Charlottetown Research and Development Centre

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

The Charlottetown Research and Development Centre, Charlottetown, P.E.I.

The Charlottetown Research and Development Centre is part of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's national network of 20 research centres. The Charlottetown Research and Development Centre focuses on the development and transfer of knowledge and innovative technologies for agriculture in Atlantic Canada. Its mission is to undertake research to enhance environmental sustainability of crop production systems in the heavily leached soils and sensitive watersheds of the Atlantic Region, diversification from bioresources both regionally and nationally, and innovation in primary production agriculture. The centre also supports national research in integrated crop protection and several national crop breeding programs.

This Centre was established in 1909 along with the "Home Farm" which remains in use for test plots of cereals and oilseeds as well as field work on alternative crops. Today, despite its name, the Charlottetown Research and Development Centre no longer undertakes livestock research, and has shifted focus to match a national priority of agri-culture and agri-food product diversification, value added growth, environmental sustainability, and the priority on development of a sustainable bio-economy.

The centre is associated with two satellite locations: Harrington Research Farm and the Institute of Nutrisciences and Health (INH) located on the University of Prince Edward Island campus. These locations support research in human health and wellness and the protection of the food supply.

The overall research direction for Charlottetown Research and Development Centre is to take production beyond traditional commodity-based markets and to open new areas to producers in the Region while maintaining environmental sustainability. The Centre leads research in:

  • Integrated crop production systems and agricultural diversification
  • Bio-based products and processes from bioresources in existing and emerging crops
  • Environmental stewardship: improved performance of the agricultural production system

Areas of Research

The Charlottetown Research and Development Centre conducts research in integrated crop production systems, agricultural diversification, development of bio-based products and processes from bioresources, existing or emerging crops, as well as management strategies and practices to improve the environmental performance of production systems in the region.

The Centre's areas of core research are aligned with national priorities to help the sector adapt and remain competitive in domestic and global markets. Greater participation in research networks and industry-led partnerships expands the Centre's innovation capacity.

Managing Canada's Soil and Water Resources

  • Conducting research on ways to keep soil and water healthy on lands used for agriculture
  • Studying soil conservation practices. The focus is on a variety of practices such as little or no tillage of the soil, or managing soils to maintain soil health, crop yield and quality
  • Conducting research on soil stability, erosion and quality along streams, rivers and lakes and exploring ways to manage waste from agricultural practices to reduce the impact on the environment

Sustainable Production Systems

  • Researching cropping systems and crop rotations to enhance environmental and economic sustainability
  • Examining and managing soil nutrients to maximize crop production, while minimizing environmental risk
  • Conducting research on organic production systems to achieve improved crop yield with reduced environmental impact

Pest Management: Maximum Benefit, Minimal Risk

  • Determining the most favourable conditions and timing for applying pesticides to control weeds, disease and insects - maximizing benefits and minimizing risks
  • Bioprospecting for biopesticides
  • Studying ecological approaches to managing pests in order to reduce pesticide use
  • Characterizing fungal and nematode populations for their impact on crops

Improved Food Production for the Future

  • Conducting research on the genetic potential of crop species - including wheat, barley, corn and soybeans - so that they can withstand climate stress and produce better yield and quality
  • Undertaking innovative research to examine the potential of these crops to resist diseases such as the fungus causing Fusarium Head Blight
  • Evaluating new potato lines and cultivated varieties that will have a higher yield, improved quality and better resistance to blight

Bioresources and Value-Added Crops

  • Conducting research on new crops with potential to have value-added bioactive components. Foods with these components could have important physiological benefits beyond basic nutrition
  • Conducting research on crops with functional food attributes or industrial capabilities such as for biofuels
  • Bioprospecting from local, regional and national bioresources

Facts, Figures and Facilities

  • Located in the provincial capital, Charlottetown, the University of Prince Edward Island campus, and the Harrington Research Farm
  • The main office-laboratory complex in Charlottetown has 65 hectares of land and over 7000 square meters of lab and office space; the Harrington Research Farm, located 11 kilometres north of Charlottetown, has 330 hectares of land and a state-of-the-art greenhouse facility
  • Regional Analytical Chemistry Lab
  • Team of scientists and technicians involved in a collaborative research agreement with the National Research Council and the University of Prince Edward Island in the area of bioresources and health for the discovery and development of value-added biobased products and processes from current or new crops
  • Growth cabinets
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance analyzer
  • Insect rearing rooms and collections
  • State-of-the-art field scale water quality monitoring plots
  • Weather-monitoring station operated with Environment Canada and part of a national network
  • Linkages and networking with provincial departments, universities and industry
  • Co-located at the Centre are:
    • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Regional Office
    • Island Nature Trust

Contact Us

440 University Avenue
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
C1A 4N6
Telephone: 902-370-1400
Fax: 902-370-1444

Knowledge and Technology Transfer Office – Atlantic
Email: KTTOA-BTCTA@agr.gc.ca

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