Ontario Supporting Farmers Through Research InvestmentsPublished on October 22, 2020
Province Investing $6.5M to Advance Environmental, Economic Development and Plant Health Agri-Food Research
Ontario is investing $6.52 million into more than 40 agri-food research projects that will support the production of safe, high-quality food, stimulate economic growth, and contribute to even more environmentally friendly agriculture practices.
Through the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance, a collaboration between the Ontario government and the University of Guelph, funded research projects underway include:
- Enhancing integrated pest management for leaf diseases in onions
- Using breeding and genomic approaches to develop disease-resistant soybeans for Ontario's changing environment
- Identifying market conditions for small scale on-farm anaerobic digestion to produce biogas or nutrient-rich fertilizer
- Improving outcomes for Ontario apple producers though precision agriculture and labour efficiency strategies
- Digital mapping of soil carbon and nutrients in the Great Clay Belt to better understand effects of land conversion on agricultural practices
- Establishing a baseline for provincial soil properties that will support better soil health assessments
- Assessing herbicidal tolerance of cover crops during years with adverse weather
- Improving food rescue and recovery in the province's industrial, commercial and institutional sectors
- Investigating noise impacts of grain dryers on neighbouring land uses
- Examining the current state of drainage infrastructure in Ontario.
"The research we're investing in is vital to helping Ontario's hardworking farmers and food businesses remain competitive and profitable," said Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. "Now, more than ever, we need to support innovative solutions that improve production practices, protect our environment and stimulate growth in our agri-food sector."
"University of Guelph researchers proudly and enthusiastically generate powerful innovations through their world-class research, escalating the competitiveness of Ontario's agri-food sector in the global marketplace," said Malcolm Campbell, Vice-President (Research). "As Guelph researchers have done for nearly a century and a half, we're making profoundly important discoveries, creating positively impactful innovations, fuelling an economic powerhouse, and reinforcing the production of safe, dependable, sustainable, and nutritious food."
All research projects are supported by strategies to ensure Ontario's agri-food sector can benefit from the new knowledge, technologies and solutions developed through provincially funded research.
- The Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance, a collaboration between the Ontario government and the University of Guelph, helps the province’s agri-food and rural sectors grow and innovate.
- The Alliance’s total investment of $8.7M in agri-food research at the University of Guelph in areas of environmental sustainability, animal and plant health and production, as well as economic development help to keep Ontario’s agri-food sector strong.
- To learn more about agri-food research funded through the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, please visit OMAFRA's research portal.
- In 2019, Ontario’s agri-food industry contributed $47.3 billion in GDP to the provincial economy and supported more than 860,000 people working throughout the province in the agri-food sector.