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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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Online fertilizer training course from University of Florida begins on July 18

University of Florida Nutrient Management Course

University of Florida Nutrient Management CourseThe online course “Nutrient Management (Level 1)/Manejo de Nutrientes (Nivel 1)” offered by University of Florida IFAS Extension (UF) helps growers make better crop management decisions. This course is designed for US and international growers that have practical experience or entry university level, and are in production, technical or sales roles. The course is offered in English and Spanish. Topics covered include common nutrient problems, essential nutrients, fertilizer types and how to interpret a fertilizer label, managing total nutrient level, pH and EC and onsite testing, and growing media.


The course runs for 4 weeks, from July 18 to August 12, 2016. Cost is $US200 per participant, and includes a personalized certificate of completion. Each week there are two streaming video lessons, readings and assignments (about 3-4 hours total commitment per week), which can be accessed at any time of day. Bilingual PhD instructors can be accessed via text chat and discussion features. Click here to register.

Other courses are available on advanced crop nutrition, weeds, diseases, and greenhouse management. For more information, go to, or contact

PDF: Nutrient Management Central


University of Florida

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Hort Americas and Bright Agro Tech partner for a free webinar on picking substrates for hydroponics

Choosing a Hydroponic Substrate: Tips From the Pros


Hort Americas has partnered with Upstart Farmers – Bright Agrotech to offer a free webinar on choosing a hydroponic substrate!

Knowing what your hydroponic system needs can be hard. To help you out, Dr. Nate from Bright Agrotech, Chris Higgins, and Tyler Baras from HortAmericas lent their experience and knowledge in choosing a hydroponic substrate.


Hydroponic medium/substrate selection is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a grower. Substrate selection effects germination, growth rates, and operation costs. Each substrate option has unique benefits and limitations.

We’re joined by the experts at Hort Americas to dive deep into these considerations so that you can make an informed decision about your growing medium.

Some of the factors to consider when choosing a hydroponic substrate are cost, ease of use, compatibility with hydroponic system, accessibility, water retention, and sustainability.

In this webinar, you’ll learn about:
-Moisture Retention (particle size, shape, porosity)
-Adjusting Irrigation for Specific Substrates
-Cultural Practices (substrate preparation, germination conditions, crop size/staging)
-Comparison of Common Hydroponic Substrates


To register for the event, click here!


Click to read Bright Agrotech’s article of why substrate selection is important.


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Webinar on “Managing Nutrient Solutions for Hydroponic Leafy Greens and Herbs”

If you missed the e-GRO webinar “Managing Nutrient Solutions for Hydroponic Leafy Greens and Herbs” on Jan. 22, 2016, which was sponsored by Hort Americas, you can still view the webinar on YouTube.

Hydroponic greens and herbs are produced in systems with recirculating nutrient solutions. In order to maintain productive and quality crops, it is important to know how to properly maintain the nutrient solutions. Dr. Chris Currey at Iowa State University and Dr. Neil Mattson at Cornell University discuss strategies for managing pH and EC, formulating nutrient solutions and identifying common nutrient disorders.

Part 1: Common production systems, pH and EC management

Presented by Dr. Chris Currey, Iowa State University


Part 2: Nutrient solution recipes, common nutrient disorders

Present by Dr. Neil Mattson, Cornell University