From the Editor: January 2018
Finding something in common
January 22, 2018 By Jannen Belbeck
While I may be a new face to most of you, I’m only here for one issue – filling in for Dave while his successor gets ready to continue providing commercial greenhouse growers with content to help you grow in profitability and realize market opportunities.
I usually work with growers who are in a different sector of agriculture. I work on Top Crop Manager, Potatoes in Canada and Drainage Contractor. The kind of growers I interact with at annual conferences and crop diagnostic days grow hundreds, if not thousands of acres and mostly grow crops like corn, potatoes, soybeans, canola, dry beans and cereals.
While greenhouse growers versus cash crop growers seemed quite a bit different at first, the more reading, editing and speaking with researchers I did, the more I realized how alike we all really are. While the crops may differ, all growers – whether we grow in a greenhouse or in a field – deal with very similar highs and lows.
Many of our problems are the same: pests emerge and wreak havoc on plants, resulting in severe yield losses if the proper management strategies aren’t in place. (I especially liked the IPM techniques offered on page 20.) We even deal with similar disease pressures, like Fusarium and Botrytis.
Luckily for us growers, there are teams of scientists and government extension specialists working tirelessly to research and test different methods to protect our crops. So whether we grow corn, cannabis or coreopsis, we have the help when we need it.
I especially loved to see greenhouse growers taking matters into their own hands and offer up some unique solutions to issues like pest management. Of note is the story I read in the November issue of Greenhouse Canada about “Chili,” the Belgian shepherd used by NatureFresh farms to sniff out pepper weevils within the company’s 53 hectares of greenhouses.
Business management is also a topic that draws parallels: labour shortages, minimum wage hikes and grower-consumer interactions are all issues any producer is interested in and warrant discussion.
While our “lows” may be similar, so too are the positives. Highlighting innovative growers like the annual “Top 10 under 40” coverage offered by this magazine, as well as farming awards like Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmer go a long way in recognizing the contributions young movers and shakers make to the sector. We should continue to applaud their hard work.
Finally, I’m so happy to introduce the new editor for Greenhouse Canada. Greta Chiu will be taking the helm, starting with the forthcoming March/April issue. Greta has a background in plant agriculture, studying at the University of Guelph and earning her master of science. She has previously worked as a research assistant and as an agricultural technical writer for a marketing firm. She will continue to provide readers with creative and engaging content. Don’t forget to get in touch – via email or social media to share your thoughts.
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