Research and Development

Through the years, UDA carried out more than 40 research and development (R&D) projects associated with various sectors of agriculture: biogas production, agricultural mechanization, building, manure treatment, biosolids management and treatment, subsurface drainage, subsurface irrigation, water management, cultivation methods, botanical insecticide, etc. UDA’s expertise is more specifically oriented towards applied research, and in situ development and trials. UDA also participated to the development of several trial and measurement protocols associated with scientific procedures or methods. UDA can therefore contribute to the implementation of specific methodologies or the realisation of such R&D projects.


  • Development of protocols;
  • Literature review;
  • Data collection;
  • Analysis of results;
  • Research report;
  • Scientific paper.

Typical projects : Research and Development


Subsurface Irrigation of Potato

Subsurface drainage and water table control technique have been mastered for several decades in Quebec. Some types of crops, such as potato, have the potential to profit immensely from uninterrupted water availability.

UDA carried out a R&D project aiming at implementing a subsurface irrigation system for potato, by using the existing subsurface drainage system. The firm also ensured its management for a full growing season, and evaluated its technical and financial advantages and disadvantages.

Even though the technique is economical, the project brought out several constraints associated with water procurement and quality on the permanence of the existing drainage system.

Design of an Anaerobic Digester

UDA designed, built and operated the first anaerobic digester on an operating farm in Quebec. This digester, implemented in the 1980’s, was successfully operated to treat manure produced by a herd of 350 dairy cows in Pike River. The biogas resulted in energy production for the farm as well as a considerable quantity of heat, which was used to heat various offices such as the calf’s’ room and milking room.

This project was sponsored by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Several secondary R&D projects were carried out using this digester, including the collection of production data, the automation of many operating components, the solid/liquid separation of digested manure, and finally, the evaluation of various synthetic materials that could be used in the fabrication of large bags for biogas temporary storage.

Odour Evaluation Standardized Protocol

The Ministry of Environment (MDDELCC) developed a guideline on the valorization of fertilising residuals (FR), which includes various criteria to be met according to the odour level that could be released by a specific residue. Odours for many types of waste to be valorized are known and/or have been classified by experts. However, odours from some other residues are less known or specific situations leading to its production might impact the odour volume that could be released. Finally, it is worth mentioningthat some additives or other products may have the potential to modify the odour of a residue.

In this context, UDA participated to a mandate aiming at establishing a standardized protocol to evaluate the odour category in which a specific product or waste or residue could be classified and managed.

This procedure is now integrated to the Guideline for the valorization of fertilizing residuals published by the MDDELCC and is used for the reclassification of any odorant waste.