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Hort Americas and VegBed Team Up to Offer New Microgreen Medium for Farms

Hort Americas partnering with VegBed to offer their sustainable bamboo fiber microgreen mats

Press Release – NEW YORK, NY [February 12, 2019] – Hort Americas, North America’s top commercial horticultural supplier, and VegBed, the leader of innovative hydroponic growing mediums have announced today an exciting new partnership to offer microgreen farms a sustainable medium to grow with.

Continue reading Hort Americas and VegBed Team Up to Offer New Microgreen Medium for Farms

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First Wheelchair Accessible Farm at Local Bronx Public School

Empire BlueCross BlueShield and Green Bronx Machine to Launch First Wheelchair Accessible Farm at Local Bronx Public School

Press Release – NEW YORK – Green Bronx Machine (GBM), a nationally recognized non-profit organization dedicated to helping students live happier and healthier lives, is partnering with Empire BlueCross BlueShield (Empire) to launch the first wheelchair accessible farm and teaching kitchen in America at P.S. 721x, a District 75 school in the Bronx dedicated to educating students living with disabilities.

Continue reading First Wheelchair Accessible Farm at Local Bronx Public School

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Updated daily light integral (DLI) maps now available

New DLI maps have been created from an updated database that includes data from 1998 to 2009.

Daily light integral (DLI) is the amount of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) received each day as a function of light intensity and duration. DLI maps display the ambient light delivered daily during each month across the entire United States. The original maps released in 2002 were researched and developed by Jim Faust at Clemson University and Joanne Logan at the University of Tennessee.

Continue reading Updated daily light integral (DLI) maps now available

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Current, Powered by GE and Stockbridge Technology Centre Partner to Research the Farm of the Future

This article was originally posted on currentbyge.com

  • Stockbridge Technology Centre’s Vertical Farming Development Facility to enable growers to test and model their individual urban farm setup prior to investment
  • Aims to propel the success of the vertical farming industry, projected to be worth $13.9 billion USD in 20241 and generate more “farmable land” to address future global food production pressures
  • Current by GE’s Arize LED horticulture solution will help researchers test growth of crops such as leafy greens and herbs in different conditions

Continue reading Current, Powered by GE and Stockbridge Technology Centre Partner to Research the Farm of the Future

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2018 Virginia Smart Farming Conference POSTPONED

Because of unexpected scheduling and weather concerns, the Virginia Smart Farming Conference on Using Controlled Environment Agriculture has been postponed until March 5, 2019.

Our team is extremely sorry for this inconvenience but is continuing its work and is excited for what will be delivered when we gather in the Richmond area on March 5, 2019.

Continue reading 2018 Virginia Smart Farming Conference POSTPONED

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Topclear: for a spotlessly clean greenhouse roof!

By Sudlac

Topclear is the perfect cleaner for removing Sudlac Eclipse® LD, Transpar®, Optifuse® and Optifuse® IR coatings. With this product, the grower decides when to remove the coating. Simply spray on Topclear, leave it to wash off in the rain, and you’ll have a clean greenhouse roof that allows maximum light into the greenhouse. This is particularly important in the fall and winter to ensure optimum growth, quality and fruit setting.

 

Continue reading Topclear: for a spotlessly clean greenhouse roof!

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BioBee USA and Hort Americas partner to bring growers biologically-based IPM

BioBee Biological Systems, headquartered in Sde Eliyaho, Israel, is at the forefront of implementing biologically-based integrated pest management (IPM) solutions in controlled environment agriculture and open-field production systems. BioBee USA, a subsidiary of BioBee, headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., has partnered with horticultural supplier Hort Americas in Bedford, Texas, to work together to educate and provide greenhouse growers, vertical farmers, indoor agriculturalists and hydroponic growers with a wide range of biological control products.

Continue reading BioBee USA and Hort Americas partner to bring growers biologically-based IPM

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30MHz and Hort Americas join forces to bring smart sensing to North American growers

Leading commercial horticultural suppliers Hort Americas, and smart sensing technology providers 30MHz are pleased to announce that they’ve partnered to bring the power of real-time, crop-level monitoring to growers across Canada, the United States, the Caribbean and Mexico. Hort Americas is the first North American distributor of 30MHz technology.

