Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

February 22, 2012 10:29 ET

Harper Government Helping Grow Productivity on Vegetable Farms

NIAGARA FALLS, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 22, 2012) - New research investment will help vegetable producers become more productive and profitable. Minister of Justice Rob Nicholson, Member of Parliament (Niagara Falls), on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, announced today an investment of more than $230,000 for the Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers (OPVG) to discover the optimal soil conditions for growing cover crops as part of crop rotation.

"Our government's top priority remains the economy, and Canada's vegetable growers play an important role in driving jobs and economic growth in Niagara," said Mr. Nicholson. "This investment will help vegetable producers implement economically and environmentally sustainable weed-management practices, leading to increased production and a stronger bottom line."

Cover crops help replenish the soil by reducing erosion, sequestering nitrogen and improving pest management. This two-year study will assess how cover crops such as annual rye, wheat, oats and oilseed radishes are affected by residual herbicides that have been applied for previous crops like soybeans or corn.

The study will be conducted by the OPVG, which represents about 600 processing vegetable growers across Ontario. The organization annually negotiates prices and terms and conditions of sale for growers of 13 crops - tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet corn, green peas, green and wax beans, carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, beets, peppers, pumpkin, squash and lima beans.

"As growers continue to make their farms environmentally sustainable, this project will help determine the compatibility of potential cover crops within vegetable production systems," said Phil Richards, OPVG chairman, a processing tomato grower from Dresden, Ontario.

This investment is delivered through the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP), a five-year (2009-2014), $163-million initiative that aims to help the Canadian agricultural sector adapt and remain competitive.

The Next Phase of Canada's Economic Action Plan, coupled with other Government of Canada programs and initiatives such as CAAP, continues to help farmers by focusing on creating jobs and strengthening the economy.

For more information on CAAP, please visit www.agr.gc.ca/caap.

Contact Information

  • Media Relations
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    613-773-7972
    1-866-345-7972

    Meagan Murdoch
    Director of Communications
    The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    613-773-1059