was also the beginning of a registrations upsurge of new chemistries- mostly fungicides and insecticides. The glyphosate revolution had cost so many companies their revenue streams from formerly prominent money-making herbicides that they diverted the discovery and product development ‘taps’ to alternative product types to bolster revenues that were seen to be ‘safer.’ Talk about double whammies for us! The CHC made strong and cogent arguments to AAFC and the Pest Management Centre (PMC) was created, and as they say, the rest is history. We have been able to deal very well with the “old” Technology Gap of registered actives that the U.S. already had available but we did not yet have. As well, we began working closer and closer with the IR-4 program in the U.S. on new actives leading to joint initial registrations for minor uses, thus eliminating the chances of further growing the Tech Gap. We have not yet quite closed the Gap, and we have not yet secured every new active to be submitted as a joint registration. In fact, growers’ needs for pest control solutions seem to have grown in spite of all this good work! The senior managers who control the AAFC budget may not understand this, so I feel compelled to explain. Growers constantly face new pests- many of which have few or

no registered controls. These may be invasive pests like the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug. They may be things like the Variegated Asian Lady Bug deliberately brought in as a “beneficial” only to become a pest species on crops like grapes. This list of invasives continues to grow yearly- another subject all of its own. Growers also face a continual whittling away at residue tolerances in many crops for the pesticides they are allowed to use. This may be by foreign countries that may do so as an unwritten

tion of pest populations in the field that have become resistant to the pesticide(s) available. This has occurred in the past, and most growers have adopted pesticide use strategies to minimize the possibility of resistance. Nonetheless, we face the problem every year as more species of resistant weeds, insects or fungi are identified. In the past, AAFC had research teams of well-qualified scientists who worked on pest resistance. They kept careful track of the on-going efficacy of the

We must learn how to better conserve what we have. We need to coddle the uses and manage them better. ~ Craig Hunter

trade barrier. However, it may be imposed by domestic companies or even government corporations ( eg. LCBO) that decide (on a zero scientific basis) to unilaterally impose a lower or zero tolerance for so-called commercial (I tend to think of them as cosmetic!) reasons. No one is “safer” but the grower faces the double jeopardy of loss of his or her market for the crop as a result of not being in compliance, or it means effectively being denied registered pesticide use and having to accept crop loss (and lower income) from pest damage. Thus our growers face losing the use of pesticides we spent huge amounts of effort to secure. In my humble opinion it should be illegal to impose such restrictions domestically-they have no basis nor the scientific expertise to justify them, against Health Canada who has responsibility for the Food and Drug Act! The other biggest losses come from the development and selec-

pesticides, and could adapt and adopt new approaches before disaster struck. These teams are almost all gone now. The plethora of new chemistries seems to have allowed complacency to set in, and now we are paying the price. The glyphosate revolution is over as more and more weeds with tolerance to it have been selected. The development streams for insecticides and fungicides have now been somewhat turned back to herbicides. The days of plenty of alternatives will slowly come to an end. We must learn how to better conserve what we have. We need to coddle the uses and manage them better. We need the research component to be brought back up to strength or we risk losing what has made us successful up to now. We also cannot slow down our efforts to register as much as we can to provide chemistry diversity to combat resistance. We need to keep agriculture in Canada strong and vibrant.

Canada as a nation relies on agriculture to be its biggest earner of a net foreign trade surplus. This can only occur with high quality and high yields of what we produce. Pest management is a backbone for both quality and quantity! (As an analogy, during WWII, the allies had a great airplane called the Spitfire. That didn’t mean that they could rest on its laurels, and in fact it had over 15 versions, each one better that the one before. They also developed other newer and better planes just to match those of their foes. They recognized that only continuous innovation and progress could keep them from defeat. It is also interesting to note that during the war it was a Canadian at the helm of the ministry of Aircraft Development. He also was only paid $1 per year!) We MUST convince the AAFC management that in spite of any need they have to deal with a deficit or the debt, they can only secure our future (and maybe their own) by placing the resourcing where it can keep our foes (disease, insect, weed) at bay. It makes strong economic sense that a strong agriculture will be the best means of reducing the deficit and in the longterm to reducing the debt. If agricultural trade falters because we cannot compete on quality, or in yield (making a lower cost per unit of production) we will have an even bigger financial mess for the country. AAFC management staff are the same as most Canadians. Too many are too far away from the farm, or from the science bench they may have started at 30-plus years ago. They may have lost the vital connections to what growers’ needs truly are. (What may be worse is that they ‘think’ they are current because of that background from 30 years ago) It may not be too late to ‘fix’ problems. I hope we are in time. We are ‘at war’ with the pests out there, and one mis-step could be disaster! Is anyone listening?


MARCH 2012 –– PAGE A31 THE GROWER

MINOR USE

Label extension granted for management of corn earworm JIM CHAPUT, OMAFRA, MINOR USE COORDINATOR, GUELPH The Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) recently announced the approval of a minor use label expansion for Rimon10EC insecticide for control of corn earworm on sweet corn in Canada. Rimon 10EC (novaluron) was already labeled for management of several insect

pests on strawberries, bushberries, apples, stone fruit, Brassica vegetables, peppers, beans and potatoes in Canada. This minor use project jointly sponsored by Agriculture & AgriFood Canada, Pest Management Centre (AAFC-PMC) and the U.S. IR-4 Program was submitted in 2007 in response to minor use priorities identified by producers and extension personnel in both Canada and the U.S. This new registration will pro-

vide sweet corn growers with a much needed pest management tool to control one of their most common insect problems. Rimon insecticide can be applied as a foliar spray at 820 mL per hectare for control of corn earworm. Apply in 90 - 570 litres of water per ha and do not apply more than five applications per season. Application should be made prior to peak oviposition at silking when adult activity is first observed or when egg hatch

begins. Field monitoring for this pest is vital to achieve effective control. Do not apply within nine days of harvest of sweet corn for hand harvesting and within one day of harvest of sweet corn for mechanical harvesting. Re-application on a seven-day interval may be required when monitoring indicates a need. Rimon insecticide should be used in an integrated pest management program and in rotation with other management strategies.

Follow all other precautions and directions for use on the Rimon insecticide label. For copies of the new supplemental label contact Elaine Roddy, OMAFRA, Ridgetown (519) 674-1616, Jim Chaput, OMAFRA, Guelph (519) 8263539 or visit the Chemtura Agrosolutions website www.chemturaagrosolutions.com

Label expansion granted for Nova fungicide on grapes The Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) has approved a minor use label expansion for Nova 40W fungicide for suppression of anthracnose on grapes in Canada. Nova 40W fungicide was already labeled in Canada for management of a number of diseases on apples, pears, grapes, cherries, peaches, Saskatoon berries, strawberries, greenhouse tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers, asparagus and ornamentals. This minor use project sponsored by the Quebec Horticultural Council was submitted in 2008. This registration will provide grape growers with a much needed pest management tool to help manage this newer disease problem of grapes in some parts of Canada. The following is provided as a general outline only. Users should consult the complete label before using Nova 40W fungicide. Nova fungicide can be applied as a foliar spray at 340 g per hectare for suppression of anthracnose on grapes. Apply Nova fungicide when new shoots are 3 – 8 cm long in sufficient

BASF fungicide to get green light Preliminary results from research conducted last year has shown that Merivon fungicide from BASF will be active on many fungal pathogens that impact pome and stone tree fruit crops each season. The result shows Merivon fungicide, which is expected to receive registration from the U.S. EPA in 2012, will provide long-lasting preventive effects on crops such as apples, cherries and peaches. The disease that will be treated will include powdery mildew, apple scab, brown rot, rusts and blossom blight. It has been shown that Merivon can be applied four times per season on pome fruits and three times on stone fruits in rotation with other fungicides. Source: www.4-traders.com

water to ensure adequate coverage. Use a maximum of three applications per growing season and apply at 14-day intervals. Do not apply within 14 days of har-

vest of grapes and pay close attention to the restricted entry intervals (REIs) on this label. Nova 40W fungicide should be used in an integrated pest man-

agement program and in rotation with other management strategies. For copies of the new supplemental label contact Wendy McFadden-Smith, OMAFRA,

Vineland (905) 562-3833, Jim Chaput, OMAFRA, Guelph (519) 826-3539 or visit the Dow Agrosciences website at www.dowagro.com/ca


PAGE A32 –– MARCH 2012 THE GROWER

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MARCH 2012 –– PAGE B1 THE GROWER

CELEBRATING 132 YEARS AS CANADA’S PREMIER HORTICULTURAL PUBLICATION

MARCH 2012

SECTION B

ONTARIO FRUIT AND VEGETABLE CONVENTION 10TH ANNIVERSARY

This little Blackberry went to market … and tweeted all the way home STORIES BY KAREN DAVIDSON Known as the “tractor tweeter,” Trevor Herrle-Braun has brought unimaginable publicity to the family’s on-farm market in just two years. Herrle’s Country Farm Market is based near Waterloo, Ontario, fortuitously in the shadow of Research in Motion (RIM), makers of the Blackberry smartphone. What started as ordinary tweets from the tractor gained traction with many customers who are also RIM employees. They were enchanted with his tweets about what it takes to grow 200 acres of fruits and vegetables. To his surprise, he received a cold call from RIM one day, asking if the family would participate in a video explaining how they use Blackberry and Playbook in everyday farming operations. The result was a professional twominute video which has gone global on YouTube, highlighting a case history in agriculture that would impress any prof at the Ivey School of Business. The video demonstrates the Blackberry’s multifunctional uses: coordinating farm activities using calendar invites and the messenger (BBM) system, taking pictures of field produce, tracking weather patterns and of course tweeting using Twitter. A staff

INSIDE THIS SECTION Integrating social media

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Market presentation tips Page B5 The latest on tunnels

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www.thegrower.org

Photo of the trade show floor, 2011, courtesy Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention. BBM group has been set up to keep everyone informed simultaneously on important reminders and the latest news. Herrle-Braun’s Blackberry Playbook tablet is an additional tool that allows quick review and editing of spreadsheets to track crop progress. As operations manager, Herrle-Braun is able to coordinate many activities whether he’s in the field, office or retail store. The case history also demonstrated the savvy use of applications (apps) such as UberSocial. It allows a live preview of any embedded link, blog post, image or video without having to leave the app, launch a browser, view the link, close down the browser and return to the app. “It was an opportunity that you can’t put dollars on,” recalls Herrle-Braun, sharing the experience at the recent Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention (OFVC).

Herrle-Braun’s relationship with RIM has its benefits. In preparing for his OFVC talk, he negotiated give-aways of two Blackberry smartphones to farmers along with assorted promotional items. So how does this social media success translate into sales? It’s tough to make a direct link. The farming operation has always supported four families: Howard and Elsie, James and Michelle, Trevor and Joanne, and sister Karen Gingrich. HerrleBraun is convinced that social media presence differentiates the farm from others and attracts a loyal following from as far away as Toronto. Today, Herrle’s Country Market has more than 2100 followers on Twitter. It may be winter and the market is closed, yet he’s tweeting about daily activities, keeping the brand name current and competing for his customers’ share of mind. To date, most on-farm mar-

keters think of Twitter as a channel to connect with customers. But Herrle-Braun thinks it’s also a business-to-business tool. In the summer of 2010, he linked up with Springridge Farm, Milton, Ontario to offer $25 gift certificates to each other’s farm in a photo contest. Their idea is to create a virtual “farm market trail” from Toronto to Waterloo. The strategy is to leverage each other’s distinct followers’ list, by retweeting messages. What started as a tweet to Herrle’s 2100 followers can then be retweeted by Springridge to their own 2100 followers, doubling the impact. “Farmers don’t have extravagant advertising budgets,” says Herrle-Braun. “Social media allows us to engage customers for only the cost of our time.” Twitter handles: @HerrlesMarket, @springridgenow

This editorial package is a tribute to the 10th anniversary of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention. The sparkling venue at Niagara Fall’s Scotiabank Convention Centre attracted a record number of exhibitors, an increase of almost 30 per cent with a 50 per cent increase in space. Similarly, pre-registration was up 30 per cent with the largest number of pre-registrants ever. Thanks to many speakers who gave advance previews of their presentations. Congratulations to the hosts, the Niagara Peninsula Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association and the organizing committee!


PAGE B2 –– MARCH 2012 THE GROWER

ONTARIO FRUIT AND VEGETABLE CONVENTION 10TH ANNIVERSARY

Historic site is one secret to success of new farmers’ market Manager Linda Cook reveals why events within events draw a crowd From the ground up, the Ottawa Farmers’ Market has been the brainchild of producers. A group of vendors was unhappy that the 140-year-old Byward market had become the preserve of too many resellers. In July 2006, a new market was launched on the grounds of Lansdowne Park, famous for its sporting events and the agricultural exhibition hall. “It was the heart of strawberry season,” recalls Linda Cook, mar-

ket manager. “When the strawberries petered out and other crops came on, it was quite the education process to explain to consumers that there are seasons to local produce.” The farmer vendors have supported the new venue with gusto, Cook told the recent Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention. About 100 members pay dues and booth fees, abiding by a handbook of guidelines. Cook enforces those rules “fairly but

Cattle Castle at Ottawa’s Lansdowne Park proved an enticing draw for a farmers’ market before Christmas. firmly.” One of those rules is that farmers must hail from 100 kilometres of the city boundary to remain true to offering local produce. Only three exceptions have been made because some special products – organic eggs or bison meat -- haven’t been available or offered for sale within the region. After a director’s visit to his Beamsville farm, Torrie Warner was invited to Ottawa to provide tender fruit from the Niagara peninsula. Originally this was controversial because he wasn’t from the Ottawa valley; however, before long he was warmly welcomed and now has a loyal following for his fruits: cherries, apricots, peaches, grapes, plums and pears. How the market was originally positioned is interesting in that members didn’t want to compete against other markets on the outskirts of Ottawa – places such as Metcalfe and Carp. So they carved out their niche on Sundays from 8 am to 3 pm. This timing also allowed farmer vendors to sell at other Saturday markets. The location at Lansdowne Park, overlooking the Rideau Canal, has been critical. It offers parking, hydro and washrooms to support the size of the weekly event, which can range from 4,000 to 6,000 visitors. But more importantly, it holds the memories of visits past to the Central Canada Exhibition, where agriculture always played a starring role. Refreshing those memories with new experiences has been key. Since opening in 2006, the market season has been spiced with ever-changing events. “Asparaganza” pays tribute to spring’s first vegetable with prizes for longest stalk, thickest stalk and heaviest bundle of 12. A tomato festival celebrates many heirloom varieties with a tasting table. Local chefs entertain with cooking demonstrations while a chili cookoff is always a crowd draw.