Continue reading 30MHz and Hort Americas join forces to bring smart sensing to North American growers

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NASA Taps Osram to Support Its Food Production Research

Osram’s smart horticulture lighting system prototype used in NASA ground research to help provide space crews with a reliable source of fresh food

WILMINGTON, Mass. & KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla.–Osram, a global high-tech lighting company, today announced it is providing the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) with a customized version of its proprietary connected horticulture research lighting system, Phytofy RL. The smart lighting software, coupled with a unique setup of connected grow light fixtures, will supplement the lighting technology used in NASA’s Food Production Research focused on production of salad-type crops for crews during space travel. All software, hardware and LEDs in Phytofy were developed by Osram. Osram has developed a broad portfolio of horticulture LEDs that irradiate the specific wavelengths needed for optimum growth of a wide variety of plants and flowers, allowing the light to be adapted specifically for the needs of various crops.

Continue reading NASA Taps Osram to Support Its Food Production Research

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Growing microgreens with LED grow lights in Sonora, Mexico

(Español abajo.)

Urban grower Karla Garcia is proud to announce the creation of her new company, Microgreens FLN based in Sonora, Mexico. Karla is a recent graduate with honors and a master’s degree in plant science from the University of Arizona. She is proud of her company’s commitment specializing in microgreens production using an indoor vertical farming strategy. Microgreens are an emerging class of specialty leafy greens and herbs. The crops are harvested when the cotyledons are fully developed and in some cases when the young plants have one true leaf.

Continue reading Growing microgreens with LED grow lights in Sonora, Mexico

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2017 retail sales of organic fresh produce reach nearly $5 billion

The Organic Produce Network and Nielsen report sales of organic fresh produce items approached $5 billion in 2017, an 8 percent increase from the previous year. Nearly 2 billion pounds of organic produce were sold in grocery stores last year, which is a 10 percent volume increase from 2016.

At U.S. retail stores, sales of organic fresh vegetables were $2.4 billion. Organic fresh fruit sales exceeded $1.6 billion. Sales of nearly $1 billion in organic value-added produce items brought total sales to $4.8 billion in 2017.

In 2017 organic packaged salad was again the leading organic fresh produce item, approaching $1 billion in sales. Packaged salad still accounts for one in five organic dollars.

Topping the sales in organic fruit were berry crops, which saw a 22 percent increase in volume sales. Organic berry sales, which include strawberries, blueberries and blackberries, topped $586 million in 2017.

http://www.organicproducenetwork.com/article/384/nielsen-and-opn-announce-organic-fresh-produce-retail-sales-reach-nearly-5-billion-in-2017

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Over $17 million available for organic research funding

USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has released its Request for Applications (RFA) for the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI). OREI grants provide crucial support to the organic industry by funding research, education, and extension projects to improve and advance organic agriculture.

A total of $17.6 million is expected to be available for projects designated in OREI’s eight legislatively defined purposes (including the biological, physical and social sciences) in fiscal year (FY) 2018. All applications for consideration are to be submitted by March 1, 2018.

NIFA has identified nine priority areas for FY 2018, including a new priority focused specifically on policy. This new priority area is intended for projects that “identify marketing, policy, and other socioeconomic barriers to the expansion of organic agriculture in the United States and develop strategies to address them. Lobbying and advocacy activities do not fit under this priority.”

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What’s the future of conventional agriculture? Does it include vertical farming?

Leading Japanese indoor ag tech companies to visit the heart of U.S. agricultural research and biotechnology community to attend controlled environment networking event.

If you are involved with the vertical farming or indoor agriculture industries, then you should plan on attending Ag Tech Worlds Collide. Scheduled for Feb. 21, 2018, at North Carolina State University, this event will tackle the big questions currently being addressed in the vertical farming and indoor agriculture industries worldwide.

Urban Ag News and the Japan Plant Factory Association in coordination with the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry are pleased to announce this joint networking event with U.S.-based agricultural organizations and operations. Participating Japanese organizations/companies include: Japan Plant Factory Association, Keystone Technology Inc., Shinnippou 808 Factory, Nihon Advanced Agri Corp., ESPEC MIC Corp. and MIRAI.

 

Presentations focus on CEA impact

Key presentations at this controlled environment agriculture (CEA) event will be made by Dr. Chieri Kubota, professor of controlled environment agriculture at The Ohio State University, and Dr. Ricardo Hernandez, assistant professor in the Department of Horticultural Sciences at North Carolina State University.

