WHO is Bionera?

Bionera and its parent company, PRT Growing Services, have extensive experience establishing and managing large-scale woody biomass plantations.

FACT: Bionera has established the largest willow plantation in North America at Strathmore, AB, planting over 400 hectares (1000 acres) over three summers: from 2014 to 2016. Over 6.7 million cuttings were planted during that time. Starting in 2019, Bionera has begun establishing an even larger willow plantation at Forestburg, AB, planting over 500 hectares (1,200 acres) and utilizing over 7.2 million cuttings.

We offer a range of fixed-price services that are ideally suited to municipal operations, including:

  • feasibility analysis of blending conventional and willow crop systems cost
  • estimates for installing a short-rotation willow crop
  • crop management and establishment assistance

Together with our associates in the environmental consulting and irrigation industries, we can provide low-risk, turnkey solutions for disposal of municipal and industrial wastewater. To learn more or tour one of our woody biomass crops, please contact us today.

FACT: Bionera’s Egedal planter can cover 8.1 hectares per day (20 acres per day) at a density of 14 400 willow cuttings per hectare (5 800 per acre). That’s 116 000 cuttings per day!


Bionera's Edgedal Energy Planter Crew using willow whips on Edgedal Planted rows of 8" cuttings

Leadership Team

Robert Miller, BA, CA

Robert joined PRT as Vice President, Finance and Administration and CFO in 1998. He was appointed President and CEO in 2008. He has held progressively more senior financial and operational management positions over the past 30 years in public and private companies in the technology, manufacturing and agriculture sectors. He obtained his BA in Business Administration from Simon Fraser University in 1981 and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1984 after articling with Thorne Riddell, a predecessor of KPMG LLP.

Vice President, Production
Rob Maxwell RPF

Rob has worked in silviculture for thirty years, starting in plantation establishment and management before moving into seedling production. Since 1994 he has held positions of increasing responsibility with PRT. As VP, Production, Rob’s duties are focused on ensuring customers’ receive the quantities of trees ordered, at contract specifications, on-time, in the most cost-effective production method. Rob leads the production team, utilizing continuous improvement to develop innovative products and production techniques to meet our customers’ needs. He obtained his BSc in Forestry from the University of New Brunswick in 1987.

Vice President, Marketing
Herb Markgraf

Herb has over 30 years experience in senior marketing and sales positions. He holds a Master of Business Administration in Marketing and a Bachelor of Science from the University of British Columbia.

General Manager
Martin Labelle RFT

Martin is a Registered Forest Technologist (BC) with close to 20 years of experience in plantation management.  He has been involved in conifer and hardwood crop establishment in BC and Alberta.  His attention to detail, capacity to manage challenging logistics, and ability to find innovative solutions, will help ensure the successful outcome of your willow project.

Operations Manager
Marty van der Heever

Marty has over 10 years of experience in the farming and agriculture business in South Africa, operating a farm containing over 3,000 hectares (7,000 acres) of crop fields.  After moving to Alberta in 2017, Marty established a farm operation of 3,000 head of sheep on an automation pellet feeding system.  Marty has a BA in agriculture from the University of Free State, South Africa.

Business Planning Support
Owen Davies CA

Owen has over 16 years of experience in public accounting, Corporate Finance, and industry, which included building, leading and advising corporations on busineses improvements, financial planning, expansion and capital market transactions. He obtained his Bachelor of Commerce in Finance and Accounting in 1998, and received his Chartered Accountant (CA) designation in 2000.

Customer Support Representative
Glenn Goodwill

Glenn worked with the Niagara Parks Commission as a Certified Arborist. Also with the British Columbia Ministry of Forests as a Forest Technician. He has worked with PRT Growing Services since its inception in 1998 in various roles as a Grower, Nursery Superintendent, Nursery Manager and currently as Customer Support Representative in Alberta and Saskatchewan, assisting the Industry in reforestation and reclamation. He obtained his Forest Technician diploma from Sir Sandiford Fleming College, Ontario Diploma in Horticulture from the University of Guelph and Teaching Certification from University of Western Ontario.