Reports Archive 2018

November, 2018

Previous research has identified a need for communication guidelines that bring together research and practical experience. This document highlights best practices when communicating agricultural technology to an audience.

October, 2018

Journal of Sensory Studies, October 5, 2018
The article is available here at a cost.

Abstract: This research enabled the creation of a predictive tool to determine consumer preference based on sensory characteristics and to understanding consumer liking for a large and genetically‐diverse apple population. Over two consecutive years, 71 and 83 apples were profiled using descriptive analysis for aroma, taste, and texture attributes. Sensory maps were created, which clustered apples into four groups with common profiles: aromatic‐sweet, acidic, balanced, and mealy. Acceptance data from 219 consumers was collected on a representative subset of 19 apples and related to the sensory properties through external preference mapping. Two consumers groups were identified both preferring juicy, crisp apple but differing in preference for fresh red apple aroma and sweetness (Group 1, 89%) versus more acidic apples with fresh green apple aroma (Group 2, 11%). For both groups, mealy texture was a strong detractor of liking. Preferred sensory characteristics did not differ based on consumer age, gender, or ethnic heritage.

October, 2018

Journal of Environmental Horticulture, September 2018, Vol. 36, No. 3, pp. 92-103
Click here to view the article

Abstract: Air-pruning can improve tree seedling root quality in propagation by subjecting root tips to desiccation, thereby avoiding deflections, but also increases substrate dry-out rates. Several studies have indicated that coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) coir dust can enhance water holding properties, possibly benefiting trees grown in air-pruning trays. However, water availability characteristics are influenced by particle size. In this experiment, coir dust was added into a sphagnum peat-perlite substrate mix at rates of 10, 15 and 20%. An industry standard peat-perlite mix was tested as a fourth substrate type. Red oak (Quercus rubra L.), red maple (Acer rubrum L.), quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) and eastern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis L.) were grown from seed in these four substrate types. Physical and chemical properties of all substrate types were analyzed pre-experiment. The particle size distribution was finer and more even in the peat-perlite mix compared to the three coir mixes. The higher proportion of coarse particles in the 20% coir mix may have reduced water availability. Seedlings grown in the 15 and 20% coir mixes had lower above and below-ground growth compared to the 10% coir and peat-perlite mixes in all species except red oak.

Time to change the conversation around turfgrass
August, 2018

Vineland’s three-year research program on improving turfgrass in residential areas has just wrapped up. A summary of key findings on optimal grass variety selection and best fertilization practices can be reviewed in this report.

June, 2018

Currently, the vast majority of North America’s container-grown nursery crops are produced using soilless growing substrates and fertilized with controlled-release fertilizers. In the past several years, Vineland has conducted on-farm trials, with representative, industry-standard cultural practices, using most common crops, growing substrates, and fertilizer types to provide fertilization guides for nursery operations in temperate climate regions.

Ontario horticulture research priority report 2018
May, 2018


  • Edible horticulture
  • Ornamental horticulture
May, 2018

Journal of Pest Science, May 25, 2018 
Click here to view the article

Abstract: T. Saito and M. Brownbridge. Foliage-dwelling predatory mites and foliar applications of mycoinsecticides are commonly used in biological control programs for Western flower thrips. A laboratory study was designed to examine the compatibility of two foliage-dwelling predatory mites with two commercially available mycoinsecticides, followed by a greenhouse study to assess their combined efficacy against Western flower thrips, with a view to their concurrent use in an integrated strategy. The following commercially available biocontrol agents were evaluated: the predatory mites, Neoseiulus cucumeris (Oudemans) and Amblyseius swirskii (Athias-Henriot); and entomopathogenic fungi, Metarhizium anisopliae (Metschnikoff) Sorokin (now classified as Metarhizium brunneum) strain F52 and Beauveria bassiana (Balsamo) GHA strain. Mortality caused by the mycoinsecticides ranged from 0 to 15.98% in the laboratory studies. In the greenhouse, the relative efficacy of predatory mite slow-release breeding sachets, Met52 EC spray, and a combined application was determined. Under high pest pressure, Met52 EC-alone was not as effective as N. cucumeris-alone or the combination treatment over 8weeks. Neoseiulus cucumeris-alone provided better control of thrips than Met52 EC, but in a mixed infestation of thrips and two-spotted spider mites, the combination
treatment worked best overall; the spider mites were effectively suppressed by Met52 EC. Under low pest pressure in the experiment with A. swirskii, use of Met52 EC or A. swirskii sachets effectively suppressed thrips population growth; moreover, the combination treatment completely eliminated both thrips and spider mites.

March, 2018

Journal of Invertebrate Pathology, In Press, November 28, 2017
The article is available here at a cost.

Abstract: M. Brownbridge and R. Buitenhuis. Historically, greenhouse floriculture has relied on synthetic insecticides to meet its pest control needs. But, growers are increasingly faced with the loss or failure of synthetic chemical pesticides, declining access to new chemistries, stricter environmental/health and safety regulations, and the need to produce plants in a manner that meets the ‘sustainability’ demands of a consumer driven market. In Canada, reports of thrips resistance to spinosad (Success™) within 6–12 months of its registration prompted a radical change in pest management philosophy and approach. Faced with a lack of registered chemical alternatives, growers turned to biological control out of necessity. Biological control now forms the foundation for pest management programs in Canadian floriculture greenhouses. Success in a biocontrol program is rarely achieved through the use of a single agent, though. Rather, it is realized through the concurrent use of biological, cultural and other strategies within an integrated plant production system. Microbial insecticides can play a critical supporting role in biologically-based integrated pest management (IPM) programs. They have unique modes of action and are active against a range of challenging pests. As commercial microbial insecticides have come to market, research to generate efficacy data has assisted their registration in Canada, and the development and adaptation of integrated programs has promoted uptake by floriculture growers. This review documents some of the work done to integrate microbial insecticides into chrysanthemum and poinsettia production systems, outlines current use practices, and identifies opportunities to improve efficacy in Canadian floriculture crops.

February, 2018

This is the latest research update for Vineland's Greening the Canadian Landscape program.