Harrow Research and Development Centre
The Harrow Research and Development Centre (Harrow RDC) located in Harrow, Ontario was established in 1909. It is the largest greenhouse research complex facility in North America, and is one of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's (AAFC) network of 20 research and development centres.
The Centre is associated with three satellite locations:
Greenhouse, laboratory & field based research complex on sandy soils at Harrow;
Clay-loam soils at the Honourable Eugene F. Whelan Experimental Farm, Woodslee, Ontario; and
The Ontario Development and Technology Transfer unit located in Guelph, Ontario.
Areas of Research
Harrow RDC develops and transfers new technologies for the production and protection of greenhouse vegetables and field crops, including soybeans, dry beans, corn, winter wheat and tomatoes. It is a lead contributor in research on the quality and sustainable use of Ontario soils as methods to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and nutrient losses from agricultural soils. This activity enhances the environmental health of farmlands in the Great Lakes basin.
The Harrow RDC is one of seven sites where field and greenhouse trials on potential pest management tools and technologies are conducted for AAFC’s Minor Use Pesticide Program.
Harrow RDC is the location for the Canadian Clonal Genebank greenhouse and orchard.
Search Research projects from the Harrow Research and Development Centre to learn more about what we do.
The Harrow RDC carries out innovative research, development, technology and knowledge transfer activities in support of the AAFC's Strategic Plan for Science, which includes:
Research focuses on sustainable year-round greenhouse crop production (using supplemental lighting and automation technologies for vegetables and fruit) and examines dynamic plant-based climate control, nutrient, irrigation, integrated crop management strategies, energy conservation and renewable energy. Integrated pest control strategies (including Minor Use Pesticide products) are developed to manage current and emerging insects, viral, fungal and bacterial diseases.
The Centre develops sustainable agricultural practices for the humid temperate zones with particular emphasis on the Great Lakes Basin to enhance soil health and improve environmental quality. Multidisciplinary research programs involving soil microbial ecology, soil carbon sequestration, soil physical quality and nutrient dynamics aim to optimize field crop production, enhance soil function and biodiversity and reduce agricultural degradation of water quality (phosphorus and nitrate) and air quality (ammonia, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide emissions).
The Harrow RDC develops food-grade soybean and dry bean germplasm and cultivars and supports winter wheat research conducted by AAFC’s Ottawa Research and Development Centre. Pest management research includes ecology, population dynamics and plant-pest interactions, and management of disease, insects, nematode, and weed pests on these crops.
- Biodiversity and bioresources
The Canadian Clonal Genebank, part of AAFC’s Plant Gene Resources Program, preserves the genetic diversity of Canadian fruit crops by acquiring and maintaining wild plant material and named cultivated varieties.
Meet our Scientists
Find out more about the scientists at Harrow Research and Development Centre through their profiles below.
You can also visit the Fields of Science campaign featuring 11 Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada scientists from coast to coast. Discover why they chose to pursue a career in agriculture and learn more about their research.
Scientists and researchers
Labbe, R. 2023. Epizootiology and management of arthropod pest invasions in vertical farms. Vertical Farmers of Ontario Meeting and Workshop. Harrow RDC, AAFC. March 28 2023.2023 - View publication details
Xueming Yang, Craig Drury, Mary-Anne Reeb, Dan Reynolds, “A Diversified Organic Cropping System: Impacts on Crop Production and Soil Health in S. Canada”. 3rd Global Soil Biodiversity Conference, poster presentation, March 12-16, 2023, Dublin, Ireland.2023 - View publication details
Norris, C.E., Gorzelak, M., Arcand, M., Bruhjell, D., Carlyle, C.N., Dyck, M., Ellert, B., Entz, M., Geddes, C.M., Hao, X., Janovicek, K., Larney, F., May, W., Luce, M.St., Van Eerd, L.L., Zhang, T., Beck, R., Cowen, T., Liptzin, D., Morgan, C.L.S. (2023). The story of long-term research sites and soil health in Canadian agriculture. Canadian Journal of Soil Science, [online] 103(1), 164-190. http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjss-2021-01742023 - View publication details
Labbe. R. Developing tools for the sustainable management of greenhouse pests. Harrow RDC Seminar Series, February 23, 20232023 - View publication details
Demers, C., VanLaerhoven, S., Des Marteaux, L, and Labbe, R. 2023. Bug-eat-bug World: Assessing Canadian mirids for the control of greenhouse pests on tomato (Hemiptera: Miridae). Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention, Poster Presentation, February 22-23, 2023.2023 - View publication details
E.R. Page*, S. Meloche, A. Thibodeau, M. Moran and R. Larsen. 2023. Enhancing pea productivity through winter intercropping with canola (Winter Peaola). Canadian Pulse Crop Research Workshop, February 20th – 23rd 2023, Windsor, ON. (Poster Presentation).2023 - View publication details
Mcilveen E., Gillard C., Larsen, JL. and Wally OSD. Examination of Ontario adapted dry bean varieties for tolerance towards common pathotypes of Soybean Cyst Nematode (2023) Canadian Pulse Research Workshop, WIndsor, ON, Canada.2023 - View publication details
Omoregie U., Wally OSD., and Pauls, PK. Resistance to bacterial brown spot in Adzuki bean (2023) Canadian Pulse Research Workshop, WIndsor, ON, Canada.2023 - View publication details
Des Marteaux, L.E., Reynolds, S., Callaghan, C., Skevington, J., Raine, N.E., and Young, A. 2023. Living Labs Ontario – Native pollinators & the farm landscape. (Innovative Farmers Association of Ontario annual meeting – London, Canada)2023 - View publication details
Xueming Yang. 2023. Crop production, soil quality, and economic analysis: Organic legume cover crop farming in Southern Ontario. 2023 GUELPH ORGANIC CONFERENCE. Guelph, ON Jan 27, 2023. https://guelphorganicconf.ca/program2023/#1670601295139-31760753-5b552023 - View publication details
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