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Cranberry research project backed

Feds pony up to help determine which new varieties fromRutgers will work best here.

By Judie Steeves I

nitial work at the new Cranberry Research Centre in Delta came another step closer this spring with $218,500 in federal funds.

The money is earmarked for selecting the most promising new cranberry varieties for local conditions from those bred at Rutgers University in New Jersey and determining the best local horticultural practices for each. Jack Wessel, general manager of the B.C. Cranberry Marketing Commission, said growers will match the funding, which will help them plan and plant out the research plots in the first couple of years at the newly- established research facility.

Wessel said he isn’t sure yet when planting will begin. Higher yields are one of the top priorities for any new varieties selected for trials here in B.C., but they will need to be tested under local conditions to learn what their habits are here and what techniques are needed for them to reach optimum production here.

In announcing the grant, Delta-Richmond MP Kerry-

Lynne Findlay said the government’s top priority is the economy. “Cranberry growers are a great example of the hard-working farmers who help keep our economy strong. This investment will enable growers to evaluate and test new varieties with greater potential of taking on new domestic and international markets, boosting their bottom lines and strengthening the Canadian economy.” Todd May, commissioner of the BCCMA, said the industry is thrilled to receive the funding. It comes from the $163 million Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program, which aims to help the Canadian agricultural sector adapt and remain competitive.

In B.C., it is delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation.

The commission has also received $165,000 toward development of microbial biopesticides and parasitoids. That two-year project will be carried out at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

Microbial biopesticides and egg parasitoids are key tools in Integrated Pest Management programs, and this funding will help in developing local strains for local pest programs.

The money comes from the Canada-B.C. Agri- Innovation Program, a $1.5 million program funded through Growing Forward, a federal-provincial agreement. It is also delivered by the IAF.

Recycle your empty pesticide containers IT’S FREE AND EASY!

+ Triple or pressure RINSE RINSE Caps and booklet, leave the label on REMOVE 16 British Columbia Berry Grower • Summer 2012

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+ To your local collection site RETURN

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Publication:BC Fruit Grower

Issue: Spring 2011 Size:1/2 p 7.5 x 5

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