Charlottetown Research and Development Centre
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
440 University Avenue
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Search Scientific Staff and Expertise (Charlottetown Research and Development Centre) to learn more about the expertise of agricultural scientists working at this centre, and to find a list of their research publications.
The Charlottetown Research and Development Centre was established in 1909 in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.
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
Facilities at the Charlottetown Research and Development Centre include:
- Locations on 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
Current research activities
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
Results of our research
Agro-ecosystem productivity and health
- Generated management strategies to limit nitrate losses based on understanding behaviour of nitrates in soil and water systems that are being adopted and are improving the profitability and environmental sustainability of the sector.
- Linked the fisheries and agricultural industries of the region by developing composting methods which use seafood waste as a crop nutrient source and soil amendment.
- Developed and transferred a carrot trimmer that, by opening the canopy, changes the micro-environment and results in decreased incidence of disease; adapted by domestic and international carrot growers.
- Selected the first cultivar of Rosa for bioactive content and agronomic performance (currently in the process of being granted breeders’ rights): significant producer interest in growing the cultivar.
- Developed effective pest management strategies to decrease losses and increase environmental sustainability of potato and vegetable production, including economically important pests such as corn borer and wireworms.
- Developed and implemented scale-up isolation and purification methods to support pre-clinical in vitro and in vivo screening of bioactive plant natural products.
- Discovered and functionally characterized novel plant natural products (pyranoanthocyanins) with potential applications in human health and as a food dye additive.
Cereal and pulses
- Developed new barley cultivars with improved yield and disease resistance under eastern Canada conditions; these cultivars account for approximately one-third of barley acreage in eastern Canada.
- New Pest Management Practices for the Control of Wireworm (video) (2016-02-03)
- Atlantic Brew: New barley and hop varieties for craft breweries (video) (2015-08-13)
- Natural Defenses of Plants (video) (2015-08-13)
- The Push is on for Biopesticides (2015-02-09)
- Researcher uses composting to mine waste for buried treasure (2014-06-04)
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