|Crop Diversification Centre South|
301 Horticultural Station Road East
Brooks, AB, Canada T1R 1E6
For further information about CDCS, contact Shelley Barkley.
The Centre is located in the semi-arid shortgrass prairie region of southeastern Alberta, where temperatures range from -40 to +39° C. Annual precipitation averages 300 mm, with rainfall averaging 150 mm during the growing season. The combination of irrigation, an average of 2,400 bright sunshine hours together with a long-term average growing season of 137 days, provide excellent conditions for plant growth.
CDCS operates four farms; Lendrum Farm (Head Quarters site), McLeod Farm, Ponderosa Farm and the Bow Island Sub-station. There is 10,500 sq.ft. of laboratory space (including controlled environment storages, growth chambers, tissue culture facilities, seed laboratory, chemistry laboratories, food science laboratories and plant pathology laboratories), and 44,000 sq.ft. of machine shop and general storage for machinery and fertilizers.
In 1935, the Canadian Pacific Railway had losses of $400,000 in the “eastern section”; the Headquarters Farm was turned over to the Provincial Government. Since 1935, CDCS has played a key part in aiding in the establishment and further expansion of horticultural industries in Alberta.
The breeding programs at the Centre in the late 1950’s through the 60’s paid off with the release of Castle sweet pepper, and Brookpack tomato. Many of the fruit varieties with Brook in their name like Fallbrook raspberry and Brookgold plum originated from here. Speaking of plant releases, crosses made between a native female cottonwood collected at Steville in 1918, by Mr. Augustus Griffin, and a male Russian poplar are backbone of many of today’s farm shelterbelts. Six male clones were selected from the cross from these six, Brooks #1 was named “Griffin Poplar”, after Mr. Gus Griffin and Brooks #4 and #6 became part of the shelterbelt program in Alberta.
In 1981 the Centre was instrumental in the establishment of the commercial saskatoon berry industry. An over-the-row blueberry harvester and bush fruit cleaning equipment was adapted to saskatoons. This equipment was lent to producers to start them on their way to success in the saskatoon berry industry.
Research and Extension Programs At CDCS
Walking Tour Guide of Grounds at Centre
CDCS Rose Garden Guide
CDC South contributions to Horticulture industry in Alberta