The recipe for the Ottawa Farmers’ Market’s success has been, in part, due to the 10-member board which has committees for events, locations, membership and advertising and promotion. One development has been opening satellite markets in eastern Ottawa (Orleans) on Fridays and one in western Ottawa (Bayshore)

The December 18 indoor market was “phenomenal” says Cook, attracting about 8,000 people, about double the usual summer traffic. “Some vendors had only carrots, beets and onions to sell but they said it was the most lucrative day of the entire season,” Cook reports. That brand recognition for a

The Ottawa Farmers' Market experimented with ads on 130 transit buses last summer, driving consumer traffic to their frequently updated website. on Wednesdays from 11 am to 6 pm. All these markets, in turn, are supported by advertising on transit buses, a tactic that is “costly but effective” according to Cook. The number of media impressions is substantial on 130 transit buses. For an extra fee, individual vendors can have their farm name on the transit posters when their produce is in season. This past year, the Ottawa Farmers’ Market tried something new in extending their season to two additional market days in each of November and December. What was so attractive was holding the event inside the Cattle Castle. The national historic site, built in 1898, is the last surviving Canadian example of a Victorian exhibition hall. And so with over a century of tradition on its side, consumers bought into the experience.

quality family outing will stand the Ottawa Farmers’ Market in good stead for the 2012 season. As Lansdowne Park is redeveloped in the next two years, the vendors will be relocating temporarily to Brewer Park, across from Carleton University. “We’re looking at this positively,” says Cook. “It’s a new location where we can be exposed to a new group of people.” The growth of the market is such that Cook, a full-time employee, has her hands more than full. Board members can contribute 20 hours or more per week in sweat equity, over and above their farm duties. They figure the time is ripe to hire an advertising and promotion person, someone who can use social media to develop even deeper bonds with the Ottawa community that treasures its history.


MARCH 2012 –– PAGE B3 THE GROWER

ONTARIO FRUIT AND VEGETABLE CONVENTION 10TH ANNIVERSARY

Integrate social media into the communications toolkit standing the space and setting your own expectations of success. To start, set up a Twitter account and follow others for awhile until you see how the dynamics work. Don’t expect to have legions of followers instantly. The quality of followers, in other words, the key influencers in your sphere of work, are more important than number of followers. For an advanced course in social media, LeHeup outlined how to manage a number of communications activities seamlessly. The program Hootsuite allows you to post all messages simultaneously to your website and Facebook on a schedule that you determine. This allows more strategic and timely postings, if you want to highlight a research article, for example, at a specific time. A free, on-line program called paper.li allows users to send messages or blogs to segmented lists. LeHeup has several groups of stakeholders so sends customized notes to farmers, wineries and chefs. She’s just started a new list called OCTA_licious which has 514 followers. If you don’t have a website, perhaps starting a Facebook fan page is one way. The key is to set up the account as a business, not as a group, so that nonFacebook users can access the

Rebecca LeHeup and Avia Eek are two examples of tweeters with hundreds of followers. site through Google. Social media is capturing the imagination of many growers who are using the platform to sustain old relationships and to create new ones. LeHeup suggests following some great examples in horticulture: Avia Eek (@eekfarms), Springridge Farm (@springridgenow), Martin’s Fruit Farm (@martinsapples) and St Jacobs Market (@stjacobsmarket)

Farmers’ markets grow Farmers’ Markets Ontario has witnessed healthy growth in recent years with 157 member farmers' market. This number includes 11 markets which joined in 2011. An additional 10 are expected this year according to Bob Chorney, executive director. “We have 200 MyPick Verified Local Farmers approved in 2011 and are anticipating another 25-50 in 2012,” says Chorney. We have two markets in Ontario implementing the MyPick Verified Local Farmer program to be eligible to sell at their market,

however, they allow prepared foods and arts and crafts. Lakefield (organized 2010) and Sundridge (organizing in 2012). This is not to be confused with the MyMarket Certified Local Farmers’ Markets in Toronto (Bloor.Borden; East Lynn Park; Liberty Village; SickKids and new one last year Ryerson University). All vendors must be MyPick verified including all primary and secondary products.

Online crop management program launches for apple and grape growers Ontario Apple Growers (OAG) and Grape Growers of Ontario (GGO) launched ‘AppleTracker’ and ‘GrapeTracker’ respectively at the recent Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention. It’s an online crop management tool for grower members. Taking the FruitTracker desktop software to the next level, a secure online application has been developed which links a grower’s GPS mapped information with spray records, harvest yield data, and other information. For apple growers, this system will assist with record keeping requirements for CanadaGAP and packers. For grape growers, this system will assist in providing spray records for processors. To receive a username and password please contact: Mary Jane Combe, Grape Growers of Ontario at 905-688-0990 ext. 242 or Kelly Ciceran, Ontario Apple Growers at 905-688-0990 ext. 241

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Before jumping into social media, make sure your website is a well-oiled machine. For those who came to hear Rebecca LeHeup at the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention, the advice may have been surprising. But LeHeup, who has 6,800 followers on behalf of the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance, shares some important lessons. “Make sure your toolbox is ready for new tools,” says LeHeup. One of the objectives of social media – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube – is to drive customers to your website for a deeper understanding of your business, your products, your service. That’s where you can archive photos, videos, product descriptions in fuller detail. And for those who sell products on-line, that’s where you conduct your e-commerce. Secondly, LeHeup points out that social media is very different from posting an advertisement. It’s a channel that requires you to listen and respond to your target audience. “It’s not always talking about yourself but explaining how your product can be enhanced with a recipe, for example, or an event,” she says. Don’t feel obliged to get into social media until you have a strategy. That requires under-


