By Karla García
Strawberries (Fragaria × ananassaDuch.) are an important crop grown in the U.S. with a market value of more than $2.2 billion dollars, producing 1.12 million tons of strawberries in 2019. Most production of strawberries in the U.S. is done in open fields. In the U.S., year-round production is achieved by shifting production between regions across California and Florida. Recently U.S. growers are confronting challenges in open field production. In California, where more than 90% of the total strawberry production is done, annual acreage for strawberries is getting lower due to prolonged drought periods in the field; also, dry weather is increasing pests, making it challenging to manage and control diseases (Green, 2014). Another challenge of U.S. production is the emergence of strong competitors in the strawberry market, Mexico and China.Continue reading The Advantages of CEA in Strawberry Production
When asking: “How can a system with a controlled environment help improve crop performance?”, the answer is easy… The more you analyze data and control CEA variables inside of your system, the better your crop will perform.Continue reading How controlled environment agriculture can help improve crop performance
Light Conversions in the Greenhouse
When working inside a growing system such as a greenhouse or a plant factory system we must have enough knowledge about light management. When we understand light we can make smart decisions to promote the best environmental conditions to promote growth, development and yield in our crops.Continue reading How to calculate the light a crop is receiving in the greenhouse
Greenhouse production of hydroponic tomatoes is increasing worldwide every year. The reason? All the advantages provided by these growing systems! The principal advantages of hydroponic controlled environment agriculture (CEA) include high-density maximum crop yield, year-round production, more efficient use of water and fertilizers, consistent crop quality, minimal use of land area, and suitability for mechanization, disease and pest control.Continue reading Free Download: The Guide for Growing Tomatoes
Commercial production of leafy greens is getting more and more competitive every year. Therefore, it is important to seek the best options in order to compete in this market. Production of leafy greens inside greenhouses and plant factory systems are great options to produce high marketable products. Why? There is one specific reason why customers will choose your product… Quality!Continue reading Free Download: The Guide for Growing Leafy Greens
We invite you to read the following study conducted by Wageningen University, one of the most complete we have seen over the years for energy usage.Continue reading Wageningen University publishes energy usage research
A new YouTube video (https://youtu.be/lkSiSmDwIqw) by Dr. Paul Fisher from the University of Florida IFAS Extension describes how to sample, interpret, and solve chemical issues for water used to irrigate greenhouses and nurseries. Dr. Fisher introduces the free online WaterQual tool at cleanwater3.org to interpret your water quality analysis.Continue reading New video on interpreting your irrigation water quality
By Karla Garcia
Potassium is recognized as a nutrient required to keep good quality in our plants and fruits. This nutrient has a huge impact on many plant processes due to its function as enzyme activator. Also, potassium has a strong role in stomata opening and closure due to its function as an osmotic regulator. Continue reading Function and Management of Potassium in Hydroponics
Before you dive into hydroponics one of the first things you should do is have your water source analyzed by a reputable lab. The water can be municipal, from a well or other source depending on your location. A quick internet search can be done to find a testing facility near you. They will provide you instructions for sending in your samples and tell you their cost for an analysis which normally ranges between $35-$55. If you are buying property, a water test can also help you decide if the property will work for your intentions, just like a farmer might get a soil test before buying farmland. Knowing if a water treatment system is needed before you get started can end up saving your crop and a lot of trouble in the long run especially in a closed or recirculating system.Continue reading How does testing your water save you money?
Microgreens can be a great option when selecting a product to start a small business or to expand your current market. Why? Microgreens are relatively easy to grow in comparison to other crops and cycles are very short. Therefore, you can quickly learn and improve your production technique, correct mistakes and become a good microgreens producer.Continue reading Microgreens Production
Lamp selection when speaking about plant production in the horticulture or floriculture field is a very important decision. Lamps can be a good investment when we ask ourselves the correct questions. When working with artificial lighting we first need to analyze the requirements of our growing system and our crop.Continue reading What do you need to know before purchasing a lamp for horticultural lighting?
In horticulture there are always challenges when growing a crop. One of the most common challenges faced by growers is the risk of pest incidence on their crop. But, how can we prevent pests? How can we control an infected crop?
Continue reading Mastering Crop Protection: Integrated Pest Management Strategies for CEA
By Karla Garcia and Deidre Hughes
Root zone environment is directly related to our crop growth, development and health. Therefore it is very important to understand what is going on underneath our plants. Continue reading Mastering Rootzone Environment
All crops have specific light requirements. By knowing minimum and optimum levels of light for our crop we can manage our environment to improve crop performance. When the ambient light exposure is below the minimum requirements we need to apply supplemental lighting in order to maintain our crop production at a healthy and consistent pace.Continue reading Mastering Light Management: Optimizing Crop Performance
The “Hardest to Grow” Plant in the World
Wasabi Japonica is widely accredited as the “hardest to grow” plant in the world. The plants are native to Japan and require a very specific set of environmental conditions to successfully produce healthy plants.Continue reading Wasabi Japonica Grown Under GE LED Grow Lights
By Karla García, Hort Americas Technical Services
All people in sports business know how important is to maintain turf grass of sports fields in perfect shape. To achieve this, different products are applied in order to provide all the nutrients and protection to turf grass. However, maybe we are missing a very important aspect.Continue reading How to get perfect turf grass for your sports field with the best lighting technologies
We all know light is one of the most important factors affecting plant growth and development. But, how can we know if the use of artificial lighting will improve our production and our income? And how can we select the best source of light?Continue reading When should I invest in artificial lighting? How do I select the best lighting options?
By Karla Garcia, Hort Americas Technical Services
A greenhouse is a structure used to protect our crop and extend our production window. Once we decide to invest in a greenhouse structure we must think in ways to obtain the maximum benefit from it. There are plenty of options for greenhouse covers. But as a grower, what should I be looking for? Photosynthesis is the main process related to crop yield. Therefore we should always be looking to optimize our greenhouse environment to promote photosynthesis.Continue reading How do I protect my crop from direct sunlight and heat?
By Karla Garcia, Hort Americas Technical Services
Plant nutrition is a key factor in growth and yield. But how can we know which nutrient is missing? Or which is the best fertilizer for our crop?
In learning about plant nutrition, we first need to know there are nutrients required in greater quantities than others. The nutrients that are essential for plant growth are called “macronutrients”. The rest of the nutrients also essential for plant growth but in lower quantities are called “micronutrients”.Continue reading The importance of knowing basics of plant nutrition
By Karla Garcia, Technical Service
The development of new lighting technologies such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs) can increase the capability to provide ideal light conditions to crops. This makes it possible to improve crop performance and product quality.Continue reading How to improve controlled environment crop production with LED lighting