Podcast

Digging up the latest dirt on Ontario horticulture production. What’s Growing ON? is hosted by Kristy Grigg-McGuffin. This podcast features conversations with crop specialists from Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs on production, pest management and other best management practices for fruit, vegetables and specialty crops.

For more updates on Ontario horticulture visit:

Have a question or a topic you’d like us to cover? Email us at ONhortcrops@gmail.com 


Season 3


NEW! Episode 1: Neopestalotiopsis & Minor Use

In this episode, Kristy sits down with OMAFRA’s Erica Pate (Fruit Crop Specialist) and Katie Goldenhar (Plant Pathologist) to talk about an emerging pest issue in Ontario strawberries, called Neopestalotiopsis. For more information on identification and biology of this disease,  check out Pest Alert: Neopestalotiopsis – An Emerging Strawberry Disease in North America on the ONfruit blog. If you suspect this disease in your field,  contact Erica  (erica.pate@ontario.ca) or Katie (katie.goldenhar@ontario.ca).

Following,  we get a crash course on the Canadian registration process for crop protection products with OMAFRA’s Minor Use Coordinator, Josh Mosiondz (joshua.mosiondz@ontario.ca). For more information on the minor use system and product registration, check out the following resources:

Accessible format available upon request.

Music: Aspire by Scott Holmes


Season 2


Episode 9: Strawberry Viruses & Pesticide Rainfastness

In this episode, OMAFRA’s Fruit Crop Specialist, Erica Pate sits in the horticulture hotseat to talk about the importance of strawberry aphid management to minimize incidence and impact of insect-vectored viruses. Following,  Kristy dives into the waters of pesticide rainfastness to look at some general guidelines around insecticide and fungicide wash-off and how these can assist in decision-making when it comes to what to do following a rain.

For more information on strawberry aphids and their management, check out the following resources:

For more information on insecticide and fungicide rainfastness, check out the following resources:

Accessible format available upon request.

Music: Aspire by Scott Holmes


Episode 8: Pumpkin Pollination

In this episode, Kristy sits down with OMAFRA’s Vegetable Crop Specialist, Elaine Roddy to get the buzz on the important pollinator of pumpkin and squash, the squash bee. Questions for Elaine? Contact her at elaine.roddy@ontario.ca.    

For more information on squash bee in Ontario, check out the following resources:

Accessible format available upon request.

Music: Aspire by Scott Holmes

Episode artwork: Nigel Raine, University of Guelph


Episode 7: Horticulture Hotseat

In this episode, we hear from a series of OMAFRA specialists during a marathon of Horticulture Hotseat. Up first, we review the basics of integrated pest management (IPM) with Summer Research Assistant, Ali Collingwood. Consider this an opportunity to review where the strengths and gaps lie within your on-farm IPM program. Following Ali, OMAFRA’s Plant Pathologist, Katie Goldenhar (katie.goldenhar@ontario.ca) walks us through the various tests available for plant virus detection – a rather fitting topic given the current pandemic. Next, Erika DeBrouwer (erika.debrouwer@ontario.ca), OMAFRA’s Tree Fruit Specialist addresses the difficulties of apple thinning following a frost event. Lastly, Kristy sits herself down in the hotseat to ask the question are all mildews equal?

Accessible format available upon request.

Music: Aspire by Scott Holmes


Episode 6: Scouting Tips & Tricks

In this episode, Kristy chats with fellow OMAFRA Horticulture IPM Specialists, Wendy McFadden-Smith (tender fruit and grape) and Melanie Filotas (specialty crops) to talk about the importance of regular pest scouting, from how often and how much to what to look for and where in perennial crops.

Questions for Wendy or Melanie? Contact them at wendy.mcfadden-smith@ontario.ca or melanie.filotas@ontario.ca.   

Check out the Ontario CropIPM website for more information on scouting as well as identification, biology and management of key pests in horticultural crops grown in Ontario. For videos on Ontario horticulture, visit the ONhortcrops YouTube channel.

