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Happy Holidays!

Looking Back: 2014 in 120 articles

Dear readers, we are taking a few days off to enjoy the holidays with our families. We are looking back at an exiting year that was full of remarkable news. If you have some time off, please enjoy your time with your familiy and friends.

Perhaps you can also enjoy a warm drink at a fireplace, and read this complete year overview with all of the most noteworthy articles of 2014 ;-)

We will be back on Monday January 5 with our daily newsletters!

Happy Holidays,

The team of Hortidaily.com,

Boy, Annet & Elita


2 January 2014: LEDs were a trending topic in 2014; CambridgeHOK successfully completed the first top lighting and interlighting installation for Melrow Salads hosted by Flavourfresh at their Lansdale Nurseries. The combination of Philips' new top lighting LED module together with the already proven interlighting module was combined for the first time in a commercial installation.


6 January 2014: Riococo coir hydroponics saved a Mexican family greenhouse: Soluciones en Horticultura, a grape tomato producer in Celaya, Guanajuato was experiencing many problems with nematodes in their soil. Grower Guadalupe Salinas was about to throw in the towel and close his entire greenhouse operation. "We never thought about growing on hydroponics, because it seemed to be too expensive and way too complicated, but after all it is the best decision we have made by far."


6 January 2014: January 3rd 2014 is a day that some greenhouse growers in the Netherlands will never forget. On this day, a heavy wind storm damaged nurseries and greenhouses in Huissen, the Netherlands. As a result of this wind storm, a Dutch greenhouse grower Albert Beijer lost an entire greenhouse complex. His plant nursery couldn't handle the heavy wind on that afternoon and collapsed. The total damage to the horticultural area of Huissen is estimated to be million of Euro.


10 January 2014: A tomato grower that is solely focused on flavour?! In the competitive world of commercially grown vegetable production, it’s unusual to find a grower solely focused on creating the best flavour in their crop, without them being preoccupied with increasing production year on year. But flavour is exactly what motivates Walter Ross, owner of Farmhouse Tomatoes, Inc, based in Palm Beach County, Florida.


10 January 2014: This year has been a sad year for the Dutch rose sector. In January, the first Dutch rose grower Saris filed bankruptcy. The 4.8 hectare Dutch rose grower Saris in Venlo is bankrupt. The nursery employed 26 workers and 33 part time workers. Bad pricing and high costs were the reason for the bankruptcy. Also increased competition with rose growers in Ethiopia and Kenya appeared to be detrimental.


13 January 2014: Emerald Coast Growers founders and long-term industry members Dave and Wyona Babikow have officially retired from the business as of December 2013. “He turned his passion into a thriving business of grasses and perennials,” says son Paul D. Babikow. Paul now owns the company together with daughter-in-law Maureen Babikow and siblings; Mark Babikow, Cheri Markowitz, Bonnie Mietling and brother-in-law Albert Mueller.


16 January 2014: On January 9, Backyard Farms announced that they had overcome their 'growing pains', ready to meet the strongest demand of the year. Backyard Farms, the Maine-based tomato producer emerged triumphantly in 2014. A whitefly infestation, followed by propagated plants that did not meet quality standards, led to a full re-replant, setting them back six weeks. Tim Cunniff, Backyard’s VP of Sales, said to Hortidaily that the company upholds slightly higher standards than the industry standard and the re-planting decision was “a quality call in terms of what we wanted to do. “We started picking a little bit just around Christmas, then by the end of Christmas and the week of the New Year, we were in full production,” he said.

21 January 2014: Greenhouses in Motril, Spain were hit by snow and hail. No greenhouse collapsed, but for some companies snow and hail entered the greenhouse. At that time, no prediction could be made if the cucumber production would be affected by this happening.


24 January 2014: Flier Systems expanded its range of products by joining forces with the ISO Group based in Gameren, the Netherlands. Directors Piet Oomen of the ISO Group and Ard Flier of Flier Systems believe that combining forces of both companies will lead to higher levels of innovation and further international growth.


