Horticultural and Livestock Research and Innovation Centres

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Purpose for the Centres

  1. Focus research and innovation priorities on industry needs working across the value chain.
  2. Drive innovation, creating new value-added products with economic and social benefits.
  3. Maximize return on investment with state-of-the-art research infrastructure that enables scientific excellence, knowledge dissemination and industry adoption.

The centres work collaboratively with agri-food partners to develop and implement research and innovation strategies and priorities, leading to industry competitiveness.

Livestock Research and Innovation Centre at Elora

As part of a major reinvestment at the Elora research station, the Livestock Research and Innovation Centre is envisioned as an integrated, multi-disciplinary livestock research centre. A new dairy facility will come on stream in 2015 with additional building projects for other commodities anticipated in future years.

Development of these new facilities stems from a collaboration between the University of Guelph, the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario (ARIO), the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, the Livestock Research Innovation Corporation and the Ontario livestock sector. The University of Guelph manages the facilities at the Livestock Research and Innovation Centre.

Livestock Research Innovation Corporation

The Livestock Research Innovation Corporation (LRIC) is a not-for-profit corporation established to provide a coordinated industry voice for livestock and poultry research in Ontario. The members of LRIC are major Ontario livestock commodity organizations including Dairy Farmers of Ontario, Beef Farmers of Ontario, Ontario Pork and the Poultry Industry Council. The Corporation facilitates collaborative research and coordinates research strategies and priorities across the livestock and poultry value-chain. LRIC also works to make sure that research knowledge coming from investments made by the livestock sector is effectively transferred to the industry.

Vineland Research and Innovation Centre

Vineland Research and Innovation Centre

Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (VRIC) ocuses on horticultural science and innovation for Ontario and Canada. Located in the Niagara region, Vineland facilitates coordinates and delivers applied research, innovation and commercialization activities that:

  • focus on the needs of Ontario's horticulture industry
  • support competitiveness of the industry
  • meet consumer demands for innovative products

Vineland's main activities are:

  • coordinating and conducting applied research projects
  • use of knowledge translation and transfer methods to communicate their research results
  • supporting commercialization opportunities that bring new products and technologies to the marketplace
  • facilitating partnerships and collaboration among industry, academic and government organizations.

Success Stories

  1. Introduction of World Crops to Ontario

Photograph of locally grown world crops such as egg plant and ochra.

Photo 1. Production of World Crop: we've been very impressed with the work that Vineland is doing to help develop the market for locally-grown world crops" Bruno Bertucci, produce buyer, Longo's.

Vineland's World Crops project has created extensive interest in the production of new crops for Ontario. Fruits and vegetables native to Caribbean, African and Asian countries would have strong markets in the multi-cultural cities of Canada. By 2031, over 60% of Toronto's population will be from ethnic backgrounds.

OMAFRA, Vineland and others collaborated on research to determine best production practices for these world crops under Ontario growing conditions. They transferred knowledge gained from the research to Ontario farmers to encourage development of local sources of specialty produce that could replace imports.

Vineland also worked with retail and food service partners to help expand the market pull for world crops produced in Ontario. The result - increased acreages of these crops in Ontario and receptive local consumers.

  1. Robotics for Repetitive Tasks in Horticulture

Photo of a robot designed to recognize and plant bulbs in containers for the nursery package potted plants for the nursery industry.

Photo 2: The floriculture greenhouse sector may be able to use robotics to do highly repetitive tasks like packing potted plants or planting bulbs as pictured here.

Vineland, in collaboration with the horticultural industry, has initiated research and development for the use of robotics to automate certain tasks. They searched the world for available technologies that could be applied under Ontario conditions.

The result - robots designed to automate the packaging of potted plants which would significantly reduce labour costs for producers. Vineland is now working with industry to promote the technology in commercial operations in the province.

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For more information:
E-mail: research.omafra@ontario.ca
Author: Stuart Budd, Senior Research Advisor/RIB
Creation Date: 17 March 2014
Last Reviewed: 18 February 2015