A Delta-based fresh vegetable provider and a family-owned orchard in Vernon are leading two of 15 projects receiving more than $2.9 million to take innovative B.C. agriculture projects to the next step.
BCfresh is receiving over $99,000 to adapt a tool to reduce the bruising of table beets during harvest and handling. The project is underway on six farms using Produce QC, an adaptation of Spudsmart technology. The table beet samples have been collected and are being monitored for quality issues during the storage period. If successful, the technology will help the sector become more competitive by eliminating hundreds of thousands of dollars in spoilage-related losses.
Davison Orchards has been an agriculture fixture in the Okanagan for more than 85 years. The Davison family grows five types of tree fruits, with more than 20 varieties of apples on 120 acres of land. They have received $128,000 for a project that is doing a side-by-side comparison of the effectiveness of hail netting to protect crops. The project will demonstrate the value of hail netting in reducing crop losses from sun scald and hail.
The funding is provided through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a federal-provincial-territorial investment that includes $2 billion in cost-shared strategic initiatives delivered by the provinces and territories, and $1 billion for federal programs and services through March 2023.
Lawrence MacAulay, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food –
“Our government is committed to supporting agricultural innovation in British Columbia and across Canada. These investments will generate new knowledge, technologies and tools our farmers and ranchers can use to be more competitive and keep growing their businesses, while creating good jobs for the middle class.”
Lana Popham, B.C.'s Minister of Agriculture –
“These projects are helping farmers and ranchers advance innovation and competitiveness that will benefit the entire sector. When we commit to new technology and products, we are supporting the B.C. agriculture industry in reaching new levels of success.”
Murray Driediger, president and CEO, BCfresh –
“This is an important project for our beet growers. Reducing the wounding of beets during harvesting and storage is critical to improving marketable yields and improving grower profitability.”
Kevin Shaw, Davison Orchards –
"Recent studies have indicated that hail netting is an effective way to increase fruit quality and we are excited to see how it will perform in the North Okanagan. The funding from the Canadian Agriculture Partnership has enabled us to take on this project and remain progressive in our orchard and the way we farm."
Davison Orchards: https://davisonorchards.ca/
Canadian Agricultural Partnership: http://www.agr.gc.ca/eng/about-us/key-departmental-initiatives/canadian-agricultural-partnership/?id=1461767369849
A backgrounder follows with details of 13 other projects.