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New Growth

2023 Agenda & Program

20th Annual

Invasion: Facing the Plague of New Pests

November 7, 2023
Victoria Park East Golf Course
1096 Victoria Road South
Guelph, ON


8:30 a.m         Registration and Coffee, Poster Set Up



Chair: Rachel Riddle, University of Guelph


9:00 am          Welcome and Opening Remarks. Kristen Obeid, Chair, OPMC             


9:05 am           Adaptation of AgRobotics for root and bulb vegetable production in high organic matter

soils. Geoff Farintosh, University of Guelph. (Invited Speaker)


9:25 am           Soil microbiome and calcium content in relation to the risk of cavity spot on carrots.

Umbrin Ilyas, University of Guelph. (Student Competition)

9:40 am          Emerging threat of ring nematode in Ontario's fruit crop production: What we know so

far. Jerry Akanwari, Brock University. (Student Competition)


9:55 am           Resistance to two SDHI fungicides in Stemphylium vesicarium, 2023. Emily McFaul,

University of Guelph. (Student Competition)


10:10 am         Optimization and scalability of regenerative in situ electrochemical hypochlorination for

closed-loop hydroponics. Serge Lévesque, University of Guelph. (Student Competition)


10:25 am         Coffee Break and Poster Viewing


10:55 am         PLENARY PRESENTATION - Spotted lanternfly past, present and future: Impacts and

management of this invasive pest. Dr. Julie Urban, Pennsylvania State University


11:40 am         OMAFRA CropIPM demonstration. Susan Murray, OMAFRA. (Invited Speaker)


12:00 pm        Lunch and Poster Viewing



Chair: Cassie Russell, OMAFRA


1:00 pm          Examining two Dicyphus species (Hemiptera: Miridae) for their potential use as biological

control agents on greenhouse crops. Carly Demers, University of Windsor. (Student Competition)


1:15 pm            Mitigating apple replant disease with biocontrol soil treatments. Meaghan Mechler, University

of Guelph. (Student Competition)


1:30 pm           PLENARY PRESENTATION - Palmer amaranth: Biology, ecology, management and lessons

learned from Georgia, California and New York. Dr. Lynn Sosnoskie, Cornell AgriTech


2:15 pm           Coffee Break and Poster Viewing


2:45 pm          PLENARY PRESENTATION - A plague on all our houses: Plant viruses. Dr. Jonathan Griffiths,

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada


3:30 pm          Viatude, a new fungicide for management of white mould in soybean in Eastern Canada.

Jamshid Ashigh, Corteva Agriscience. (Industry Speaker)


3:50 pm          Presentation of Student Competition Award Winners –   Kristen Obeid, OMAFRA

Closing Remarks and Adjourn





-Graduate Student Poster Presentations-


GP1          Disease forecasting models for management of Stemphylium leaf blight of onion. Julia Scicluna,

University of Guelph. (Time of judging 9:00-9:10 am)


GP2         Characterizing beta-tubulin dsRNA for RNAi control of an aggressive Neopestalotiopsis species.

Sarah Koeppe, University of Guelph. (Time of judging 9:12-9:22 am)


GP3         Effect of soil pH and calcium base saturation on severity of clubroot on canola, 2023. Kirsten Holy,

University of Guelph. (Time of judging 9:24-9:34 am)


GP4         Estimating Fusarium head blight severity in winter wheat using deep learning and a spectral index.

Riley McConachie, University of Guelph. (Time of judging 9:36-9:46 am)


GP5         American ginseng: multi-pathogen interactions in ginseng replant disease. Andrew Rabas,

Western University. (Time of judging 9:48-9:58 am)

GP6         Tetranychus urticae adaptation to phenylpropanoid defensive compounds in Arabidopsis thaliana.

Alexander Harrison, Western University. (Time of judging 10:00-10:10 am)

GP7         Engineering RNA interference precursors to induce silencing of hop latent viroid in hop (Humulus

lupulus L). Taylor Atsaidis Royal, University of Guelph. (Time of judging 10:12-10:22 am)

GP8         Managing Verticillium stripe in canola through genetics, omics, and understanding the

Brassica napus - Verticillium longisporum interaction. Ayomi Thilakarathne, Wilfred Laurier University. (Time of judging 11:40-11:50 am)

GP9         Pathogenicity of Ilyonectria mors-panacis on American ginseng using chlorophyll fluorescence

measurements. Anka Colo, Western University. (Time of judging 11:52-12:02 pm)

GP10        Screening for Neopestalotiopsis spp. in Ontario strawberry varieties and F1 hybrids. Justin

McNally, University of Guelph. (Time of judging 1:00-1:10 pm)


GP11         A CRISPR platform for controlling Fusarium dry rot in potato. Narges Atabaki, University of Guelph.

