Soils and Crops Research and Development Centre
The Soils and Crops Research and Development Centre (SCRDC) is one of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's network of 19 research centres. Research conducted at the SCRDC supports three science priorities (enhancing economic benefits; enhancing environmental performance; and developing opportunities from bioresources). The goal of this research is to make crop systems more sustainable in cold, wet climates by developing crop rotations that promote the use of forage species. The centre employs a multidisciplinary team of researchers in perennial plant production and agri-environment, a combination that is unique to the SCRDC.
The centre benefits from its strategic position as a member of a regional research cluster in life and earth sciences, which is conducive to multiple partnerships with other AAFC research centres (e.g. Sherbrooke and Ottawa), academia (e.g. Laval, McGill and INRS-ETE), industry (e.g. dairy and beef clusters), and more. The centre is ideally located to support the development of sustainable modern agriculture in cool, damp climates.
The centre has a satellite location, the Normandin Research Farm, which supports research into northern or boreal agriculture.
The SCRDC conducts research in the following areas:
- perennial crop production systems and bioproducts; and
- the environmental performance of perennial and short-season crops and cropping systems.
Areas of Research
At the Soils and Crops Research and Development Centre (SCRDC) researchers develop scientific knowledge in applying new technologies and developing new products for the Canadian agri-food industry. Research goals concentrate on improving the ongoing competitiveness of the Canadian agricultural sector.
Higher Standards for Crop and Agricultural Lands Management
- Assessing the effects of agricultural practices on soil health, water quality, air quality (greenhouse gas emissions) and crop yields.
- Establishing databases for managing water and land resources.
- Developing management technologies for producing crops.
- Conducting research into the effects on crops of organic and industrial nutrient supplements and the dynamics of soil micro-organisms have on crops.
- Managing through modern technologies, such crop inputs, as fertilizers and crop protection products.
- Developing strategies to control weeds and reduce pesticide use.
Higher Quality Crops for Greater Competitiveness
- Developing forage crops that are more resistant to disease, winter conditions and have higher nutritional value.
- Using DNA knowledge of forage crops to develop lines that are resistant to cold and have better nutritional quality, in keeping with the principles of functional genomics.
- Developing methods to determine quickly, accurately and inexpensively, the quality of ruminant feeds (alfalfa, timothy, barley, wheat and oats).
Better Harvesting and Diversifying Crop Potential
- Developing systems for harvesting and storing forages in order to increase their use and value.
- Reducing the effects of fungal contamination in harvested forages.
- Exploring ways to use the organic matter from forage crops to develop commercially renewable resources.
- Evaluating the potential for growing small fruits in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region.
Facts, Figures and Facilities
- 24 research scientists and a total staff of 138.
- 65.6 hectares of land at the Jean-Charles Chapais' Research Farm and the Lévis-Lauzon CEGEP farm in Lévis.
- 145 hectares under cultivation in the Normandin Research Farm in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region.
- Research greenhouses, growing chambers and cold rooms.
- Climate simulator for treating forage crops.
- Liquid and gas chromatography equipment.
- Facilities for measuring CNS (carbon, nitrogen, sulfur), dissolved organic carbon and N15 analysis, and near infra-red reflectance spectrometer.
- Electron microscopy equipment.
- Inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometer (ICP-OES).
2560 Hochelaga Boulevard
Director of operations: Geneviève Levasseur,
Tel.: 418-210-5002 / Fax: 418-648-2402
Director of Research & Development: Claudel Lemieux,
Tel.: 418-210-5004 / Fax: 418-648-2402
Normandin Research Farm
1468 St-Cyrille Street