Redevelopment of research greenhouse underway in Brooks
(Brooks) - A $16.5-million investment at the Crop Diversification Centre in Brooks will foster innovative crop research and help Alberta’s greenhouse growers strengthen and diversify.
“This new facility is one of a kind in western Canada and will contribute to the industry’s sustainable growth,” said George Groeneveld, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. “It will not only improve our province’s food safety control and traceability of produce, but will also provide access to on-going innovative research that will help us compete with other countries.”
Some of the existing greenhouses at Crop Diversification Centre South (CDCS) in Brooks were 40 years old and in need of replacement.
The new facility at CDCS will have four times more greenhouse space and will feature new technologies like high-transmission greenhouse coverings and more efficient growing systems. The facility design provides a flexible space that is capable of adapting to different research requirements and industry developments.
“Enhancing value-added activity and increasing innovation is a priority for the Alberta government,” said Jack Hayden, Minister of Infrastructure. “This new facility will provide crop scientists the space, equipment and flexibility they need to conduct important crop research and to simulate the production of crops in commercial-style greenhouses.”
The greenhouse industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in Alberta agriculture, tripling in size over the past 25 years. An ideal location for the new upgraded facility due to its close proximity to commercial growers, the centre has the support of researchers and experts who specialize in areas such as plant pathology, irrigation technology, and business development.
The redevelopment of CDCS includes a new 1,100-square-metre research greenhouse; a 3,900-square-metre production greenhouse; and a 750-square-metre support building. Construction is underway and should be complete by late 2009.
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