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Grower in the Spotlight


Mucci Farms wins Leamington Business Excellence Award

The Leamington Chamber of Commerce has awarded Mucci Farms with the top honour in the Industrial/Manufacturing Excellence category at the 23rd Annual Business Excellence Awards held at the Leamington Portuguese Club on October 11th, 2017. The award was sponsored by the Windsor Essex Economic Development.....

US (LA): Aquaponics comes to Baton Rouge middle school

Since August, dozens of students at Brookstown Middle School in Baton Rouge have been raising catfish with a plan to use the fish waste as fertilizer to grow lettuce.The school aquaponics lab is the brainchild of ExxonMobil electrical engineer Ronnie Morris, who spent $6,000 of his own money to buy the.....

Australian grower plans to expand lettuce export

If you've ever ordered lettuce on your Subway sandwich, chances are it came from the farms of Story Fresh.The major leafy vegetable grower, owned by Geoffrey and Anne Story, took out the top gong at the Heritage Bank Business Excellence Awards by winning Regional Business of the Year.With properties in.....

Germany: Potential users visit INAPRO demo site

On the 25th of September, a guided tour for potential end-users took place at the INAPRO Waren demonstration site as a follow up event of the seminar organised in November 2016. Two group visits were organised, one in the morning (in English) and one in the afternoon (in German) and a total of 11 people.....

Dutch peppers a hot item on German TV

VIDEO In June, a German film crew from Magnum film visited the greenhouses of Westlandpeppers to film a segment for their new TV show, Vendetta Lametta. Leila and Ines, the show’s two presenters, held a chilli eating contest in the pepper greenhouses of Westlandpeppers. They ate, among other things, a green.....

Charente-Maritime:

French entrepreneur plans 8ha cogen tomato greenhouse

A large 8 hectare greenhouse tomato project is in the pipeline to be realized in Bogneau, a township in theCharente-Maritime department in southwestern France. The project is initiatied by French agricultural entrepreneur Thomas Caron, who wants to replace Spanish tomato imports with locally grown.....

US (OH): Toledo restaurant builds 8,000 sq. ft. urban farm

Toledo-based Balance Pan-Asian Grille, a fast-casual restaurant chain started by two University of Toledo grads, is expanding to downtown Toledo in a revolutionary manner — something that fans of Balance have come to expect of owners Prakash Karamchandani and HoChan Jang.The two men said Thursday that by.....

US: NFU board grants Hawaii Farmers Union a charter

Hawaii Farmers Union United (HFUU) celebrated its seventh year at its annual convention in Wai'anae on Oahu and was granted a charter by the National Farmers Union.The three-day event opened with a welcome from HFUU President Vincent Mina, which was followed by a talk on polyculture of cover crops by Gabe.....

US (CA): Adventure in aquaponics

On a warm Friday afternoon, student volunteers help trim eight different varieties of basil leaves for a study headed by undergraduate Fisheries Biology major Bryan Lester.Lester is studying which strain of basil grows the fastest using this aquaponics facility, he completed his second trial on Friday. The.....

Future of CAP: Where are all the women?

The farmer's wife is a well-known literary trope across many cultures: many of us grew up on variations of the same general image of jolly, flour-covered matriarchs feeding the ravenous mouths of the farmer and his sons working all days in the field.Yet while farming, like many other professions, continues.....

Czech Republic: Tomato producers set up their own sales organization

Tomato producers in the Czech Republic are setting up their own sales organization, called Čerstvě utrženo. The goal of the cooperative is to achieve optimal business conditions for growing fruit and vegetables and consolidating their market position. "The main motivation for the creation of a.....

Dutch police raids greenhouses in heroin investigation

A large heroin production facility has been discovered by Dutch police during a raid in the province of South-Holland. The heroin was produced at an automobile repair shop and several greenhouse companies were involved in the criminal activities. The greenhouses were used for the cultivation of bell peppers.....

