Ottawa Research and Development Centre
The Ottawa Research and Development Centre (Ottawa RDC) located in Ottawa, Ontario was established in 1886 by the Government of Canada under The Experimental Farm Station Act. It is one of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's (AAFC) network of 20 research and development centres.
Areas of Research
Ottawa Research and Development Centre’s regional mandate is to develop new and improved spring and winter wheat, oats, barley, corn and short-season soybeans varieties and investigate agronomic practices and technologies for eastern Canada.
The Centre houses several national biological collections and leads biosystematics research on insects/arachnids/nematodes, fungi/bacteria and vascular plants relevant to agriculture, including biological control of invasive species. Ottawa RDC leads national research in carbon and nitrogen cycling in air, water and soil.
In addition, the National Identification Services (NIS) helps various agencies by providing authoritative identification of insects/nematodes, plants, fungi, and bacteria as required by various federal and provincial legislations.
Search Research projects from the Ottawa Research and Development Centre to learn more about what we do.
The Ottawa RDC carries out innovative research, development, technology and knowledge transfer activities in support of the AAFC's Strategic Plan for Science, which includes:
Crop improvement at Ottawa RDC focuses on Eastern Canadian producers located between Manitoba and PEI with an emphasis on oats, wheat (Spring and Winter), barley, corn and soybean. Experts in crop breeding, genetics, genomics, molecular biology, physiology, agronomy, pathology, quality evaluation, and mycotoxin chemistry are working to strengthen the linkages along the value chain (from production to processing and consumption), improve food attributes, and address threats to Canadian agriculture.
Research is conducted to enhance the environmental performance of agricultural production systems, and to maintain or access new international markets. Research includes:
- Studying and monitoring changes in soils, crop conditions, land use and land management (from watershed to national scales) using satellite technologies and integrated modeling.
- Developing new methods and technologies to produce and analyze data describing soil, land use and climate for agricultural areas in Canada to improve agricultural land management, land use planning and policy development.
- Systems-based research and modeling to understand the effects and trade-offs of management practices at the field, farm and watershed scale on soil microorganisms, nutrients, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and airborne and emerging contaminants to assess and mitigate agricultural impacts on the environment (e.g., air and water), public health and agricultural productivity.
Biodiversity research includes assessing agricultural biodiversity (vascular plants, fungi, bacteria, insects, arachnids and nematodes), identifying emerging risks, and assessing impact on international trade and regulatory compliance. Biosystematics research on organisms critical to Canadian agriculture (new and existing crops, their relatives; weeds; pests, beneficial and biocontrol insects, arachnids and nematodes; plant diseases and plant-enhancing fungi; animal pathogens and plant-growth-promoting bacteria) helps to protect crop production and contribute to crop diversification.
Meet our Scientists
Find out more about the scientists at Ottawa 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.