PAGE B4 –– MARCH 2012 THE GROWER

ONTARIO FRUIT AND VEGETABLE CONVENTION 10TH ANNIVERSARY

How to hire and then motivate staff Opening Spirit Tree Estate Cidery has been akin to climbing a ladder. Not so much on the orchard production side, but on balancing so many facets of a new business. Since it opened in September 2009, the operation has hired 30 employees to manage the wood-fired oven bakery, cidery, retail store and bistro near Caledon, Ontario. Nicole Judge and her partner Tom Wilson have reached for learnings from earlier careers which have smoothed the way. A small animal veterinarian and chief operating officer of six veterinary clinics in Toronto and Ottawa, Judge is a veteran of

client service. Still, she’s missed rungs along the way and now has a best practices guide that she shared with attendees of the Direct Farm Sales Session at the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention. 1) Set up an on-line application form on your website. That process helps standardize the process and saves much time. Also consider setting up an employee login on the home page of your website to communicate timely information. 2) Hire for attitude, not for skill. “It’s difficult to motivate

staff who don’t want to be motivated,” says Judge. “Different people are motivated by different things, and it’s not necessarily about the money.” Judge says that hiring practices at Spirit Tree Estate Cidery have changed. A situational interview requires candidates to answer questions such as: What does local food mean to you? The answers will reveal whether the potential hire is truly aligned with the mission, vision and values of Spirit Tree Estate Cidery. Incidentally, the operation will review its mission, vision and values prior to the upcoming 2012 hiring season. That exercise will

help guide the kinds of questions asked of hires. 3) Don’t hire based on a parent’s intervention. Too often, “helicopter” parents will make the initial approach about hiring their teenager for the summer. That can be a potential warning sign that the student isn’t motivated to actually want the job.

5) Cross-train employees. Young hires don’t necessarily know where their strengths are, but shifting them to different areas helps them develop skill sets and surprisingly, motivates them at the same time.

4) Establish team leaders within your group. Managers are identified for the orchard, kitchen and retail store. A weekly meeting is held with these managers, each of whom is expected to relay the plan to the rest of the team.

6) Set clear expectations and provide timely feedback. Clear objectives are set for each team member at the beginning of each year. These include targets set for the entire business, each department and individual personal goals. Employees know what is expected of them and how they are doing.

2012. This translates into more visitors to each of their lavender gardens and, importantly, visitors to their on-farm store where they merchandise items such as lavender soaps, oils, lotions, gels and sachets. To get into the agri-tourism business, consider the following. Do you have a plan for success? Do a lot of research, and know as much as you can before beginning. Logistics, meeting any regulatory requirements and marketing are all part of the agri-tourism proposition. Start small, so that you can see what works and what does not. Understand the require-

ments of owning an agri-tourism operation. You will have to deal with a lot of people. Identify your unique value proposition to bring people back to your farm. Agri-tourism affords some growers a new way of increasing returns to the operation. The Ontario Lavender Association is presenting a series of educational seminars across the province, with the next one in Woodstock on March 30, 2012. See www.ontariolavenderassociation.c om for more details. John Kelly and Shelley Imbeault, Erie Innovation and Commercialization.

LAVENDER

Developing a value-added agriculture and an agri-tourism showcase JOHN KELLY AND SHELLEY IMBEAULT Value-added agriculture is a term that is bandied about a lot these days, and with good reason. Growers are looking for more ways to diversify to increase returns to the farming operation. Lavender growers in Ontario, for example, are exploring agritourism opportunities. Agri-tourism can be defined as any economic activity that occurs where people link rural travel with the goods, services or experiences of the agriculture and food system. Cathy Bartolic, executive director of the Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association expands this to include any time someone visits a farm. Increasing the number of visits to the farm is one of the key goals of any agritourism activity, and this is particularly nascent to the lavender producer. Bartolic says that 85 per cent of customers rate purchasing from the farm as either extremely or somewhat important, however, almost as many of these customers indicate that they don’t want to drive more than 30 minutes to get to their destination. With those facts in mind, producers can take advantage of the

trends of time-impoverished consumers. For some, on-farm activities should be more structured and pre-packaged. An appealing target group is the stay-cationer – those who are looking for day trips, so encourage a string of stops in your area. And for families looking for outings, the authentic experience is what makes memories. To build customer loyalty in these target groups, producers should aim to deliver a package that fits these different needs. That’s what results in a repeat customer.

Robert Koprich of Purple Daze Lavender has learned some of these lessons with a lavender festival that will celebrate its fifth anniversary in July, 2012. Prince Edward County Lavender entices visitors to tour their fields of lavender and “feel a touch of Provence in The County.” Steve and Anita Buehner, lavender growers from Norfolk County, hosted their first lavender festival in 2011. With the success of more than 400 paying visitors over the course of a weekend, Bonnieheath Lavender is set to run a much longer festival in

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MARCH 2012 –– PAGE B5 THE GROWER

ONTARIO FRUIT AND VEGETABLE CONVENTION 10TH ANNIVERSARY

Marketing tips for the year of the dragon

In Chinese culture, the dragon delivers good fortune and colourful ideas. Here are a few tips to spark the 2012 marketing season. Simple symmetry – The eye loves balance and artful displays. It’s amazing how appetizing raspberries look when placed in rows or at an angle. Or how appealing these corn cobs are when placed in a sunshine circle. If the grower took this much care in the display, think about how much care they took in growing the product!

signage to prove how close they are to urban centres.

Produce pride – In your onfarm market or farmers’ market, have a sandwich board that shows photos of the farm and how your produce is grown. Be sure to use the Foodland logo which has extremely high recognition among consumers. Materials are free.

Look at cookbooks – A few onfarm marketers are making the link from local produce to local cookbook authors. And they’re holding booksigning events with Food Network TV stars with RSVPs to reserve spaces for crowd control. Imagine having to turn away customers while those who have RSVPd by email or Twitter are in your store happily shopping while waiting for their autographed cookbook and smartphone moment with the food star. Imagine the exponential exposure when that photo then gets posted on Facebook.

County bounty – Many vendors at farmers’ markets write their home towns or home county on

Authors of authenticity – Signage can be as small or as grand as you like. One on-farm

Byward Market, Ottawa

marketer has printed their “manifesto” or farm principles on a barn wall. While consumers are eating apples or licking ice cream cones, they’re also reading all about your beliefs in agriculture. Don’ts - Empty cartons or a mish-mash of cartons around farm displays are not photofriendly. Remember, your image must be worthy of a cameo moment on digital camera at every moment. - Signage that’s too perfect –

handwriting should be rustic and authentic

the moment. Invent Events

Choose your channel Use a mix of conventional and social media. Use Facebook for posting photos. Use YouTube for posting videos. Use Twitter for “up-to-the-minute news you can use” ie. if there’s a construction detour near your farm, then say so on a busy Saturday morning and suggest alternative routes – be in

Invent new events to extend the season, i.e. pumpkin tree lighting. Leverage the power of broadcast media by inviting journalists to themed events – think of unconventional media such as the Weather Network.