US (NJ): Hospital greenhouse grows healthy food for community

Tiny peppers, with leaves waving proudly, may not hold a whole lot of meaning for the average New Jersey backyard gardener. But in the South Ward of Newark, inside less than 2,000 square feet of space, this greenhouse is changing the way of life for a community.“You can’t teach people how to eat if you don’t.....

US: Harvesting local food opportunities

For family farmers, fall is one of the busiest times of the year. While farmers are keeping busy harvesting their fields, food and farm advocates have been occupied with their own bumper crop of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program announcements. In fact, in the past two weeks, USDA awarded.....

Empowering women leaders for a stronger Aussie horticulture industry

Women that are current and emerging leaders in the horticulture industry can now apply for a leadership development scholarship opportunity valued at up to $5,470.Funded by Hort Innovation and Women & Leadership Australia (WLA), the scholarship grants cover up to 60 per cent of the cost of the programs......

Start of Monterosa tomato campaign with an empty market

"Domestic market will be key for Spanish tomatoes in future"

The harvest of Monterosa specialty tomatoes, the summer tomato available in winter, started two weeks ago in Almeria, although volumes are still limited."We have faced many difficulties due to the high temperatures recorded since we planted the tomatoes in July, with an excessive drop of flowers. Because of.....

NL: First basil harvest from new hydroponic greenhouse

The harvest of the first basil in the new Kruidenaer greenhouse has been realised. After working on the construction for almost a year, the time is finally here.The Kruidenaer works on 25 hectares with 1 hectare of tunnel greenhouse and now 5 hectares of glass. On December 19 2016 the construction of this.....

John Hoogeboom reflects on his longstanding career:

"Pace of innovation in horticulture is phenomenal"

If there is one man that has witnessed the evolution of greenhouse technology and equipment from the front row, it must be John Hoogeboom. The Dutchman was at the base of introducing new technologies in the United States. At the age of 75 he hopes to retire soon, but not before he shares his story with us......

Australia: NT Farmers resumes AUSVEG membership

NT Farmers has resumed its membership of AUSVEG, with the national vegetable industry representative body eager to work with growers in the Northern Territory to capitalise on the industry’s massive potential for growth.Michael Quach, one of the territory’s leading mango, tomato and cucumber growers, is NT.....

UK grower attempting to grow the world's largest cabbage

A giant vegetable grower has got his sights set on the record for the heaviest green cabbage ever grown.David Thomas from Cornwall already holds three world records for other giant vegetables, but the heaviest green cabbage has eluded him.The current giant cabbage record holder was grown in Alaska in 2012.He.....

"Respecting the environment is key to succeed on Northern European markets"

"We started with organic techniques in the years when fruit cultivation was based on intensive traditional techniques, which were easier and more profitable. Our choice was the right one, as we managed to find our own share of the market," explains Elisa Lauria, quality manager of Soc. Coop......

UK: New panel members sought to help steer horticultural industry

AHDB Horticulture is currently seeking applications from growers to join their crop sector panels for a three-year term from January 2018.There are 15 vacancies across five sector panels, with a range of areas of expertise being sought.Sector panel members play a crucial role in assessing and planning.....

US (SD): Global Aquaponics still seeking cash for stalled project

An investor in the Global Aquaponics fish farm near Brookings says he has been assured by the project’s backers that they are continuing to solicit investors for the project.Jerry Gross, a Sioux Falls accountant, said he was recently told by Tobias Ritesman, the CEO and chairman of Ritesman Enterprises, that.....

US (CA): Vacant greenhouses snapped up in cannabis land boom

To weaken one mind-altering leaf crop 4,000 miles away, the feds inadvertently crushed California’s cut-flower crop, setting the stage for another mind-altering leaf crop to flourish decades later.A preferential trade agreement with four South American countries signed in 1991 — part of the War on Drugs — is.....

