Banking on bankers: Rearing the next generations of beneficials

Banking on bankers: Rearing the next generations of beneficials

Walking into the Orangeline Farms greenhouse, you’ll notice a myriad of purple and green foliage at the ends of some rows. They're banker plants.

Can parasitic wasps effectively kill the pepper weevil?

Can parasitic wasps effectively kill the pepper weevil?

The pepper weevil, Anthonomus eugenii is one of the most important pests of pepper crops. urrently, there are no commercial products that can target immature stages of the pepper weevil, however strategies including biological control, may be useful in attacking these life stages and reducing population levels.

Seeing disease in a new light

Seeing disease in a new light

In a controlled environment, supplemental lights are often used to increase crop growth. But could they also be used for other purposes?

Friendly but deadly: Getting to know your mycoinsecticides

Friendly but deadly: Getting to know your mycoinsecticides

Insect pests don’t always die by flipping over with six legs in the air. In nature, the process is sometimes an inescapable decline due to an overwhelming infection, followed by loss of appetite, disinterest in reproduction, lethargy, and then death. Science has learned to isolate, select and mass-produce some of these infectious microbes.

Organic week shows big sector growth

Organic week shows big sector growth

Running from September 8 to 16, Organic Week is well underway. First started in 2009, this is Canada’s largest celebration of organic food, farming and products, with well over a thousand events nationwide and over 3500 participating retail locations annually.