(Time of judging 1:12-1:22 pm)

* Judging time - Students must be present at their poster at the time indicated and during the morning and afternoon breaks.

-Undergraduate Student Poster Presentations-


UP1          The influence of cannabis plant tissue type, trichome density and cultivar on cannabis aphid

(Phorodon cannabis) behaviour. Carter Mikkelsen, University of Guelph. (Time of judging 9:00-9:10 am)


UP2         Phosphate solubilizing microbes Pseudomonas poae (I186) and Pantoea eucalypti (I77)

demonstrating dual potential as bio-fertilizer and bio-fungicide. Ryan Joyce, Western University. (Time of judging 9:12-9:22 am)


UP3         Potential companion plants to protect against Thrips parvispinus in greenhouse ornamental crops.

Avery Johnson, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre. (Time of judging 9:24-9:34 am)

UP4        The potential of Pseudomonas flourescens, I336 and Bacillus velezensis, I113 to restore garlic seed

stocks with latent fusarium infections. Anna Hawkins, Western University. (Time of judging 9:36-9:46 am)


UP5         Biocontrol of fungal plant pathogens in cannabis using Bacillus amyloliquefaciens I113. Hayden

Hornick-Martyk, Western University. (Time of judging 9:48-9:58 am)


UP6         Fungal endophyte Beauveria bassiana suppresses clubroot (Plasmodiophora brassicae) on

cabbage under controlled environment conditions. Kelly Ruigrok, University of Guelph. (Time of judging 10:00-10:10 am)


* Judging time - Students must be present at their poster at the time indicated and during the morning and afternoon breaks.

-Regular Poster Presentations-


RP1          Assessment of pesticide resistance of Tetranychus urticae populations from southwestern Ontario.

Joseane Moreira do Nascimento, Western University.


RP2         Switchgrass gall midge, an emerging Ontario pest. Rebecca Hallett, University of Guelph.

RP3         Assessing the ecological interactions between invasive and endemic species of gall midge pests of

canola. Rebecca Hallett, University of Guelph.


RP4         Initial testing of weeding robots in vegetable production systems in Ontario Canada. Kristen Obeid,



RP5         Available genetic testing enables early detection and mitigation of herbicide resistant weeds.

Kristen Obeid, OMAFRA.


RP6         Harmonized surveillance of common waterhemp (Amaranthus tuberculatus): A model of national

collaboration. Kristen Obeid, OMAFRA.


RP7         Enzymatic activities and transcriptomics analysis of wheat response to Bipolaris sorokiniana and

Heterodera filipjevi. Maryam Monazzah, University of Padua - Agripolis.

Conference Sponsors


The OPMC wishes to thank the conference sponsors for their financial support of the conference.


GOLD SPONSORS                          

Crop Life Canada

Syngenta Canada, Inc.


SILVER SPONSORS                                   

BASF Canada                                                

Bayer Crop Science Canada                                                 

Belchim Crop Protection Canada

Cohort Wholesale

Corteva Agriscience Canada

FMC Canada

Nufarm Canada

Laboratory Services, AFL, University of Guelph

Turnkey Genomics

Valent Canada Inc.


The OPMC would also like to gratefully acknowledge additional financial support from the School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph.

CropLife Student Competition Judging Panel


The OPMC wishes to thank the members of the judging panel for generously volunteering their time to help make this competition happen.


Graduate Oral

Jason Deveau, OMAFRA

Hannah Fraser, OMAFRA

John Purdy, Abacus Consulting Services

Marty Vermey, Grain Farmers of Ontario


Graduate Poster                                                       

Tyler Blauel, U of G                                                   

Travis Cranmer, OMAFRA                                  

Katie Goldenhar, OMAFRA

Amanda Tracey, OMAFRA

Undergraduate Poster

Meghann Garlough, Bayer CropScience

Erica Pate, OMAFRA

Post Conference Survey


Thank you for attending the 2023 OPMC. Please take a few minutes to complete a post-event survey. Your feedback is important in organizing future events. To complete the survey, visit:

Organizing Committee

Kristen Obeid, Chair - OPMC, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Chris Duyvelshoff, Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association

Melanie Filotas, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Katie Goldenhar, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Kristy Grigg-McGuffin, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Justin Renkema, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada

Rachel Riddle, University of Guelph-Simcoe

Julie Schipper, Valent Canada

Sean Westerveld, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs


OPMC Logo and Banner Design by Doug Schaefer

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