Research Projects

Each year, IRDA's R&D Team conducts more than one hundred research projects in sustainable agriculture. What's more, IRDA is working with Quebec's key agricultural stakeholders to find concrete solutions.

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Results for 2022
Hay and corn
2019-2022 • Market gardeningField crops

Including perennial fodder crops as “cut and carry” nitrogen sources in long-term rotations of organically grown potatoes and field crops

We will compare the ability of mixed protocols using blended green manure, with or without the addition of farm manure, to satisfy the nitrogen requirements of a silage corn rotation crop.

Researcher: Christine Landry

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Christine Landry
Winter wheat
2019-2022 • Field crops

Measuring the impact of winter vs. spring cereals on profitability, soil health, and pesticide use

Ten test sites will operate over a two-year period on farms spread over ten Québec regions to compare the performance of winter and spring cereals.

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Marc-Olivier Gasser
Caroline Côté
Luc Belzile
Forage crop
2019-2023 • Market gardeningField crops

Implementing a three-year sustainable forage crop rotation for potato and field crop farmers

This project seeks to create farmer partnerships in which participants work on implementing a three-year forage crop rotation protocol in potato and field crop fields.

Researcher: Richard Hogue

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Richard Hogue
Corn field
2019-2023 • Field crops

Improving nitrogen management in Québec grain corn

This project will determine the optimal post-emergent nitrogen dose to apply.

Researcher: Christine Landry

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Christine Landry
Long cane raspberries
2019-2023 • Fruit production

Out-of-soil cultivation of organic long cane raspberries

Development of a growing out-of-soil organic raspberries in high tunnels protocol in a profitable and competitive manner with a view to selling products locally or to large retail chains.

Researcher: Annabelle Firlej

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Annabelle Firlej
Strawberry
2019-2023 • Fruit production

Modifying an irrigated day-neutral-strawberry growing protocol to improve soil functionality by activating beneficial microorganisms through the addition of labile carbon at planting time

This project will modify current protocols with the addition of labile carbon to preserve or rapidly restore the activity of beneficial microorganisms.

Researcher: Christine Landry

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Christine Landry
Agricultural drainage
2019-2022 • Field crops

Using controlled drainage to optimize water and nutrient uptake by crops

This project relies on the continuous measurement of field water table heights; water exports; as well as sediment, nitrogen, and phosphorus runoff into drains at four field-crop production sites.

Researcher: Aubert Michaud

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Aubert Michaud
Potato plant flower
2019-2022 • Market gardening

Developing a web app to facilitate the viewing and interpretation of potato soil health analyses

This project aims to develop an accessible and user-friendly web application that will let stakeholders search the IRDA potato soil database, one of the largest in Canada, to visualize the impact of growing practices and protocols on the biological, physicochemical, and agronomic characteristics of soils cultivated with different cropping systems.

Researcher: Richard Hogue

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Richard Hogue
Fungicide spraying

Assessing the economic impact of fungicide resistance in horticultural corps

Project initiated to review the knowledge on the fungicide resistance of various pathogens to provide a preliminary assessment of the economic impacts of fungicide resistance.

Researcher: Luc Belzile

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Luc Belzile
Cow and calf
2019-2022 • Livestock production

Developing strategies to reduce and control pathogens in the drinking water used for outdoor cow-calf breeding

Cow-calf farms tend to prefer outdoor breeding, poor-quality drinking water can have a direct impact on animal health, and may lead to higher pathogen levels in the environment and at slaughter time, and negative consequences for food safety.

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Caroline Côté
Stéphane Godbout
Nitrogen fertilizers
2019-2022 • Field crops

Assessing the cost-effectiveness of improved nitrogen fertilizer applications

This research project, initiated by the CÉROM grain research centre, looks to assess the cost-effectiveness of nitrogen fertilizer applications improved by the addition of urea, for use with winter wheat crops grown in Québec.

Researcher: Luc Belzile

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Luc Belzile
Potato field
2019-2022 • Market gardening

Improving potato crop water-use efficiency by developing a deeper understanding of cultivars

The selection of a cultivar should be an essential element in any sound irrigation management strategy. This project aims to optimize water use in potato farming.

Researcher: Carl Boivin

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Carl Boivin
Potato field
2019-2022 • Market gardening

Improving potato crop water-use efficiency through cropping system modifications

Modifying the cropping system design is an effective way to improve potato crop water-use efficiency and, thereby, lessen the risk of crops experiencing water stress.

Researchers: Carl Boivin Luc Belzile

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Carl Boivin
Luc Belzile
Striped cucumber beetle, Photo credit: IRIIS Phytoprotection
2019-2022 • Market gardening

Developing mass trapping strategies to control the striped cucumber beetle in organic cucurbit farming

This project aims to develop mass trapping strategies to keep damage caused by the striped cucumber beetle populations below the economic threshold, while minimizing the capture of pollinators and natural enemies.

Researcher: Annabelle Firlej

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Annabelle Firlej

The solutions developed by IRDA aim to...

Ensure the sustainability

and quality of soil, water, and air

Protect the health and well-being

of local communities by improving the quality of crop and livestock production, with an emphasis on animal welfare

Safeguard the economic viability

of crop and livestock production