We’re looking for your feedback!

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

At Perennia, we understand the important role food processors and farmers play in the growth of our local economy. We develop and deliver programs to support those in the agriculture sector to help them grow and take advantage of opportunities, so they can maximize their value.

We’re looking for feedback to help us better understand your needs so we can improve our programs and services. You may have received this invitation to provide feedback through the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture and if you’ve already filled out the survey, we thank you for your time. If you haven’t yet filled it out, we'd love to hear from you!

The survey takes less than 15 minutes and the deadline is February 21, 2019.

All responses are anonymous, only aggregate data will be reported. At the end of the survey, you will be offered an opportunity to enter a draw to win a $500 gift card. The personal information you provide will only be used for the contest and is not tied to your survey response.

Thank you,
The Perennia Team

Upcoming Canada GAP workshops

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Canada GAP Workshops
The updated versions of the CanadaGAP Food Safety Manuals have been released and will take effect on April 1, 2020. Become familiar with these new updates at one of Perennia’s CanadaGAP workshops happening in March with Kim Best from Prospect Agri-Services. You can find the full details in the poster. Don’t miss out on this opportunity! Registration is now open on our website.

Contact Us

Our Quality and Food Safety Team can help in a variety of ways. If you have training questions, contact Shelly MacDonald. If you need help with a regulatory issue, contact Rick Kane. If you have any other food safety concerns or questions contact Elaine Grant, and she will direct your query to the appropriate team member.

Upcoming Webinar "Food Safety Success - Are You Ready?"

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Join us on Wednesday, February 12, 2020, 1pm-3pm where you’ll hear from members of Perennia’s Quality and Food Safety Team, Elaine Grant and Shelly MacDonald. Elaine and Shelly will give an overview of Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) requirements pertaining to fresh produce and how SFCR affects NS produce growers.

They will also discuss how to reopen the door to retail while meeting regulations and making it work for your operation. You will also be provided with an overview of the Nova Scotia Agri-Food Accelerator Program.

This session will be hosted as an online webinar, so you can watch from the comfort of your own home or a place that is most convenient for you! Register on Perennia's website.

Viewing parties for this webinar are being organized at several points around the province*.  If you are interested in seeing if there is a location near you, please contact Jill MacDonald and see the webinar on the Big Screen!

*Please note, this is only a viewing of the webinar which will be broadcast from another location. Questions can be asked to the speaker through the chat function during the session or can be emailed to Jen Haverstock at the end of the session for a response. 

Winter Greens Production Workshop

Tuesday, January 14, 2020


As part of Perennia’s ongoing Getting Into the Weeds series, please join Perennia Vegetable Specialist Rosalie Gillis-Madden and David Blanchard of Pleasant Hill Farm for an in-depth examination of winter greens production in Nova Scotia.

Winter greens production can offer a new marketing opportunity for Nova Scotia growers at a time of year when cash flow may be low and price points for fresh local produce are high. Some systems require only modest capital investment and have low operating costs because they avoid the use of supplemental heat and lighting. Because local winter greens can be harvested within a day or two of purchase by the consumer, locally-produced greens have a freshness and quality advantage over imported greens that are one to two weeks post-harvest by the time they reach the consumer. This workshop will examine infrastructure requirements, capital costs, operating costs, income potential, crop and variety selection, and horticultural considerations such as planting dates, fertility, and pest management.
This workshop will be offered in-person at three locations and as an online webinar on February 14th.  There is no cost to attend.  Seating is limited and registration is mandatory.  For further details and to save your seat, please click on the following links:

Changes Coming for the Use of Chlorothalonil (Bravo®) Products

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

By Jill MacDonald, Perennia Research Associate

Chlorothalonil is a contact and protectant fungicide that controls a broad range of fungal diseases. It is used on a number of crops. Due to the recent re-evaluation of chlorothalonil by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) there are changes that will affect how growers use the product, in relation to how it is mixed, loaded and applied. The re-evaluation has caused a discontinuation of Bravo 500 and Ridomil Gold SL/Bravo Twin-Pak formulations. The final day that these products will be available for purchase is May 10th, 2020, and the final day that growers will be able to make applications of these products is May 10, 2021.  After this time, it will be the responsibility of the grower to properly dispose of any leftover product.

How will these changes affect how I use chlorothalonil products?

Changes to Number of Applications Permitted

There have been several changes made to the number of applications that are permitted on fruit and vegetable crops, it is important to check how your crop is affected. The full list of changes, including application rates and REIs can be found here.

A few of the crops that are undergoing changes to the number of applications permitted per season:
Blueberry (HB)
Celery, field
Cherries (sweet and sour)
(2 spring + 1 post-harvest)
Cole Crops
Cucurbit Vegetables
Onion, dry bulb
Onion, green bunching
Peach, nectarine
(2 spring + 1 dormant)
Potato, table
Tomato (not for processing)

Additional PPE, Buffer Zone Changes and REI

New requirements have been put in place to protect the applicator and persons who are handling the product, by increasing the amount of personal protective equipment (PPE) required. It is recommended to read the revised product label to obtain information on PPE and changes to the buffer zone requirements and restricted entry intervals (REI) for certain activities. Growers are reminded to have the updated label available to staff members who may come in contact with the product, as well as making them aware of the changes.

