Current Research at the Ontario Crops Research Centre – Simcoe

The following is a list of current projects at the Ontario Crops Research Centre – Simcoe. Note that some projects may remain unlisted if they are protected intellectual property.

If you have any questions about ongoing research at the research station please email researchstation.info@uoguelph.ca.

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 evaluate sub-surface drip irrigation in the production of asparagus grown in the field.
Benefit to Agri-food This research will provide information for the asparagus industry that will increase yield, quality and longevity of asparagus plantings, while reducing water delivery costs and disease and weed problems.
Research summary
Objective To establish baseline data on how best to grow cup crop (Silphium perfoliatum L.) in Ontario, determine biomass yields, optimize ensiling parameters for preservation, and quantify the value of the biomass when used for either biogas production or as dairy feed.
Benefit to Agri-food

Further growth of the biogas industry at farm-scale requires stable, local feedstocks to be available which return higher biogas yields than are possible with manure alone. There is strong interest in the development of the biogas and renewable natural gas industries in Ontario. Stable, local feedstocks--which return higher biogas yields than are possible with manure alone--are required for further growth. Establishing a perennial bioenergy crop such as cup plant is one potential solution to this challenge.

Research summary
Objective To reduce impacts of cyclamen mite (CM) in strawberries by developing innovative, molecular-based detection tools for CM on young strawberry leaves and by assessing the resistance of different strawberry cultivars to CM.
Benefit to Agri-food

This research will position Ontario strawberry growers to more effectively manage cyclamen mite, reduce acaricide (pesticide) use, and improve yields and profitability.

Research summary
Objective

To identify and evaluate:

  1. potato varieties for processing that could provide a 12-month supply of high-quality potatoes to the Canadian chip industry;
  2. potato varieties for fresh market use that have value-added traits such as disease tolerance and storability; and
  3. control methods for potato early dying complex (PED).
Benefit to Agri-food This project will help the Ontario potato sector remain competitive by extending the growing season for Ontario chipping potatoes. This will reduce the import costs for potato processors and increase the market share for high-value chip potatoes for local growers. This study will also provide recommendations to the Ontario potato industry for managing diseases, such as potato early dying complex, effectively and sustainably.
Research summary
Objective

To investigate the performance (yield, fruit quality and winter injury risk) of four wine grape (Vitis vinifera) cultivars grafted onto several size-controlling rootstocks including native Ontario wild grape (riparia) selections.

Benefit to Agri-food The new rootstock selections may result in reduced vine size with enhanced winter survival, faster fall acclimation rates and earlier fruit maturity which would benefit all high-vigour, cold-challenged vineyards.
Research summary
Objective

To screen hazelnut cultivars for suitability and adaptability for the Ontario hazelnut industry using advanced biotechnology tools.

Benefit to Agri-food This research will immediately benefit the Ontario hazelnut industry by improving the hazelnut supply chain. It will also benefit the entire Ontario agri-food sector by using hazelnut as a model to continually introduce beneficial germplasm (genetic material) and manage temperature fluctuation stress for any horticulture crop enhancing their yield and quality.
Research summary
Objective

To develop strategies to grow novel cider apple varieties in Ontario, as well as isolate and screen novel local yeasts for flavour/aroma diversity in Ontario-produced cider.

Benefit to Agri-food

Producing ciders with locally grown cider apples and/or locally isolated yeasts is attractive to industry because it:

- sets their products apart from imported ciders; and

- provides producers with a unique market niche.

In addition, analyzing consumer perception and cost will provide valuable information to industry on the feasibility of producing all-Ontario ciders.