Signify (formerly Philips Lighting) recently launched new Philips GreenPower LED toplighting module in Canada, with light efficacy of up to 3.0 µmol/J and an output of 800 µmol/s.
Starter-plant supplier Emerald Coast Growers has released the latest version of its trend-tracking new variety Resource Guide.
A new weight-based watering system could help growers and retailers ensure uniformity of soil moisture across their hanging baskets.
Smithers-Oasis has recently launched a new retail pack of its Oasis® Horticubes growing media.
The California Spring Trials (CAST) were started by Glenn Goldsmith in 1967 which was for the purpose of educating growers of their breeding programs and their commitment to horticulture, and then other breeders started to join in the event to include almost every horticultural breeder distributor. The name evolved from the ‘California pack trials’ to now ‘California Spring Trials’ since the packs are a very small percentage of the industry.
Photographs can be beautiful, but nothing quite beats the rush of seeing new varieties in real life.
Similar to the All-America Selections Program in the United States, Quebec’s horticultural assessment program, Les Exceptionnelles (the Exceptionals) selects six to ten annual plants each year that have stood out for their performance and ease in growing in the assessment gardens in Canada’s northern climate.
Proven Winners has released its 2019 Trade Collection catalogue for Canadian growers in both print and digital formats. Growers can view the catalog online or request a printed copy from Nordic Nurseries in British Columbia or Ed Sobkowich Greenhouses in Ontario. 
Pre-made mixed planters have been gaining popularity over the past couple of years. But what makes an attractive mix? Researchers at the University of Guelph and Vineland Research and Innovation Centre saw an opportunity to gain a better understanding of consumer preferences for container plants.
With multiple plant breeders and tech suppliers, Windmill Nursery is a must-see stop on the CAST map.
For the first time in Danziger’s CAST history, their trial garden will feature an area exclusively for retailers. This private space will include new and exclusive varieties, as well as retail displays with full-grown individual plants and container combinations. Here are some highlights:
This year’s California Spring Trials are particularly special for Benary – it’s their 175th anniversary. Known for their fun, out-of-the-box activities during CAST, this year is no different. Here's a sample of the new varieties you can look forward to during your visit:
In late September, the AAC (Agricultural Adaptation Council) will be closing its application submissions for the “Greenhouse Competitiveness and Innovation Initiative” (GCII).
A  little extra light can make a big difference. Recent innovations have increased the transparency of energy-saving screens for vegetable and ornamental crop production. The ability for higher light transmission further optimizes the growing climate while keeping the heat in, important during the colder seasons when vegetable prices typically peak.
For plants to grow optimally, adequate nutrients and water uptake are necessary to maintain plant growth and development. There are two general methods in which water and nutrients move in and out of plants cells: passive and active.
Every cold-climate greenhouse grower experiences it – it’s cold outside, the heat is on, but the relative humidity levels need to come down to prevent disease. The solution? The vents get opened to get rid of that moist air and exchange it for drier air – except the greenhouse loses heat in the process!
Transport within the greenhouse is about to get faster and easier as Berg Hortimotive heads into their last phase of developing a new autonomous harvesting trolley.
In our last article we examined the potential for saving energy by integrating dimmable horticultural LED lighting systems into various feedback-control strategies. This time, we will review background concepts of LED light spectrum and explore how spectral modifications can be leveraged to improve crop production.
What if monitoring temperature controls was automated, and a grain bin itself could warn suppliers of low levels?
Numerous articles have extolled the virtues of modern LED lighting technology for horticultural applications, particularly as a replacement for HPS in greenhouse environments. Various LED technologies have been proven to achieve comparable or better commodity-specific production metrics to HPS in many different greenhouse production scenarios.
When we talk about ‘water management’ in greenhouses, our thoughts typically consider irrigation scheduling, control equipment or maybe simply having enough. At this year’s Lower Mainland Horticulture Improvement Association (LMHIA) Growers Short Course (held simultaneously with the Pacific Agriculture Show in Abbotsford, B.C.), Olaf van Marrewijk of Hagelunie (Leiden, N.L.) gave a different ‘take’.
The horticultural industry is under constant pressure to improve environmental performance while remaining competitive.
Among the many applications of On Robot’s robot grippers, they’re being used to pack herbs at Rosborg Food Holding, one of Denmark’s largest producers of herbs and miniature flowering plants.
