Fredericton Research and Development Centre

Fredericton, New Brunswick

Fredericton Research and Development Centre, New Brunswick

The Fredericton Research and Development Centre is one of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's network of 20 research centres.The Centre is located in Fredericton, New Brunswick, on the south bank of the St. John River. Potato research is the Centre's main focus as the province of New Brunswick is a recognized world leader in potato production.

The forces driving the agriculture sector have become more complex and are changing even more quickly in recent years. Market demands, social preferences, global trade, energy costs, water availability, environmental health, and changes in risks associated with crop production (e.g., new pests) due to climatic variation place pressure on the industry for innovative solutions to challenges.

The Fredericton Research and Development Centre is custodian of the Canadian Potato Genetic Resources. It is not only comprised of the main centre in Fredericton but also the Benton Ridge sub-station which supports germplasm enhancement activities.

The main focus of research conducted at the centre is in three areas:

  • Potato germplasm enhancement
  • Crop protection
  • Enhancing the environmental performance of potato production systems

Areas of Research

The Fredericton Research and Development Centre develops new varieties, new knowledge, and new technologies to support the implementation of economically and environmentally sustainable potato production systems. One of the Centre's major activities is the Accelerated Release Program which offers the potato industry an opportunity for their own commercial evaluation trials of promising newly-researched varieties prior to the varieties being fully released to the marketplace.

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.

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

Facts, Figures and Facilities

  • First commercial potato variety released in 1950. Currently 18 Fredericton Research Centre-developed potato releases are in production across Canada and internationally
  • Located in the provincial capital, Fredericton
  • One additional field research site for a total of 627 hectares, a potato breeding substation at Benton Ridge, near Woodstock, NB., 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

Contact Us

850 Lincoln Road,
Post Office Box 20280
Fredericton, New Brunswick
E3B 4Z7
Telephone: 506-460-4300

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

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