Accessible format available upon request.

Music: Aspire by Scott Holmes


Episode 5: Growing Lavender

In this episode, Kristy sits down with OMAFRA’s Ginseng & Herb Specialist, Sean Westerveld to talk all things lavender from site selection, propagation, management and harvest to market and agri-tourism impacts. Questions for Sean? Contact him at sean.westerveld@ontario.ca.    

For more information on growing lavender in Ontario, check out the following resources:

Accessible format available upon request.

Music: Aspire by Scott Holmes


Episode 4: New Faces

In this episode, Kristy sits down with two new specialists that have recently joined OMAFRA, Erika DeBrouwer (Tree Fruit Specialist) and Jenny Liu (Maple, Tree Nut & Agroforestry Specialist) to hear about who they are, what their new roles entail and plans for the coming year.

Erika can be reached at erika.debrouwer@ontario.ca or 226-931-4098.

Jenny can be reached at jenny.liu2@ontario.ca or 519-835-5872.

Accessible format available upon request.

Music: Aspire by Scott Holmes


Episode 3: Managing Pesticide Resistance

In this episode, Kristy sits down with OMAFRA’s Katie Goldenhar (Plant Pathologist) and Hannah Fraser (Entomologist) to talk about pesticide resistance in horticulture crops and the importance of resistance management. In this episode, we look at the mechanisms behind insecticide and fungicide resistance, how modes of action differ, pesticide classifications and what you can do in your production system to manage resistance. 

For more information on pesticide resistance, check out the following resources:

Accessible format available upon request.

Music: Aspire by Scott Holmes


Episode 2: Improving On-Farm Productivity – Part 2

In this episode, Cassie continues the conversation with Engineer Specialist, John Van de Vegte on ways to evaluate and optimize on-farm productivity. John gives some examples of value-add and non-value-add activities in vegetable cropping systems as well as discusses the future direction for automation and labour saving technologies in field vegetable production. 

Accessible format available upon request.

Music: Aspire by Scott Holmes


Episode 1: Improving On-Farm Productivity – Part 1

In this episode, Kristy sits down with Kathryn Carter, Fruit Crop Specialist and John Van de Vegte, Engineering Specialist to talk about improving productivity and why establishing baseline information for your farm is so important. In this episode, we look at how labour efficiencies can be improved in perennial cropping systems such as vineyards and orchards as well as the benefits and challenges with investing in mechanization. 

Accessible format available upon request.

Music: Aspire by Scott Holmes


Season 1


Episode 9: Pepper Weevil & Cyclamen Mites

In this episode, Kristy sits down with co-host Cassie Russell, former acting Vegetable Crop Specialist and current acting Tree Fruit Specialist to talk about monitoring for the problematic invasive insect, the pepper weevil. For more information on how to properly identify pepper weevil, check out Which Weevil Warrants Worry? on the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable blog. Suspect you have pepper weevil? Contact Cassie Russell (cassandra.russell2@ontario.ca), Amanda Tracey – Vegetable Crop Specialist (amanda.tracey@ontario.ca) or Cara McCreary – Greenhouse Vegetable IPM Specialist (cara.mccreary@ontario.ca). 

As well, Erica Pate, Fruit Crop Specialist sits in the ‘Horticulture Hotseat’ to shine some light on the tiny but destructive pest of strawberries, the cyclamen mite.

Music: Aspire by Scott Holmes


Episode 8: Herbicide Resistance & Colorado Potato Beetle

In this episode, we are joined by Kristen Obeid, Weed Specialist for horticulture crops to talk about the status of herbicide resistance in Ontario and a provincial resistance testing project that is underway. For more information on how to get your fields tested for free, contact Kristen at kristen.obeid@ontario.ca.

Continuing the pesticide resistance theme this week, we also hear from Dennis van Dyk, Vegetable Crop Specialist about the Colorado potato beetle (CPB), an insect pest that is infamously known to have major resistance issues in potato and tomato crops. Suspect you have resistance populations of CPB on your farm? Contact Dennis at dennis.vandyk@ontario.ca.

