Biovigilance brings together the vegetable and fruit horticultural industry in Quebec

What's going on in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu?

The Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu Research and Development Centre works with the Canadian horticultural industry to develop sustainable and effective methods of controlling new diseases and invasive organisms.

To maximize scientific results, researchers are conducting field trials at three Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) experimental farms near the Centre. Rather than studying problems separately, they take a holistic approach to see the big picture. In addition to focusing on soil and plant health, the teams try to predict future problems. Their goal is simple: to adopt cultural practices that will promote yields while discouraging pests and invasive organisms.

Coming together to discuss biovigilance

On July 6, 2022, our research teams, producers and partners from the vegetable and fruit horticultural industry gathered under a timid sun at the Sainte-Clotilde experimental farm. With the collaboration of the Pôle d’excellence en lutte intégrée (PELI), this networking activity brought together more than 100 participants.

participants with scientist Annie-Ève Gagnon
Gathering of participants near the black soil field for the presentation of the scientist Annie-Ève Gagnon on the ongoing projects at the farm.
participants listen to a presentation by scientist Etienne Lord
Four participants listen to a presentation by scientist Etienne Lord on technologies used in the farm's fields.

"Opportunities for networking between producers and researchers are essential to improving agricultural practices. Not only do they allow producers to stay on the cutting edge, they also give researchers the opportunity to test their ideas with those who will apply the new knowledge on their farms. These productive meetings help to enrich the research in our sector. We were happy to be part of it!"

– Nicolas Chatel-Launay, Research Officer at the PELI of the Centre Local de Développement des Jardins-de-Napierville

Numerous demonstrations and presentations were offered to allow interested parties to learn more about AAFC's scientific expertise and integrated pest management approaches. Topics included:

  • lettuce production on plant mulch to improve ecological services and reduce the incidence of pests
  • use of pesticides and available alternatives
  • degradation of organic soils
  • controlling onion thrips using biological, physical and habitat-management control agents
  • use of molecular tools and precision agriculture technologies (for example, drone imaging, robotics)

Inspiring conversations about current industry priorities and issues

Research teams and producers are making the fight against climate change a daily priority. This topic was on everyone's lips at the networking session. In addition, there were many conversations about fungicide and herbicide use, cost reduction, disease, and clean agricultural practices. With a wide range of research underway, everyone was able to learn or share some of their knowledge.

"The event was a golden opportunity for us to meet with producers and stakeholders in the vegetable-production industry," said Carl Bélec, Operations Coordinator at the Ste-Clotilde experimental farm. "It was important for us to showcase AAFC’s scientific expertise in research and innovation and to discuss ongoing projects with stakeholders."

posters summarizing current research projects in a white tent
Posters summarizing current research projects on the farm, available to participants, in a white tent near the field.

We hope you’ll join us for our upcoming engagement activities!


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