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Research projects (Summerland Research and Development Centre)

The Summerland Research and Development Centre (Summerland RDC) supports innovative research, development, and technology and knowledge transfer activities relevant to four of the nine Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Sector Science Strategies.


Summerland RDC develops new sweet cherry and apple cultivars, conducts research on insect ecology and management, and disease epidemiology, management and host-pathogen relationships. This research enables the development of sustainable management strategies for insect pests, field and post-harvest diseases as well as emerging insect and disease pests of tree fruit and grape.

Agro-ecosystem productivity and health

Research in agro-ecosystem productivity and health focuses on soil, water and nutrient management and development of management practices for tree fruit and wine grapes. The development of models for climate, land and water resources, and crop suitability supports National Climate Change Adaptation strategies.


The food microbiology program addresses contamination of fresh produce and sprouts with food-borne illness pathogens, in particular leafy greens and E. coli. Novel attributes of fresh produce that are associated with health are identified. Post-harvest research helps maintain the quality of apples and sweet cherries during storage to provide enhanced market opportunities and food security for these products.

Biodiversity and bioresources

The Canadian Plant Virus Collection acquires and distributes plant viruses for research and regulatory purposes and supports development of diagnostic tests to manage viral diseases of plants. Research also includes identifying species and enhancing our understanding of plant viruses.

Current research projects at Summerland
Project number Lead researcher Project title Budget* Duration: start Duration: end
J-001107 Bakkeren, Guus Fighting rust fungal crop threats through integrated genomics research $299,000.00 7/31/2015 3/30/2019
J-001295 Judd, Gary Use of kairomones to improve management of tortricid pests in horticulture $200,000.00 4/1/2016 3/31/2019
J-001401 Forge, Thomas Sustainable production and genetic enhancement of small fruit crops with improved market-oriented quality attributes $1,698,500.00 4/1/2016 3/31/2019
J-001577 Forge, Thomas Integrated agricultural management practices to enhance agri-ecosystem resilience in a semi-arid region, the Okanagan Basin, British Columbia $239,974.00 4/1/2017 3/31/2020
J-001712 Rochon, D'Ann Investigation of cucumber necrosis virus induced retrotransposons and the induction of heat tolerance in infected plants and their progeny $142,500.00 4/2/2018 3/31/2020
J-001738 Theilmann, David Using genomics for the development of new biologicals and novel  tools for the control insect threats in greenhouse and field crops $251,101.00 4/1/2018 3/31/2021
J-001929 Urbez Torres, José Ramon Field strategies to mitigate the impact of grapevine viruses in British Columbia  $965,743.95 4/1/2018 3/30/2023
J-001931 Bogdanoff, Carl Factors affecting grapevine winter hardiness $253,550.00 4/1/2018 3/31/2023
J-001932 Usher, Kevin Nitrogen management in viticulture and enology: Improving grape and wine quality and enhancing vineyard sustainability through precision management of nitrogen and strategies to increase natural yeast assimilable nitrogen in grapes and wine $568,150.00 4/1/2018 3/31/2023
J-001935 Urbez Torres, José Ramon From nursery to vineyard: Implementation of effective management strategies against grapevine trunk diseases in Canada $364,245.00 4/1/2018 3/30/2023
J-001936 Bowen, Patricia Spatial characterization of terroir and other vineyard attributes using GIS and imaging tools to guide precision management for water and nitrogen and to detect infections by virus and other pathogens $549,999.00 4/1/2018 3/30/2023
J-001937 Forge, Thomas Unearthing the impacts of plant-parasitic nematodes on grapevine health and productivity $100,540.00 4/1/2018 3/31/2023
J-001938 Lowery, Tom Development of sustainable management practices for leafhoppers on grapes $376,200.00 4/1/2018 3/31/2023
J-001945 Theilmann, David Genetic characterization of viral pathogens in Codling moth (Cydia pomonella) sterile insect technique rearing facilities $75,000.03 7/1/2018 3/31/2021
J-001948 Sharifi, Mehdi Water and nutrient management strategies and health promoting natural products can reduce the competition between grapevine and cover crops and enhance health and productivity of vineyards $262,636.99 4/2/2018 3/31/2023
*: 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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