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Research projects (St. John’s Research and Development Centre)

The St. John’s Research and Development Centre (St. John’s RDC) supports innovation research, development and technology transfer activities relevant to five of the nine Agriculture and Agri-Food Sector Science Strategies.


St. John’s RDC conducts research on berry production (germplasm conservation and genetic enhancement, propagation, crop protection and management), and adapting production systems for other horticultural crops to northern regions. Sustainable pest control strategies are also developed that are relevant to northern boreal crops. The impact of beneficial microbes and biocontrol fungi is also investigated.

Forages and beef; Cereal and pulse

Scientists are developing cropping technologies for livestock feed to create profitable production systems in northern regions. Forage and cereal management research supports the expansion and development of the regional dairy industry. Corn, forage and cereal research focuses on adaptation and management of high yielding, high quality crops and varieties that are profitable and sustainable in a boreal environment for livestock and other niche uses.

Agro-ecosystem resilience

Research focuses on soil and water engineering, nutrient management, and alternative nutrient sources (such as salmon mortalities) with an emphasis on water quality (inorganic and organic sources of contamination), management of organic nutrients for superior crop performance, and physical management of soils for optimum crop growth. Best management practices are being developed using liquid dairy manure as a nutrient on a limited land base.

Biodiversity and bioresources

The wild berry germplasm collections are available for biodiversity studies and for use in genetic enhancement of northern-adapted berries. An extensive insect collection provides the basis for identification of native and invasive insects, and a reference collection of indigenous fungal plant pathogens is under construction. Together these help elucidate the unique plant threats in the boreal ecozone as well as provide a reference point for future studies as climate change alters the range and severity of plant pathogens and insect pests.

Current research projects at St. John’s
Project number Lead researcher Project title Budget* Duration: start Duration: end
J-001774 Debnath, Samir Tissue culture techniques for the rapid multiplication, selection and improvement of blueberry plants $42,500.00 4/1/2018 3/31/2021
*: The budget amount represents the forecast total project costs (not actual spending), including any offsets by revenues received from outside agencies/partners. It includes operations and maintenance funds used to purchase goods or services. It does not include salary dollars for staff working on the projects or any grant or contribution funds provided to outside partners for work on the projects.
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