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OMAFRA invests in ag research

OMAFRA invests in ag research

The University of Guelph will study possible solutions to crop issues

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

The provincial government is investing more than $1 million to help researchers find solutions to crop challenges affecting Ontario producers.

Yesterday, OMAFRA announced $1.3 million in funding through the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance to the University of Guelph. The money will go towards multiple research projects including

  • surveilling blight management in field tomatoes
  • investigating production of a year-round supply of high-quality potatoes for Ontario
  • developing approaches to combat Fusarium in wheat.

Providing farmers with relevant and current resources will help them overcome challenges during their cropping seasons, said Ernie Hardeman, minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs.

“We know plant diseases can be very difficult to deal with and expensive for farmers,” he said in a statement yesterday. “By giving crop farmers up-to-date information and tools, they can make better decisions to sustain and improve crop health and productivity.”

Producers are interested in what the research could turn up.

Coming up with different approaches to the challenge of Fusarium could be difficult because weather can dictate the disease, said Byron Gutoskie, a cash crop grower from Chatham-Kent, Ont.

“As farmers we can choose the varieties, the crop protection products we apply and when to harvest the crop,” he told Farms.com. “But, at the end of the day, it boils down to Mother Nature and the kind of growing conditions you have. It’ll be interesting to see what (the researchers) are able to find.”

Farms.com has also reached out to the Ontario Potato Board for comment.

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