PAGE B6 â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C; MARCH 2012 THE GROWER

ONTARIO FRUIT AND VEGETABLE CONVENTION 10TH ANNIVERSARY

The pros and cons of growing raspberries in tunnels Come April, raspberries in greenhouses for example, will exhibit signs of stress in white drupelets. If the glass of the greenhouse is whitewashed, the issue will be solved. For those experimenting with raspberries in tunnels, the question soon becomes how to schedule dormancy. Dale says that a chilling model has been developed to reliably shut down the root zones to induce dormancy. Such success has been replicated with different raspberry varieties. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been quite excited about how we can change the morphology of the raspberry cane,â&#x20AC;? says Dale. In view of this encouraging research, why havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t more Canadian growers adopted tunnels for raspberries? Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a question that Doug Balsillie has

growing raspberries. He estimates that $2.75 to $3 for a half pint is required to be profitable. With both his spring and fall raspberry harvest retailed at the farm gate, he says thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a limit to interest in berries when so many other fresh fruits are competing for the consumerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dollar. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no money to be made in the wholesale market. So yes, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s technically possible to grow higher-quality raspberry varieties such as Tulameen in these environments. But growers need to evaluate how much they can retail. Whether greenhouses or tunnels, the controlled environments are promising for a tender crop thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been mostly pegged to the harvest window of July. With changing weather patterns,

Cravo and Voen are two manufacturers of retractable roofs which are revolutionizing how raspberries are grown. Photo courtesy of Adam Dale.

Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a new word for the popular game of Scrabble: drupelet. Not familiar? Any raspberry grower will know that the cluster of soft, edible fruit is called a drupelet. And a drupe is the botanical term for the fruit in which the outer fleshy part surrounds a shell. All of this word play becomes serious when University of Guelph, Simcoe researcher Adam Dale points out yet another surprising fact. Raspberries grow very well in tunnels and greenhouses. These controlled environments mimic the clearings of woodlands where the sun is dappled, root zones are warmly sheltered and rainwater is filtered through a leaf canopy. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In Europe, all raspberries are grown in tunnels â&#x20AC;&#x201C; end of story,â&#x20AC;? says Dale. The research shows clearly that yields can be

improved by 20 to 80 per cent for the fresh market. Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what tunnels can provide. First, the mature crop is

â&#x20AC;&#x153;

In Europe, all raspberries are grown in tunnels â&#x20AC;&#x201C; end of story.â&#x20AC;? ~ Adam Dale

protected from damaging winds. With controlled irrigation, fungal diseases are kept at bay. Leaves donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get wet so thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no spread of spores. And as a result, ripe fruit doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get mouldy. Research also shows that tunnels prevent the root rots that are so common in raspberries of the Pacific northwest. In fact, the soil temperatures of the root zones have been found to be optimal at 25 degrees Celsius. Whether floricanes or primacanes, raspberries can be encouraged to bear fruit twice in a season, based on proper modification of soil and ambient air temperatures. The downside, Dale admits, is that high air temperatures promote such pests as mites, thrips and aphids -- all of which can extract their pound of juicy flesh. Recent research has also shown the interaction of light and ultraviolet rays on raspberries.

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Raspberries thrive in controlled environments which mimic a woodland clearing.

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addressed, but with greenhouses, not tunnels. At Harrow, Ontario, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the owner of the most southern orchard in Canada. Balsillie doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t need the extra heat units yet a decade ago, he started experimenting with raspberries in a small greenhouse. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve gone from a very intensive to minimalist system,â&#x20AC;? he says, with the realization that all the labour barely pays for the high cost of

tunnels promise protection against the elements. However, Dale points out that while temperatures may have changed, light hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t. Nor has precipitation. If entrepreneurial growers can manage the production parameters, they are one step closer to developing yet another local crop. Just one caveat. Mexico is rapidly developing a raspberry industry with retractable roofs.


MARCH 2012 –– PAGE B7 THE GROWER

ONTARIO FRUIT AND VEGETABLE CONVENTION 10TH ANNIVERSARY

Soil and water management is challenging in high tunnels From Pennsylvania to Maine, tunnels for vegetables have popped up like woodland mushrooms. Cornell University researcher Judson Reid was at the recent Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention to share key learnings with the audience. “Where we live, winter helps break up the pest cycle,” says Reid. “But growers who are extending the season into colder months are loathe to give up the cash cycle.” That’s at the crux of how to make tunnels work without abandoning the principles of soil health. Tunnels exclude rain, therefore growers must irrigate the crop. Irrigation water elevates the pH and alkalinity. Soluble fertilizers result in salts in the soil. And there’s still a need to fallow the soil, to incorporate cover crops and to break pest cycles. Reid reminds growers how soil pH influences the availability of plant nutrients. So how can growers manage in these modified environments? First, Reid says that water should

be tested for electrical conductivity, pH and alkalinity. Acidify if needed with citric, phosphoric or sulfuric acid. Avoid nitrate-based nitrogen which will raise the pH. Look for ammonia or urea sources instead. Injectors will allow growers to acidify irrigation water and prevent high pH (bicarbonate) problems. As Reid explains, some growers are circumventing those issues by building multi-bay structures and rotating crops through them. The disadvantage is that they’re not rated for snow load and gathering plastic in winter is not a fun chore. The lower costs of tunnel structures are offset by higher costs in labour. That said, some growers are cropping year-round with winter greens and lettuces to meet local demand. “The multiple-acre structure seems to work best for larger growers,” says Reid.

Judson Reid, Cornell University, inspects peppers.

U.S. researchers rate tomatoes and peppers high-value crop production have been adopted all over the world with Spain and China managing large acreages.

High tunnels are great for growing produce in the off-season.” ~ Bill Shoemaker, University of Illinois

University of Illinois researchers have established a reputation for their high tunnel work at the Dixon Springs Ag Center in the state’s south. Last year, they had a fairly good season with tomatoes with good growth and relatively good production as well says Jeff Kindhart. However, pepper trials were plagued with aphid and broad mites. He indicates that a new high tunnel trial is underway for raspberries in 2012. The feasibil-

ity of a variety of crops will be investigated in a vertical stacking system in the high tunnel. These crops include snap beans, various greens, cucumbers, squash, strawberries, and more. High tunnels are great for growing produce in the offseason, says University of Illinois researcher Bill Shoemaker. Many growers have adopted them to serve as sources of supplemental production for their markets before and after the field production season. Tunnels for

Why are tunnels so useful? They use solar energy to warm the growing environment of the crops in the tunnel. Solar radiation generates heat, warming the air in the tunnel, and accelerating plant growth. But the solar radiation also heats the soil in the tunnel, creating a storage system for heat which is released at night. To some degree, this keeps the tunnel warm, protecting plants beyond the daylight hours, further driving growth and development of crops. In the fall, day length diminishes rapidly, and even though crops in tunnels may not be killed by extreme cold, they may not have sufficient energy to grow or properly ripen a crop. Providing supplemental heat comes to mind, but it is a battle with diminishing returns, as the outside environment robs the tunnel of heat, especially at night.

The point is that tunnels require a different strategy in fall than spring because two primary inputs, light and heat, are not available at similar levels. Fall tunnels require strategies which favour cool-season crops because of diminishing resources, while spring tunnels favour warm season crops due to rapidly increasing availability of light and heat. Management practices also need to be modified to make best

use of those resources. Using funds from a grant provided by the Illinois Department of Agriculture's Specialty Crops Block Grant Program, a new 30'x 96' high tunnel similar to one at Dixon Springs was erected in 2011 at St Charles. Both sites will see significant activity in coming years to define how to best manage them in northern and southern Illinois. Watch for workshops and research results in the future.

