The federal government has announced an investment of over $2.3 million to support the Canadian Horticultural Council’s research into managing the Potato Early Dying (PED) disease. The horticulture sector contributed an additional $991,918 towards this research, for a total investment of over $3.3 million.

The purpose of the project is to provide potato growers with the knowledge, tools and technologies they need to manage Potato Early Dying, which results in premature aging, limiting potato yield by as much as 50 per cent.

“Canadian horticulture growers face a competitive marketplace and increasing environmental changes," said Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. "Our Government believes in the strong role of science, and we are investing in cutting-edge tools and practices our growers need to develop sustainably. We are excited to team up with the Horticulture Council on this project which will help growers avoid the unwelcome burdens which come from this costly disease.”

As part of the project, the Canadian Horticulture Council will survey potato fields to determine the levels of PED and evaluate the control of PED through growers’ cropping systems, best management practices and control products.

The research is part of the Horticulture Cluster, which is funded through the AgriScience Program, a five-year, $338 million initiative, to support leading edge discovery and applied science, and innovation driven by industry research priorities.