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Input needed from greenhouse industry to drive soilless substrate research

Industry input is essential. Survey closes October 20.


October 9, 2020
By Dr. Youbin Zheng

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Source: Getty Images

A group of U.S. and Canadian scientists and researchers is seeking input from growers and growing media manufacturers/suppliers across the continent to identify needed innovations and current challenges when producing specialty crops with soilless substrates.

The survey will determine the needs, cost restraints, material availability, and overall sustainability to ensure successful paths forward for the greenhouse and nursery industries,” says Professor Youbin Zheng, faculty member at the University of Guelph.

Collaborating with a group of leading U.S. scientists in the soilless substrate field, Zheng and his colleagues are working off of a planning grant awarded by the United States Department of Agriculture Specialty Crops Research Initiative to reimagine and redefine soilless substrate science. “The majority of specialty crops (e.g., greenhouse vegetables, ornamentals, cannabis, nursery crops) are grown in soilless growing substrate. Rootzone management is key for the success of soilless plant production, and soilless growing substrate is the essential component of plant rootzone.”

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The survey only takes a few minutes, and industry input is very valuable to the soilless production sector as a whole, he says. Completing the survey will also lead participants to reflect on how they might make improvements to their own operations.

Interested participants are asked to visit the group’s website www.soillesssubstrates.org or complete the survey through the link https://bit.ly/2ZLNIkn by October 20, 2020.