Dr. Kubota’s presentation will discuss “Optimizing input and output in controlled environment agriculture.” Dr. Kubota received a PhD. in horticultural engineering and M.S. in horticultural science from Chiba University in Japan. She worked for six years as a faculty member at Chiba University, 16 years in the School of Plant Sciences at the University of Arizona and recently joined the faculty at The Ohio State University. At Chiba University Dr. Kubota studied under and worked with Dr. Toyoki Kozai, one of the most published and greatest minds in indoor agriculture.

Dr. Kubota’s research program focuses on the development of science-based CEA technologies. She has been very active in interdisciplinary collaborations contributing to horticultural crop production under controlled environments. Her research includes value-added CEA crop production, vegetable grafting, hydroponic strawberry production and CEA LED lighting applications.

Dr. Hernandez will discuss “Using vertical farming/indoor ag to support traditional farming. He is a faculty member in the Department of Horticultural Sciences in the area of horticultural energy at North Carolina State University. He has a B.S. in agronomy–crop consulting from New Mexico State University. His M.S. is in entomology–biological control from Texas A&M University. His PhD. is in plant sciences–plant physiology from the University of Arizona. He has a doctoral minor in entrepreneurship from the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship, Eller School of Business and a minor in ag and biosystems engineering from the University of Arizona.

Dr. Hernandez’s research is focused on making CEA tools and techniques an integral part of sustainable agriculture and horticulture.

 

Event registration, location specifics

Ag Tech Worlds Collide will be held in the York Auditorium of the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh, N.C. Entry to this event is $25 and includes morning coffee service and lunch. Attendance is limited and the event will sell out quickly. Click here to register.

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Voices of Horticulture: Ricardo Hernandez

 

Ricardo’s Journey Illumines Horticulture

El viaje de Ricardo ilumina la horticultura

Ricardo Hernandez’s story is an inspirational journey of immigration, dedication, perseverance, and hard work that continues to shine light on unknown frontiers in horticulture. His story is exceptional.

Ricardo was born in the small town of Valle de Allende, Chihuahua, Mexico (2010 population of 4,185) and grew up in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua. His strong family was supportive of his dreams for higher education and encouraged him to pursue his passion.

Ricardo immigrated to the United States of America in 2005 and began his post-graduate education at New Mexico State University where he earned his B.S. degree in Agriculture. Texas A&M was his next destination where he earned a M.S. degree in Biological Control and Integrated Pest Management. Ricardo then joined Dr. Chieri Kubota’s program at the University of Arizona where he excelled at Plant Physiology and Controlled Environment Agriculture with minors in Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering and Entrepreneurship to become Dr. Ricardo Hernandez. This accomplishment is not an easy thing to do.  


La historia de Ricardo Hernández es un viaje inspirador de inmigración, dedicación, perseverancia y trabajo duro que continúa iluminando las fronteras desconocidas de la horticultura. Su historia es excepcional.

Ricardo nació en el pequeño pueblo de Valle de Allende, Chihuahua, México (población 2010 de 4,185) y creció en Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua. Su fuerte familia apoyó sus sueños de una educación superior y lo animó a perseguir su pasión.

Ricardo emigró a los Estados Unidos de América en 2005 y comenzó su educación de posgrado en la Universidad Estatal de Nuevo México, donde obtuvo su B.S. grado en Agricultura. Texas A & M era su próximo destino donde obtuvo un M.S. Licenciatura en Control Biológico y Manejo Integrado de Plagas. Ricardo luego se unió al programa del Dr. Chieri Kubota en la Universidad de Arizona donde se destacó en Fisiología de Plantas y Agricultura Ambiental Controlada con menores en Agricultura e Ingeniería de Biosistemas y Emprendimiento para convertirse en el Dr. Ricardo Hernández. Este logro no es algo fácil de hacer.



Today, Dr. Ricardo Hernandez is now a U.S. citizen and assistant professor at North Carolina State University, one of the premier horticulture universities in the United States. Ricardo and his wife, Liliana, are teaching their two beautiful children, Samuel and Santiago, the same character traits that have enabled them to become a success in what they do and how they live their lives.

