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Ottawa invests in research to help Ontario ginseng growers improve yields

By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com

The federal government announced an investment of $423,000 to the Ontario Ginseng Growers Association (OGGA) aimed at helping the province’s 140 growers increase productivity and improve yields. Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and the Honourable Diane Finley, Member of Parliament for Haldimand-Norfolk made the announcement on Sept. 10 at a stop in Simcoe, Ont.

More specifically, the funds will seek to address one of the biggest problems facing the ginseng industry – managing ginseng replant disease. The disease is highly problematic for farmers because it creates a situation where by a healthy crop of ginseng is no longer possible to be grown on the same parcel of land where it had previously been produced.

“The ginseng industry is an important contributor to the economy in Ontario and across Canada. This investment in research will drive growth and productivity, ensuring a bright future for our ginseng producers and the industry overall,” Minister Ritz said in a release.

The investment directed to the OGGA will allow the industry group to examine the factors that lead to the disease and study potential solutions to this phenomenon. On the research side of things, the focus will be on the evaluation of fungicides, the introduction of beneficial organisms and a comparison of replant and non-replant sites.

The initiative will go hand in hand with work that is already underway. Agriculture Canada’s Pesticide Risk Reduction Program is conducting research focusing on understanding the factors which contribute to the disease, and looking at crop management practices. The investment was made possible thanks to the Agri-Food Canada’s AgriInnovation Program under Growing Forward 2.


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