Hort Cluster 3

The Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada (FVGC) supports the Canadian fruit and vegetable sector in part by managing funding applications and subsequent research and promotion activities that address the sector’s top priorities.

Canadian AgriScience Cluster for Horticulture 3

With an investment of nearly $21 million ($13 million by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s AgriInnovation Program and $8 million by industry), Cluster 3 brings expertise from academia, industry and government together on 16 research activities across five commodity groups: apple, berry, greenhouse, potato and vegetable.


Sustainable Control Practices for Apple Pests in Canada

Lead: Suzanne Blatt, AAFC Kentville

Objectives: to compare four currently used commercially available pesticide products (Exirel, Imidan, Assail and Calypso) for apple maggot control and determine how many sprays are required to effect control; to provide producers a model specific to their region to predict when apple leaf curling midge will be flying in their orchards; and Evaluate the efficacy of host volatiles to capture both males and females of various leafroller species across apple growing regions in Canada.

Optimizing Storage and Postharvest Practices to Reduce Apple Loss and Improve Quality

Lead: Jennifer DeEll, OMAFRA

Objectives: Optimize postharvest practices and storage regimes for rising cultivars; Evaluate new low oxygen storage and dynamic regimes to reduce apple loss; Investigate new technology for harvest management and fruit maturity.



The Canadian Berry Trial Network

Lead: Beatrice Amyotte, AAFC Kentville

Objectives: testing new varieties and selections of strawberry, raspberry and blueberry in four provinces across Canada: British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia.


Optimizing Delia pest monitoring and management in vegetable brassicas

Lead: Jade Savage, Bishops University

Objective: to improve management practices for Delia pests of vegetable brassicas in Canada.

Development of All-Male Asparagus Hybrids with Improved Traits

Lead: David Wolyn, University of Guelph

Objectives: to develop improved all-male asparagus hybrids and conduct studies in pathology, physiology, and genetics that will translate into knowledge and resources that can accelerate breeding efforts.


Development of Regional Management Strategies and Decision Making Tools for Control of Colorado Potato Beetle

Lead: Chandra Moffat, AAFC

Objectives: to reduce economic losses to potato in Canadian growing regions due to herbivory by the Colorado potato beetle (CPB).

Common Scab: Increasing profitability of Canadian potato producers by controlling common scab

Lead: Claudia Goyer, AAFC

Objective: to evaluate several methods to control common scab of potato under a range of environmental conditions and soil types across Canada.

Late Blight: Tracking pathogen strains and their characteristics

Lead: Rick Peters, AAFC

Objectives: to track the distribution of strains of the late blight pathogen in Canada and determine various important biological characteristics of isolated strains including fungicide sensitivity, with the overall aim of improving disease management and economic returns.

Enhancement of Canadian Potato Industry through Smart Agriculture

Lead: Athyna Cambouris, AAFC

Objective: to develop and evaluate smart farming (precision agriculture: PA) practices suitable for application in several major potato production areas of Canada.

Investigating the occurrence and distribution of potato tuber necrosis-inducing viruses in Canada and studies on varietal responses to the viruses for minimizing economic losses cause by the pathogens

Lead: Xianzhou Nie, AAFC

Objectives: Revealing the occurrence and significance of potato tuber necrosis-inducing viruses in Canada; Developing accurate and efficient procedures to detect the viruses in hosts and vectors and to unveil the spread and epidemiology of the viruses, especially the soil-borne PMTV; Investigating varietal responses to the most prominent tuber necrosis-inducing virus(es), and identifying insensitive and/or resistant cultivars to the viruses.

Variety Evaluation

Lead: Virginia Dickison, AAFC

Objective: to evaluate the performance of advanced breeding selections and recently released varieties in comparison to standard potato varieties grown in each region of Canada to assess their potential as viable varieties for a particular region.

Canadian Potato Early Dying Network (CanPEDNet)

Lead: Mario Tenuta, University of Manitoba

Objectives: To reduce the severity of Potato Early Dying (PED), a major yield-limiting factor in all major potato production areas of Canada, by providing potato growers with the knowledge, tools and technologies to manage PED, and increase potato productivity and profitability in Canada.

Generate and Evaluate Integrated Pest Management Tools for Wireworm Control in Potatoes in Canada

Lead: Christine Noronha, AAFC

Objectives: Test the efficacy of new insecticides to control wireworms and click beetles; Evaluate an integrated approach to manage wireworm damage; Identify and apply novel click beetle monitoring tools; Surveillance of click beetle expansion in Canadian potato growing regions.


Integrated Management of the Pepper Weevil, an invasive pest of greenhouse pepper crops in Canada

Lead: Roselyne Labbe, AAFC Harrow

Objectives: This activity aims to address the current need for new tools for pepper weevil management, with an emphasis on reduced-risk conventional agents, bio insecticides and biological control agents.

Evaluating biological control strategies for the tomato leaf mining moth (Tuta absoluta), a potential invasive greenhouse pest

Lead: Roselyne Labbe, AAFC Harrow

Objectives: This activity will identify and develop new biological control tools that would be made available to greenhouse growers in Canada to mitigate the risks of crop losses associated with the potential invasion of the tomato leaf miner.

Reduced production cost and enhanced labour efficiency using the Guelph Intelligent Greenhouse Automation System

Lead: Medhat Moussa, University of Guelph

Objectives: This activity aims to build on the current Guelph Intelligent Greenhouse Automation System (GIGAS) scouting prototype and on previous research in harvesting and de-leafing to develop and field test an autonomous integrated prototype for a harvesting/de-leafing robot.

This project under the Canadian Agri-Science Cluster for Horticulture 3 is funded in part by the Government of Canada through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership’s AgriScience Program, a federal, provincial, territorial initiative, with support from the Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada (formerly the Canadian Horticultural Council) and industry contributors.



The Government of Canada invests to advance Canadian horticulture (AAFC News Release – March 6, 2019)

Government of Canada research investment to help manage costly potato disease (AAFC News Release – March 11, 2020)

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Canadian Agricultural Partnership

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3 billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen the agriculture and agri-food sector. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada delivers federal programs under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership aimed at generating economic growth in the agricultural sector.

The AgriScience Program aims to accelerate the pace of innovation by providing funding and support for pre-commercial science activities and cutting-edge research that benefits the agriculture and agri-food sector and Canadians. AgriScience Clusters are intended to mobilize industry, government and academia through partnerships, and address priority themes and horizontal issues that are national in scope. For more information on the AgriScience Clusters, visit AAFC’s website. 

For more information on FVGC's past projects and programs

contact Amy Argentino, Manager, Projects and Programs.

Planning for Hort Cluster 4: The Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada (FVGC) is actively preparing for the opportunity to establish a fourth Canadian AgriScience Cluster for Horticulture under Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) next agricultural policy framework for 2023-2028. For more information, visit our Planning for Hort Cluster 4 page.