Research Poster Display and Competition

About the Display and Competition

OFVC is proud to host the research poster display on February 21-22, 2024 at the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention. Submissions will include two categories: Regular and Student Competition.

Our goal is to highlight research on fruit, vegetables and alternative crops in Ontario allowing growers and members of ag-industry to see the excellent work that you do in support of the many commodities they grow.

Student Poster Competition

The long-standing Student Poster Competition features student research conducted in the field of horticulture. The event offers students an opportunity to showcase their work to their target audience, compete for cash awards and to publish their posters online. In 2024 the competition will be limited to the first 20 applications so please get your forms in early. Prizes are available as follows:

1st Prize – $750
2nd Prize – $500
3rd Prize – $300

Poster Format and Judging Criteria

While there is no specific format requirement for posters, students are encouraged to describe the problem being addressed or technology being evaluated, what was done to solve the problem or with the technology during the evaluation, what happened (results) and a discussion on the importance of this work to the Horticulture industry. Infographics are an excellent option, provided they contain elements that can be evaluated using the judging criteria.

Posters will be judged by an impartial panel including research scientists, OMAFRA specialists and representatives from the horticulture industry. Decisions made by judges are final.

Judges will rank the posters based on the following criteria:

Introduction (background and objectives provided) 10
Body (materials and methods, and results clearly stated) 10
Summary (conclusions; relevance to industry; future direction) 20
Research (impact to industry; appropriate methodology) 15
Organization (sequence logical and evident; statements clear and unambiguous) 15
Visual Impact (graphs, tables and photos lead to improved understanding of topic; easily read and understand; appealing backgrounds and colours) 20
Appropriate for target audience (no scientific jargon; grower/industry friendly) 10

Entrants

Identifying and detecting Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri S. Watson) in Canada
Authors: Adèle Julien, Karen Castro, Sandra Flores-Mejia, Kristen Obeid and Mike Cowbrough
Entry Type: Regular
University/ College/Affiliation: OMAFRA
Poster Board Position: 1

Amaranthus palmeri (Palmer amaranth) is a fast-growing plant that has emerged as a threat to crop production in North America. Distinguishing A. palmeri from other pigweed species poses challenges, making early detection difficult and crucial for minimizing its potential impact in Canada. The Canadian Plant Health Council’s (CPHC) Weeds Surveillance Community of Practice (WSCP) has focused on developing tools and resources to coordinate and facilitate national surveillance of Amaranthus species in Canada, including A. palmeri.

Click here to download the poster pdf


Survey of Insect Borers and Weevils in Ontario Tree Nut Crops
Author: Melanie Filotas, OMAFRA
Entry Type: Regular
University/ College/Affiliation: OMAFRA
Poster Board Position: 2

Ambrosia beetles and nut boring weevils are significant pests of tree nuts in many growing regions but have not been well studied in Ontario. In recent years, there have been several reports of damage to tree nuts consistent with these pests. This poster summarizes the results of a 2023 survey trapping for ambrosia beetles and weevils in hazelnut and/or chestnut orchards in southwestern Ontario.


Development of Pictorial Extension Guides for Nutrient Deficiency Symptoms in Hops and Industrial Hemp
Authors: Evan M. A. Elford, James F. Todd, J.F., Rachel N. Riddle, and Rene C. Van Acker
Entry Type: Regular
University/ College/Affiliation: OMAFRA/University of Guelph
Poster Board Position: 3

Hop (Humulus lupulus L.) and hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) acreage in Ontario, Canada has increased over recent years resulting in numerous inquiries from growers on how to identify foliar nutrient deficiency symptoms in the two crops. Resources for visual identification of nutrient deficiency symptoms in hops and hemp are limited. The ability to identify nutrient deficiencies quickly and accurately would allow growers to improve nutrient use efficiency, crop health and overall yields of marketable product. For this project, virus indexed, female hop plants cv. Cascade and industrial hemp cv. Finola seed were sourced and grown under standard greenhouse conditions. Thirteen macronutrient and micronutrient deficiency treatments and one complete nutrient treatment based on Hoagland’s solution corrected to pH 6.5 were applied to plants for the duration of the project. Deficiency symptoms were induced in both species across all thirteen nutrient deficiency treatments. The progression of deficiency symptoms will be presented and discussed along with the foliar nutrient deficiency ranges tested on hop leaf material.