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PAGE B8 –– MARCH 2012 THE GROWER

MARKET ACCESS

Accessing a changing marketplace: opportunities for sellers and buyers JOHN KELLY The traditional market square for Ontario produce is changing shape. Thousands of new immigrants from southern and eastern Asia are seeking homeland foods. Yet another change is our aging population. “Well off older folk” or WOOFs have the means and the motivation to buy more fruits and vegetables to extend their lives. Who hasn’t noticed the ‘buy local’ phenomenon in which consumers are more sensitized to where their produce comes from and how it’s grown. All of these currents of change represent opportunity. For growers, the question becomes how to access these new markets. A study to address market access issues was commissioned last year by the South Central Ontario Region Economic Development Corporation (SCOR) and Erie Innovation and Commercialization. The purpose of the George Morris Centre study was to ease and increase access to the market for farmers, processors and buyers. That meant analyzing current distribution models. Key questions were: what are current barriers to market access, what food distribution models are used in other regions, what food distribution options can serve local, regional, provincial and even international demands. Answers to these questions could benefit growers in the sandy plains area and across the province who are currently transitioning out of tobacco to a diversity of new crops. The practical issue is how to coordinate the movement of produce – and

Figure 1. Path to Market for Horticultural Crops. Adapted from San Francisco Food Alliance, 2005 value-added products -- with the right characteristics to end users in these new multicultural and multifaceted markets. Off the top, one observation is that many growers and end users of produce are relatively small operations. Small groceries and restaurants want small quantities of product with specific attributes and many growers produce small quantities. At the other end are grocery chains that need large quantities of high-quality produce as well as large producers of horticultural crops. As Figure 1 demonstrates, there is complexity in both consumer segmentation and distribution of food that points to multiple access points for growers and

processors. However, this complexity can create inefficiencies and bottlenecks affecting the sector’s growth. Buyers need to quickly find sellers with the right quantities and attributes while growers and processors need to find buyers and, in many cases, combine small lots into larger quantities consistently and efficiently. A producer can access the marketplace through many market channels: farm gate sales, farmers’ markets, community supported agriculture, restaurants, processors, independent retailers, niche market distributors, selling to distributors/ wholesalers/ brokers, retail and foodservice chains, Ontario Food Terminal or

through producer cooperatives. Successful access for these growers depend on many different attributes, but the development of relationships is certainly key. How does a grower become

so that the cost of moving products can be reduced and made more efficient. Many growers could benefit from training on matters such as cost analysis and marketing. Some growers would benefit from improved methods to make their products available to the marketplace. This is especially so for relatively small growers and those with produce that’s not normally sold through traditional channels to traditional customers. Growers who are either start-ups, have been successful at one level and want to go to a higher level of production, or those who want to enter markets for new products or new market channels often need assistance in getting started. For the specifics of these challenges, the reader is referred directly to the report at www.erieinnovation.com. One of the report’s recommendations is to develop an entity that would virtually link growers to the wider market for their products and to each other, as well as logistics suppliers, for logistics. Growers want access to buyers and buyers want efficient access to growers of local produce. The launch of the

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

Norfolk County asparagus grower Charles Welsh markets some of his produce at the Ontario Food Terminal in Toronto. Photo by Laura Berman. visible to buyers? This commonly comes from “pounding the pavement” and actively participating in the sector. Use of social media (websites, email, Facebook, Twitter etc) has also had a positive impact on market access. Successful growers also know when to add new lines, diversify and add value to their products. Further, these growers also know the value of collaboration and planning. This report also identified a number of challenges: logistics, marketing, institutional, regulatory, growth obstacles and operational obstacles. For example, logistics need to be coordinated

www.ontariofresh.ca website has provided a virtual listing service for producers and buyers alike, and has many aspects supported by the results of this project. This website is currently growing. Growers strongly prefer reaching more potential buyers than fewer. Similarly, most buyers would prefer to reach more potential sellers than fewer. They like the concept of Ontario Fresh but need some more details behind it. John Kelly is Vice President, Erie Innovation and Commercialization, with the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association.


MARCH 2012 –– PAGE B9 THE GROWER

New sea-buckthorn cultivar to be released in 2012 The sea-buckthorn berry is a little-known super fruit. The seed and pulp of the berry are loaded with vitamins, particularly C, A, and E. A single sea-buckthorn berry has more vitamin C than an entire orange and more vitamin E than a carrot. It also has high levels of beta carotene, omega-3 oils, and flavonoids. Awareness of this nutritious fruit is on the rise. In June 2011, the fruit received positive reviews from Dr. Oz, the popular TV doctor who used to make frequent appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show, and who now hosts his own program, The Dr. Oz Show. He discussed how the berry may help prevent wrinkles and constipation, and also aid in weight loss. “As soon as the The Dr. Oz Show episode aired, we received phone calls from all around the world about what we’re doing with sea buckthorn,” said Bill Schroeder, Researcher at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) Agroforestry Development Centre (ADC) in Indian Head, Saskatchewan. “We’ve been identified as one of

the experts in that area.” Sea buckthorn is a dense, deciduous shrub that can grow up to five metres tall. Its leaves are silvery green in colour, and its branches are typically thorny. The orange berries it produces are edible and have been referred to as the “Siberian pineapple” because of the berries’ taste and juiciness. Originally, the shrub was imported to Canada from Russia

in the 1930s as an ornamental plant. On the Canadian prairies, sea buckthorn has been used primarily in wildlife habitats and shelterbelts to offer fields and farmyards protection from snow and wind. In the not-too-distant future, it is possible that the fruit will be grown on the prairies more often as a commercial crop, since its nutrient-dense fruit can be used in

a wide range of products, such as jams, jellies, liquors, juices, and even skin ointments. Other countries, mainly China and Russia, have been using seabuckthorn berries in food products and skin creams for hundreds of years. AAFC scientists are working to increase the commercial potential of sea buckthorn. AC-Autumn Gold, a new sea-buckthorn variety developed by researchers at the ADC, will be released in 2012. It has the potential to propel sea buckthorn into the commercial market because of its high yields and fruit that is easier to harvest than previous varieties. Not only does this variety produce fruit that is almost twice as large as previous sea-buckthorn varieties, but it is almost thornless, which makes it an easier plant for producers to work with. The berries on AC-Autumn Gold grow from five-millimetre–long stalks attached to the bush’s stem. This results in berries that are easier to hand-pick than previous varieties whose berries grew in tight clusters. Longer stalks, combined with large fruit size, also

mean the berries can be harvested mechanically. “I think there’s a real opportunity here,” Mr. Schroeder said. “If growers can efficiently and cost-effectively grow sea buckthorn, then a Canadian manufacturing industry around sea-buckthorn products could develop.” AC-Autumn Gold is the result of more than 15 years of research performed by scientists at the ADC. It is the first sea-buckthorn variety to be unveiled by the Centre since 2005, when Orange September and Harvest Moon were released through the Canadian Ornamental Plant Foundation and made available through commercial nurseries. Similarly, farmers who wish to purchase AC-Autumn Gold must source it through Canadian commercial nurseries. Perhaps one day, AC-Autumn Gold’s berries—delicious and chock full of nutrients—will become a permanent ingredient in the jams and lotions found in Canadian homes. Source: Agriculture and AgriFood Canada

