Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - January 9, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
-Tuetdoy, January 9, 1973 THE IHHBRIDGE HERALD 3 .4mis at vegetables, fruit, specialty crops Alberta Horticultural Research Centre By RIC SYVTHART of The Herald The Alberta Horticultural Re- search Center at Brooks is re- sponsible for the research and development of 2 growing pro- vincial industry of fruit, vege- table and special crops produc- tion- There are 750 acres of land being izsed for all stages of work, located en five farms. Three farms are located in the immediate Brooks area with one at Bow Island and one si Strathmore, Tbe 140-aere Mscleod Farm, 14 miles southeast of the cen- tral administratioa sate is the newest addition to the complex. This farm features a GO-acre plot irrigation system operable by one man and is designed to tes< larger plots. Forage" crops. grain corn and silage com tests, fertilizer trial? for csb- bage and other crop? without high maintenance am labor re- quirements arc grown on the Macleod Farm. Rotation ar-d cropping se- quence and tbeir effects o n plant disease i? also a major part of work done on the MacLeod Farm- Tbe mair, farm, which "hous- es the administration centre. was started in 1951 at the present site four miles east of Brooks. The major work on vegetab- les and fruit is conducted at the main farm. Extension tours and orientation visits were ac- corded type guests during 1972. The secured plots containing rare aixi unique plants are en- closed i_n a fenced area on the main farm. All the tree pro- duction for the provincial shel- terbe.lt program are grown on the farm as well as 70 acres of frait tress and 60 acres of ornamentals. The main farm was moved from the present site of Brooks. Originally, the CPR started a demonstration farm at Brooks but the town overgrew the com- plex necessitating the move. Tbe province took over the farm in 1935. The other farm in the Brooks area is commonly referred to as the Posdeross. Actually i[ is an isoJE-iion farm located 10 jru3-2S souLb of the farm. All crore that must be kep: away from contact with cer- tain oi-ber plants arc grown there. For example, poplar tree; arc being studied at the isola- tion farm. Aphids. which can only fly about cme mile, could hinder "the so the trees were planted at the isolation farm. Situated on the east bank of Lake Newell, the farm is projected from the flying aph- ids by the expanse o! water. Toe Strathmore form is op- erated in co-operation with the "Western IrrigcUOD District. It contains only 20 acres. About half of the work is aimed at vegetable production to find ou'. which vegetables c a n be successfully grown in the area, At Bow Iskrtd. ofnclal5 are testing hot weather crops in co- operation all irrigation dis- irlcts in the region. Bears, corn, sorghum, soy- beans and pdons are tested. Ai the farm, the sd- mirdstra'Jon of ibe S600.0M bud- ret and operation of the exten- sive facilities and equipment are carried OLH under the care- ful eye of direcror Dr. Art Ol- son. The farm is in the midst of a SI program. Work has begun on the EiBO.OM administration building and reDOvaiireis are rrj-going to the P. Duncan Hsrrrave Building which houses the laboratories. About has been spent this year for laboratories, green houses. potato research facilities and improved utilities. There are professional staff members. 14 technicians and 17 support stall members employed by the center. These, persons work in an an- alytical laboratory, a cuirnary- rype lab. a physiology Isb and will be working in the planned plant pathology lab to be built this spring. There is two-thirds of an 3 ere of greenhouses for re- search- Olson, director of the centre Vegetables increasing as important crop Vegetables are becoming a more important agricultural crop aod with this trend, the role of Sieve Molnar as vege- table research scientist in- creases, A team work approach is ap- plied at ihe Alberta Rordcril- nrrsl Research Center at Brooks involving the done by Mr. Molnar ard the work of horticultural CTODS supervisors Psul and Clive Schaup- meyer in geoing to the producers. Mr. Molnar said wrk Ls oo- at the station involving varietal trials, culrural prac- xorage facilities, fertil- irer applications and dates, seeding dates and rates and ir- rigation methods and equip- ment