Ricardo’s humble journey is proof of the positive impact of immigration and that hard work and determination will lead to great rewards. We are fortunate that Ricardo took those first steps onto U.S. soil and into our profession.

In this “Voices of Horticulture” segment, Dr. Ricardo Hernandez explains some of his work at North Carolina State University on tomato and cucumber transplant response to light quality.  


Hoy, el Dr. Ricardo Hernández es ahora ciudadano de los Estados Unidos y profesor asistente en la Universidad Estatal de Carolina del Norte, una de las principales universidades de horticultura de los Estados Unidos. Ricardo y su esposa, Liliana, están enseñando a sus dos hermosos hijos, Samuel y Santiago, los mismos rasgos de carácter que les han permitido convertirse en un éxito en lo que hacen y en cómo viven sus vidas.

El viaje humilde de Ricardo es una prueba del impacto positivo de la inmigración y de que el trabajo duro y la determinación llevarán a grandes recompensas. Tenemos la bendición de que Ricardo dio los primeros pasos en el suelo de los Estados Unidos y en nuestra profesión.

En este segmento de “Voces de horticultura”, el Dr. Ricardo Hernández explica parte de su trabajo en la Universidad Estatal de Carolina del Norte sobre la respuesta del trasplante de tomate y pepino a la calidad de la luz.


 

Ricardo’s Sustainable Horticulture Energy
https://hortenergy.cals.ncsu.edu/people/

 

Publications

  1. The Evolution of LEDs http://magazine.greenhousemag.com/article/november-2016/the-evolution-of-leds.aspx
  2. Plant Morphogenesis http://magazine.producegrower.com/article/june-2016/plant-photomorphogenesis.aspx
  3. Far-red and Blue Light Synergistically Mitigate Intumescence Injury of Tomato Plants Grown Under Ultraviolet-deficit Light Environment
  4. Physiological, Morphological, and Energy-use Efficiency Comparisons of LED and HPS Supplemental Lighting for Cucumber Transplant Production

 

LinkedIn
https://www.linkedin.com/in/ricardo-hernández-60540663/

 

Interviewed by Farmer Tyler on UrbanAgNews
http://urbanagnews.com/blog/light-quality-with-farmer-tyler-and-dr-ricardo-hernandez/

 

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Nanobubbler generator delivers dissolved oxygen for improved plant growth

Hort Americas is excited to announce that it has been appointed the exclusive distributor of the Moleaer Inc. nanoBoost Nanobubble Generator. The generator delivers a supplementary source of dissolved oxygen that can significantly increase plant growth, improve size uniformity, reduce stress and prevent root diseases under extreme production conditions. It is ideally suited for horticultural applications including hydroponics, greenhouse irrigation and pond management.

 

Real-world application

Hort Americas installed the 50-gallons-per-minute (GPM) nanoBoost in in its hydroponics demonstration greenhouse in Dallas, Texas, to improve the production of leafy greens and culinary herbs during the summer months when warm summer temperatures make production more difficult.

“Our thought was that if we enhance and maintain higher dissolved oxygen levels, we should be able to improve crop health and ultimately improve yield,” said Chris Higgins, general manager at Hort Americas. “We observed dissolved oxygen levels of 29 parts per million in water temperatures of roughly 90ºF. Not only did we achieve our highest level of dissolved oxygen, but our crop yields increased between 20 and 50 percent.”

 

Improving nutrient uptake and plant transpiration

The self-cleaning nanoBoost Nanobubble generator, which has no moving parts, produces oxygen-enriched nanobubbles that efficiently oxygenate an entire body of water and provides a reserve of oxygen encapsulated within the bubbles.

The generator delivers billions of nanobubbles with 200-times the inter-facial surface area when compared to micro bubbles, making them far superior in transporting valuable oxygen to the plants’ root system. The surface of the nanobubbles is negatively charged, attracting nutrient salts and enhancing nutrient uptake. Nanobubbles also increase the mobility of water molecules, potentially improving plant transpiration.

The generator is available in various flow rates and is fully encased in a durable, NEMA4-rated weather-tolerant PVC shell. The unit is self-cleaning and features plug-and-play installation with no moving parts, thus ensuring long-lasting durability with minimal maintenance. The generator can be configured with an integrated pump or retrofitted with a customer’s existing pump to maximize energy efficiency.