Summerland Research and Development Centre

  • Horticulture
  • Agro-Ecosystem Resilience
  • Biodiversity and Bioresources
  • Agri-Food

The Summerland Research and Development Centre (Summerland RDC) was established in 1914 in the heart of the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia. It is one of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's (AAFC) network of 20 research and development centres. 

Areas of Research

Research at the Summerland RDC addresses the mitigation of environmental pressures, control of biological threats and integration of sustainable production and processing systems for the delivery of high quality, value-added horticultural and agri-food products. Research activities focus on high value horticultural crops, particularly wine grapes and tree fruits, and the development of environmentally and economically sustainable methodologies and strategies to ensure the success of our agricultural industries locally, nationally and internationally.

Summerland RDC is one of seven sites where field trials on potential pest management tools and technology trials are conducted for AAFC’s Minor Use Pesticides Program. The centre also houses the Canadian National Collection of Plant Viruses.

Search Research projects from the Summerland Research and Development Centre to learn more about what we do.

Sector Needs

The Summerland RDC supports innovative research, development, technology and knowledge transfer activities related to the following AAFC Science Sector Strategies:

Meet our Scientists

Find out more about the scientists at Summerland 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.

4200 Highway #97
Summerland, BC V0H 1Z0
Canada
(250) 494-7711

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Scientists and researchers

Research Scientist
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

 

Image Christopher Pagliocchini
Biologist
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

 

Image Daniel O'Gorman
Biologist
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

 

Research Scientist
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

 

Image Karen Fong
Research Scientist
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

 

Image Kelly Anne Ross
Research Scientist
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

 

Systems Agro-Ecologist
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

 

Image Mehdi Sharifi
Research Scientist
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

 

Image Nathaniel K. Newlands
Research Scientist
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

 

Image Peter Toivonen
Research Scientist
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

 

Research Scientist
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

 

Postdoctoral Research Scientist
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

 

Image Howard Michael Andrew Thistlewood
Honorary Research Associate
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

 

Image Jesse L MacDonald
Biologist
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

 

Image Masoumeh Bejaei
Research Scientist
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

 

Image Naomi DeLury
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

 

Image Ron Reade
Curator of the Canadian Plant Virus Collection
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

 

Research Scientist
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

 

Blog posts from our researchers

Beneficial compounds are discovered in fruit cell walls.
Could we consider the unassuming raspberry a superfood? When Dr. Kelly Ross took a closer look at raspberries, she found evidence of their potential to enhance human health and benefit diabetics. Dr. Ross and her team, David Godfrey and Lana...
A link between soft scald in storage and water stress during development is discovered in a highly valued apple variety.
The popular Ambrosia™ apple, named for “food of the gods” in Greek mythology, makes up a third of the apples grown in BC, generating a farm gate value of over $12.5M.  With a sweet honey flavour and light flesh that is slow to brown, it lives up to...
Investigating the cause of apple tree mortality in Canada
In 2018, growers started mentioning inexplicable die-back of a few apple trees here and there. Driving through the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia - a vast semi-arid landscape of acreages of apples, cherries, and grapes - it's not a surprise to...
Forgotten phenolics for intestinal wellbeing
Scientists have been trying to solve the mystery of why most fruit extracts don’t show the same health benefits compared to eating the entire fruit.  The same phenomenon occurs with vegetables.  It is very difficult to capture the full benefit of...

Publications

  1. Xu H, MacDonald JL, Singh A, Pagliocchini C, Ediger D. 2022. Apple
    rootstock vigor and production: effects of rootstock on Honeycrisp.
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Summerland, BC, Canada. 11p.

    2022 - View publication details

  2. Interim Report to Alberta Innovates (Project Year 3). Ramankutty, N., Newlands, N.K., Noack, F.,Smukler, S., Beres, B. 2021. Project 2019F163R: Climate-smart agriculture: Big-data analysis to investigate what management practices work. Reporting period (2021/02/01) to (2022/01/31).University of British Columbia (UBC) and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)

    2022 - View publication details

  3. Ensing, D.J., R. Bourchier, R. De Clerck-Floate, V. Miller, S. Turner, C. Moffat. 2021. 50 years of biological control of invasive spotted knapweed in British Columbia. ISCBC Virtual Forum. 15-17 Feb. 2022.

