Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

March 17, 2011 11:17 ET

Government of Canada Invests in Research to Improve Pest Management for Potato Growers

Dynamic fight against the Golden Nematode

SAINT-AMBROISE, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - March 17, 2011) - Canadian potato growers will benefit from a Government of Canada investment into research that will help them control parasites. The Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture), announced today that the Centre de recherche Les Buissons inc. will receive up to $700,000 to develop an integrated parasite management strategy to combat potato cyst nematodes.

"By investing in innovation, we are helping our producers to be more competitive. This investment ensures that the sector has the means to overcome the challenges they face" said Minister Blackburn. "This research will provide producers with tools to help improve pest management practices for potato production in Canada and allow them to remain competitive in international markets."

Potato cyst nematodes (PCN) are major parasites that negatively impact potato production. The funding announced today will go towards studying the biological traits of the parasites in order to reduce the population below detectable levels. Researchers will be looking in particular at PCN virulence and resistance when exposed to different varieties of potatoes. The project will also study alternative, biological controls and develop best practices to limit the risk of contamination, such as using resistant potato varieties in rotation.

"The investment made today by the federal government into researching the cyst nematode will provide the means for our industry to combat this problem and to reduce its impact on producers" said Pierre Chouinard, President and CEO of the CRLB.

This research project to support industry-led science and technology is a part of the $159 million investment in the Growing Canadian Agri-Innovations Program. This five-year program promotes initiatives that help get new agricultural products onto the marketplace and contributes to the improvement of agricultural processes.

In addition, Canada's Economic Action Plan supports agriculture as a core economic driver in this country. The Government of Canada is focused on strengthening the economy today, while preparing to pay down the deficit when the time is right, and to create and protect jobs in the future.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    The Office of the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn
    Celine Falardeau
    Senior Advisor, Communications