To All the PAST, CURRENT, & FUTURE members of Haskap Berry Growers Association of Ontario, INC: As the “formal voice” of all haskap berry growers in Ontario (recognized as such by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture & Food), the HBGAO would like to outline our most significant accomplishments over the year 2022. These efforts are where your annual dues payments go…
Research agreement with College Boreal. This Ontario bilingual facility provides educational services across North Eastern and South Western Ontario, as well as Ottawa. Agricultural instructor and researcher, Johnny Kashama Batabela, has decided that Haskap Berry production is the fruit crop with the most potential to expand, in most regions of Ontario. He will focus his on-farm and laboratory research of four issues:
Work with HBGAO and ‘Camerise’ growers of Quebec to evaluate presence of virus in plants that were trialed in the earliest days of Haskap pilot projects.
Work with Melanie Filotis of OMAFRA on her “SWD” insect trap research across Ontario, to determine the best haskap varieties to be planted in any locality that might reduce economic losses from SWD (and other insects).
Evaluate causes and options for over-coming poor pollination.
Evaluate the repeated issue of Powdery Mildew contamination and develop a control strategy.
Examine the issue of “Sudden Death” of mature haskap plants in mid-June.
Research agreement with Dr. Gale Bozzo of the University of Guelph (Dept. of Plant Agriculture) to study “Post-Harvest Antioxidant-based Preservative Technologies for Specialty Fruit and Vegetable Crops”. He will be working directly with an HBGAO member that has a significant haskap planting on the outskirts of Guelph.
Since January, HBGAO has been working with the Ontario Berry Growers Association who have developed a proposal to establish a “CLEAN PLANT HUB” in Ontario, which would replace the aging University of Guelph “SPUD UNIT”. That facility currently provides “Virus-indexed” plantlets of strawberry, raspberry, seed potato, garlic, asparagus, hazelnut and haskap to the Ontario Plant Propagation Program.
“Virus Indexed” plantlets from the “SPUD UNIT” are currently being evaluated in an HBGAO member’s orchard. “Polar Berries Inc” is a private orchard in Temiskaming Shores. This HBGAO member also runs a 4-soil type demonstration farm that is available for all current and Future HBGAO members to visit …at no cost.
HBGAO has introduced round table sessions for all members to participate in. Facilitating Research partners and OMAFRA members to share a vast amount of relevant HASKAP growing information. As well grower to grower discussions on problems, questions and ideas for positive growing.
OMAFRA staff members, Evan Elford and Melanie Filotis, have both held special on-line sessions that many members have participated in. These two government employees are making themselves available to respond to questions from the organized HBGAO member-ship as a whole, thereby providing access to the public with proficiency and equality. In return, HBGAO members make recommendations to OMAFRA on the direction that government research should take.
Work with Melanie Filotis, of OMAFRA, on her “SWD” insect trap research across Ontario, to determine the best haskap varieties to be planted in any locality that might reduce economic losses from SWD (and other insects).
Work with Evan Elford, from OMAFRA, with soil testing and soil nutrients for Haskap plants along with fertilization of Haskap plants.
The HBGAO Directors provide the membership with 4 annual issues of the email publication “The Haskap Berry Bulletin”.
University of Saskatchewan Haskap Research Specialist, Dr. Bob Bors visited the HBGAO members in Temiskaming District to view and evaluate developments in that region.
These are the results of the direct actions taken by the HBGAO Board of Directors, on your behalf…Kris Burley (President), Stephanie Smith, Diane Des Chatelets, Bryan Kinsman, Brian Dame, Delano Osmond, Tom MacIntosh, Graham Gambles.