For Keith Wright, his son David and crew of seasonal agricultural workers, the tradition of growing cantaloupes continues with the first harvest anticipated August 7. Located near Harrow in Essex county, they are questioning how long they can continue to ship produce to the Ontario Food Terminal, a four-hour trip, one-way unless returns improve. 

Charles Stevens, right, discusses future of the apple industry with researcher Dr. Daryl Somers, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre. Photo by Glenn Lowson.

The Pest Management Regulatory Agency plans to eliminate the use of mancozeb and metiram fungicides. Charles Stevens, an apple and blueberry grower, explains the consequences for horticulture and why grower organizations are opposed. 

The sweet cherry harvest in British Columbia is at risk. Not enough workers have arrived due to delays by Service Canada in processing seasonal agricultural workers from Mexico and the Caribbean. In Ontario, the situation is more about cost of labour. Fortunately for Lakelee Farms, Jordan Station, Ontario, Adolphus Joseph has arrived safely from Trinidad. 

The PMRA has announced the cancellation of mancozeb, a widely-used fungicide, for all horticultural crops except foliar use on potatoes. The phase-out will take three years. 

L-R: Hon. Lawrence MacAulay, U.S. ag secretary Sonny Perdue and Ray Keenan, potato grower from Rollo Bay Holdings.

Lawrence MacAulay, federal agriculture minister, hosted Sonny Perdue, U.S. agriculture secretary on June 15, maintaining the dialogue on cross-border trade. The high-profile tour included a visit to Ray and Alvin Keenan, potato growers at Souris.  

Ontario’s electorate made a serious right-hand turn on June 7 in electing the Progressive Conservative party with Doug Ford at the helm. The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association looks forward to working with the premier and cabinet. 

By the end of May, Ontario producers participating in the Self-Directed Risk Management (SDRM) Program for Edible Horticulture will have received their second government contribution for the 2017 program year. 

All the twists and turns of Ontario’s election will come to a stop sign on June 7. Here are a few ridings to watch that are of particular interest to horticulture.