Results Driven Agriculture Research (RDAR) has announced a significant project for Alberta’s greenhouse sector.

The project between the Lethbridge College greenhouses, located at Brooks, Alta., and Sunterra Farms Greenhouses Ltd, located at Acme, Alta., aims to “optimize the growing conditions for pre-commercial and commercial-scale production of strawberries and tomatoes on the vine, and boost Alberta’s crop output during times of limited supply and low import quality.”

The RDAR contribution of over $780,00 will support greenhouse production technology evolution, to help determine the optimal conditions for growing quality, fresh produce year-round in Alberta.

“We believe that for Alberta, agriculture is the future and in a lot of ways will be an economic growth driver,” says Ray Price, president of Sunterra Group. “We have land, we have energy, we have people, and we have water, and we should be using those to feed not only Albertans but people around the world.”

Through this project, Lethbridge College plans to build on its expertise in sustainable food production, improving indoor growing conditions by establishing best practices for water and nutrient management and energy efficiency. Through technological innovations, greenhouse operations will increase their environmental efficiency while making their operations more productive and competitive, says the college.

“This grant funding begins a long-term research collaboration between Lethbridge College and Sunterra Farms Greenhouses Ltd. Together, we recognize the significant opportunity in Alberta for greenhouse-grown fruits and vegetables,” says Kenny Corscadden, associate vice president of research, Lethbridge College. “There is excellent market potential in our province for both strawberries and tomatoes and these pre-commercial trials in our Brooks Research and Production Greenhouse with Sunterra will contribute to this growing sector.”

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