On June 28, Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, opened a new facility at the Winchester Agricultural Research Station to give Eastern Ontario field crop farmers the latest research findings and crop technologies to help farm businesses grow and succeed.
“Our government is committed to supporting research that’s providing farmers with the most up-to-date information on best practices and ways to improve and grow their businesses,” said Hardeman. “We want to provide farmers in Eastern Ontario with research suited to their local conditions, and help them — and all Ontario field crop farmers — be profitable, efficient and sustainable now and into the future.”
The new facility, in conjunction with the existing 150 acres of field crops, corn, cereals and soybeans plots at the Winchester Research Station, enables research related to soil and water quality, climate change, nutrient availability and weed control. Research results from the station are then shared for commercialization or with farm businesses to be adopted to improve farm practices to help make food production safer and more efficient.
“The University of Guelph is delighted to continue to serve the Eastern Ontario agri-food sector, leveraging our world-class research to ensure the long-term productivity and competitiveness of the sector,” says Malcolm Campbell, Vice-President (Research) at the University of Guelph. “This new facility will provide a crucial hub for U of G researchers to continue working together with and in support of local and regional partners, contributing critical data to the province’s field crops research system that will help drive impactful innovation and sustain the sector across Ontario.”
“This investment in research infrastructure in Winchester helps contribute to productive, innovative and sustainable agricultural and food sectors and rural communities in Eastern Ontario,” said Dr. Lorne Hepworth, Chair of the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario.
The new 5,210 square-foot research facility has various work, storage and office areas so research samples and data can be collected and analyzed by permanent and visiting staff, graduate students and researchers. The new facility is owned by the province (through the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario) and managed by the University of Guelph, through the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance.