A new pesticide is available for greenhouse ornamental production in Canada that has shown potential for effective suppression of difficult-to-control thrips and whitefly species.
But to keep this new tool effective, growers will have to use this chemical wisely. Keep reading for efficacy data on ornamental crops and best management practices for incorporating this chemical into your IPM toolbox.
On May 14, 2020 the ministry announced the launch of the Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program for Producers. The intake is open to interested applicants and program materials have been posted online. Eligible applications for this cost-share funding will be received and assessed on a continuous basis, while funding is available, meaning that it may be an advantage to submit an application as early as possible.
There are two cost-share project categories under the program: Occupational Health and Safety Measures and Workforce Access and Accommodation. Both categories offer 70% cost-share up to $7,500. Projects must have started after May 14th to be eligible. Applicants may only submit one application per eligible business/farm property at a time. A maximum of one project per eligible business/farm property will be funded, no matter which category it falls under. Continue reading “New CAP intake: Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program”→
Nursery and Floriculture Growers, Landscapers and Retail Garden Centres are all working hard to provide the kind of excellence in service and plant material that Ontarians have come to know and expect. As more horticultural businesses are opening up, we thought it would be helpful to review some of the resources that have been developed […]
Looking to pivot to online sales or other marketing strategies? The Canadian Agricultural Partnership can help.
The Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) has just announced a new program to help fund agri-food businesses starting e-commerce sales or other activities that might open new market channels. This targeted intake is called “Agrifood Open for E-business” and can be found on the OMAFRA website.
Read on for more details of the program, who is eligible, and examples of projects ornamental growers can apply for in each of the two program streams.
Agrifood Open for E-business – Stream 1: Bring Your Business Online
Stream 1 is looking to target businesses who need to bring their business online quickly. Eligible businesses include farmers (on-farm stores included), on-farm markets, garden centers, greenhouses and nurseries.
New CAP programming can help cover the costs of new website design, hosting fees, and marketing strategies.
Growers and garden centres can apply to receive up to $5,000 of funding to address marketing challenges through a new, expanded or enhanced on-line presence. Funding under this stream is designed to be quick and responsive for those needing timely solutions.
The priority here is to develop market channels to retain and/or expand sales with primary objective of bringing products to customers.
EXAMPLES from the ornamental sector that could be covered (starting as of April 24, 2020 unitl November 30, 2020) under Stream 1 include:
A Grower developing an online e-commerce site to increase or replace sales from roadside stands. This includes subscription fees (for up to 6 months), e-commerce website design costs and even web ads.
A Garden Centre with a e-presence already, using funds to expand merchandising and marketing efforts, and/or to make any necessary facility modifications.
AFarmers’ Market providing an online platform to share information about products that are now available for sale through alternative channels.
Agrifood Open for E-business – Stream 2: Develop Online Business Opportunities
This stream thinks bigger. It provides cost-share funding to develop e-commerce business opportunities on a larger scale to implement high-impact projects. Individual businesses can apply, as can eligible organizations. Collaborations are also encouraged. Funding is available for up to 90 per cent of eligible costs up to $75,000 (although smaller projects are preferred).
Thinking about changing your business for the long term to access new and different markets? The CAP “Open for E-Business” intake may be able to help with that, too.
Stream 2 is not just about getting you online, it’s about creating stable, long term online marketing and sales platforms that will help businesses going forward. Priorities here are about creating or expanding new markets and revenue streams, and projects that meet broad business needs for the sector (e.g. an online platform that supports multiple businesses) and collaborative projects.
In this stream, applicants can show their projects are impactful by involving groups that represent multiple stakeholders, and/or by working together with other partners. Applicants can also show their project meets the needs of the broader sector by demonstrating industry support in other ways (such as support letters).
EXAMPLES for the ornamental sector that could be covered under Stream 2 include:
A Grower developing and validating a new operation process (e.g. switching from wholesale to retail). This would include the logistics related to new marketing channels (this could be anything from new shelving needed to sell on the roadside or moving plants through alternative logistics models), warehousing, shipping (including new packaging), delivery fulfillment (e.g. door-to-door) and other transactions, such as the purchase of new machinery to help adapt to new sales methods (e.g. new POS system that allows for contactless “tap” purchases for roadside, pickup or delivery sales options).
A Retail Centre (e.g. grocery stores) developing new models to market, merchandise and ship new products like ornamentals in a contactless manner. This could include website/merchandising expansion, training key personnel on the new process and delivery logistics
Grower Organizations collaborating with growers or other industry groups to market the benefits and availability of ornamentals (as long as it’s not restricted to Ontario-grown products only), or creating an app to more easily link growers to sellers.
A Farmers’ Market collaborating with its market vendors to establish and market an e-commerce platform, and to make minor facility modifications to address social distancing requirements that are directly related to the project.
All applicants to Stream 2 should show the project is meeting the needs of their broader sector by demonstrating industry support through letters from customers, suppliers and grower organizations. A grower can also show the project is meeting the needs of their local area through support letters from regional organizations (e.g., local business/economic development groups).
Make sure to check the Merit Criteria section closely! Note that costs relating to projects starting BEFORE April 24 will NOT be eligible. All applications should be submitted electronically to email@example.com
Electronic forms for submission can be found here:
Growers and retailers can apply for one project under EACH stream, in order to get their e-commerce platforms up and running quickly AND to engage in longer term marketing and sales processes that strengthen the sector over the long run.
An Additional FYI: OMAFRA and COVID
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, and to respect physical distancing measures, all our specialists are working remotely but are still available to assist you.
We will continue to support the sector’s needs by providing services via email, phone and virtual meetings where possible. We understand these are trying times for most and so we want to assure everyone that we are continuing delivery of information in a timely manner through these alternative channels.
We will continue to provide the sector with the support we’ve always given. Thank you for your understanding. Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.
As we advance towards May, the uncertainty around social restrictions, major changes in business operations, lost sales and contracts have left many of us feeling frustrated and anxious. Stress is nothing new to farmers and other horticultural business owners, but in times of crisis, stress can build to new heights causing even the most resilient business owners to struggle.
How do you get help in this day and age when your extension agent or consultant can’t just pop into your greenhouse and look at a problem with you? Although nothing can replace seeing an issue first-hand, there is still a way to get help with your pest and production issues from a distance.
This post will give you tips on key information you need to send, and how to take good photos, to make getting quick and accurate answers from experts easier via email or messaging.