Music: Aspire by Scott Holmes


Episode 7: Back to Basics – Apple IPM Case Study

In this special extended episode, Cassie goes back to basics with co-host Kristy Grigg-McGuffin, Horticulture Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Specialist to talk about the components of what makes an IPM program using summer disease in apples as a case study. More information on IPM and apple-specific pest issues can be found on the Ontario CropIPM website.

Music: Aspire by Scott Holmes


Episode 6: Cucurbit Downy Mildew & Gypsy Moth

In this episode, we are joined by Katie Goldenhar, Pathologist for horticulture crops to talk about the early activity of cucurbit downy mildew (CDM). For more information on CDM, visit Cucurbit Downy Mildew Forecast on ipmPIPE and the Michigan State University Hausbeck Plant Pathology Research Lab. Looking to report CDM in Ontario? Contact Andew Wylie (andrew.c.wylie@ontario.ca) or Katie Goldenhar (katie.goldenhar@ontario.ca). 

As well, Jennifer Llewellyn, Nursery & Landscape Specialist sits in the ‘Horticulture Hotseat’ to shine some light on why we’re seeing such high populations of gypsy moth in Ontario this summer. 

Plus, Ontario crop updates for July 17th, 2020. If suspect allium leaf miner damage in garlic, contact Travis Cranmer (travis.cranmer@ontario.ca).

Music: Aspire by Scott Holmes


Episode 5: Most Crop Per Drop

In this episode, we are joined by Rebecca Shortt, Water Quantity Engineer to hear tips on how to make every drop of irrigation count for horticulture production. For more information and links to videos, visit the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs Irrigation website. Plus, Ontario crop updates for July 10th, 2020.

Music: Aspire by Scott Holmes


Episode 4: Strawberry Anthracnose & Sweet Potatoes

In this episode, we are joined by Erica Pate, Fruit Crop Specialist for berries to talk weather-based models and how they can be used to manage issues like anthracnose in strawberries. For more information on anthracnose management, click here. As well, is it a yam or sweet potato? Melanie Filotas, Horticulture IPM Specialist for specialty crops sets the record straight on Ontario sweet potato production. Plus, Ontario crop updates for July 3rd, 2020.

Editor’s note: Since the recording of this podcast, cucumber downy mildew has now been detected in Kent County, Ontario. 

Music: Aspire by Scott Holmes


Episode 3: Cucumber Beetle & Grape Set

In this episode, we are joined by Andrew C Wylie, Vegetable Crop Specialist to get more information on striped cucumber beetle in cucurbits. As well, we hear from Kathryn Carter, Fruit Crop Specialist on factors impacting fruit set in grapes. Plus, Ontario crop updates for June 19th, 2020.

Editor’s note: Since the recording of this podcast, spotted wing drosophila has now been caught in all monitoring regions of the province. 

Music: Aspire by Scott Holmes


Episode 2: Spotted Wing Drosophila & Weed Control in Carrots

In this episode, we are joined by Hannah Fraser, Entomologist for horticulture crops and Erica Pate, Fruit Crop Specialist for berries to introduce us to the invasive insect, spotted wing drosophila and how berry and tender fruit growers are dealing with this difficult pest. As well, we hear from Dennis Van Dyk, Vegetable Crop Specialist for root vegetables on weed control in carrots as well as some existing and emerging technologies for getting rid of those pesky weeds. Plus, Ontario crop updates for June 12th, 2020.

Music: Aspire by Scott Holmes


Episode 1: Garlic Scapes & Fire Blight

In this episode, we are joined by Travis Cranmer, Vegetable Crop Specialist for alliums, brassica and leafy vegetables to introduce us to the benefits of removing garlic scapes and Katie Goldenhar, Pathologist for horticulture crops to discuss the risk of fire blight of apples and pears after bloom. Plus, Ontario crop updates for June 8th, 2020.

Music: Aspire by Scott Holmes