A research project at Vernon’s Davison Orchards is getting a financial boost.
The orchard has received $128,000 for a project side-by-side comparison of the effectiveness of hail netting to protect crops. This project looks to demonstrate the value of hail netting in reducing crop losses from sun scald and hail.
“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,” said Kevin Shaw with the orchard. “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.”
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, the Davison family grows five types of tree fruits with more than 20 varieties of apples on 20 acres of land.
BCfresh, a Delta-based fresh vegetable provider, 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.
“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,” said Lawrence MacAulay, federal minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.