Agricultural Adaptation Council: April 2012 Newsletter

Feature Story

Natural Weed Control for Ontario Vegetables

As the demand for organic food increases throughout the developed world, weed management remains one of the most significant agronomic problem associated with organic crop production. A project led by the Fresh Vegetable Growers of Ontario will help address this problem.

Utilizing an investment of $52,000, received through the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP), this project will focus on weed control efficacy, crop safety and synergy of manuka oil applied alone or in mixtures with other natural weed control products to control or effectively suppress weeds in organic crop production.

Weed control efficacy and crop safety trials will be conducted to evaluate herbicides to manage weeds in organic crops and new natural herbicides will be compared to currently-approved standard products in order to evaluate their efficacy and safety. This research will be conducted at the Simcoe Research Station and on-farm locations.

"Farming practices which provide the fresh market vegetable growers with weed control methods which incorporate non-chemical alternatives using sensible processes that are cost effective will be of great benefit to both organic and fresh vegetable growers" says Mark Srokosz, Director of the Fresh Vegetable Growers of Ontario.

This research will lead to novel uses of bioactive natural products and provide organic growers and the public with alternatives to synthetic chemical herbicides. This project will also serve as an important component for integrated pest management systems for organic agriculture. It will also help growers identify successful solutions to the long standing issue of managing weeds in organic crop production. Developing new natural weed control products, with superior weed management properties to control or effectively suppress weeds, will help the organic crop production industry and fresh vegetable growers remain competitive and sustainable into the future.

Investment in this project has been provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the CAAP. In Ontario, this program is delivered by the Agricultural Adaptation Council.

Read the full March AAC newsletter here.

Learn more about the AAC.