Click here to download the poster pdf


Evaluating New High Oleic Valencia Peanut Cultivars and Breeding Lines in Ontario, Canada
Authors: Evan M. A. Elford, Peter H. White, Rachel N. Riddle, Manisha Oja, and Naveen Puppala
Entry Type: Regular
University/ College/Affiliation: OMAFRA/University of Guelph/New Mexico State University
Poster Board Position: 4

Peanuts (Arachis hypogaea L.) are a niche crop grown in Ontario, Canada for the culinary market. Valencia-type peanuts are grown for the fresh (green/boiled) and roasted markets and are the only market type that can be grown in this region due to the short growing season compared to the other market types. The shorter-season peanut cultivars currently grown in Ontario were selected in the 1980's and growers continue to save their seed from the harvested crop or order the same cultivars due to a lack of information related to the performance of new cultivars. New short-season, high (hi) oleic trait cultivars and breeding lines developed at the New Mexico State University (NMSU) may be viable for Ontario’s unique growing conditions. These hi-oleic peanuts provide a longer shelf-life and better quality characteristics after processing. Field trials were established on 31 May 2022 at the Ontario Crops Research Centre – Simcoe, Norfolk County, Ontario, Canada. A randomized complete block design with four replications was used and the trial included 19 selections from the NMSU breeding program along with three traditional cultivars grown in Ontario for comparison. Peanuts were harvested using a commercial once-over harvester on 6 October, for a growing season length of 128 days. Peanut total yield and Total Sound Mature Kernels (TSMK) were graded according to USDA Number 1 Valencia grading standards and the resulting data was statistically analyzed. All 19 NMSU cultivars and breeding lines out-performed two of the three traditional Ontario cultivars and 10 of the NMSU cultivars and breeding lines performed better than all three traditional Ontario cultivars. Results suggest there is potential for adopting higher-yielding, newer cultivars in Ontario, such as those being developed at NMSU.

Click here to download the poster pdf


Testing Three Alternative Technologies for Control of Powdery and Downy Mildews on Wine Grape, Greenhouse Cucumber, Field Cucumber, Zucchini and Strawberry
Authors: Andrew C. Wylie, Irina Perez-Valdes and Rose Buitenhuis
Entry Type: Regular
University/ College/Affiliation: Vineland Research and Innovation Centre
Poster Board Position: 5

We tested three novel controls for powdery and downy mildews on several crops: a photodynamic inactivation application, a hyperoxyl radical treatment, and an air purification/enzymatic degradation reactor process. All of the technologies tested showed levels of efficacy against these diseases and promise alternative strategies for reducing economic injury due to crop pests and for managing fungicide resistance.


Who is Killing your Ginseng? Maybe You?
Authors: Amy Fang Shi, Sean Westerveld
Entry Type: Student
University/ College/Affiliation: University of Guelph
Poster Board Position: 6

Crop damage could occur unintentionally if pest control products are not used conscientiously. This study suggests root rot of ginseng could be triggered by both physical (e.g.: insects, machinery) and chemical (e.g.: herbicides) damage, because the pathogen is already in the root. Therefore, growers need to be aware of such consequences during the production cycle to reduce disease incidence.


Exploring Potential Factors Involved in Ginseng Rusty Root
Authors: Sean Westerveld, Tejendra Chapagain, Amy Shi
Entry Type: Regular
University/ College/Affiliation: OMAFRA
Poster Board Position: 7

Rusty root of ginseng is a superficial, rust-coloured discolouration of the root surface that impacts the marketability of the roots. Previous research suggests symptoms are more severe in wet soils high in available iron and potentially boron. This study examined the relationship between water and nutrients (iron and boron) on rusty root development. While no relationship was found in this study, the study improved our understanding of factors that lead to rusty root development.

Click here to download the poster pdf


It's a Bug-Eat-Bug World: Prelimininary assessment of two Dicyphus species (Hemiptera: Miridae) for their potential use as biological control agents on greenhouse crops
Authors: Carly Demers, Sherah VanLaerhoven, Lauren Des Marteaux, Rose Labbé
Entry Type: Student
University/ College/Affiliation: University of Windsor
Poster Board Position: 8

The Canadian greenhouse tomato industry largely relies on biological control for managing existing and invasive pests, but importing non-native biocontrol agents has recently become more difficult. For this reason, we have recently assessed the pest feeding capacity of two native predatory mirid species, determined their longevity and fecundity on different host plants including tomato, and identified their greenhouse establishment potential. Through this, we aim to assess the potential for using these insects in a biocontrol capacity.

Click here to download the poster pdf


Developing Disease Forecasting Models for Stemphylium Leaf Blight of Onion
Authors: Julia Scicluna, Bruce D. Gossen, Mary Ruth McDonald
Entry Type: Student
University/ College/Affiliation: University of Guelph
Poster Board Position: 9

This research aims to reduce the number of fungicide applications required to manage Stemphylium leaf blight (SLB) of onion using disease forecasting models. Several new or modified forecasting models were compared to existing spray programs. The STEMcast 2.0 15 model only called for two fungicide applications and slightly reduced disease severity compared to the unsprayed control.

Click here to download the poster pdf


Evaluating the Potential of Cannabis Tissue as a Repellent Against Colorado Potato Beetles
Authors: Andrew Colton, Margaret S. Mantel, Angela E. Gradish, Rebecca H. Hallett
Entry Type: Student
University/ College/Affiliation: University of Guelph
Poster Board Position: 10

In order to develop alternative management tactics for the Colorado potato beetle (CPB), Leptinotarsa decemlineata, we are evaluating the potential for cannabis waste tissues to be used to repel or interrupt CPB movement towards its host plants. Experiments have been conducted to determine 1. the effects of cannabis volatiles on host-finding, egg laying and feeding of CPB, and 2. the effects of substrates commonly mixed with cannabis waste on movement of CPB towards host plant tissues. Results of this research will contribute to the development of a repellent barrier that could be used around the perimeter of potato and/or tomato fields to prevent migration of CPB from overwintering sites into fields.

Note: There is an audio file embedded in the pdf. Click to play once downloaded or click here to listen.

Click here to download the poster pdf


No-Till Organic Potatoes with Cover Crops
Author: Ken Laing
Entry Type: Regular
University/ College/Affiliation: Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario
Poster Board Position: 11

As part of the Living Lab-Ontario project (2022-2023), I worked on an organic system that uses a rye cover crop to grow potatoes without hilling or weeding throughout the growing season. To continue optimizing this systsem, I was curious how planting depth affected marketable yield via greening and how different varieties performed in the no-till system.


Integrated Pest Management of Delia radicum Root Maggots in Ontario
Authors: Ian Scott, Roger Murray, John Hodkinson, Anne-Marie Fortier
Entry Type: Regular
University/ College/Affiliation: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Poster Board Position: 12

In 2023, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) tactics for cabbage root maggots (Delia radicum) were demonstrated in rutabaga fields near Exeter Ontario. Netting and sterile insect release (SIR) were used singly and in combination at 2 field sites. Rutabaga feeding damage caused by maggots was assessed at harvest to compare the IPM tactics with conventional insecticide applications.

Note: There is an video file embedded in the pdf with a QR code. Watch the video once downloaded or click here to watch.

Click here to download the poster pdf


Use of mixed covers: a preferred approach to manage plant-parasitic nematodes under spinach cultivation
Authors: Elyse Aubry, Tahera Sultana
Entry Type: Student
University/ College/Affiliation: Brock University
Poster Board Position: 13

This study aims to evaluate the effects of different cover crop use on plant-parasitic nematode populations in agricultural soil. Research was conducted on spinach and three types of cover crops were used including cow pea, pearl millet, and a mix of cow pea and pearl millet, to better evaluate if/how plant-parasitic nematode populations are affected by these covers. Our study shows that the use of mixed covers has more potential to reduce the number of plant-parasitic nematodes on spinach production.

