Complying with environmental rules for produce wash water can be costly and time-consuming

It took one grower three years and $20,000-$25,000, but the ministry says it is trying to streamline the process


The growers at Downey Potato Farms didn’t wait for Environment Ministry officials to come calling before installing measures for handling produce wash water.

Trevor Downey, vice-president of sales and marketing, says they built the system two years ago partly to recycle the daily water use on the Shelburne-area farm, meet food safety and their own Environmental Farm Plan requirements, and get ahead of the environment ministry’s rules. They recycle up to 70 per cent of the water they use daily.

Growers fear funding cut will jeopardize pest control

The $6 million Ag Canada provides for pesticide registration is coming to an end and horticulturalists worry that this will hurt their competitiveness internationally


When a tiny pest from Asia called the spotted wing drosophila landed in Canada two years ago and began attacking thin-skinned fruit and berries, growers didn’t have any registered pesticide products available to fight it.

Blight-resistant pear variety gives hope to Ontario growers

The Harovin Sundown pear, which offers winter hardiness as well as fire blight resistance, is encouraging Ontario horticulturalists to rethink their attitudes to pear production


When Niagara-on-the-Lake fruit grower John Thwaites wanted to diversify his operation, the fire blight resistance of a new, Canadian-developed pear variety caught his attention.

Thwaites planted 4,000 trees of Harovin Sundown pear on four acres this spring and was installing trellises in mid-June to support the trees. The trees are growing well and he expects to have his first pear crop in four years.

Horticulture: Tighter rules on the way to make produce buyers pay up

At present, farmers are at the end of the line when it comes to getting paid for perishable produce. Now a task force is looking at ways to protect them


When vegetable packer Top of the Hill Produce went bankrupt two years ago, grower George Hoving lost $80,000 that he could never recover.

Hoving, who grows carrots and onions in the Holland Marsh near Bradford, says he had been selling to the same packing house for 13 years. The company ran into financial difficulties two years ago, but Hoving had been dealing with them for years without problems and he extended the company’s 30-day time frame for payment.