Maarten Zwaan passes away

Maarten Zwaan passed away on Monday 18 September at the age of 82. Maarten was on the Board of Directors at Rijk Zwaan from 1988 to 2000 and was co-shareholder of the company.Maarten had been seriously ill for some time, but he continued to dedicate himself to the company, and in particular to its employees,.....

1.5 meters luffa brings significant profit

A farmer from Xinjiezizhen, a place near Hanzhong, Shaanxi province, has a luffa plantation of about 6 ha. His luffas are pretty unusual, they can reach 1.5 meters in length! In general, all of his luffas are about one meter or longer. This luffa is not for food. When it gets old and dry, it is used for.....

Dutch grower boosts tomato yield in LED trial

Plessey announces the results from a trial of its LED grow lights combined with existing high-pressure sodium (HPS) lighting in a hybrid installation with a leading tomato grower in the Netherlands.The seven-month trial, managed by Maarten Klein, Plessey’s Head Agronomist, has been running since the end of.....

Mars farmers come home again

Six NASA-backed research subjects who have been cooped up in a Mars-like habitat on a remote Hawaii volcano since January emerged from isolation Sunday. They devoured fresh-picked tropical fruits and fluffy egg strata after eating mostly freeze-dried food while in isolation and some vegetables they grew.....

Smart Yookr sensor network speeds up start of new operation

Dutch nursery Grenspaal is a leading company in the innovation of greenhouse horticulture. In August 2016, Maurice Kassenbouw started the construction of a new high tech greenhouse, which was completed in December 2016. Before the greenhouse was handed over, Maurice Kassenbouw and Kwekerij Grenspaal.....

Village Farms listed as one of British Colombia's fastest growing companies

Business in Vancouver has recognised Village Farms as one of the fastest growing companies in British Columbia for 2017. The list is compiled by Business in Vancouver, a weekly business news journal which ranks companies based on outstanding growth over the last five years.Business in Vancouver’s annual list.....

Canada: Red Sun Farms makes Profit 500 list

Celebrating its 29th anniversary in 2017, the PROFIT 500 is a ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies by five-year revenue growth. This year Red Sun Farms has made the list. It profiles the country’s most successful growth companies through joint venture between Canada’s premier business and current.....

NatureFresh Farms

HPS lighting allows for Ohio grown tomatoes in fall, winter & spring

While most greenhouse tomato growers in the Northeast are nearing the end of a growing season, NatureFresh Farms in Delta, OH, is just getting started. With an abundance of off-peak power available from the grid, NatureFresh is using High Pressure Sodium (HPS) lighting to supplement its growing.....

China: Dutch grower takes on new challenge at Beijing Hongfu

In February this year Dutch greenhouse grower Henk Gerichhausen set foot on Chinese land for the first time to visit the brand new 5 hectare greenhouse operation of Beijing Hongfu International AgricultureLtd.. He took on the challenging position as Head Grower. "You should not expect to reach Dutch.....

Crop diversification helps ensure Westland Orchids and Westland Produce stay profitable

As the U.S. market for ornamental and food crops continues to evolve, Westland Orchids and Westland Produce are looking for products that consumers are willing to pay for and are profitable. They were featured in issue 12 of Urban Ag News. When Jerry Van Wingerden started growing greenhouse cut flowers at.....

CAN (BC): Strawberry fundraiser pushes farm’s total to over $14,000

Joanne and Kevin, and daughter Katie Leek presented Reach Child and Youth Development Society executive director Renie D’Aquila and development manager Kristin Bibbs with a cheque for $3,552 from this year’s Canada Day Strawberry Fundraiser.Since 2014, Emma Lea Farms has contributed $14,584 to Reach’s.....

