Research 2017-06-15T14:08:30+00:00

Research

Horticulture Nova Scotia regularly administers a variety of research projects to assist farmers in exploring new varieties of crops, improving on existing crops, determining best methods and growing conditions, and manage crop issues when needed.

Student Research Competition

Congratulations to the winner of our 1st Annual HNS Student Research Competition – Alana Bent, Dalhousie University Agricultural Campus! Alana received her award on Monday, January 23 at the Scotia Horticultural Congress banquet.

Current HNS Research

Plant Biostimulant Research Project
Sweet Potato 2016 Year End Report
Strawberry Aphid Monitoring and Virus Testing Final Report

Research Priorities

Approximately every two years we set berry and vegetable research priorities with our members and researchers, this year through both surveys and in-person sessions. Below are the resulting research priorities set March 2016:

Horticulture NS Berry Research Priorities – Final Report
Horticulture NS Veg Research Priorities 2016-2017 – Final Report

 Research Project Results (2015-2016)

Strawberry Virus Management Interim Report Feb 10, 2016
Lettuce Cultivar 2015 Interim Report
Enhanced Lettuce 2015 Interim Report
High Bush Blueberry Cultivars for Juice 2015 final report
World Vegetable 2015 final report
Sweet potato Trial Report, Feb 24, 2016 – final

Past HNS research

  • Strawberry Aphid Monitoring and Virus Testing  Duration: 2014-2016
    • Objective: To aid in the management of the primary virus vector (i.e. the strawberry aphid) and to ensure nursery stock produced in Nova Scotia meets the recovery strategy requirements for commercial fruit growers through a) monitoring for strawberry aphid on representative farms across the province and providing the monitoring results to cooperating growers and the industry as a whole on a timely basis for optimum vector management, b) executing the virus testing protocol as outlined in the “Guidelines for growing and inspecting strawberry plants in Nova Scotia,” and c) conducting a late summer virus survey of all newly planted strawberry fields to assess the progress of virus management efforts in the province.
    • Lead: Jenn Haverstock, Perennia
    • Primary Funding: Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture

Previous report – Aphid monitoring in N.S. for improved virus management in strawberries

  • Identification of Lettuce Cultivars for Traditional and New Markets
    • Objective: To evaluate cultivars of lettuce that have the potential for economical production and marketability in NS; to test niche or under produced crops such as hearts and leaves; and to provide a replacement cultivar for standard cultivars currently in use but being de-listed (head lettuce) and cultivars with heat and tipburn tolerance.
    • Lead: Kim Best, Prospect Agri-Services
    • Primary Funding: 2013-2014 Farm Innovation Fund, NSDA
  • Enhancing Quality and Shelf Life of Lettuce Duration: 2014-2017
    • Objective: To identify nutrient applications that can maintain or improve yield, improve post-harvest quality and enhance shelf life of whole lettuce heads. In Year 3, support other cooperators to trial promising nutrient applications and rates on their own farms as an outreach component of this program.
    • Lead: Kim Best, Prospect Agri-Services
    • Primary Funding: 2013-2014 Farm Innovation Fund, NSDA–Completed projects–
  • Capturing a new opportunity: Development of new production technology for Brassica greens (kale, collards, mustard greens, and turnip greens) for the domestic and export markets  Duration: 2013-2016 
    • Objectives: a) To determine winter hardiness of various kale phenotypes in Atlantic Canada, b) to evaluate efficacy of insect covers in brassica greens production, c) to determine yield potential of kale, collards, turnips and mustard greens for fresh markets and processing, and d) to evaluate efficacy of thermal covers in brassica greens production with an aim to achieve earlier cropping and to capitalize on early market premium.
    • Lead: Rosalie Madden, Perennia
    • Primary Funding: 2013-2014 Farm Innovation Fund, NSDA
  • Capturing a new opportunity: Development of sweet potato cultivars and production techniques to suit Maritime growing conditions  Duration: 2014-2016 
    • Objectives: a) To evaluate 11 newly produced lines of sweet potatoes for suitability in the Maritimes’ climate, b) to determine yield potential of newly produced lines, c) to evaluate long-term storage potential of these sweet potato lines, d) to examine suitability for mechanical harvesting, e) to study the need for black plastic mulch in the production system, and e) to determine depth of planting for mechanical planting purposed with an aim to optimize yield and size of sweet potatoes.
    • Lead: Rosalie Madden, Perennia
    • Primary Funding: 2013-2014 Farm Innovation Fund, NSDA
  • Identification of Crops and Cultivars of World Vegetables  Duration: 2014-2016
    • Objective: To evaluate crop cultivars of vegetables considered world vegetables (not traditionally grown in Canada) on muck and mineral soil to eventually expand the Nova Scotia-grown world vegetable crop offerings in the direct and retail markets.
    • Lead: Kim Best, Prospect Agri-Services
    • Primary Funding: 2013-2014 Farm Innovation Fund , NSDA
  • Identification of High Bush Blueberry Cultivars Suitable for Juice Production in N.S. and Cover Crops Suitable for Blueberry Juice  Duration: 2014-2016 
    • Objectives: a) To evaluate eight cultivars of blueberries – most of which have not been grown in N.S. in the past – to determine cultivars meeting the quality requirements of the juice market and produce a suitable plant and berry for mechanically harvesting, b) evaluate four to eight suitable cover crops or crop blends under the bushes to prevent weed control, moisture loss, aid in nitrogen fixation, keep dust down and provide a suitable working surface that will hold up to foot and machine traffic. Note: These crops would be slow growing and low to the soil surface to reduce maintenance of the cover crop (mowing).
    • Lead: Kim Best, Prospect Agri-Services
    • Primary Funding: 2013-2014 Farm Innovation Fund, NSDA

2015 report – Identification of High Bush Blueberry Cultivars Suitable for Juice Production in NS

Other reports

Clubroot Resistant Cole Crop Cultivar Trial 2010- 2014