Hort Americas Corporate Newsletter | December 2016
Substrate trials in Hort Americas’ research greenhouse are looking at conventional and organic propagation substrates along with different irrigation strategies for producing healthy starter plugs for hydroponic production systems.
Substrate trials look to assist hydroponic growers avoid propagation-related issues
Hort Americas has retrofitted a 12,000-square-foot greenhouse in Dallas, Texas, for the purpose of studying edible crop production in a variety of hydroponic production systems. The greenhouse is also being used to demonstrate products offered in the company’s online catalog.
Tyler Baras, who is the company’s special projects manager, is overseeing the trialing of conventional and organic substrates in different production systems.
“The trials I am focusing on are organic substrates vs. conventional substrates,” Baras said. “I’m primarily using stonewool or rockwool as the conventional propagation substrate. I am also starting to trial some loose substrates, including peat and perlite.
Hort Americas offers several Riococo coir substrate products including OMRI-certified Riococo Closed Bottom Organic Plugs. The plugs can be used in a wide variety of production systems, including 1020 trays, grow bags, nutrient film technique (NFT), raft systems, aquaponics and aeroponics. Available in 25 mm, 32 mm and 42 mm sizes, these coir plugs are ideal for the production of leafy greens and culinary herbs.
Grodan Cress Plate
The Grodan Cress Plate is the optimal substrate for the production of microgreens and bulk harvested leafy vegetables and culinary herbs in vertical farming production systems. These thin sheets of Grodan stone wool, available from Hort Americas, are specially developed for quick growing crops that need minimal substrate.
The plates deliver a uniform water level that provides quick and easy germination. The plates, which are the thinnest Grodan product on the market, produce even crop development.
The plates are available in two sizes: 49.5 x 24 x 1 cm, which fits 10/20 trays and 60 x 50 x 1 cm. The 10/20 tray size plates are available 90 per carton; the 60 x 50 size plates come 50 sheets per carton.
USDA issues final guidance for organic crop production materials
USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has published the final guidance on the Classification of Materials, and a list of Materials for Organic Crop Production.
The National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List), part of the USDA organic regulations, includes synthetic substances that are permitted and natural substances that are prohibited for organic production. In addition, the National List includes all nonagricultural and nonorganic agricultural substances that may be allowed in processed organic products.
The guidance on Classification of Materials implements recommendations of the National Organic Standards Board, and clarifies existing practices used to classify materials as synthetic or non-synthetic and as agricultural or nonagricultural. The guidance includes decision trees to help classify substances used in organic production and handling.
The guidance on Materials for Organic Crop Production includes tools for organic producers to understand which input materials are allowed in organic crop production, and a list of materials that are specifically prohibited in organic crop production.
Read Urban Ag News Issue 15, The Lighting Issue!
We are proud to be a sponsor of Urban Ag News. There are great articles in the latest online magazine issue including the cover story which focuses on the lighting research being conducted at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. Leo Marcelis, head of chair group horticulture and product physiology, talks about how university researchers are studying the effects of LED lights on the growth, flowering and fruiting of vegetable and ornamental plants in controlled environments.