January 30, 2024
LO Growers Group Newsletter - January 2024

1. Growers Short Course: SOLD OUT!

The LO Nursery Growers Short Course scheduled for February 7 at the Guelph Arboretum has reached capacity for the venue. The agenda for the short course can be found online.
Special thanks to John Mantel and Ryan Munroe for their help on the short course committee and incredibly valuable input on speaker ideas.

2. Growers Group updates

Minutes from the January 9 meeting can be found here. More recently, we received a financials update from Joe Sabatino (LO Controller) at our meeting on January 30 via Zoom.

3. IPM Workshops coming in February

Cassie Russell from OMAFRA will be holding three IPM workshops in February, similar to what has been done in years past. IPM workshops for nursery staff will be held on the following dates (start times to be confirmed soon, but most will be from approximately 8:30 a.m. to noon with no meals included):
  • Tuesday, February 27 (morning): Hampton Community Hall, Hampton (North of Bowmanville). Sponsored by Kobes Nurseries
  • Wednesday, February 28 (morning): Bethany Community Church, St. Catharines. Sponsored by J.C. Bakker & Sons
  • Thursday, February 29 (time to be confirmed): Copetown Community Centre, Dundas. Sponsored by NVK Nurseries
The IPM workshops will feature presentations from Cassie Russell (OMAFRA’s Nursery and Landscape Specialist) on vexing pests of 2023, Katie Goldenhar (OMAFRA’s pathologist) who will provide a refresher on disease diagnosing skills, Ree Laforet (Sheridan Nurseries) to talk about Sheridan’s experience utilizing biological controls in the nursery and Mike Short (Eco Habitat Agri Services, consulting) to discuss natural enemies and biological control. Note: each of these half day workshops will all have the same material presented. These free workshops are in-person only. Register here.

4. Nursery Scout Program 2024

Cassie and Jeanine are currently interviewing for the Nursery Scout position for 2024. They anticipate the cost to farms will be similar to last year: $4,000 for weekly scouting (16 weeks), and $2,000 for every other week (eight weeks). They will do a dedicated email blast out to farms in the next couple of weeks to give everyone an opportunity to participate. Please note: there is only capacity for up to four weekly or eight fortnightly farms with the scout. We are limiting the program to farms within a two hour radius drive from Guelph to ensure the scout has sufficient time at the farms and for the post-visit reporting. Watch for the email and let us know if you’re interested in participating in this important program this summer.

5. Invasive Species Conference 2024

There were some interesting talks at the Ontario Invasive Plant Council conference this year. OMAFRA's Hannah Fraser gave a talk on Spotted Lanternfly and what they are learning from U.S. states who are dealing with this pest (early days…lots more to come!). Dr. Violet Butterwort (MNRF) gave an informative talk on Oak Wilt in Ontario and is studying the critical times of when not to prune oaks to prevent disease spread. For our climate, the “NO-PRUNE” window is essentially April to August, but the most critical time is within three days of pruning. Dr. Butterwort is working with Dr. Tara Bal from Michigan to determine which species to focus on for management (details here) and so far they are finding three main species visiting oak wounds: Colopterus truncates, C. sayi, and C. avara. The latter two seem to keep visiting oak wounds through September.

6. PMRA still needs your help – Earn $75

With the cooperation of CNLA, 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 and is totally confidential. The survey usually takes about 20-25 minutes to complete and Stratus will send you a cheque for $75 upon completion. We would appreciate your participation as soon as possible. Questions can be directed to Michael Weddel at michael_weddel@stratusresearch.com or Jamie Aalbers at jamie@canadanursery.com. Please complete the survey within the next day or two.

7. CNLA Update

MANTS BTM meeting update:
  • APHIS has drafted a National Compliance Agreement that will be reviewed by the National Plant Board by the end of January.
  • This way it will be harmonized across all states, which is what we wanted, one program for the U.S.
  • Once implemented in the US, the state quarantines should be loosened for growers in those counties. With an approved compliance agreement, they will be able to ship BTM free boxwood out of the regulated area.
  • As this proceeds and following implementation, CFIA and CNLA will advocate for the same treatment for imports of Ontario-grown boxwood into the U.S.
AgriMarketing update:
  • AAFC has approved CNLA's AgriMarketing proposal. There is funding to cost share US market development.
  • Currently we are looking for growers who exhibited at US trade shows, attended US trade shows, or had direct trade missions or marketing campaigns to develop or grow markets in the U.S.
  • If you conducted, or will conduct, any of these activities from May 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024 please email Jamie.
  • The amount of funding available will be determined based on the level of interest and activity from growers across Canada.
BTM consultation:
CFIA has just posted a consultation on expanding the regulated area for BTM (RMD-23-05) beyond Ontario. The consultation is open until February 10. Two options are presented:
  1. Regulate provinces Québec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia.
  2. Regulate all provinces east of Ontario (Québec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland & Labrador).
If you have any concerns or comments, please share with jamie@canadanursery.com and jwest@landscapeontario.com so we can communicate these comments back to CFIA.
This report is provided by LO’s Grower Technical Analyst, Jeanine West.
Please contact Jeanine for more information: jwest@landscapeontario.com 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.