Safety concerns increase with mechanization

Safety concerns increase with mechanization

Many greenhouse growers in B.C. have implemented some form of mechanization, most commonly in the grading and packing process – but how safe is it for workers?

Annuals and perennials that cause a buzz

Annuals and perennials that cause a buzz

In Greenhouse Canada’s August “New Varieties” edition, experts from garden centres reported that eco-friendly plants are a trend that’s here to stay, especially for the newer generation of gardeners. Topping the list for these millennial gardeners are plants that are considered “pollinator-friendly”.

Slipping into sweet potato production

Slipping into sweet potato production

February tends to be a slow time at Roelands Plant Farms Inc. The greenhouse vegetable propagator in Lambton Shores, ON, has usually shipped the last of its orders for the year’s tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers to clients throughout North America, and its busy season winds down.

4 key differences between a cannabis greenhouse and an ornamental greenhouse

4 key differences between a cannabis greenhouse and an ornamental greenhouse

When the legal industry began to emerge, indoor cannabis grow facilities were considered ideal for optimal growing because of the ability to control the environment entirely. However, the industry is seeing a steady decline in cannabis prices so it’s becoming increasingly expensive to operate an indoor grow facility. As such, more and more growers are turning to greenhouse structures for their cannabis grow operation.

Veg pest survey: Help researchers help you

Veg pest survey: Help researchers help you

How can researchers better help you triumph over pests and diseases? To find out, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre is conducting a survey targeted towards Canadian greenhouse vegetable growers to measure the success of pest and disease management.

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:
Andrew Mans initially installed high pressure sodium (HPS) lights in the greenhouse, but quickly found that they had a high failure rate.
Starting a decade ago, researchers focused on the potential of LED (light-emitting diode) lighting for greenhouse horticultural crops, whether ornamental or vegetable. Usually, high pressure sodium lamps (HPS) are the most used in the greenhouse industry around the world.
In this article, we will focus on how to plan and execute a structured irrigation strategy, thus optimizing the rootzone, and consequently decreasing plant stress and potentially increasing yields.
With greenhouse strawberries becoming increasingly popular among consumers, how can supplemental lighting be used to help improve their production and potentially open avenues to other berry crops?
Light is a prerequisite for photosynthetic activity for all crops whether the crops are grown in an open field or grown under cover. When light is insufficient, healthy plant development is hindered, which manifests in a variety of crop issues including poor root development, susceptibility to diseases and pests, stunted growth, delayed flowering, stretch, and low transplant viability.
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?
Biologically based pest management technologies are being widely accepted because of their potential to beneficially exploit pest systems with little to no probability of harmful effects on human health and the environment.
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.
Many greenhouse growers in B.C. have implemented some form of mechanization, most commonly in the grading and packing process – but how safe is it for workers?
Let’s be honest. It can be frustrating to hear misleading stories about food production. Consumers see sensationalized headlines about food production and may not have all the necessary facts to make informed food choices.
Businesses need to innovate or die. The challenge is often coming up with new and innovative ideas. This is one reason I enjoy travelling. It forces you to be exposed to new ideas and new ways of doing things.
When a customer walks through your garden centre, how do they decide on a fair price for a hanging basket? Do they value it more because it’s bright and colourful, because it’s in bloom, or according to its overall size?
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:
Is cogeneration the latest innovation for greenhouse growers or just a passing fad? It’s understandable why growers are assessing the potential.
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?
Heuchera from tissue culture (TC) are not difficult to establish if certain protocols are followed. The critical factor to understand is that these have been grown in a lab under high humidity and low light. Lower humidity and higher light levels must be avoided until the TC has been acclimated.
In Greenhouse Canada’s August “New Varieties” edition, experts from garden centres reported that eco-friendly plants are a trend that’s here to stay, especially for the newer generation of gardeners. Topping the list for these millennial gardeners are plants that are considered “pollinator-friendly”.
February tends to be a slow time at Roelands Plant Farms Inc.The greenhouse vegetable propagator in Lambton Shores, ON, has usually shipped the last of its orders for the year’s tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers to clients throughout North America, and its busy season winds down.
When the legal industry began to emerge, indoor cannabis grow facilities were considered ideal for optimal growing because of the ability to control the environment entirely. However, the industry is seeing a steady decline in cannabis prices so it’s becoming increasingly expensive to operate an indoor grow facility. As such, more and more growers are turning to greenhouse structures for their cannabis grow operation.
Want to produce lush, flower-covered container recipes? Lead growers Aleksi Yosifov and Noah Derohanian of Pleasant View Gardens share their top tips.
Container recipes are popular with home gardeners because they offer instant beauty and colour in a convenient take-home package. So how do growers create the combinations customers love, and produce them as efficiently as possible? Here are seven tips from Brian Bourdon, Four Star Greenhouse’s offsite and product line manager, who has created hundreds of Proven Winners’ most popular recipes.
Summer 2018 weather was a true test of garden performance in plants. Temperatures were hotter than normal since the beginning of June, so more care was required for plants that were coming from the greenhouse and into direct sun. After the plants were established, the drip system was great.
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.

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