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'We're in trouble:' Ag expert warns there's no adapting if this summer's 'heat dome' becomes the norm

Episode 112 of Down to Business podcast

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The heat dome that swept over western Canada last month roasted cherries on the branch and it cooked oysters, that were buried in the Pacific Ocean, right in their shells.

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This week on Down to Business, Lenore Newman, director of the Food and Agriculture Institute at University of the Fraser Valley, explains what climate change means for Canada’s food supply chain.

Newman said technology has progressed to the point that Canada could soon produce its own leafy greens and vegetables all year in giant indoor vertical plant factories.

A worker harvests strawberries at a vertical farm in Brossard, Quebec. Plant density per square meter can be up to five times higher than with traditional greenhouse production and 15 times that of field-grown crops.
A worker harvests strawberries at a vertical farm in Brossard, Quebec. Plant density per square meter can be up to five times higher than with traditional greenhouse production and 15 times that of field-grown crops. Photo by Christinne Muschi/Bloomberg

That would lessen our dependence on California, which is experiencing a long drought, and quite possibly make our food cheaper and more nutritious. As an added bonus, Newman said indoor farms would also help create year-round jobs in an industry that is notorious for its labour difficulties.

Listen on Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcher and Google Play, where you can also subscribe to get new episodes every Wednesday morning.

If you have any questions about the show, or if there are topics you want us to tackle, email us: downtobusiness@postmedia.com.

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