US (MA): MMCRU Middle School almost at $40,000 greenhouse goal

Jared Ehrp of Remsen Farmers Coop stopped by the MMCRU Middle School seventh grade Exploratory Ag class on Friday, September 8 to present the $3,000 donation that the MMCRU FFA was receiving for their greenhouse, which will be located in Marcus. Remsen Farmers Coop donated $1,000 for the greenhouse and two other businesses, Land O’ Lakes and CoBank, matched that donation for a total of a $3,000 donation to the greenhouse. Sam Schroeder, the MMCRU Exploratory Ag teacher and MMCRU FFA teacher stated, “We are almost to our goal of $40,000 for our greenhouse! It is so great to have our community recognize the need for students in school to learn more plant science and crop management practices.” 


Vietnamese farmer learns trick of trade in Israel

When he saw local residents destroy a forest to reclaim land for cultivation, 24-year-old Giang A Day became very upset “I always wondered how to change the way they did farming and how to cultivate in areas short of water,” he said. In September 2015 Day was a final-year student at Tay Bac University when.....

NatureSweet CEO to address students, business professionals at Texas university

Bryant Ambelang – president and CEO of NatureSweet Brands LTD, the world’s largest greenhouse producer of tomatoes – will be the Forum on Entrepreneurship Breakfast Series keynote speaker Thursday, Sept. 28.The event, hosted by the Meadows Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at St. Mary’s University, will be.....

Netherlands: Landspout destroys Westland greenhouses

While you can not compare it with the hazardous situations as a result of the hurricanes at the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, some Dutch residents were pretty surprised when a severe landspout hit the Westland region yesterday afternoon. Aside from a lot of damage to houses and vehicles, about 20.....

US (MA): Serial tomato thief strikes again

A serial tomato thief has stolen hundreds of pounds of the crop from a local farm over three annual Labor Day weekend trips, farm workers told Boston 25 News.After the first theft, in which approximately 300 pounds of tomatoes were stolen, the Waltham Fields Community Farm installed a surveillance system.The.....

CAN(ON): Del Fresco Pure expands berry production with 10 acres

Tapping into consumers’ increasing interest in locally grown food, Kingsville, Ont.-based Del Fresco Pure is expanding its greenhouse strawberry production by 10 acres. “We’ll be in full production by November,” says Del Fresco Pure’s Ray Mastronardi. “The local demand for the greenhouse berries is strong......

US: Farmers’ Guide helps growers navigate value-added grant program

Following months of consternation by farmers and advocacy groups alike, on Monday, August 28, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) finally announced its fiscal year (FY) 2017 Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA) for the Value-Added Producer Grant Program (VAPG). As one of the key organizations.....

by Ed Attanasio

US (CA): Oceanside Unified School District gets into greenhouse growing

Director of Community Engagement and Innovation Vicki Gravlin works for the Oceanside Unified School District that oversees 23 schools. She is in her 27th year as a teacher and administrator and a former principal of Palmquist Elementary.by Ed AttanasioGravlin has played a pivotal role in getting the school.....

US (ME): Lisbon farm raises money for aquaponics facility

A farm in Lisbon that grows lettuce indoors year-round using aquaponics has raised one-third of the total $1.6 million in equity funding it is seeking.Springworks Farm Maine Inc., started three years ago by Bowdoin College student Trevor Kenkel, 22, raised $535,838, according to a U.S. Securities and.....

First LED-lit snack cucumbers grown by Dutch nursery

Last week, the LED lighting in the greenhouse at Kwekerij Verhoeven was switched on. For owner Ad Verhoeven, this signifies a huge step for his company. LED lamps were installed above a snack cucumber growing area of 2 hectares. The LED lighting enables Verhoeven to sustainably grow snack cucumbers.....

Application open for companies to participate in AgLaunch365

AgLaunch announces applications are open for its latest initiative AgLaunch365, which combines its accelerator program with its network of innovative farmers in a flexible wrap-around model that revolves around the agricultural production cycle.AgLaunch365 will operate in three phases, allowing startups to.....

US: Urban food from supermarket rooftops to a storied ball park

Since its inception in 2008, Green City Growers (GCG), a Certified B Corporation that installs and maintains vegetable gardens and farms within the greater Boston area, has assisted in the production of more than 175,000 pounds of organic produce, donated more than 12,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables, and.....

