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October 2015 Newsletter


Hort Americas Corporate Newsletter  |  October 2015



Growers can reduce the chance of disease infestation on greenhouse vegetable crops by incorporating a strict sanitation program and minimizing plant exposure to moisture.

Producers of greenhouse food crops can’t be sloppy growers

Sanitation and moisture management are key factors in controlling diseases on greenhouse food crops, said Michigan State University plant pathologist Mary Hausbeck.

“Preventing greenhouse diseases starts with sanitation,” she said. “I can walk into a greenhouse head house and predict how many disease problems I’m going to find just by what I see in the head house area. Is it clean? Is it neat and orderly? Sanitation is a mindset. It either carries through from the head house to the growing areas or it doesn’t.”

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Energy-efficient TLED lamps replace fluorescent lights

Philips’ GreenPower TLED InstantFit is an effective and efficient alternative to traditional fluorescent lamps, delivering energy savings up to 45 percent compared to fluorescent lighting. Available from Hort Americas, GreenPower TLEDs are available in two different light recipes: deep red/white and deep red/white/far red.

GreenPower TLED InstantFit lamps are compatible with Instant Start Ballasts. GreenPower TLEDs allow growers to make direct replacement of existing T8 fluorescents with instant-start ballasts.

Since LEDs produce less heat than conventional lamps, cooling costs are reduced with GreenPower TLEDs. Less heat radiation allows growers to light closer to the plants, giving them the option of producing more layers on the same surface area. GreenPower TLEDs are a reliable and safe solution for tissue culture growers requiring light levels of up to 100 μmol in relatively low-humidity environments.

The 14.5-watt GreenPower TLED has a 25,000 hour lifetime reducing the need to replace bulbs as often.

USDA awards $113 million to support specialty crop opportunities

USDA has awarded more than $113 million in program grants to support producers of vegetable, nursery, fruit and tree nut crops through research, agricultural extension activities and programs to increase demand and address the needs of the U.S. specialty crop industry.

This program is part of a USDA-wide effort supporting President Obama’s commitment to strengthening local and regional food systems. The grants are administered by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service and USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

“Increasing market opportunities for local food producers is a sound investment in America’s rural economies, while also increasing access to healthy food for our nation’s families,” said USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. “These investments will support local and regional markets, and improve access to healthy food for millions of children and supply thousands of farmers markets, restaurants and other businesses with fresh, high-quality fruits and vegetables. The grants also help growers solve technology needs or make better informed decisions on profitability and sustainability, leading to stronger rural American communities and businesses.”

The Tour de Fresh 2015 was an intense ride, successful at putting salad bars in schools

After four days of intense and strenuous riding through the Blue Ridge Mountains all the way to Atlanta, Ga., the Tour de Fresh is complete. As a result of the ride, many public schools across the country will have fresh salad bars installed in their cafeterias.

Thank you for your support and donations. A special thanks to Village Farms,Riococo,Houweling’s Tomatoes,Grodan, Age Old Organics, for their sponsorship of Hort Americas’ rider Chris Higgins, General Manager. All of our efforts will directly benefit the Earl Nance Sr. Elementary School in the St. Louis Public School system.

Click to learn more about the Univ. of Arizona Short Course