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Research projects (Harrow Research and Development Centre)

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


Research focuses on sustainable year-round greenhouse crop production (using supplemental lighting and automation technologies for vegetables and ornamentals) and examines dynamic plant-based climate control, nutrient, irrigation, integrated crop management strategies, energy conservation and renewable energy. Integrated pest control strategies (including minor use pesticide products) are developed to manage current and emerging insects, viral, fungal and bacterial diseases.

Agro-ecosystem productivity and health

The Centre develops environmentally sustainable agricultural practices for the Ontario Great Lakes watershed through research on water management, nutrient dynamics (nitrogen, phosphorus), soil physical quality and carbon dynamics. Environmental quality issues associated with nitrate and phosphorus losses (ie. leaching, surface runoff, tile drainage) are examined for their impact on the Great Lakes basin, carbon sequestration and carbon dioxide emissions.

Cereal and pulse

The Harrow RDC develops food soybean and dry bean germplasm and cultivars and supports winter wheat research conducted by AAFC’s Ottawa Research and Development Centre. Pest management research includes ecology, population dynamics and plant-pest interactions, and management of disease, insect, nematode, and weed pests on these crops.

Biodiversity and bioresources

The Canadian Clonal Genebank, part of AAFC’s Plant Gene Resources Program, preserves the genetic diversity of Canadian fruit crops by acquiring and maintaining wild plant material and named cultivated varieties.

Current research projects at Harrow
Project number Lead researcher Project name Budget* Duraction: start Duraction: end
J-000393 Reid, Keith Development and transfer of an indicator of reactive nitrogen release from Canadian agriculture $329,500.00 10/1/2014 12/31/2019
J-000896 Nurse, Robert Development of weed management options for Canadian seed corn growers $24,000.00 7/4/2014 3/31/2022
J-000901 Drury, Craig Sustainable corn stover supply chains in Ontario and Québec soil and economic sustainability of biomass crop production $331,000.00 10/1/2013 3/31/2019
J-001076 Nurse, Robert Development of weed management options for Canadian processing tomato growers $24,000.00 5/1/2015 3/31/2022
J-001116 Larsen, Jamie Identifying new genes in domesticated intermediate wheatgrass to improve biotic stress resistance $398,450.20 4/1/2015 11/30/2019
J-001317 Phillips, Lori Biological mitigation of nutrient losses from agricultural landscapes: Measuring and modelling the biotic contributions of diversified agricultural features and practices $398,319.00 4/1/2016 3/30/2019
J-001319 Drury, Craig Integrated nutrient management and multi-scale beneficial management practices (BMP) assessment for priority Canadian agricultural landscapes $867,000.00 4/1/2016 3/31/2020
J-001328 Hao, Xiuming Integrated 12-month greenhouse vegetable production and pest control systems for improving productivity, fruit nutritional value, energy and pest control efficiency  $449,100.00 4/1/2016 3/31/2019
J-001334 Yang, Jingyi Developing a decision-support system for estimating ammonia emissions from fertilizer and manure application to agricultural soils $120,253.00 4/1/2016 3/31/2019
J-001358 Larsen, Jamie Improving persistence in perennial cereals through examination of flowering time gene expression, cold tolerance and breeding $225,000.00 4/1/2016 3/31/2019
J-001392 Wally, Owen Understanding the pathogen distribution and associations involved in the root rot complex of soybeans $115,000.00 4/1/2016 3/10/2019
J-001410 Zhang, Tiequan Mitigating phosphorus loss from agricultural lands in the Lake Erie watershed $350,000.00 4/1/2016 3/31/2019
J-001583 Marchand, Geneviève Survey to identify resistance to fungicides in cucumber downy mildew pathogen populations in commercial cucumber producing areas in Ontario and Quebec $79,380.00 3/31/2017 3/30/2019
J-001601 Yang, Xueming Evergreen farming in southern Ontario: more effective use of cover crops in rotations involving corn, soybean, or winter wheat $278,480.00 4/1/2017 3/31/2021
J-001606 Reid, Keith Validation of the critical source area component of phosphorus transport within the Ontario phosphorus index, and evaluation of the overall model performance $300,483.00 1/2/2017 12/31/2019
J-001635 Larsen, Jamie Evaluation and breeding of winter durum wheat for southern Alberta $148,350.00 4/1/2017 3/31/2020
J-001638 Larsen, Jamie Using agronomy to reduce ergot susceptibility in fall rye $174,800.00 9/1/2017 3/31/2021
J-001730 Nurse, Robert The development of novel integrated pest management tools for management of herbicide resistant weeds in vegetable crops $184,000.00 4/1/2018 3/31/2021
J-001751 Page, Eric Deciphering complex mechanisms and inheritance patterns of herbicide resistance cases in Canada  $292,566.00 4/1/2018 3/31/2021
J-001759 Phillips, Lori Understanding the role of the soil microbiome in promoting resilient and sustainable agroecosystems $559,240.00 4/2/2018 3/31/2021
J-001761 Drury, Craig Impacts of crop rotation and cover crops on agro-ecosystem resilience $270,390.00 4/1/2018 3/31/2021
J-001769 Reid, Keith Validation and delivery of phosphorus risk assessment tools at the field and national scale $246,560.00 4/2/2018 3/31/2021
J-001777 Tan, Chin Innovative management practices for efficient use of nutrients and water and for increase in crop resillience to climate change $432,032.00 4/1/2018 3/31/2021
J-001819 Mlynarek, Julia Survey and damage assessment of Delia species maggots affecting onion $22,000.00 4/25/2018 3/31/2019
J-001887 Drury, Craig Coordinated site network for studying the impacts of 4R nutrient management on crop production and nutrient loss $222,420.00 4/1/2018 3/31/2021
J-001894 Page, Eric Identifying best management practices for winter canola production in southwestern Ontario $22,500.03 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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