Research projects (Harrow Research and Development Centre)

The Harrow Research and Development Centre (Harrow RDC) supports innovative research, development, and technology and knowledge transfer activities relevant to four of the nine Agriculture and Agri-Food Sector Science Strategies.


Research focuses on sustainable year-round greenhouse crop production (using supplemental lighting and automation technologies for vegetables and ornamentals) and examines dynamic plant-based climate control, nutrient, irrigation, integrated crop management strategies, energy conservation and renewable energy. Integrated pest control strategies (including minor use pesticide products) are developed to manage current and emerging insects, viral, fungal and bacterial diseases.

Agro-ecosystem productivity and health

The Centre develops environmentally sustainable agricultural practices for the Ontario Great Lakes watershed through research on water management, nutrient dynamics (nitrogen, phosphorus), soil physical quality and carbon dynamics. Environmental quality issues associated with nitrate and phosphorus losses (ie. leaching, surface runoff, tile drainage) are examined for their impact on the Great Lakes basin, carbon sequestration and carbon dioxide emissions.

Cereal and pulse

The Harrow RDC develops food soybean and dry bean germplasm and cultivars and supports winter wheat research conducted by AAFC’s Ottawa Research and Development Centre. Pest management research includes ecology, population dynamics and plant-pest interactions, and management of disease, insect, nematode, and weed pests on these crops.

Biodiversity and bioresources

The Canadian Clonal Genebank, part of AAFC’s Plant Gene Resources Program, preserves the genetic diversity of Canadian fruit crops by acquiring and maintaining wild plant material and named cultivated varieties.

Current research projects at Harrow
Project number Lead researcher Project name Budget* Duraction: start Duraction: end
J-000019 Handyside, Patrick Developing and transferring AAFC research on plant-available water capacity and soil air capacity to increase WUE and improve the productivity and profitability of the Canadian horticulture sector $185,500.00 2014-04-01 2018-03-31
J-000022 Feisthauer, Natalie Disseminating the applicability and usage of a unique “soil fingerprinting” framework that systematically characterizes and tracks soil quality changes induced by best management practices $91,650.00 2014-04-01 2018-03-31
J-000029 Joosse, Pamela Identifying the capacity to improve soil and nutrient management in agricultural production systems of the Canadian Lake Erie basin $219,167.00 2014-04-01 2018-03-31
J-000034 Fransen, Sonja Mitigating nutrient losses through tile drainage by developing and transferring AAFC's research in CD/SI $202,500.00 2014-04-01 2018-03-31
J-000247 Reynolds, Dan Use of cover crops to reduce agricultural pollution of the Great Lakes and improve field-crop productivity with cover crop fixed nitrogen $225,000.00 2013-04-01 2018-03-31
J-000393 Reid, Keith Development and transfer of an indicator of reactive nitrogen release from Canadian agriculture $329,500.00 2014-10-01 2017-12-31
J-000896 Nurse, Robert Development of weed management options for Canadian seed corn growers $12,000.00 2014-07-04 2022-03-31
J-000901 Drury, Craig Sustainable corn stover supply chains in Ontario and Québec soil and economic sustainability of biomass crop production $331,000.00 2013-10-01 2019-03-31
J-001076 Nurse, Robert Development of weed management options for Canadian processing tomato growers $12,000.00 2015-05-01 2022-03-31
J-001317 Phillips, Lori Biological mitigation of nutrient losses from agricultural landscapes: Measuring and modelling the biotic contributions of diversified agricultural features and practices $398,319.00 2016-04-01 2019-03-30
J-001319 Drury, Craig Integrated nutrient management and multi-scale BMP assessment for priority Canadian agricultural landscapes $857,000.00 2016-04-01 2020-03-31
J-001328 Hao, Xiuming Integrated 12-month greenhouse vegetable production and pest control systems for improving productivity, fruit nutritional value, energy and pest control efficiency $449,100.00 2016-04-01 2019-03-31
J-001334 Yang, Jingyi Developing a decision support system (DSS) for estimating ammonia emissions from fertilizer and manure application to agricultural soils $120,253.00 2016-04-01 2019-03-31
J-001392 Wally, Owen Understanding the pathogen distribution and associations involved in the root rot complex of soybeans $115,000.00 2016-04-01 2019-03-10
J-001410 Zhang, Tiequan Mitigating phosphorus loss from agricultural lands in the Lake Erie watershed $350,000.00 2016-04-01 2019-03-31
J-001575 Mlynarek, Julia Species survey of delia spp maggots affecting onion in Quebec, Ontario and the Atlantic provinces $62,827.00 2017-04-01 2018-03-31
J-001583 Marchand, Genevieve Survey to identify resistance to fungicides in cucumber downy mildew pathogen populations in commercial cucumber producing areas in Ontario and Quebec $79,380.00 2017-03-31 2019-03-30
*: The budget amount represents the forecast total project costs (not actual spending), including any offsets by revenues received from outside agencies/partners. It includes operations and maintenance funds used to purchase goods or services. It does not include salary dollars for staff working on the projects or any grant or contribution funds provided to outside partners for work on the projects.
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