It takes a lot of work – and a lot of water — to grow healthy trees and shrubs for Canada’s ornamental plant sector. The industry, which boasts approximately 3,500 nurseries across Canada, uses an estimated 190 million cubic metres of water every year.But new research suggests this is two to three times more water than healthy trees need. And soon a new tool will be available to help nursery managers determine when to turn on–and turn off–the hose.Jared Stoochnoff, a University of Guelph graduate student in the School of Environmental Sciences Controlled Environment Systems Research Facility, is pioneering a new irrigation management strategy designed to reduce water consumption and mitigate the environmental impact of ornamental nursery operations.“Because many nursery irrigation managers lack reliable ways to quantitatively predict a plant’s actual water requirements, they tend to err on the side of caution and overwater,” Stoochnoff says. “This results in unnecessarily high water and fertilizer run-off that negatively impacts local watersheds.”Stoochnoff’s team used high-tech sensor equipment to measure plant water status and quantify crop water stress tolerance thresholds. When they put those irrigation schedules based on actual requirements to the test, they reduced the nursery’s water use by 60 per cent without affecting the total growth or wholesale value of the crop.“It’s not economically feasible to implement the equipment we were using at every nursery in Canada, but by characterizing the relationships between crop water stress levels, weather conditions and species-specific water stress tolerance thresholds, we’re now able to predict optimal irrigation frequency using onsite weather station data,” says Stoochnoff.Stoochnoff wrote a prototype program that used onsite weather station data to predict plant water stress tolerance thresholds. Each time the threshold was reached, the program triggered irrigation and alerted Stoochnoff via text message. He was able to monitor the nursery’s current weather conditions and water use to date, and could even trigger irrigation directly from his cell phone if needed.As a next step, Stoochnoff’s team will develop the program into an app that can be made available to a larger group of nurseries for testing. He says the program will be flexible depending on the nursery’s irrigation preferences.“Once adopted by the nursery sector, this has the potential to conserve millions of litres of water each year and reduce the environmental footprint of ornamental nursery operations,” says Stoochnoff.Financial support was received from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Canadian Nursery Landscape Association, Landscape Ontario, and The Gosling Research Institute for Plant Preservation. In-kind contributions of materials, labour and field site access were provided by Connon Nurseries, C.B. Vanderkruk Holdings, ICT International and Root Rescue Environmental.This project was funded by Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. For more, visit AgInnovation Ontario
Walking into the Orangeline Farms greenhouse, you’ll notice a myriad of purple and green foliage at the ends of some rows. But they’re not any one of the 20 different bell pepper varieties that the greenhouse operation grows.
The pepper weevil, Anthonomus eugenii is one of the most important pests of pepper crops in North America. Currently, there are no commercial products that can target immature stages of the pepper weevil, however strategies including biological control, may be useful in attacking these life stages and reducing population levels.
In a controlled environment, supplemental lights are often used to increase crop growth. But could they also be used for other purposes?
Insect pests don’t always die by flipping over with six legs in the air. In nature, the process is sometimes an inescapable decline due to an overwhelming infection, followed by loss of appetite, disinterest in reproduction, lethargy, and then death. Science has learned to isolate, select and mass-produce some of these infectious microbes.
When we started our project to develop a more effective IPM strategy against foxglove aphids, one of the first questions we tried answering was “Why doesn’t Aphidius ervi provide good control?” Growers and IPM specialists have previously reported that this aphid parasitoid does not seem to be effective in controlling the relatively “new” aphid pest - foxglove aphid. 
Greenhouse growers need to be rigorous managers if they want to stay ahead of aphids and mealybugs.
Palladium fungicide was recently approved for a minor use label expansion in Canada. But what does that mean?
Greenhouse owners are always looking for new ways to increase yields quickly, as well as their return on investment. But soil probiotics and microbial fertilizers are not new.
Having trouble controlling foxglove aphids in your greenhouse? You’re not alone.
Japanese beetles have been recently spotted in southern Ontario. 
Guelph - Ontario’s greenhouse sector has made significant advances in water, nutrient and energy technology to manage the year-round, high-efficiency production of crops like tomatoes, peppers, herbs, berries and a wide variety of green vegetables.
It seems there is never a dull moment in the greenhouse ornamental industry. From transitions to new crops, new export requirements to novel pest problems (I’m talking about YOU, mealybug!) the industry has seen a lot of change lately. And it’s not over yet.
We're now well into the season of trade shows and exhibitions - opportune to take a look at what is on offer at the 2018 ‘CanWest Hort Expo’, (Sept 26-27, Abbotsford, B.C.). This event is billed as ‘Western Canada’s premier horticultural trade show, connecting buyers and sellers throughout Canada and the Pacific Northwest’, and the organizing association (BCLNA) sure do a great job (special thanks to Karen and her team).