Click here to download the poster pdf


The Effects of Fulvic Acids on Quality and Marketable Yield of Fruits and Vegetables in Southwestern Ontario
Authors: Breanne Black, Jarrod Psutka, Adesile Ajayi, Avery Ungar, Salha Bathawab, Maria Derkacz, Mohammad Rahbari
Entry Type: Regular
University/ College/Affiliation: BioLiNE Corporation
Poster Board Position: 14

In the 2023 outdoor growing season, several field trials were conducted across Southwestern Ontario farms to determine the effects of fulvic acid on fruit and vegatable (including sweet corn, tomatoes, zucchini, cantaloupe) yield and performance. Fulvic acid application was found to increase the marketable yields in fruit and vegetables as well as influence favourable biochemical characteristics including Brix and antioxidants.

Note: There is an audio file embedded in the pdf. Click to play once downloaded or click here to listen.

Click here to download the poster pdf


Automated 3D Vision System for Caliper Measurement and Enhanced Farm
Authors: David Weales, Cole Tarry, Medhat Moussa
Entry Type: Regular
University/ College/Affiliation: University of Guelph
Poster Board Position: 15

Researchers at the University of Guelph have developed an automated tree measurement system using 3D vision for tree nurseries. The system can compute the caliper measurement along with the GPS location of each tree to create an interactive map of the field.

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Plant Parasitic Nematodes: An Emerging Concern to Highbush Blueberry in Southern Ontario
Authors: Ana Borrego-Benjumea, Jerry Akanwari, Elyse Aubry, Tahera Sultana
Entry Type: Regular
University/ College/Affiliation: Agirculture and Agri-Food Canada
Poster Board Position: 16

A survey conducted between 2021 and 2023 assessed the prevalence, distribution, and predominant species of plant parasitic nematodes in blueberry fields in Southwestern Ontario. Our findings reveal these nematodes pose a considerable concern for Ontario blueberry growers.


Container Production of Highbush Blueberries Using Ready-to-use Grow Bags
Author: Philippe Sylvestre
Entry Type: Regular
University/ College/Affiliation: Premier Tech
Poster Board Position: 17

Evaluate ready-to-use bags developed by Premier Tech for highbush blueberry production in northern cultural conditions (Québec, Canada). Compare our delivery system to standard container systems used by an established Québec blueberry producer.

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Rapid and Accurate Detection of Grapevine Leafroll-associated Virus-3 using CRISPR-Cas13a Technology
Authors: Lucy Teminski, Tony Wang, BhadraMurthy Vemulapati, Sudarsana Poojari
Entry Type: Student
University/ College/Affiliation: Brock University
Poster Board Position: 18

Grapevine Leafroll Associated Virus 3 (GLRaV-3) is a virus which impacts grapevines. CRISPR Cas13a can be used as a powerful diagnostic tool to detect this virus.

Note: There is an audio file embedded in the pdf. Click to play once downloaded or click here to listen.

Click here to download the poster pdf


A Survey of Grapevine Trunk Diseases in Quebec
Authors: Andréanne Hébert-Haché, Philippe Constant, Audrey-Anne Durand, Caroline Provost
Entry Type: Regular
University/ College/Affiliation: Centre de recherche agroalimentaire de Mirabel
Poster Board Position: 19

We surveyed Quebec vineyards for the prevalence of grapevine trunk diseases. We revealed the presence of damageable diseases in both young and mature vineyards, in all major grape growing regions, and on all cultivar tested. The study underscored the urgent need for targeted vineyard practices, such as timely pruning and disease-free plant production, to curb the spread of grapevine trunk diseases.

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Use of locally-isolated Saccharomyces uvarum strain, CN1, to mitigate the negative effects of Botrytis and sour rot in white wine
Authors: Daniel Phillipow, Jennifer Kelly, Debbie Inglis
Entry Type: Student
University/ College/Affiliation: Brock University
Poster Board Position: 20

We surveyed Quebec vineyards for the prevalence of grapevine trunk diseases. We revealed the presence of damageable diseases in both young and mature vineyards, in all major grape growing regions, and on all cultivar tested. The study underscored the urgent need for targeted vineyard practices, such as timely pruning and disease-free plant production, to curb the spread of grapevine trunk diseases.

Note: There is an audio file embedded in the pdf. Click to play once downloaded or click here to listen.

