Canada: On-Farm Innovations for Improved Pest Management Decisions on Ontario Nursery Farms

A new project led by the Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association (LOHTA), will provide Ontario nursery growers with innovative tools to improve the on-farm application of pest control products. With $17,900 in approved funding through the Ontario Farm Innovation Program (OFIP), the project has two areas of focus: a Demo Day, and converting a crop protection guide into an online searchable database.

The Demo Day will share technological developments through a hands-on demonstration, Intelligent Spray Systems for Nursery Crops, with Ontario nursery growers. This workshop was conducted by OMAF and MRA specialists, USDA-ARS researchers and Ohio State University Extension specialists on August 15. Forty-three Ontario growers were provided with valuable information, and hands-on opportunities to partake in optimal pesticide application technologies that can improve pesticide application, and demonstrate key principles in application technology; namely calibrating and spraying according to shape, size and density of the target. The educational event was hosted by J.C. Bakker and Sons Ltd. Wholesale Nurseries in St. Catherine's.

The second focus of this project is to convert the Crop Protection Guide for Nursery and Landscape Plants, published by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, and Ministry of Rural Affairs, into an online searchable database that can be kept up-to-date in real time. Ontario growers will have the ability to search for appropriate recommended control treatments based on a number of criteria including species, pest/disease/weed, and active ingredient. The database was developed by Dragonfly Information Systems Inc. in partnership with the OMAF and MRA Nursery Crops Specialist and be made accessible from multiple devices including: computer, iPhone, Android, and Blackberry.

"The Demo Day and online crop protection database, will, for the first time, provide growers with the advantage of using an on-farm, fast, accurate, and innovative search tool to help support their Integrated Pest Management programs," says AAC Chair, John Kikkert.

The OFIP is funded through Growing Forward 2 (GF2), a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists in the delivery of GF2 in Ontario.

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