Ontario Beekeepers’ Association Technology Transfer Program has been approved for Nosema disease research This $ 170,000.00 influx of funding will provide finances to study and to establish the seasonal infection levels of Nosema disease in honey bees as well as its relationship with colony mortality, bee mortality and economic losses in apiaries. The Ontario Beekeepers’ Association Technology Transfer Program (OBA-TTP) has received funding for a two year study regarding the infection levels of Nosema disease (N.ceranae and N. apis) as well as its rela-

tionship with colony mortality, bee mortality and economic losses in apiaries. N. ceranae and N. apis are fungi that damage the digestive cells of a bee so that they cannot digest nutrients and basically starve to death. This project is aimed at determining the infection patterns and relationship of Nosema disease with bee mortality. An estimate of the economic damage of these parasitic fungi will be obtained; and new natural medications, aimed at boosting the immune system of bees will be tested.

The OBA Technology Transfer Program will lead this project, and extensively utilize the expertise and technology resources of Ernesto Guzman at the University of Guelph who is a collaborator in the Managed Pollinators group of NSERC-CANPOLIN (the Canadian Pollination Initiative). OBA President, John Van Alten stated, “The Ontario Beekeepers Association is pleased to see this research carried out and in particular the collaboration with the University of Guelph lab. “We feel this is important

Look to blog for traceability insights RedLine Solutions Inc., a leading provider of whole-chain produce traceability solutions, announced the addition of a new "Traceability Insights" blog to the company's website (www.RedLineforProduce.com). The new blog features expert commentary, videos, and updates on important produce traceability issues including PTI milestones, traceability best practices, case studies, and product reviews and demonstrations. "Our new blog is designed to be a valuable and timely resource for our customers and the produce industry as a whole," according to Todd Baggett, RedLine Solutions' CEO. "The goal is to provide visitors with timely content focused on relevant produce traceability issues. Videos allow us to share our industry insight in a way that is both more accessible and practical for our website visitors." The blog will be regularly updated with new insights from RedLine's management team including: • Todd Baggett, Founder and CEO - Baggett has been recognized as an expert in produce traceability for more than a decade. He drives RedLine Solutions' strategic direction, including growth initiatives, alliances, and product vision. As the co-

chair of the PTI Technology Working Group, Baggett plays a key role in leading the development and updates of PTI Best Practices.

work which will shed some light on why beekeepers are experiencing extremely high winter mortal-

ity in their livestock. We hope that this collaboration will lead to future joint projects.”

STAN STAND ND OUT T FROM M THE CROWD CROOWD

• Gary Fleming, VP Strategic Services – Fleming provides consulting services helping leading produce companies understand and implement PTI across their organization. He is a member of the committee providing oversight of the FDA mandated IFT traceability pilot. Prior to RedLine, he was the lead architect and spokesperson for PTI as VP of Industry Technology and Standards for the Produce Marketing Association. • Chris Davis, COO - Davis has been working for decades with leading companies to improve their operational and traceability processes. He focuses on the details of working in the fields and packing sheds to understand their unique operations. Davis uses his knowledge to ensure RedLine's solutions are flexible and support the many variations of fresh produce operational practices. He is a member of the PMA Supply Chain Committee and PTI Technology Working Group. View the blog at www.redlineforproduce.com/producetraceability/maincontent-blog.

leadership base leadership based d on the endur enduring ring values values of our members. members. If you you also also make others sstand tand out from from the crowd, crowd, ma ake 2012 the yyear ear yyou ou join with othe ers who share share your your passion for for responsible, resp ponsible, family-based family-based farming. farming. Choose Choose CFFO the CF FO to to support your your values, values, your your family family and your your farm. farm.

MAKE THE CFFO YOUR YOUR CHOICE IN 20 2012 012


PAGE B10 –– MARCH 2012 THE GROWER

MARKETPLACE

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

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

L.M.Bolle & Sons 813083 Baseline Norwich, ON (519) 468-2090 Fax 468-2099 email: lmbolle@execulink.com

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

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

Email: sales@gwallennursery.com

www.gwallennursery.com

Exclusive grower of select grafted nut trees and minor fruits. Cultivars are tested in our own experimental orchards.

Alpine Nurseries

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

(Niagara) Limited

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

979 Lakeshore Rd, RR 3, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON Canada L0S 1J0

Howard A. Colcuc Nursery Manager

Tel.: (905) YEH-NUTS (934-6887) E-mail: nuttrees@grimonut.com Fax: (905) YEL-NUTS (935-6887) Catalogue Site: www.grimonut.com

R.R. #4 Creek Road Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON. L0S 1J0 Tel: (905) 262-4971 Fax: (905) 262-4404 howardcolcuc@rogers.com

ASPARAGUS ROOTS Jersey Giant

Wrightland Farm RR 1 • 1000 Ridge Rd. Harrow, ON N0R 1G0 Keith: 519-738-6120 Fax: 519-738-3358

CLASSIFIEDS FOR SALE 1. 1 Netafim trickle irrigation filter with electric backwash. (2 disc filter, 5 hp electronic pump, 2” intake and discharge, enough ½” lateral lines for 20 acres or orchard with emitter spacing from 3’ to 8’), $5000 OBO 2. 80 lengths of 4” x 24’ sch 80 PVC grey pipe, drive fit. $30/length 3. 1 Gorman Rupp PTO pump 540 with 5” intake and discharge, $500 4. 15 aluminum orchard ladders 6’, $50/ladder 5. 1 Perfect orchard mower Model 300, pull type. 10’ cuts and adjusts to 14’ to 20’ alley, $5000 OBO 6. 1 Turbo Mist orchard sprayer. 300 gallon, 24” fan, $7000 OBO Call Tom: 416 464 8147

Diesel self propelled Onion Harvester, 6,500; Onion Harvester pull type, 2,500; Univerco Onion Puller, 12,500; Pickling Onion Equipment (combine, digger, grading line) 7,500; Howard 10 foot Rototiller, 4,200; 2705 MF Tractor, 8,500; 2775 MF Tractor, 13,000; Irrigation Pipe: 6 inch, 120 each; 5 inch, 75 each; 4 inch, 45 each; 3 inch, 30 each; Pipe Fittings (call for pricing); 21 Irrigation Stations, 200 each; 7 Irrigation Guns, 300 each; Berkley Irrigation Pump Diesel Model B4JQBH, 6,000; PTO driven Irrigation Pump, 1,500; 250 Used Hardwood Carrot/Onion Totes, 35.00 each; Stanhay Belt Planter 4-row, 4,200; Drum style 2 row bedder, 1,500; 7 foot Western Snow Plow steel 1,700; Call Leamington 519-3260093 or e-mail brunojmb@gmail.com

Proprietor Ernie Grimo

C.O.

