January 15, 2010
Two LO projects are among the six announced to receive funds for research into finding alternatives to manage pests in lawns, gardens and parks.

Following the Ontario cosmetic pesticide ban becoming law in April, the provincial government, through the Ministry of Environment, provided an initial $480,000 to the Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC) to establish the Cosmetic Use Pesticide Research and Innovation (CUPRI) funding to investigate new approaches. The ban brought with it an urgent need to develop alternatives to the use of pesticides. The ACC was named administrator of CUPRI.  

“The MOE designed the CUPRI Program in recognition that research and innovation is a necessary part of ongoing pest control in Ontario,” says Jim Rickard, chair of the board of directors of the AAC. “The Agricultural Adaptation Council is pleased to help allocate funds to companies and organizations in the sod, turf grass, landscape, and lawn care sectors. These projects will build on the already strong Integrated Pest Management (IPM) system used extensively by landscapers, turf specialists and farmers in Ontario where pest damage is minimized by a number of economically and environmentally sound methods including soil cultivation, resistant crop varieties and natural enemies.”

The objectives of the approved projects will be to undertake research and innovation to accomplish the following:
  • Encourage development of biopesticides and lower-risk pesticides for managing lawn and garden pests
  • Assess the feasibility of commercialization of biopesticides and lower risk pesticides for maintaining lawns and gardens
  • Promote innovation of alternatives to the use of pesticides for lawn, garden, parks and turfgrass care
  • Support growth of “green” industries and “greener” approaches to maintaining landscapes
Throughout the summer, the AAC solicited project proposals from companies, commodity associations, trade organizations and research and academic institutions. The successful applicants were announced in December. They are:
Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association, $22,992 — This project will look at the effectiveness of using steam and solarization treatments for weed control in ornamental gardens and lawns.         
Ontario Horticultural Trades Foundation, $86,500 — Biological control strategies will be identified and developed to address the problem of white grubs in lawns and turf grass.                 
University of Guelph, $112,968 —- New research projects at the University will evaluate alternatives to cosmetic pesticides to manage weeds in lawns, and fruit and vegetable gardens.       
6310907 Canada Inc., $60,000 — The purpose of this project is to develop the fungus Curvularia into an effective and selective bioherbicide for crabgrass.            
Ontario Turfgrass Research Foundation, $21,000 — The efficacy of the Mustard Bio-product CA-1 will be evaluated for use as a bioherbicide.             
Environmental Factor, $30,000 — Hydrolyzed liquid corn gluten will be evaluated for efficacy in controlling weeds, compared to the granular formulation.

All projects are to be completed by March 31, 2011.

The Agricultural Adaptation Council sources and provides funding programs with a primary focus on the Ontario agriculture and agri-food industry. The AAC is a non-profit coalition of 72 agricultural, agri-food and rural organizations in Ontario.