Current Research at the Ontario Crops Research Centre – Ridgetown

The following is a list of current projects at the Ontario Crops Research Centre – Ridgetown. 

These research summaries are a new initiative started in 2020 committed to increasing awareness of the projects being undertaken at the Research Centres. This is not an exhaustive list, but a snapshot of ongoing projects. Note that some projects may remain unlisted if they are protected intellectual property. 

Research Centres are a key part of the research process. While a portion of a project may be completed at a research centre, further analysis can occur after projects have left the facility. The projects listed here are those that are currently underway of have recently completed the research centre portion of the project. 

If you have any questions about ongoing research at the research station please email

Update regarding COVID-19

The Alliance is committed to ensuring the health and safety of staff, animals, researchers and the community. We are following guidance set out by the University of Guelph’s Office of Research with respect to biosecurity and research activities during COVID-19. Please keep in mind the status of projects may change as the response to this pandemic evolves.

Current research studies

Click to see a summary of each project.

Research summary
Objective To expand on an ongoing long-term cover crop experiment--which has shown that cover crop treatments improve soil health and crop productivity--through a two-pronged approach: i) determine if improved soil health is correlated with improved plant health in terms of disease and plant nutrient quality; and ii) evaluate the effects of increasing cover crop biodiversity and termination methods (deliberately ending the growth period) on productivity.
Benefit to Agri-food This research project will expand on best management practices (BMPs) for cover crop planting on crop yield. In addition, the biodiversity trials will be conducted across Ontario (Ridgetown, Kemptville and New Liskeard), providing region-specific BMPs to producers. This research is expected to provide knowledge that could encourage adoption of this effective practice amongst Ontario growers. 
Research summary
Objective To determine best practices and recommendations for irrigation and nitrogen fertilization for growing hazelnuts in Ontario that are suitable for processing
Benefit to Agri-food This project will produce recommendations on basic management practices needed to successfully grow hazelnuts in Ontario for processing; a key step in determining the best cropping systems for growing hazelnuts. It also presents an opportunity for Ontario farms to grow a reliable and sufficient source of this crop to meet consumer needs.
Research summary
Objective To determine the efficacy of three spore trap surveillance methods to capture the spores from Phytophthora infestans, which causes late blight, throughout the field tomato growing season and to compare these to current methods for identifying late blight risk periods.
Benefit to Agri-food This project will help to identify the high-risk period of late blight infestation, a disease that seriously impacts yields of field tomatoes grown in Ontario. This will help producers determine when to change their fungicide programs to protect the crop and will allow for more judicious fungicide use.
Research summary
Objective To investigate sustainable and long-term methods to control Cercospora Leaf Spot (CLS) in sugar beet by: 1) improving the efficacy of current available fungicides; 2) screening fungicides to determine their effectiveness against CLS and using these results to evaluate fungicide programs or explore alternative fungicides; and 3) increasing the understanding of CLS inoculum sources.
Benefit to Agri-food CLS can reduce yield, reduce sugar yield and quality, and compromise beet storage after harvest. This research will improve the long-term management of CLS in sugar beets grown in Ontario to combat the rise in fungicide resistance.