Click here to download the poster pdf


Testing the Application of Novel Technology for Assessing Grape Maturity Using Spectrometry
Authors: Bronwyn Riddoch, Myroslava Khomik, Richard Petrone
Entry Type: Student
University/ College/Affiliation: University of Waterloo
Poster Board Position: 21

This research utilized a novel technology to explore the predictive capabilities of spectrometry in a laboratory setting for three grape varieties: Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, and Riesling. The primary objective was to assess the accuracy of predicting Brix levels with spectral data of the berries. Findings from the research can be applied in a vineyard setting to potentially provide continuous monitoring of Brix.

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Yeast Bioengineering to Determine the Role of Aldehyde Dehydrogenase Proteins
Authors: Nadine Ott-Peon and Dr. Debbie Inglis
Entry Type: Student
University/ College/Affiliation: Brock University
Poster Board Position: 22

It is thought that the Aldehyde Dehydrogenase genes found in yeast are responsible for an increase in acetic acid production in Icewine fermentation as a response to hyperosmotic stress. CIRSPR/Cas9 has been used to create Aldehyde Dehydrogenase gene knockouts to determine these enzymes roles in the production of acetic acid in Icewine fermentation.

Note: There is an audio file embedded in the pdf. Click to play once downloaded or click here to listen.

Click here to download the poster pdf


Identifying wild Vitis riparia Michx clones as a source of rootstock to mitigate vigour and acclimation/de-acclimation cycles of the scion
Authors: K. Helen Fisher, P. Liang and A. Rahemi
Entry Type: Regular
University/ College/Affiliation: University of Guelph
Poster Board Position: 23

Acclimation and de-acclimation DTA analyses are used as a benchmark for potential winter injury/survival of grapevine buds throughout the dormant season. Comparing several Ontario-derived wild riparia accessions to standard rootstock Riparia Gloire de Montpellier has revealed similarities in acclimation/de-acclimation behaviour of the scion but no outstanding improvements in either case.

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Eradication Dilemma: the virus transmitting nematode Xiphinema diversicaudatum resurfaces to ravage Ontario’s fruit production
Authors: Jerry Akanwari, Qing Yu and Tahera Sultana
Entry Type: Student
University/ College/Affiliation: Brock University
Poster Board Position: 24

Xiphinema diversicaudatum (European dagger) is a virus transmitting and quarantine nematode which previously been listed as eradicated from Canada in 1980s survey. From our current study, this nematode has been identified, and characterized from peach orchard. This is the first report of this nematode parasitizing the root of peaches (Prunus persica) in North America, and a potential threat to Ontario's Fruit Industry.

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Diversity of Viruses in Pollen from BC Cherry and Apple Farms
Authors: J.S. Griffiths, M. Smadi, G.J. Bilodeau, S.F. Pernal, M.M. Guarna and M. Rott
Entry Type: Regular
University/ College/Affiliation: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Poster Board Position: 25

Honey bee (Apis mellifera) pollination is widely used in tree fruit production systems to improve fruit set and yield. Many plant viruses can be associated with pollen or transmitted through pollination, and can therefore be detected through bee pollination activities. Honey bees visit multiple flowers and individuals in one foraging trip, essentially sampling small amounts of pollen from a wide area. Here we report area-wide monitoring of plant viruses in cherry (Prunus avium) and apple (Malus domestica) orchards in Creston Valley, British Columbia, Canada, through bee-mediated pollen sampling. A wide array of viruses were identified in both cherry and apple systems, with cherry virus A (CVA), prune dwarf virus (PDV), prunus necrotic ringspot virus (PNRSV), and prunus virus F (PVF) being particularly widespread. Citrus concave gum associated virus and apple stem grooving virus were only identified during samples collected during apple blooms, demonstrating detection of viruses collected from the same site at different times specific to each tree species. Phylogenetic and pairwise analysis of the coat protein regions of the four major viruses identified showed unique patterns of diversity. Coat protein sequences of CVA and PVF were broadly diverse with multiple distinct phylogroups identified, while PNRSV and PDV were more conserved. Multiple variants of all four viruses were identified in samples collected during apple and cherry bloom, suggesting a complex system rich in viral diversity, with complex and partially overlapping potential host ranges. This research helps to further define the pollen virome in fruit production systems.

Click here to download the poster pdf