Lab Canada

$1M to breed better asparagus

Guelph, ON – More than $1 million is being provided by farmers and the federal government into the University of Guelph’s long-standing asparagus breeding program to develop improved cultivars. The program, led by Prof. David Wolyn of the Department of Plant Agriculture, is credited with having developed one of the university’s most successful plant varieties, Guelph Millennium.

The Asparagus Farmers of Ontario will contribute $512,700 to the program for further cultivar development, with matching funds provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC).

”This funding is critical to bring our promising experimental hybrids to commercialization and further develop even better cultivars to help the industry in the future,” said Wolyn. “It also allows us to conduct research projects in tissue culture, seed production and winter hardiness that support and enhance the breeding effort.”

With increased demand for local Ontario asparagus, and proximity to large markets in the eastern United States, these new seed varieties will help to meet the needs of an expanding industry, lower production costs, and boost competitiveness in the region and beyond. The breeding program seeks to develop hybrids adapted not only to Ontario but to other provinces as well.