Category Archives: fruit

Keeping an invasive new fruit pest under control

Spotted Wing Drosophila under the microscope - webBy Lilian Schaer for AgInnovation Ontario

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Simcoe, Ontario – A new invasive vinegar fly is threatening Ontario’s soft-skinned berry and tender fruit crops. But thanks to the Ontario Farm Innovation Program (OFIP), researchers and farmers are learning more about Spotted Wing Drosophila and how they can keep the pest from destroying their fruit.

Unlike common vinegar flies that are attracted to spoiled fruit, Spotted Wing Drosophila goes after healthy fruit just before harvest. It lays eggs underneath the skin of intact fruit, and as the larvae feed, the fruit tissue breaks down and becomes soft and leaky, resulting in decreased fruit quality and yield.

“Spotted Wing Drosophila has been on the radar in North America since 2010 and it was first identified in Ontario late that year following identification in other provinces and in the United States,” explains Hannah Fraser, Horticulture Entomology Program Lead with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Continue reading

Ontario greenhouse business enhances its competitive edge with Growing Forward 2 funding

This story comes to us from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

Andrew Hendriks Jr. in the greenhouse

Andrew Hendriks Jr., General Manager of Hendriks & Sons Greenhouses in Niagara, Ontario.

Niagara Region – Andrew Hendriks Jr. knows that in his business, he must constantly evolve. It’s the only way to stay competitive in the greenhouse industry.

Since 1953, the Hendriks family has operated Hendriks & Sons Greenhouses in Niagara, Ontario. Andrew is the grandson of business founder Peter Hendriks and is now the general manager of this family greenhouse operation after taking over from his father, Andrew Sr. Continue reading

New “Made in Canada” pear now available in local grocery stores

Cold Snap pear cut - web By Kelly Daynard for AgInnovation Ontario

Quick: name a variety of pear available in your local grocery store. You might be able to come up with one or two but if you can’t go past that, you’re not alone.

Research conducted by the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (Vineland) in 2014 showed that the average Canadian doesn’t spend a lot of time thinking about pears when they’re grocery shopping.

And unlike apples where names come more readily, consumers can rarely name pear varieties that they like.

A new partnership though between Vineland and the Vineland Growers’ Co-operative Ltd. aims to change that with a new made-in-Canada pear – the Cold Snap™ pear. Continue reading

The 10 most popular innovation stories of 2015

2991-AgInnovation-Logo-avatarBy Lilian Schaer for AgInnovation Ontario

Guelph – As we get ready to bid 2015 good-bye, we thought we would take a look back at the many stories we’ve covered this year. All are focused on food and farming, on Ontario, and on innovation.

We’ve met some fascinating people over the last 12 months and covered some great innovations. Of course we loved them all, but here are the ones that resonated with you the most – our top 10 most popular agricultural innovation stories of 2015.

(By the way, our French-speaking readers have slightly different preferences – click here for our most popular French language stories). Continue reading

Researchers developing “made-in-Ontario” apple varieties

Vineland new apple varieties - webBy Lilian Schaer for AgInnovation Ontario

Vineland – Ontario plant breeders and consumer preference researchers have teamed up with the province’s apple growers to work towards bringing new, local apple varieties to market.

Traditionally, it can take 20 years or more to develop a new apple variety – time during which markets and consumer preferences can change – but a research partnership between the Ontario Apple Growers and Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (Vineland) is hoping to cut that development time in half.

To help reach this goal, researchers are incorporating data from Vineland’s consumer and sensory research. This involved asking a sensory panel to identify the apple characteristics they found most appealing which will help develop new apple varieties that specifically meet the needs and wants of Ontario consumers. Continue reading