Medicinal and Aromatic Plant Research
and processing of spice crops and medicinal herbs represents a potential
bright spot in the future of Saskatchewan's agricultural sector. Saskatchewan
growers have established a worldwide reputation as cost-competitive suppliers
of superior quality medicinal plants and spices. Based on present growth
rates, the Saskatchewan
Herb and Spice Association (SHSA) projects the value of primary production
of Saskatchewan-grown herb and spice products will approach $ 200 million
annually by 2010. Numerous opportunities are available to add further
value to these crops through processing, blending, preservation, extraction,
encapsulation and packaging. A number of Saskatchewan companies have seized
these opportunities, resulting in significant employment and economic
activity in both urban and small town settings.
This program takes a multi-disciplined approach to address the key production challenges for spice crops such as cumin, caraway and corriander and medicinal crops such as milk thistle under the relatively short and cool growing conditions in Saskatchewan. Production of these crops in Saskatchewan is presently limited by challenging growing conditions and specific agronomic problems. This project aims to alleviate these problems by crop improvement and development of superior agronomic practices.
Although improvement of spice/medicinal crops is possible utilizing standard plant breeding methods - the process is slow and consequently expensive. Double haploid technology allows the creation of a genetically homogeneous population without the need for multiple generations of selfing. This has the potential to greatly accelerate progress in improvement of medicinal/aromatic plants.
1. Introduction/development of new/improved
lines of cumin and milk thistle by:
2) Pathology support to reduce losses
to disease in spice crops:
3) Agronomy of Milk Thistle:
Field performance of new lines of spice/medicinal crops created using
double haploid technology: PDF
Medicinal and Aromatic presentations:
Grower and industry education is an important component of the Vegetable Program. Dr. Doug Waterer has put together a variety of presentations for conferences and various grower groups around the province of Saskatchewan.
For more presentations visit the Presentations Page
read the files on