As pressure on fresh water supplies increases, more growers will look at recycling their water. Recycling water can add a whole range of challenges that growers may not have had to deal with before. Speakers at this year’s Cultivate’15 discussed some of the issues growers may face when recirculating and treating irrigation water.
Water quality, treatments are focus of Cultivate’15 educational sessions
As more growers look to save water by collecting irrigation runoff and recirculating their water, the chance for issues with soluble salts, pH and disease pathogens can be expected to increase. Plant pathologist Ann Chase at Chase Agricultural Consulting told Cultivate’15 attendees that use of automatic watering systems has increased watering efficiency, but in some cases, these systems have also led to less monitoring of crops on a daily basis. She said algae tend to be the biggest problem with recirculating water. She said the optimum conditions for growing greenhouse crops, including warm temperatures, high humidity and applying fertilizer in irrigation water, are the same conditions that allow algae to thrive in many areas of a greenhouse.
Hort Americas introduces its new hydroponic fertilizer
In its efforts to fuel progress in controlled environment agriculture (CEA), Hort Americas is now offering its new 9-7-37 Hydroponic Fertilizer. Hort Americas developed this unique fertilizer in cooperation with CEA hydroponic specialists, academicians and researchers to meet the nutritional requirements of edible crops produced by hydroponic growers. Hort Americas recommends that hydroponic growers have their water tested by a professional water analysis laboratory to determine its nutrients, pH, EC and total alkalinity prior to using its 9-7-37 Hydroponic Fertilizer.
2015 drought costs California agriculture nearly $2 billion, loss of 10,000 jobs
According to the “Economic Analysis of the 2015 Drought for California Agriculture,” the state’s agricultural economy will lose about $1.8 billion and 10,100 seasonal jobs because of the drought. The UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences’ report indicates California’s ag industry overall remains robust. The state’s ag economy continues to grow in this fourth year of severe drought. This is due mostly to the state’s vast but declining groundwater reserves, which will offset about 70 percent of the surface water shortage this year. The loss of about 10,100 seasonal jobs directly related to farm production, compares with the 2014 drought estimate of 7,500 job losses. When the effects of farm losses on other economic sectors are considered, the 2015 drought impact on employment more than doubles to 21,000 lost jobs.
Hort Americas to sponsor, participate in Tour de Fresh 2015
Hort Americas is a proud sponsor (and rider participant) of the Tour de Fresh. This one-of-a-kind collaborative event unites the most significant brands and influencers in the fresh produce industry for a four-day cycling event that raises funds to benefit the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools campaign. The inaugural 2014 event raised over $142,000 and placed over 40 salads bars in communities in 11 states, including California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Texas, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.
The goal of Tour de Fresh 2015 and its participants is to privately finance 100+ new salad bars in school districts across the country. At a cost of less than $3,000 per salad bar per school, sponsors and participants strongly believe that providing healthy eating opportunities for school children should be a requirement and is the foundation of creating positive change for our future.
This year Hort Americas is riding for the St Louis Public School system and for the first time we are providing some of our closest partners the opportunity to be part of the ride.