    2022 - View publication details

  4. Ensing, D.J., R. Bourchier, R. De Clerck-Floate, V. Miller, S. Turner, C. Moffat. 2021. Research on invasive plant species biological control at AAFC’s Summerland RDC. Guest Lecture to U Saskatchewan's Invasive Plants course (Prof: Jon Bennett) 17 Feb. 2022.

    2022 - View publication details

  5. Apple clearwing moth, Synanthedon myopaeformis (Lepidoptera: Sesiidae) is an invasive pest of apple trees of European origin, first detected in 2005 in British Columbia. Infestations have increased and become more severe since its initial detection; there has been an increased interest in ACM due to its potential link to Sudden Apple Decline in the region. ACM pupae have been observed primarily – although not always – infesting
    apple tree graft unions, often opportunistically infesting burr knots, canker, or otherwise damaged or vulnerable tissue. Larvae infest the cambium layer for 1-2 years before emerging. During the 2020 and 2021 growing seasons, we evaluated insect netting (1/6″ square mesh polypropylene) applied over entire apple trees for management of ACM by assessing pupal casing counts near the graft union.. No effect was detected after one
    season; however, this is likely due to ACM lifecycle and infestation from the year prior, when there was no netting applied. A reduction to 0% infestation with netting application was observed in a second season of use, while infestation increased in the un-netted treatments. Woolly aphid infestations were observed to be more severe in tree canopies under netting than in non-netted trees. It should be noted that this appeared to bean abnormal year for woolly aphid. Field evaluations will continue for at least one more season (2022); apple quality under netting vs under nonnetted, and spray pattern when applied through netting vs non-netted will be assessed in the final season.

    2021 - View publication details

  6. Increased frequency and severity of heat waves and drought are becoming a major challenge for Okanagan fruit growers. These events can reduce fruit quality and compromise tree health, and may be an important trigger for sudden apple decline. A toolbox to help fruit growers mitigate the impacts of heat- and drought-related stress on fruit quality and tree health is urgently needed. Sprayable nanoparticle calcium carbonate is a potential tool for protecting fruit from sunburn and mitigating water stress, and is less expensive than shade cloth and/or evaporative cooling. This tool was tested on an experimental apple block at the Summerland Research and Development Centre over the summer of 2021. An initial spray was applied to test trees in early June, with a second spray applied immediately prior to the ‘heat dome’ event in late June, and a third spray in late July. Throughout the growing season, stem water potential, leaf transpiration and photosynthesis rates were monitored. At harvest, yield and fruit quality were assessed (e.g., sun burn [Schrader-McPherson scale], fruit size and weight, titratable acidity, and Brix. The calcium carbonate spray reduced the incidence of severe sun burn, but caused no other significant differences in fruit quality. When drought stress was applied, by temporarily cutting off the irrigation supply to both treatments, sprayed trees showed lower water stress than un-sprayed trees. Although just a preliminary study, this work suggests that sprayable protectants, such as nanoparticle calcium carbonate sprays, have potential for protecting fruit quality and mitigating drought stress during extreme heat or drought and may be an important, low-cost tool to include in Okanagan fruit growers’ climate change toolbox.

    2021 - View publication details

  7. Franklin, M.T. and J. MacDonald. 2021. Developing a biovigilance framework to address the new invasive strawberry blossom weevil. Federal Provincial Territorial Plant Health Committee Meeting. Virtual Meeting. Nov 10, 2021.

    2021 - View publication details

  8. Franklin, M.T. and J. MacDonald. 2021. Developing a biovigilance framework to address the new invasive strawberry blossom weevil. Federal Provincial Territorial Plant Health Committee Meeting. Virtual Meeting. Nov 10, 2021.

    2021 - View publication details

  9. Moffat, C.E., R. Bourchier, R. De Clerck-Floate, P. Mason, D. Ensing. 2021. How do we know biocontrol agents are safe? An overview of past successes and future opportunities for biological control of weeds in British Columbia. I2021 Integrated Vegetation Management Association (IVMA) biennial forum “Everything" in Vegetation Management. Nov 2 - 4, 2021. Invited.

    2021 - View publication details

  10. Ensing, D.J., N.G. Earley, C.E. Moffat. Panel discussion on control and eradication of invasive species. ISCBC Invasive Species Research Conference (virtual), 06-07 October 2021.

    2021 - View publication details