Available September through May

Mexico: Divemex picks first crop from Ahualulco expansion

Divemex, a Mexican greenhouse vegetable grower, has just harvested its first peppers from a recently opened greenhouse in Ahualulco. "While many growers have expanded into new regions to expand and extend their offerings, we have opened a new greenhouse," says Luis de Saracho, CEO of Guadalajara.....

Dutch eggplant grower switches to Multigrow Premium:

"Slab is keeping up with tough times"

During this season, Dutch eggplant nursery Jansen from Etten-Leur is cultivating on the 10 centimeter high Multigrow Premium slabs for the first time. "Last season we did a test on the brown slabs from Multigrow," grower Hans explained He is one of two brothers who run the family business. "One week after.....

Upgrades for El Oasis:

Despite political tension, Mexico continues to grow

Mexican young plant nursery El Oasis has invested in new technology to upscale and maximize its efficiency.Located in Tunas Blacas near the greenhouse horticulture hub of Queretaro, El Oasis is one of the more advanced nurseries in the Mexican greenhouse industry. The company is specialized in vegetable.....

Canada: Waste heat fuels growth at Truly Green

The heat is on at the greenhouses of Chatham based Truly Green. Yesterday, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada announced that is has invested $3.7 million for both tomato grower Truly Green and ethanol producer Greenfield to “collaboratively reduce their environmental footprint, while making their operations.....

Vietnam: Lam Dong farmers go high tech

The Central Highlands Province of Lam Dong is leading the country in high-tech agriculture. It grows crops on nearly 50,000ha under hi-tech agricultural methods. This amounts to 18 per cent of the province’s land under production.According to the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development,.....

Australia: Mining juggernaut expands into horticulture

The man known for making his fortune in Western Australia through iron ore, Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest, has turned his attention to fruit and vegetables.He has announced plans to use centre-pivot irrigation to grow melons, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and onions on land where he grew up, at Minderoo Station, about.....

Photo report: International Strawberry Congress

PHOTO REPORT The International Strawberry Congress was held on the 6, 7 and 8th of September in Antwerp. "Hoogstraten can look back on a very successful third edition of the congress held last week. We are very satisfied with the positive feedback we got from those who attended. Again, it seems the mix of science and.....

MightyVine's Gary Lazarski blogs on Business News Daily

In a piece for Business News Daily, Gary Lazarski, CEO of MightyVine, talks about the company's mission:"MightyVine was founded on the simple belief that the best tomatoes are grown closest to home. Our goal is to emulate the feeling someone has when growing their own tomatoes in the summer in their garden –.....

Sunny skies for Mexican eggplant growers this year

Growers of eggplants in Mexico are enjoying a good season this year. Rain and cloudy skies are the only factors preventing product from reaching the market at the moment. Mexico has had an active tropical storm season, which has created difficult conditions for harvesting. But those producers in a position.....

A closer look at Nature Fresh: energy management

NatureFresh's greenhouse operation uses technology to manage energy usage and environmental responsibility. They deal with wood combustion, Carbon Dioxide (CO2) reactions, water reclamation/treatment, and electricity management every day to make sure they're using resources in the most efficient way.Read all.....

CAN (ON): Indoor farm thrives inside Toronto industrial unit

Jonah Krochmalnek is a 26-year-old farmer. He pulls up to work every day ready to plant, tend and harvest a variety of organic greens and herbs.He produces loads, too. In a given year — he doesn’t have to worry about seasons on his farm — Krochmalnek estimates he could grow 16,000 kilograms of pea shoots, if.....

Azrom introduces Remote Consultation Center:

Thanks to WeChat, you can run a profitable greenhouse without any knowledge

Building a sophisticated greenhouse project with the latest technology advancements is one thing. But in order to grow a quality yielding crop inside and turn it into a profitable business-model requires a lot more knowledge, dedication and experience than often anticipated.This was reason for Israeli.....

