Proper processing of coir to lower its natural high salts level should eliminate the need to buffer it with calcium nitrate.
Buffering coir not necessary if it’s processed properly
Coir has become a major component of both greenhouse vegetable and container crop production. It can be used by itself, for instance in grow bags, slabs and propagation cubes, or it can be used in growing mixes with other components like sphagnum peat, perlite and bark.
Dr. Hugh Poole, international agricultural consultant, said coconut coir is initially high in sodium, potassium and chloride salts.
“These salts are relatively soluble and are not totally bound by the coir so they are easily leached,” Poole said. “Most coir producers use rain water for most of the year to remove the salts. If the EC (electrical conductivity) level is below 1.0 milliSiemens per centimeter (mS/cm), growers should not have to leach the coir. In most cases, the coir producers have already leached the coir for the growers. It should be ready to use. If the salts level is high, then the coir producer has not done its job. A producer should be able to provide growers with the coir’s EC value, its pH value and other information, including percent moisture, as well.”
“Tomato Greenhouse Roadmap” is guide book to setting up successful greenhouse business
The “Tomato Greenhouse Roadmap” from Hort Americas provides the essentials one needs to make informed decisions to build a profitable and successful commercial greenhouse business. This 123-page guide is designed for new greenhouse growers, farmers and investors interested in becoming involved in controlled environment agriculture and greenhouse tomato production.The Roadmap presents specific industry terminology, production concepts and cultivation options that must be understood in order to make important investment decisions.
The Roadmap is not a greenhouse tomato production guide. It does include key worksheets and resources that will assist in organizing and planning a professional hydroponic or urban greenhouse tomato operation. In addition to the resources provided by the Roadmap, online supplemental information will be available after the guide is purchased. This updated information will be posted on a special website and only available to people who have purchased this unique eBook.
Those registering for the AmericanHort GrowPro Series: Greenhouse Solutions on Food Production, will receive a free copy of this $99 publication. The conference will be held Sept. 15-17, 2015, in Pittsburgh, Pa. Hort Americas is the Key Sponsor for this AmericanHort Experience.
Organic agriculture may not provide the windfall some producers expect
In last month’s Hort Americas newsletter we reported on a study conducted by Washington State University researchers who had determined that organic agriculture is more profitable for growers than conventional agriculture. The study, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that the profit margins for organic agriculture were significantly greater than for conventional agriculture.
However, some producers are finding that switching from conventional to organic practices is not leading to the higher profits they were expecting. The costs and time associated with changing production practices, trying to become certified and maintaining that certification have caused some producers to abandon their efforts to grow organically.