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A field day on crop research

Lakehead U agriculture station to showcase new varieties for tour day
Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Association
Lakehead University’s Agriculture Research Station director Dr. Tarlok Singh Sahota. (Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Association photo)

Based on the philosophy of “seeing is believing,” Lakehead University’s Agriculture Research Station (LUARS) wants to show regional farm groups what is being successfully grown in northwestern Ontario.

LUARS is staging its annual tour of the research station, located on Little Norway Road in Thunder Bay, on July 24 from 10 a.m. to noon.

Through their small plot research, LUARS director Dr. Tarlok Singh Sahota will showcase what can be applied on Northern farms to increase productivity, sustainability and improve incomes.

Expect to see 24 varieties of spring wheat, a new malting barley, and other varieties of oats, yellow and green peas, soybeans, lentils, flax, canola and mustard.

Representatives and specialists from Thunder Bay Soil and Crop Improvement Association, the Thunder Bay Federation of Agriculture, the Northern Ontario Farm Innovation Alliance and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) are expected to be in attendance.

LUARS is all about transferring of agricultural knowledge for the further development and diversification of the agricultural sector through new crop varieties and best management practices.

The research farm, formerly known as the Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Station, was founded by OMAFRA in 1991.

The University of Guelph (Kemptville College) managed the station from 1996 to 2002. Since then, it’s been operated as a not-for-profit corporation under the LUARS banner with partial funding from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation. Last year, the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario came through with five years’ worth of funding.