McGill Alert / Alerte de McGill

Updated: Fri, 07/12/2024 - 12:16

McGill Alert. The downtown campus will remain partially closed through the evening of Monday, July 15. See the Campus Safety site for details.

Alerte de McGill. Le campus du centre-ville restera partiellement fermé jusqu’au lundi 15 juillet, en soirée. Complément d’information : Direction de la protection et de la prévention

Field and crop research

A large red farming machine operates in a farm field as researchers look on.

Research spotlight: Pulse Breeding and Genetics Lab

The Pulse Breeding and Genetics Lab, led by Professor Valerio Hoyos-Villegas of McGill's Department of Plant Science, is dedicated to plant breeding research, focusing on pulse legumes like common beans, chickpeas, and dry peas.

The lab aims to develop superior cultivars under sustainable production systems with an array of research topics including breeding, genetics, disease resistance, and more. The goal is to establish Quebec and Canada as leaders in pulse production and consumption. Collaboration with private, public sectors and international partners is key, as is training the next generation in plant breeding and genetics.

Learn more

Valerio Hoyos-Villegas
My research group is built on the idea that the world can be made a better place through science and technology. Plant breeders contribute towards that goal by solving problems and driving agricultural production and innovation forward.

Assistant Professor Valerio Hoyos-Villegas

Emile A. Lods Agronomy Research Centre

This site provides environmental conditions that are representative of the most intensive horticultural and field crop production areas in the region, yet it is in a semi-urban area, with ready access to two major highways and public transit. The facility is thus ideally situated to serve a large pool of researchers in agricultural science, environmental science, plant biology and engineering. This infrastructure consists of research land, buildings and specialized equipment. Recent renovations and equipment purchases have been designed specifically to improve our capacity to host a larger number of external users.

The equipment includes a global positioning system, a no-till seeder, plot combine, forage harvester, tractors, trucks, a near-infrared reflectance instrument and a photosynthesis system. The GIS database of the facility includes grid soil sampling for nutrient levels, weed survey, topographic survey, and geo-referenced mapping of field layouts and buildings. The facility also has access to data on air pollutants and maintains continuous monitoring of air and soil temperatures, relative humidity, and more.

Horticulture Research Centre

The Horticulture Research Centre consists of orchards, vegetable research plots, fruit grading equipment, cold rooms as well as various specialized field equipment. It is used for graduate and undergraduate research and teaching activities, always promoting environmental stewardship. 

Through the Sustainability Projects Research (SPF) Fund, the centre has installed rainwater collection systems, instigated a large-scale composting program to reduce the need for fertilizer on the farm and revitalized the Macdonald Campus orchard. With the McGill Feeding McGill project, it has become the University's primary supplier of high-quality seasonal produce. It also houses SPF research on extending the growing season.

The centre provides students with an opportunity to gain valuable experience in the production, management and marketing of horticultural crops.

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