As most garden centre owners will know, most gardening activities are not only seasonal but also weather dependent.
The profile of today’s gardener is getting younger – 18 to 34-year-olds now occupy 29 per cent of all gardening households, according to the “2018 National Gardening Survey” from U.S-based GardenResearch.com.
Late this February, online retailer, Amazon, launched the Amazon Plant Store offering shrubs, flowers, and succulents across the United States. Currently, Amazon Plant is restricted to the United States, but Canadians are beginning to go online to source and purchase gardening products.
The next agricultural revolution is already underway, based on the Internet of Things (IoT).
Labour trouble in the greenhouse industry is not merely a question of minimum wage. We will not solve our problems by trying to find people who work hard for long hours and do not ask for too much money.
The Canadian gardening season is well underway and many of the planting trends now coming into flower across the nation are expected to continue into 2019. Mark Cullen, national spokesperson for lawn and garden at Home Hardware, notes that the use of eco-conscious plants – indigenous, pollinator-friendly, drought-tolerant – is really no longer a trend but here to stay. “It’s getting bigger and bigger all the time,” he says. “For the new generation of gardeners, millennials, supporting the environment is why they are gardening. That and for food.”
Among its nine definitions of ‘variety’, Dictionary.com1 defines this noun as:
Today’s labour market is tight. Profits are tight. As hiring managers, our job has become increasingly difficult. We can talk all day about the challenges we face – the aging labour force, millennials, skilled labour – the fact is, most people are already working. Their families depend on it. The question is, how do we motivate people to work for us?
Last December, Long Island Iced Tea Corporation announced that they were looking into how they might utilize blockchain in their business practices. As part of this announcement, they changed their name to “Long Blockchain Corp”. Shares of the company rose 200 per cent following this news.
Local food, a topic that is, and has been, on the mind’s of many, is a growing industry; however the question of transportation of local food is one that has been left behind, until recently, that is. Over the last few years there has been a resurgence of companies focusing on local food distribution, however Foodshed.io differentiates itself by incorporating technology not only to connect producers and consumers but to enhance efficiency, reliability, flexibility and transparency throughout the entire platform. Their tagline reads: reinventing local food distribution.
We are all aware that retailing is changing and changing rapidly. The key to success is to identify where your business fits into the retail model of the future.
With dark, short days in winter months, growing in Canada isn’t easy – even in controlled environments like greenhouses. To keep providing markets with high-quality produce, supplemental lighting is top of mind for many greenhouse vegetable producers.
It’s been over a decade since the first ‘Inside View’. So I thought I’d look back to the first heating and energy article. The sixth ‘View’ (Dec. 2007), noted that “Canada is the 3rd largest energy consumer on the planet – demand is up 21% since 1990”.
When it comes to adding energy curtains (sometimes referred to as thermal blankets) to a greenhouse everyone focuses on energy savings. And certainly energy savings should be a major factor in any greenhouse grower’s decision to purchase energy curtains.
June 17, 2017, Mona, UT – In recognition of leading energy saving efforts, Houweling’s Group was among four companies honored recently as part of Utah’s Energy Efficiency Challenge.
March 16, 2017, Simcoe, Ont. – With the Ontario government’s cap and trade program now in effect, many greenhouse growers in the province are quickly discovering the high cost of fighting climate change. To some, that cost appears unsustainably high.
March April 2017 – Spring is a time of hope and renewed energy with longer days of sunshine and warmer weather. It is also a great time to reflect on how energy costs in the past months have impacted your bottom line, and to work with your team to make your greenhouse more cost-effective for the year to come.
March 10, 2017, Guelph, Ont. – Ontario farmers can finally expect some relief with lower electricity bills on the way.
Nov. 25, 2016, Guelph, Ont. – Affordable energy is a serious issue in Ontario. Rural Ontario is the hardest hit by energy inflation with most businesses, residents and farms relying on electricity, propane or heating oil to support their way of life.
Nov. 7, 2016, Guelph, Ont. – The need for natural gas across rural Ontario is a top priority for the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) and rural municipalities.
November 2016 – Greenhouses provide vegetable and flower growers with the ability to control all the inputs needed to yield healthy, plentiful crops. In a greenhouse, growers can tailor the amount of light, CO2, moisture, heat and cold, and other variables in order to improve both the quality and quantity of their production.
June 2016 – If it’s true that each food unit we consume now takes about 10 units of carbon energy to produce, then perhaps the food system is broken. Surely it does not make sense to use more energy to produce something than we can get back out of it in useful food energy. What options do we have?