Implementation of Vegetative Filter Strips

Use of chlorothalonil requires a 10 meter (32’) vegetative filter strip (VFS) to be planted, if there is an aquatic ecosystem downhill from the field or sprayed area. A VFS is different than spray buffer zones: the filter strip is typically perennial, hardy, deep-rooted native vegetation that can slow runoff and filter out any pesticides that the runoff may contain. 


Introduction of Closed-system Transfer

The PMRA will now require growers, under certain circumstances, to use a closed-transfer and application system. The closed-system transfer specifically focuses on mixing and loading of the product. All potato applications, or any applications when more than 340 kg a.i. are handled in one day will be subject to these requirements.  When product is directly transferred from the tote to the sprayer tank, this will now require dry poppet connections which comply with closed-transfer. Dry poppets are available from several manufactures and are also known by several names, such as dry poppet couplings or valves. Syngenta currently supplies a female dry poppet to male cam lever adapter with each tote of Bravo Zn. Many chemical handling systems and sprayers are fitted with cam lever connections from the factory, in this case you can purchase a dry poppet to cam lever adapter. The existing dry poppet valves on the 450L totes of Bravo®ZN are already compliant with the closed-system transfer requirement and will not need to be altered.

Additional Important Changes

Hand harvesting of processing tomatoes and application through irrigation systems on strawberries and cucurbits (cantaloupe, muskmelon, honeydew, squash, pumpkin, watermelon and cucumber) is now prohibited.

For further details, please visit Syngenta.ca.

Getting Into the Weeds - November 19th, 2019

Thursday, November 14, 2019

This winter, Perennia Horticulture Specialists Rosalie Gillis-Madden and Jennifer Haverstock, are planning a workshop series called "Getting Into the Weeds."  This series will offer an in-depth look into certain aspects of horticulture production.

In collaboration with NSDA Regional Offices, the inaugural session is taking place on Tuesday, November 19th, from 10:00 - 11:30 at locations across the province.  Topics for discussion include: High Tunnels – site selection and preparation, and long term nutrient management, as well as soil-less substrate and different potting technologies. Using remote technology, we are excited to welcome guest speakers from across North America.

  • Elizabeth Buck, Extension Vegetable Specialist, Cornell Cooperative Extension Vegetable Program Avoiding a “Tunn”-el of Trouble: Site Selection and Prep
  • Judson Reid, Extension Vegetable Specialist, Cornell Cooperative Extension Vegetable Program High tunnel soils: Long term nutrient management for crop health
  • Shawn Mallen, Sales and Hydroponics Manager at A.M.A., Horticulture Inc. Substrate and Potting Choices in Tunnel Production
Admission is free, but space is limited, so we ask that you register in advance.  The deadline to register is Nov 18th at noon.  For details on how to register and to find the location nearest you, please click here!

Garlic spacing

Friday, September 27, 2019

John Zandstra from Ridgetown College in Ontario did some research on garlic spacing back in 2000, using the cultivar 'Music.'  A spacing of 10 cm between cloves and 65 cm between rows was standard practice in Ontario at the time.  They tried several spacings in a couple of different trials:
  1. 65 cm (25.5") between rows, 
    1. Cloves spaced at 5 cm (2")
    2. Cloves spaced at 10 cm (3.9")
    3. Cloves spaced at 15 cm (5.9")
  2. Cloves spaced 10 cm (3.9") apart
    1. Rows spaced at 65 cm (25.5")
    2. Rows spaced at 45 cm (17.7")
    3. Rows spaced at 25 cm (9.8")
    4. Rows spaced at 15 cm (5.9")
In the first trial, they found that decreasing the clove spacing from 10 cm to 5 cm resulted in a decrease in bulb weights by 15%, however yields increased by 74%.  For growers looking to increase their seed garlic quickly, but have limited acreage, a closer clove spacing may make sense.  Increasing row spacing from 10 cm to 15 cm did not affect bulb size, but decreased yields by 32%.  

In the second trial, significant increases in yield were found as garlic row widths narrowed, and bulb weights only dropped a little bit. Depending on the flexibility of your market and their willingness to accept slightly smaller bulbs, narrowing row spacing can have dramatic affects on yield.  To read the full report on the spacing trial, please click here.

Zandstra 2000: 10 cm between cloves with variable row widths, cultivar 'Music"

WANTED: Your post-harvest garlic losses.  I am working on a garlic storage disease factsheet, but I need your punky garlic for a photo op.  Growers who are registered farms in Nova Scotia: please bring samples to either Perennia (32 Main Street, Kentville, NS or 199 Dr Bernie MacDonald Drive, Bible Hill, NS) or to your Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture Regional office.  It is recommended that samples are brought in on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday so they are not sitting on a truck or in an office over the weekend.