Fredericton Research and Development Centre
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
850 Lincoln Road,
Post Office Box 20280
Fredericton, New Brunswick
Search Scientific Staff and Expertise (Fredericton 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 Fredericton Research and Development Centre was established in 1912 in Fredericton, New Brunswick. It also includes the Benton Ridge sub-station 100 kilometers west of Fredericton near Woodstock, New Brunswick, which supports potato germplasm enhancement activities.
Potato research is the Centre's main focus as the province of New Brunswick is a recognized world leader in potato production. The scientific research at the Centre is in three areas:
- Potato germplasm enhancement
- Crop protection
- Enhancing the environmental performance of potato production systems
Facilities at the Fredericton Research and Development Centre
- One additional field research site for a total of 627 hectares, a potato breeding substation at Benton Ridge, near Woodstock, New Brunswick, about 100 kilometres west of the Research Centre. The Fredericton Research and Development Centre and Benton Ridge locations focus on:
- Potato agroecosystem bioecology
- Potato germplasm enhancement
- Enhance environmental performance of potato production systems
- Scientists are working in close collaboration with stakeholders including provincial departments, universities and industry
- Modern laboratory, greenhouse and office complex
- Specialized laboratories for potato quality evaluation; genomics and molecular biology; and soil physical, chemical and biological analysis
- Collaborative linkages with the International Potato Research Institute in Peru and other international potato breeding programs
- Weather-monitoring station established in 1913 jointly operated with Environment Canada as part of a national network
- Location for the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Potato Gene Repository, a gene conservation program containing Canadian and international potato germplasm which is part of the Department's Plant Gene Resources of Canada
- Potato insect reference collection which includes 32,000 aphid specimens
- Co-located at the Centre are:
- Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada regional offices
- Canadian Food Inspection Agency
- Provincial offices for New Brunswick Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture
Current research activities
Agri-based science solutions for the environment
- Investigating the nutrient and mineral properties of crops and soils
- Conducting research, in the laboratory. field scale, and watershed scale, on the production of greenhouse gases, soil quality and erosion, and water quality
- Assessing chemical and non-chemical methods for controlling insect pests
- Finding new methods to reduce the use of agri-chemicals (pesticides and fertilizers) to lower production costs and environmental risks
Leading edge research for better products
- Developing new varieties of potatoes with superior traits for Canada's potato industry using traditional and leading edge technologies
- Developing new methodologies for early detection of viruses in seed potatoes
- Accelerating advanced scientific ways to improve or modify potato plants to protect them from diseases and pests, and preserve their nutritional properties during processing
- Gene mapping of traits and cloning of potato plants with important characteristics needed for processing, disease and pest resistance
- Using gene analysis technologies to identify potato varieties
Results of our research
First commercial potato variety released in 1950. Currently 18 Fredericton Research Centre-developed potato releases are in production across Canada and internationally.
- Broadened potato genetic diversity to help industry address new market trends, production constraints and a changing climate. The genetic diversity is now feeding research into varieties and has led to the diversification of potato products, including novel fresh market types such as creamers and pigmented flesh varieties that are prized by high-end restaurants.
- Developed improved diagnostic tests for Potato Virus Y (PVY), an important virus affecting potato.
Agro-ecosystem productivity and health
- Developed a new system to predict crop nitrogen availability from soil as a tool to predict fertilizer nitrogen recommendations for arable crops.
- Contributed to the development of new fertilizer nitrogen recommendations for the major arable crops in the Atlantic region.
- Developed a framework to understand how agricultural practices influence emissions of nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas, in arable crop production in humid regions like Atlantic Canada as a basis for developing mitigation strategies.
Biodiversity and bioresources
- Improved germplasm through innovative 'Accelerated Release' allows industry to evaluate and bring new varieties rapidly to market. Nine newly licensed varieties were listed under active seed multiplication and commercial sale in 2013 provincial seed directories, including two varieties (Vigor and Tarnick) adopted by a major manufacturer of potato chips and other snack foods in the Midwestern United States and Canada.
- Biology of Soil in Canada (video) (2015-12-30)
- Plant Gene Resources of Canada (video) (2015-12-29)
- If Plants Could Talk (2015-11-26)
- A Low Glycemic Potato Expands the Menu for Diabetics (2015-11-26)
- Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Has Solutions to Fix Soil Erosion (2015-11-23)
- Using research drones to increase potato production (video) (2015-08-13)
- Hot Potatoes (video) (2015-08-07)
- Soil Activity in Winter: Soil doesn't sleep under its blanket of snow (2015-07-30)
- Healthier Soil May Mean Healthier Yield – Compost Study Underway to Increase Potato Productivity in New Brunswick (2015-05-05)
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