Organic Science Cluster II (2013‑2018)

Science with impact for profitability, sustainability and competitiveness

The Organic Science Cluster II is an industry-supported research and development endeavor initiated by the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada at Dalhousie University in collaboration with the industry applicant, the Organic Federation of Canada. OSCII is supported by the AgriInnovation Program of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Growing Forward 2 (GF2) Policy Framework (a federal-provincial-territorial initiative) and over 65 organic sector partners.

For an overview of OSCII, please click on the map above [PDF - 680 kB].



For more information about specific research activities:

Theme A. Field crops: Optimizing productivity and competitiveness through adaptable systems for field crops

  • Activity A.1: Participatory plant breeding and seed production approaches for Canadian organic crop production
  • Activity A.2: Organic oat breeding
  • Activity A.5: Impacts of reduced tillage and diversified cropping sequences under organic management in the semi-arid Brown Soil Zone
  • Activity A.6: Restoring yield productivity and C sequestration in organic farming systems on the Prairies: The role of composted manure in long-term studies
  • Activity A.7: Well-established commercial organic farming: Effect of rate of composted manure application on soil mineral nutrients, yield, and crop nutrient uptake
  • Activity A.8: Optimizing green manure and fertility management for organic cereal production
  • Activity A.9: Applying ecology for simple, nutrient use efficient pulse-based cropping systems: Phosphorus sources for organic growers of the Prairie, and agronomic strategies for effective soil microbiology to make better use of these P sources

Theme B. Horticultural crops: Advancing the science of vegetable, fruit and novel horticultural crops

  • Activity B.10: Integrated organic practices in apple orchard management
  • Activity B.11: Exclusion nets for organic apple production in Eastern Canada
  • Activity B.12: Microbial management in organic viticulture: Pre-inoculating vines with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal inoculants
  • Activity B.13: Using high tunnels to produce high-value organic vegetable and nutraceutical crops in Canadian climates
  • Activity B.14: Optimization of a non traditional cooling and dehumidifying method for a semi-closed organic tomato greenhouse
  • Activity B.15: Increased productivity and better quality of greenhouse grown organic vegetables
  • Activity B.16: Impact of green and organic fertilizers on the yield and safety of organic carrots grown in muck soil
  • Activity B.17: Production of organic mother plants under LED artificial light for the production of cuttings and potted flowering plants
  • Activity B.18: Impact of organic fertilization on growth and yield of secondary hop compounds intended for food and nutraceutical processing
  • Activity B.20: The health benefits of soil management techniques to improve flavor and phytochemical content of carrot: Linking healthy soil, healthy plants & healthy people

Theme C. Crop pests: Innovation in sustainable pest management strategies

  • Activity C.21: Development of organic control strategies for apple scab
  • Activity C.22: Toward organic production of strawberry through exploitation of its natural genetic ability to absorb silicon
  • Activity C.23: Development of postharvest UV light therapy technology for extended preservation of fresh organic fruits and vegetables
  • Activity C.24: Development of validated seed disinfection strategies for the organic production of sprouted vegetables
  • Activity C.25: Organic integrated pest management for grain storage and processing facilities
  • Activity C.27: Evaluation of plant essential oils for protection against blueberry insect pests
  • Activity C.30: Development of integrated pest management strategies for new viral biopesticides in organic crops
  • Activity C.32: Integrating weed control for organic pea and lentil production
  • Activity C.33: Novel cultural and mechanical weed control for flax
  • Activity C.36: Effect of irrigation regimes on weed control in organic cranberry production
  • Activity C.37: New innovative weed management for organic crops
  • Activity C.38: Understanding and integration of novel technique to promote depletion of the weed seed bank: How biofumigation acts on different kind of seed dormancy and weed ecology

Theme D. Livestock: Optimizing animal health and welfare for productivity and quality

  • Activity D.42: Development of sustainable alternative sources of bedding for dairy cows
  • Activity D.43: Effect of exercise and stall modifications on cow comfort and performance in tie-stall farms
  • Activity D.44: Evaluating alternative therapies for the treatment of clinical mastitis on organic dairies
  • Activity D.45: Bioactive products from plants and control of internal and external parasites in large ruminants
  • Activity D.46: Fruit pomaces to improve immunity and health of organic chickens

Theme E. Value Adding: Adding value to capture markets through innovative processing solutions

  • Activity E.50: Identifying and overcoming limiting factors to organic food processing in Canada
  • Activity E.51: Organic production of vegetable extracts for food markets and nutraceuticals
  • Activity E.52: Alternative approaches to direct addition of nitrite/nitrate for organic cured meats

Executive summary

The Organic Science Cluster II (OSCII) focuses on innovation, competitiveness and market development to ensure Canadian organic producers and processors have the tools and resources they need to continue to innovate and capitalize on emerging market opportunities.

Organic agriculture in Canada is a federally regulated and inspected production system driven by growing consumer demand domestically and internationally. It is a model of food production that is guided by principles of sustainability in terms of environment, resources, economics and animal well-being. As such, the research and development priorities for organic agriculture may span all commodity groups and applies to the entire value chain, from production through to the consumer.

Organic Science Cluster II consists of industry-led research and development and its outcomes are centered on competitiveness, market growth, adaptability and sustainability. This will be accomplished by using innovation to drive ‘ecological intensification’ through the following Themes:

Innovation, the application of knowledge generated by science that leads to an improvement in the way things are done or a product being diffused into the marketplace, is needed for the organic sector to be competitive and to grow and prosper. Innovation may address barriers constraining production, increase efficiency of production by reducing cost, or support capturing new opportunities. OSCII includes a number of examples of innovation: crop breeding for improved cultivars, reduced tillage systems under organic management, use of biological soil amendments to improve plant health, development of new management products and practices for pests of crops (insects, diseases and weeds) in field and storage and livestock (diseases and parasites), technological advances in greenhouse and high tunnel production, management targeting optimization of the nutritional value of crops, the use of advanced processing techniques to develop value-added products such as nutraceuticals, improved methods of meat preservation, and utilization of waste byproducts to enhance productivity.

OSCII will help producers capture opportunities by supporting the development of emerging and juvenile organic production in Canada that is responding to market demand including: hops, nutraceuticals, sprouts, ornamental potted plants, and poultry.

OSCII is supported by over 65 contributing partners on 37 Research Activities. OSCII includes over 170 collaborating researchers at over 36 institutions across Canada.

For more information, also see the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Dalhousie University press releases.



Video of the announcement of Organic Science Cluster II

Organic Science Cluster II Coverage

  • Organic Science Cluster II at the Organic World Congress: Canada’s Organic Science Cluster: Science with impact for profitability, sustainability and competitiveness