KEDDY

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


MARCH 2012 –– PAGE B11 THE GROWER

MARKETPLACE

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

EQUIPMENT

Pipe & Fittings for Water Systems

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

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

Winona Concrete & Pipe Products Ltd.

Quality Fruit Trees for 60 years.

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

Phone (905) 945-8515 Fax: (905) 945-1149

Mori Nurseries

or call toll-free

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

1-800-361-8515

www.morinurseries.com

EQUIPMENT

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

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


PAGE B12 –– MARCH 2012 THE GROWER

MARKETPLACE

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

IN STOCK NOW!!! 400, 500, 600 GAL.

ALL STAINLESS STEEL Made in Canada

CALL ABE FIRST FOR BETTER PRICES, MORE CHOICES, FAST, AND FRIENDLY SERVICE. BUY A DIESEL ENGINE FROM THE DIESEL MECHANIC.

NEW Turbo-Mist SPRAYERS - CLEAN TRADES NEEDED - ALL MAKES LOW DRIFT SPRAY TOWERS to fit any TURBO-MIST - IN STOCK NOW Turbo-Mist 500 gal, Myers Centrifugal Pump, Almost New . . . . . $16,750 Turbo-Mist 500 gal, Narrow, Hydraulic Controls, Like New . . . . . $15,900 FMC LV500 Good Piston Pump, Hydraulic Controls, Good Paint, New Nozzle Bodies - Very Clean Good Sprayer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $5,500 Perfect KG220, H.D. Flail Demo - 5 Hrs, Full Warranty . . . . . . . $9,200 Perfect DR365, Variable 7ft to 12 ft Rotary Mower . . . . . . . . .COMING Perfect ZA380, 13ft Rotary Mower, New Blades . . . . . . . . . . . $5,500 Girette 3-Wheel Self Propelled Orchard Man Lift . . . . . . . . . . . $7,500

New Perfect H.D. Flail Mulchers in Stock New Myers Centrifugal Sprayer Pumps in Stock **Turbo-Mist Parts & Service Available - 7 Days a Week (In Season)** ** Instant photos to you by e-mail - all advertised items ** TRADES, CONSIGNMENTS, LEASING, DELIVERY ANYWHERE

D O N A RT H U R O R C H A R D E Q U I P M E N T (519) 599-3058 donarthur@georgian.net Clarksburg, ON

REAL ESTATE

AVAILABLE NOW NEW IRRIGATION PUMP UNITS ON TRAILER • Cummin 4 cyl, 80 HP, $11,900 • Cummin 4 cyl turbo, 105 HP $13,850 • John Deere, 4 cly, 80 HP, $13,175 • Cummin 6 cyl, 165 HP-5.9L, $15,750 • Iveco/Cummins 130 HP (134-H), $12,950

BOGBALLE “L” SERIES ORCHARD SPREADERS - 550 KG TO 1150 KG CAPACITY - NARROW HOPPER PROFILE - 2 -ROW STAINLESS STEEL CONVEYOR - ADJUSTABLE SPREAD WIDTH - "INTELLIGENT SPREADING"

Robert H. Laning & Sons Ltd. Waterford, Ontario, Canada N0E 1Y0 1-800-461-9691 Email: laning@kwic.com www.laning.ca

All with Rovatti Pumps, etc. And many more new or used up to 550 HP. We build them all big or small. Also couplers, hoses, clamps, for suction, camlock, ringlock, etc.

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

SEED POTATO

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

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

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

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

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

FOR SALE: Greefa model MSE 2000, Fruit Sizer, new in 2004, 4 lane, 5 cups/second/lane, 4 drops and an all out, camera sizing. Light usage, only 7 weeks/year. $40,000. NIAGARA ORCHARD & VINEYARD CORP 905-646-5777 or alepp@niagaraorchard.com

PROPOGATION


MARCH 2012 –– PAGE B13 THE GROWER

MARKETPLACE

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

PRUNING

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

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

Supplying Fruit and Vegetable Growers with: • Baskets • Masters • Fertilizer • Vineyard Trellis Supplies

• Berry Boxes • Waxed Cartons • Crop Protection Material

Produce Pr odu uce P Packaging ackaging

Available anywhere in Ontario!

Manufacturer & Distributor

Simply the best approach to this important factor of fruit production

Call Dave (519) 372-0604 1-800-265-2397 • www.wwp.on.ca Mount Forest 519-323-1060 • Leamington Area 519-326-2394

POLLINATION

CONSULTING SERVICES

Soil Beneficial Fungi Trichoderma spp. colonize soil around the roots, making nutrients available to the plants, taking space from the pathogenic fungi and results in bigger healthier plants. Customly designed for your soil and crop. Order yours today. Phone: 519-822-6743 Cell: 226-979-7172 Email: kan57@hotmail.com


PAGE B14 –– MARCH 2012 THE GROWER

MARKETPLACE

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

CROP TUNNELS

Change of address? www.thegrower.org

REFRIGERATION

ORIENTAL VEGETABLE

Oriental Vegetable Seeds

Korea Green - F1 Black Pearl

KOOL JET

® One-Piece and Portable Skid-Mount Systems, HydroCoolers, Medical and Process Chillers, Blast Freezers, Vacuum Coolers, Refrigerated Dehumidifiers.

Reliable Refrigeration Systems

1-866-748-7786 www.kooljet.com Visit our website to view our complete line

Custom Built Designs • Domestic and International Markets

Szechuan Red

Dan Fong

AgroHaitai Ltd. Ph: 519-647-2280 • Fax: 519-647-3188 seed@agrohaitai.com• www.AgroHaitai.com


MARCH 2012 –– PAGE B15 THE GROWER

Growers have some unusual traditions — things they do every year to ensure a successful growing season. From the hula girl one grower pulls out at planting, to the barn dance another grower throws after every harvest, you go with what works. Just like the products that come through for you year after year, why mess with a good thing?

Thanks for putting your trust in our products. For more information, visit www.gowithwhatworks.ca or call 1-866-761-9397 toll free.

Always read and follow label directions. ELEVATE, the ELEVATE logo, MAESTRO, the MAESTRO logo, KANEMITE and the KANEMITE logo are registered trademarks of Arysta LifeScience North America, LLC. “Go with what works” is a trademark of Arysta LifeScience North America, LLC. Arysta LifeScience and the Arysta LifeScience logo are registered trademarks of Arysta LifeScience Corporation. ORTHENE is a registered trademark of OMS Investments, Inc., exclusively licensed to Arysta LifeScience Corporation in numerous countries. ©2012 Arysta LifeScience North America, LLC. ORT-048


PAGE B16 –– MARCH 2012 THE GROWER

®

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

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

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

The Grower Newspaper March 2012  

Volume 62 Number 03