all aimed at producing more product better quality for the fanner. The maia emphasis of Mr. Molnar's work Is with po t a t o crops. He has developed three varieties at the station and the Dew work is aimed at improv- ing the internationally famous Netted Gem. "The Netted is easy to store, has good irrigation qual- ities, is an escellant baker, a good bailer and is suitable for french frying." he said. Netted Gem is unreli- able lor the chiprir.z in- dustry. o-ir we wo-jld like io find a var.evy will fUI sll ihese reqiiire- rncritj; ar.d rr.ature one vsvek to 1C days; earlier. This past year, especially north of lost a signiii- cant amount of Netted Gems because of the early He said if such u potnto vari- ety could be found, it would add a tremendous impcru? to iho growers and ihe indusrrj-. He sa.d more than 50 per cerit of the potato crop in Alberta is now being leading fewer porsroes 10 en'.er th? fresh produce market. "As the acreages increase and the amoun: of produce be- ing processed increases, new varieties must be developed that are idea] for specific pro- cessing industries." he said. "It will mean breeding potatoes for a specific market and different industrial uses." Five varieties of tomatoes have also boen released from the station and two have been very important to the industry. "The Brook-pact and Red Bobs have served the industry- very said Mr. Molnar. He said one variety of pepper has also been released after de- velopment at the station. He said the emnhnsis on breeding proGrrams is decreas- ing because they are long-term and slow, "The growing Alberta vege- table industry needs immediate information ?o researchers are changing their practices." be "We are now shifting to cul- tural and irisls in our research. mil give produ- cers inform an on about ircreas- ins their and then for a lone time, producers have 10 thin I- seriously of long-term storage. "In ihe U.S.. some vegetables are produced year round ic one niece or the other. Thii ju5i isn't so in Canada." The honiculmral crops super- visors vork ihroucfa pilot pro- jects -.hroughout the reg i o n s ready been conducted w-Jh trict agriculturists arxi ed farmers to sian jects next spring, be "I; will be my iob to ;a-.e crops to the growers ihe and lei them see tow ihc do for iherr.. 'Then me vrii: help duct-r? i h e ihe ..eld pl-xs are ic e ;o therr.fe'ives th2' vege- es COTL bo crovsTi successful- The crops then rv.'io: with in :he testc-d area ic :o full y grow the or. 2 commercial Kacar is for pJo: prwiecii at Bow Is ana and pepiser Cli-ve Schoupmeyer how to store that added produc- tion Some of ihe new work in- volves adapting research from rthei areas o: the to the growing and production condi- tions evident in southern and central Alberta. "The soil and climates in oth- er parts of the world aren't the same as in Alberta PO scientific research can't N? transferred directly to producers and pro- cessors in the he said. "It is absolutely essential to localize all research that ap- plies to the area.'1 The short growing season Is partly responsible for the stor- age research. "If consumers want a fresh vegetable martet pro lab- ly. farn try veg scale. Mr. onion land He to moke a success of the projects, the Alberta de panniert o: agriculture pro- vides ihf plsnrs for the first few the keep a with the grL-Tsvr to discuss problems and changes in lechniques which may be needed. He the riepartir.eni likes coly ;o have a record of yields and crouvr observations on dis- storage trials and ochor per t i n e n t informstion which may help the of the grow- ers in iho province. Mr. Sohnupmeyer will be re- for esiabushinp the vegetable produc t i o n in the Strathmore area. Then? Is a ter- rific corrbinatim of water and soil in the area which is suit- able for vegetable production. he said. The Calcary markei is also close 10 the growing region. Tesl plcXs in the Sirathmore area showed officials of the re- search center that cabbage, cel- ery and lettuce can be prown successfully. Meetings have al- financing for :o continue ;o gro crops. In helping to etts dvestry, our roles b important as we LT all Paul Ragan the information lo tho produ- cers, he said. To do ihis right, Uwre musi bo a liaison be- rweon and br.iriches oi government which are respon- sible for ass.isting in orcanizmg financing and mar- keting. The farmer do be said.