US (MI): "Indoor vertical could invigorate Grand Rapids"

Brian Harris is not a traditional farmer. But neither is the tender kale, spicy arugula and crispy pak choi he raises inside of a converted freight container on the edge of downtown.Harris, who sold his steel company a couple of years ago, had little experience in farming or gardening before he created Green.....

Vietnam: Hi-tech farms offer a vision of the future

Many hi-tech agricultural projects have been launched across Vietnam, most involving technology transfer from more advanced economies looking to tap demand generated by higher living standards.A notable one among these is implemented by VinEco Agricultural Investment, Development and Productions LLC......

Australia: Cattle farmers turned successful hydroponics business owners

Overseas trips, golf, and fishing were all on the bucket list for Bob and Gayle Glogoski when they retired from beef farming.“Cattle had been hard going for a few years and we just wanted time for us,” Gayle says. “After working seven days a week on the farm we needed a holiday.”So in 2014 the couple moved.....

New lights for Dutch grower Royal Pride

"Lower failure rate, better quality and lifetime"

Dutch grower Royal Pride from Middenmeer is going to expand the test with 1000 Watt electronics from Aruna Holland replacing the old circuit boards. With this step, the replacement at Royal Pride by Aruna last year, 9,000 units of high pressure sodium lamps, gets a follow up. With the introduction of an.....

Italy: New vegetable campaign to start soon

Everything is being set out to prepare the next campaign. We asked some of our readers for an assessment of the past few months.It emerged that the vegetable season cannot be considered positive thus far, as winter was characterised by frost and low yields due to the cold temperatures, while spring and.....

SuprimAir greenhouse for French tomato grower

In southern France, about 30 kilometers from Avignon, Certhon has started building a SuprimAir greenhouse for Poumo D'amour. This two hectare project will be used for the cultivation of tomatoes.Because of high temperatures in the summer, the biggest challenge for the company of tomato producer Hubert.....

Divemex ships first organic peppers from new facility

The first pick from Mexican greenhouse grower Divemex's new 100% organic facility in Ahaualulco is on its way, Oppy reports.Back in 1992, the first hydroponic tomatoes and bell peppers were grown in Mexico by De Saracho Greenhouses, in a time when this type of growing technique wasn't as popular as it is.....

Double Diamond Farms delivers fresh produce to Houston Food Bank

Leamington, ON based Double Diamond Farms announced that it will donate a truckload of fresh produce to the Houston Food Bank to support those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The Houston Food Bank is a critical organization for collecting and distributing food in the area.“The work that the Houston Food Bank.....

Irma to hit Puerto Rico today

Produce industry prepares for Hurricane Irma

It has been a tense week for the Caribbean islands and the SE coast of the US this last week as they brace for Hurricane Irma, hailed as being one of the most dangerous tropical storm ever to hit the Atlantic.According to the most recent reports from the US National Hurricane Center, as of 6 am EST (12pm.....

Celebrating Canada’s 150

Mastronardi Produce Featured in National “We Are The Best”

As Canada celebrates its 150th, the Government of Canada is shining a national spotlight on Canadian industry leaders that have dominated their fields internationally. The WE ARE THE BEST series, supported by the government, selected Mastronardi Produce, to showcase the booming greenhouse business in which.....

US (CA): Student Farm at UC Davis hires Katharina Ullmann as new Director

The Student Farm at UC Davis is excited to welcome Katharina Ullmann as the new Student Farm Director. Ullmann’s rich 13-year background in sustainable agriculture research and experiential education will provide excellent leadership for the farm’s 20 acres of organic vegetable, fruit, and flower production,.....

Vietnam: Agrotourism gains popularity in Da Lat

Due to demand for safe vegetable sources, farmers in Da Lat in recent years have turned to organic farming and hydroponics.High-tech green products were originally meant to be sold in local markets and other distribution channels, but most of them are now sold directly to visitors at farms, Le Quoc Dung, a.....