collage inspecting soybean field, at computer in lab, aeral over Muck Station

Plant Agriculture is strongly rooted in crop science and horticultural science but we now encompass applied bioinformatics; molecular genetics; genomics; field, horticultural and greenhouse crops; plant breeding; turf and grassland studies; environmental sustainability; and the use of plant materials for health, fibres and industrial products. Furthermore, we recognize that society’s expectations of agriculture are changing to include a wide range of health and environmental services such as producing food with nutraceuticals, protecting biodiversity, mitigating climate change and providing alternative energy sources.

We are committed to our mission, which is “To improve life through innovative science, education and service in plant agriculture”. This means that we want to apply knowledge to provide food, feed and fibre for society and to educate students at diploma, undergraduate and graduate levels in our areas of expertise.

Plant Agriculture faculty at Guelph, Vineland, Simcoe and Ridgetown manage the largest research portfolio at the University of Guelph. It currently represents 13% of the entire University research envelope. Approximately 50% of these funds are from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture (OMAF) for agricultural research, reflecting the Department’s commitment to the agricultural industry in Ontario. Grower organizations, private companies, the Ontario Ministry for Research and Innovation and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) are significant sources of funding as well.  Members of the Department are very active in commercializing their research; over the last 5 years 85% of the disclosures to the Catalyst Centre of the University were from the Plant Agriculture. Approximately, 40% of the faculty have NSERC funding (Discovery, CRD, Create, Strategic), reflecting the Department’s commitment to furthering fundamental knowledge as well as applied research.

The department houses a number of specialized research facilities and centres, including: