Southern Crop Protection and Food Research Centre
The Southern Crop Protection and Food Research Centre (SCPFRC) is one of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's (AAFC) national network of 19 research centres. The Centre conducts research in the areas of genomics, biotechnology and integrated pest management (insects and plant diseases).
A satellite research location associated with the SCPFRC is located in Vineland, Ontario. The Vineland Research Farm is a Minor Use Pesticide Program Site which supports the center's mission to develop alternative and environmentally acceptable technologies to protect crops. It is also the main site of tree fruit research.
The centre focuses its research in three key areas:
- Crop genomics, bioproducts, and biopesticides;
- Protection and improvement of fruits and vegetable crops;
- Soil and water quality.
Areas of Research
The SCPFRC brings a long-term commitment in crop protection research to the agri-food industry in southern Ontario. Centre scientists develop alternative and environmentally acceptable technologies to improve crop value and crop performance to biotic (plant pathogens and insect pests) and abiotic stress and determine the impacts of agricultural practices on soil and water quality.
Working with Nature
- Improving management of field crops and enhancing soil quality - its structure and fertility - while maintaining the integrity of the agricultural environment
- Developing strategies and procedures for managing insect pests based on biological control with minimal or no reliance on chemical pesticides
- Studying crop pest populations and their movements; investigating chemical controls for short-term use in crops of small production volume
- Breeding tree fruits to produce selections and varieties that can better resist diseases, pests
- Using innovative methods of producing, handling and processing crops to achieve quality products
Biotechnology at its Best
- Using automated DNA sequencing and biological information systems, data bases, indexes, bioinformatics, etc. to solve problems in crop production.
- Understanding growth and crop production processes at the molecular level, such as the interaction between a crop and a pest, how a particular high-value compound is produced, or how protein is accumulated in plants, to allow the enhancement of those processes.
- Acquiring knowledge of the genetic composition of plants so traits can be manipulated to produce novel value-added products to improve plant performance under adverse conditions, or to provide foods with improved nutritional qualities.
Facts, Figures and Facilities
- 23 research scientists and a total staff of 115
- Headquarters site at London is on 25 hectares; 30 hectares are at Vineland (located at the Vineland Campus in the Niagara Peninsula)
- Research orchard of 32 hectares (at Jordan, Ontario)
- Three research greenhouses totaling 1,834 square meters
- Lab and office space at all three sites comprises 7,096 square meters
- Insect production rooms
- Over 30 collaborative projects with industry, universities and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
- Linked to the Biotron facility at the University of Western Ontario, an experimental facility for research on the impact of climate change and extreme environments on plants, insects and micro-organisms.
1391 Sandford Street
Tel.: 519-457-1470 (206)
Director of Operations: Karl Volkmar
Tel.: 519-457-1470 (206)
Director of Research and Development: Gary Whitfield
Vineland Research Farm
4902 Victoria Avenue North,