June 2016 – In our August edition last year we presented an overview of a few of the new alternative energy projects across the country. This year, we have more exciting news to share, along with some recent updates.
For horticulture, propagation using tissue culture is nothing new. In fact, the technique has been used in crops like lettuce, hops, mint, potato stock, orchids, ornamental plants and berries.
With greenhouse vegetables, there are many different varieties available. Each one is selected for higher yields, larger fruit, disease resistance, flavour and more, but how well do those attributes hold up in the greenhouse?
“The road from the initial idea in 2013 (of a medical marijuana operation) to where we are today … I could write a book on that,” says Edwin Jewell, president and CEO of Canada’s Island Garden (CIG) the only medical marijuana operation in Prince Edward Island.  
Vancouver, BC – Ashburton Ventures Inc. has recently announced a zeolite efficacy trial in partnership with InnoTech Alberta.
As a grower, one of your worst nightmares is finding out that you have a potential pest in your grow space. The sight of your hard work looking sickly can be very disheartening to say the least.
The 2017 poinsettia season was much better than even the top sales we saw in 2016. This past year marks three years in a row where poinsettia production, sales and consumer satisfaction has improved. Sales were better for the growers in general, but not great for all retailers – depending on the product sizes, packaging, displays and sales timing. And consumer satisfaction depends on which product they ended up with.
Overall, 2017 was a pretty good year for Ontario’s spring flower crops in terms of pests. Insects like western flower thrips were fairly low (no heavy fly-ins like in 2016) and more severe diseases were scarce. Here are some tips for how we can keep 2018 going in the same direction.
Ball Horticultural Company is thrilled to announce a breakthrough years in the making. Through a collaborative effort with KeyGene, both companies are pleased to announce the successful sequencing and assembly of the Impatiens walleriana genome. This first-of-its-kind project creates a highly accurate tool for breeders looking to provide new solutions to the industry in Impatiens.“Genome sequencing and assembly not only provides a more efficient approach to breeding and plant trait identification, but it provides a deeper understanding of our products and their ultimate potential in the marketplace,” says Matt Mouw Chief Technology Officer for Ball Horticultural Company.Over the course of this project, Ball and KeyGene achieved 100x coverage using long read sequencing technology, which has already led their breeding teams to better utilize significant key plant genes, specifically, genes that confer high resistance to Impatiens Downy Mildew (IDM). The disease has severely impacted global sales of I. walleriana since 2008. By utilizing this new resource of high resistance, along with these newly available genomics tools, breeding companies like PanAmerican Seed are closer than ever to producing Impatiens with high resistance to IDM.While PanAmerican Seed has worked to address IDM solutions over the past five years, the impatiens genome project took more than two years to complete. It included disciplines from many areas of the industry, including pathologists, breeders, seed technologists, product development teams, and production.According to Mouw, Ball Horticultural Company has committed to a significant investment in the area of advanced plant technology, with the goal to deliver products, services and solutions to the industry. “This is the first in what will promise to be a pipeline of opportunities in seed and vegetative products that wouldn’t before have been possible.”
The talk of the town at this year’s Canadian Greenhouse Conference was, you guessed it, marijuana. Not shady back-of-hall cloakroom conversations, but openly in the show aisles, on the bus during the tours and over dinner. One of the tour stops was even to a production facility: “… Aphria, the former Leamington flower grower that transformed its flower greenhouses into a state-of-the-art regulated medical marijuana production facility.”1
November 2017 – Here in southwestern Ontario, we have just experienced a wetter than usual summer, with cooler than average temperatures especially at night. The continuously rainy days and nights and the cooler temperatures put the plants in the Sawaya Garden Trials through new Mother Nature stress or benefit tests, depending on the varieties.
November 2017 – It’s difficult to think of a more diverse, interesting and misunderstood category of plants in the horticultural industry than perennials. A colleague once said that “all plants are annuals somewhere and perennials somewhere else.” Although she oversimplified this just a bit, the point was well taken.
Oct. 27, 2017, Smiths Falls,Ont. – Tweed Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Canopy Growth Corporation, and DNA Holding LLC  have renewed and expanded their partnership through to October 2022.

Subscription Centre

New Subscription
Already a Subscriber
Customer Service
View Digital Magazine Renew

Most Popular

Latest Events

CIB 2018
Wed Sep 26, 2018 @ 8:00am - 05:00pm
CanWest 2018
Wed Sep 26, 2018 @ 8:00am - 05:00pm
Canadian Greenhouse Conference '18
Wed Oct 03, 2018 @ 8:00am - 05:00pm
Northeast Greenhouse Conference and Expo
Wed Nov 07, 2018 @ 8:00am -

We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. To find out more, read our Privacy Policy.