August 3, 2022
CNLA sets research priorities

CNLA sets research priorities

The CNLA Research Committee met recently to discuss and develop a research priority list for the Canadian nursery/landscape/retail sectors. The Canadian Ornamental Horticulture Alliance (COHA) is initiating a call for proposals for the next Ornamental Research Cluster and setting priorities to guide that call is the first step.

Listed below (in order of priority) are the most important research needs of Canada’s nursery sector value chain, as identified by the committee:
  • Survival of trees/plants after transplant in the landscape.
  • Understanding the impact of urban trees/plants/forests on climate.
  • Plastics use reduction in nursery/landscape.
  • New plant development for ornamental horticulture.
  • Improvements in water use management.
  • Pest and disease solutions.
  • Mechanization/automation in nursery/landscape.

Since COHA represents floriculture as well, priorities will be combined with those of the nursery sector to ensure the research projects selected to be part of the Ornamental cluster will address challenges in both sectors. Priorities must also align with those identified by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for the 2023-2028 Agri Science Clusters program. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada have released their guidelines for the next cluster proposal process and have identified three broad themes where funding will be allocated.

Climate change and the environment:
Focusing on greenhouse gas emission reductions and carbon sequestration, as well as other environmental areas including: soil health, water quality, air quality, biodiversity and plastics.

Increased profitability:
Focusing on emerging technologies to address labour challenges, create more value-added products, and increase productivity.

Sector resilience:
Research aimed at improving sector resilience in response to market and societal pressures, including mental health.

Expect more information and inquiries from CNLA in the next few months as it embarks on the arduous journey of preparing a proposal to AAFC for this fourth COHA Research cluster. COHA and its member associations are focused on submitting the proposal by Nov. 1, 2022 with an anticipated start of April 1, 2023 for projects. For more information, contact Leslie Sison CAE, CNLA Industry Human Resources and Government Relations at