St. John's Research and Development Centre
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
308 Brookfield Road, Building 25
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
Search Scientific Staff and Expertise (St. John's 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.
Search Research projects from the St. John’s Research and Development Centre to learn more about what we do.
The St. John’s Research and Development Centre was established in 1935 in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.
The St. John’s Research and Development Centre plays a vital role in the development of agriculture for the Region. Over the past seven decades, staff at the Centre have developed and introduced eight commercially-important potato cultivars, which remain important to production on the Island.
The Centre undertakes research in two areas:
- Primary production agriculture with a focus on berries suitable for production in the boreal ecosystem, and on forage, and cereal crops that support the regional dairy value chain
- Environmental stewardship through the improved performance of the agricultural production systems in the fragile boreal environment
Facilities at the St. John's Research and Development Centre
- 61 hectares at the headquarters site and 14 hectares at the Avondale field research location
- Climate-controlled growth chambers, greenhouses and crop sample drying facilities
- Agronomy Lab
- Clean Technologies Lab
- Entomology Lab
- Molecular Biology Lab
- Plant Pathology Lab
- Plant Physiology Lab
- Plant Tissue Culture Lab
- Co-located at the Centre are:
- Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Marketing and Information Services Branch – Regional Office
- Newfoundland Department of Fisheries and Land Resources
- Newfoundland Federation of Agriculture
- Dairy Farmers of Newfoundland & Labrador
- Chicken Farmers of Newfoundland and Labrador
Current research activities
The St John's Research and Development Centre undertakes research in two domains:
Primary Production Agriculture (supporting the regional dairy value chain and horticultural activities)
- The Centre plays a lead role in production research on livestock feed crops suited to Newfoundland's soil and climate, forage production in support of the dairy value chain, and production systems for berry crops adapted to culture in the northern, boreal ecozone.
Environmental stewardship (improved performance of the agricultural production system)
- St. John's Research and Development Centre works to ensure agricultural production systems will remain environmentally sound. Science and Technology Branch has specific expertise in the area of soil and water, as well as crop fertility and production systems. St John's Research and Development Centre uses this expertise in developing best management practices for farms and primary production systems in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Results of our research
- Developed micropropagation (mass production of plants under sterile conditions) and molecular techniques, (that is, markers for selection), for wild berries. Molecular markers provide a platform for providing industry with early information on new blueberry hybrids with respect to frost tolerance, adaptation to Newfoundland soils, and health components.
- Introduced eleven commercially-important wart resistant potato cultivars to support locally produced food in the province.
Forages and beef; cereal and pulses
- Introduced/developed plastic mulch technology for growing corn in cool climate regions to provide increased livestock feed on the limited agricultural land base.
- Developed low cost methods of reseeding perennial forage crops on stony soils which helped the dairy industry significantly reduce the renovation costs of stony fields.
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