December 20, 2023
LO Growers Group Newsletter - December 2023

1. Growers Short Course 2024

The LO Nursery Short Course is scheduled for February 7 at the Guelph Arboretum. We're working on a great speaker lineup and hearty lunch. Registration information will be available in the next couple of weeks. Save the date.

2. Growers reception at Congress

All growers are invited to provide feedback in advance of the Minor Use Priorities meeting on Nov. 21. The proposed Growers' Group Board and the previous Research Subcommittee members are asked to attend the meeting, chaired by Bart Brusse and Cassie Russell. Please confirm your attendance since we need to order lunch as well!

3. Growers Group minutes and priorities

The Landscape Ontario Growers' Group (LOGG for short) has been re-formed. Minutes from the last meeting are available here. The summary of the research priorities/minor use meeting can be found here. More details on the research priorities will come in January.

4. Earn $75 for PMRA survey

With the cooperation of Canadian Nursery Landscape Association, Stratus is contacting farms to learn about the crop protection products they use to control diseases, insects, and weeds. This information will be used by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) in Canada to make sure that real world pesticide use data are considered in the science-based evaluations and pesticide regulatory decisions to minimize unnecessary restrictions.

When you complete this survey, Stratus will send you a cheque for $75. The survey usually takes about 20 to 25 minutes to complete. Stratus will represent your views accurately and will never distribute your name or contact information. All collected data will be aggregated before sharing with the PMRA in order to protect your privacy and the confidentiality of your data. As a result, this is your opportunity to provide candid and confidential feedback. To qualify for this survey, you must be one of the main decision makers for crop input purchases in your operation and grew certain horticultural crops in 2023.

We would appreciate your response as soon as possible. Questions can be directed to Michael Weddel at or Jamie Aalbers at

Please complete the survey within the next day or two.

5. CNLA Update

  1. CFIA has amended D-99-06 Policy on the Issuance of Phytosanitary Certificates for Export and Re-export and has issued a consultation on the changes (draft attached).
    • The amendments to D-99-06 were initiated because of changes to two service being offered by CFIA.
      • e-phytos will soon be available for export to the US (20 exporters from across Canada have been chosen by CFIA to test the system in early 2024. Once confident it works smoothly, CFIA will be making the service available to all exporters).
      • myCFIA for exports to the US required updates to their export certification system that necessitated changes to the directive.
    • As for 7.1 All applications and requests for inspection should be submitted at least 10 working days before the commodity is scheduled for loading:
      • This is the same wording that was used in previous versions of this Directive. 10 days is a general recommendation, not a service standard, as for some exports CFIA may need to have tests done to verify pest freedom. For example, exporting plants to the EU would require a test of Xylella prior to export, which could take up to 10 days.
      • Service standards will not change once this updated Directive is implemented. The 48 hour turnaround time you have now, will remain the same.
    • CNLA will be preparing a response to the consultation, or you can also respond individually to
  2. IPM Essen Trip cancelled for 2024, will plan for 2025
  3. Stuart Gillies, Sun Nurseries, Sussex NB will be taking over as chair of the Growers Canada Committee in January, Taking over from Jeff Olsen.

6. OMAFRA Update

Upcoming events:

Nursery Growers Short Course
Wednesday, February 7, 2024.
The speaker program is under development. Call Cassie if you have any ideas.

Winter IPM Workshops
Cassie Russell (OMAFRA) will be holding three IPM workshops before spring, similar as to what has been done in previous years. The workshops in person workshops will be held:
  • Tuesday, February 27, 2024:
    North East GTA region (Hampton Community Hall, North of Bowmanville)
  • Wednesday, February 28, 2024:
    Niagara region (Bethany Community Church, St. Catharines)
  • Thursday, February 29, 2024:
    Central region (Copetown Community Centre, West of Ancaster)
Workshops will run in the mornings, more details to follow in the new year. If you have specific pest topics you would like covered, please reach out to Cassie ASAP at

Cassie would like to thank Ben Kobes, John Bakker, and Nick Winkelmolen for help with booking dates and spaces.

Funding opportunities for growers
Applications are still being accepted for the Biosecurity Enhancement Initiative Program offered by OMAFRA through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership. Growers are STRONGLY encouraged to apply for projects to cost-share projects related to training, education, facility upgrades, pest exclusion structures, etc. Full details of the program and what is eligible is outlined here.

Another program was also recently announced with an intake that is expected to open on February 15, 2024. Through the Agri-Tech Innovation Initiative, funding will be provided to eligible farm and food processing businesses to help them invest in innovative technology, equipment or processes that will expand production capacity or enhance efficiency. More details on eligible projects are expected to be available when the program launches next year.
Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!
This report is provided by LO’s Grower Technical Analyst, Jeanine West.
Please contact Jeanine for more information: or 1-705-796-8812.
We need your feedback! If there are items you wish us to include in these updates, please let Jeanine know.