March 15, 2014
Landscape Ontario received approval from government agencies Growing Forward 2 (GF2), the Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC) for three projects.

The total value of the three projects announced on Feb. 12 is $87,589. A total of 49 projects were approved for Ontario, amounting to over $5.2 million in investments. The projects are part of the Organizations and Collaborations stream of GF2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative, and the Ontario Farm Innovation Program of GF2, which the AAC delivers in Ontario.

$45,476 was approved for the Landscape Ontario project to develop a sustainable environmental management strategy for the nursery sector through research and outreach.

This project is to develop and implement a sector-specific strategy to manage water and nutrients in an environmentally sustainable manner.

The project will investigate and characterize nursery overflow water and determine its suitability for possible inclusion the Nutrition Management Act as a means to more simply regulate low-risk horticultural wastewaters. The nursery sector wants to ensure that future options and regulations capture the low-risk nature of their wastewaters, and that regulations consider the economic importance of supporting production of nursery stock in Ontario.
Data will be collected to help with the development of technical options and best management practices for the nursery sector. The implementation component will focus on education for the growers, to ensure they are aware of current legislation and how they can incorporate best management practices (BMPs) to decrease their impact on the environment.

The second project received approval for $17,900 to research on-farm innovations for improved pest management decisions on Ontario nursery farms.

A new innovation for spray applications is an advanced and affordable spray system that employs intelligent technologies to continuously match system operating parameters to crop characteristics during pesticide applications. A demo day will be held in Ontario to transfer valuable information and hands-on opportunities to demonstrate optimal pesticide application technology to help growers improve their pesticide efficiency and efficacy. The Crop Protection Guide for Nursery and Landscape Plants is a valuable guide for Ontario growers. It will be converted into an online searchable database that can be kept up to date in real time. Users will have the ability to search for appropriate recommended control treatments based on a number of criteria including genus, pest/disease/weed and active ingredient. The database will be open access for all growers, but there will be password protected areas for growers to store and access their private farm information.

The third project, valued at $24,193, will develop a sustainable environmental management strategy for the nursery sector through research and outreach.

The purpose of this facet of the Greening the Highways research is to encourage the MTO to adopt innovative site remediation practices for highway roadside planting sites that demonstrate the health and vigour of Ontario nursery products when planted in a soil environment that supports plant growth. This project will provide nursery growers with scientific, credible and Ontario-based data that can lead to the development of production methods and species selection for tree liners grown in Ontario that are better suited to growth in harsh environments.