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
The use of supplemental light to control downy mildew on food and ornamental crops could be integrated into current disease management practices.
Downy mildew is a major disease on both ornamental and food crops. Whether these crops are grown outdoors or in a controlled environment, environmental conditions, generally cool to moderate temperatures and high humidity, are favorable to downy mildew development. Warm temperatures and high humidity are conducive to powdery mildew development.
Continue reading Controlling basil downy mildew might be as simple as turning on a light
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
Growers of ornamental and edible crops can use the 30MHz platform to capture and manage real-time data on crops and environments.
From cultivation to harvest, packing, processing and shipping, agri- and horticulture faces challenges that can be avoided with environmental and crop-level data. Real-time monitoring with wireless sensor technology empowers agribusinesses to look back on their crops’ history and current status, quickly respond to prevent a range of risks including disease, rot and sunscald and take proactive measures to ensure the highest quality, best flavor and most efficient use of resources. Developed with input from leading growers, the smart sensing solution offered by Dutch-founded agritechnology provider 30MHz makes it easy for growers to deploy wireless sensors and start capture the metrics most crucial to their operations in minutes, without technical expertise.
Continue reading Smart sensing tech makes it simple for growers to optimize crop production, farm to fork
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
The LED light recipes that NASA scientists are developing on Earth could eventually be used by astronauts in space and growers on the ground to optimize the production of food crops.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has been growing plants in space for research since the early 1980s. Within the last five years, NASA has been focusing on growing plants in space primarily for food production and as an astronaut life support system.
Continue reading NASA developing LED light recipes that astronauts and growers can use
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
Incorporating air or oxygen into irrigation water using nanobubbles can improve crop yields and reduce susceptibility to disease pathogens.
What started out as a way of making wastewater treatment systems more efficient with oxygen enrichment has expanded to how nanobubble aeration technology can improve production of agricultural crops. Moleaer Inc. in Torrance, Calif., filed a patent on nanobubble aeration technology in 2016 with the intention of using it as a way to deliver gas in a number of different applications.
Continue reading Are you looking for an economical, effective way to incorporate dissolved oxygen into your irrigation water?
When choosing horticultural lighting, growers need to consider lighting efficiency and how the lighting will be used.
There is a big difference between lighting efficiency for horticulture and lighting efficiency for consumer use. The difference is in who is receiving the light.
Continue reading What’s the best way to compare lighting efficiency?
Whether growers are producing vegetables, ornamentals or other hydroponic crops, Hort Americas is working to provide its customers with the products and knowledge they need to be successful.
When Hort Americas in Bedford, Texas, started operating as a wholesale horticulture distributor in March 2009, the company had no existing customer base.
Continue reading Hort Americas looks to be a connector of products and knowledge for the horticulture industry
Increasing the oxygen level in the root zone can ensure healthy root growth and can impact crop yields.
Low oxygen levels in the growing substrate can play havoc with the health of both vegetable and ornamental plants. Shalin Khosla, greenhouse vegetable specialist at Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs in Harrow, Ontario, said a substrate oxygen level below 5 parts per million can have a negative effect on plant growth.
Continue reading What are the benefits of maintaining the optimum substrate oxygen level?
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
These little chefs are making a big difference.
Hort Americas is excited to see our GrowRacks being put to such good use. We are proud to have community partners like the Green Bronx Machine.
Continue reading Green Bronx Machine making a difference in young students
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.
Moon Farming with Gene Giacomelli
by Steve Millett
Dr. Gene Giacomelli has a dream to grow veggies on the moon. Gene has dedicated his research at the Controlled Environment Agriculture Center (CEAC) at the University of Arizona in Tucson to designing a lunar greenhouse that will enable astronauts to grow food in outer space. As a student of the UofA’s Greenhouse Tomato workshop I was given the opportunity to visit Gene’s Lunar Greenhouse. Walking into the room and first seeing the Lunar Greenhouse gave me goosebumps. Being that close to something that important to the future of space exploration gave me an adrenaline rush of inspiration. Gene’s work and the work of others at NASA and around the US will enable us one day to live on another planet. Thanks to Gene we are one step closer to that dream.
Continue reading Voices of Horticulture: Gene Giacomelli
Sudlac shading products give greenhouse growers of flowers and vegetables the ability to increase and extend production during periods of warm temperatures and high light levels.
High temperatures and high light levels, especially during the summer can have negative effects on ornamental and vegetable crops produced in protected structures, including greenhouses. An economical way for growers to reduce light and temperature levels is by applying shading products to greenhouse glazing materials.
Continue reading What are the benefits of applying greenhouse shading products?
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.”