27 January 2014: Delta bylaw allowed cogeneration power at greenhouses. Delta’s bylaws did not allow for cogeneration facilities on agriculturally zoned land. The zoning amendment would follow recent land use standards adopted by the Ministry of Agriculture in May 2013.


27 January 2014: A parking garage roof converted to greenhouses went bankrupt in Vancouver. In this parking lot, the crops were laid out vertically to maximize production. Unfortunately, just more that a year after it was launched, the company had debts to 17 creditors at $3.4 million.



February is trade show month! HortiDaily made classic photo reports at the IPM Essen, Germany the Fruit Logistica Berlin, Germany; and at the; Horticultural Business Days.


4 February 2014: In the Netherlands, employees of Philips were threatened at home when Philips stopped selling lamps to cannabis growers. The employees were threatened for months by a buyer of the lamps.

10 February 2014: NatureSweet, Ltd. laid off 70, leaving 700 total employees at its Willcox facility. CEO Bryant Ambelang said that this latest reduction in force (RIF) occurred in the management and supervisory positions.


11 February 2014: The annual Leo Ammerlaan Greenhouse Run took place at the nursery greenhouse of Leo Ammerlaan in Bleiswijk, The Netherlands. In total 400 runners participated. Amongst the runners were teams from many horticultural suppliers. Also our colleague editor Arlette Sijmonsma of Groentennieuws.nl gave her all at this race.

19 February 2014: Arend-Sosef went bankrupt. The bankruptcy of the company was a shock for the Dutch and international greenhouse sector.




February 2014 was characterized by the extreme weather that damaged greenhouses worldwide. In the UK, greenhouses were hit by heavy rain and wind storms. In Asia, Japan and Korea in particular, horticulture was damaged by heavy snow fall. In Canada, the extreme cold resulted in high energy bills for the greenhouse growers.



21 February 2014: GGS acquired the Google Glass, and looked into its applications in their customers’ greenhouses, and their own manufacturing plant. They mentioned some interesting features of the device. One of which is winking for taking a photo. Other features include hands free controlling of the device and having conversations without a headset or an actual phone.

25 February 2014: Quite a buzz was generated after Syngenta announced their major breakthrough in the development of insect resistance in sweet/hot peppers. Many accusations were made against Syngenta. However, In an interview with HortiDaily, Michael Kester, Syngenta's commercial head for the Benelux, explains that many of these accusations were incorrect and were blocking the innovative progress to develop sustainable and biological solutions for worldwide horticulture.


25 February 2014: Luuk Runia was featured in an article on doing business in the Cameron Highlands, Malaysia. According to Runia, Southeast Asia had the potential to become a key location for horticultural development. 



3 March 2014: With a high end operation of 4 hectares, Peninsula Farms was the largest greenhouse grower in the Kingdom of Bahrain, in March. The greenhouse complex was a project by a group of Bahrain businessmen who contributed to the development of the agricultural sector in Bahrain as well as aiding the country to achieve its goal of becoming self sustainable in terms of local fresh produce.

4 March 2014: Due to extreme cold, heating costs rose in Ontario, Canada. Consequently, vegetable growers were hoping for higher prices for their products.


4 March 2014: In March, the passing of Reese Kiikka was sadly announced by Danziger. 'Dan' Flower Farm is deeply saddened to announce the sudden passing of Reese Kiikka, a longterm friend and the company’s North American sales representative.


On March 6, A major fire damaged the greenhouse of one of the largest gerbera growers of North America, RosaFlora. About 15 acres of the 40 acre greenhouse complex was burned. This was not only a shock for the company, but for the entire village named Dunnville. After the fire, RosaFlora quickly started to rebuilt their greenhouses. Only one week after the fire, RosaFlora announced plans to reconstruct 2 hectares of their snapdragon production. During this rebuilding process, the company kept on growing snapdragons in these greenhouses. Therefore, the company was able to supply own grown snapdragons as little as two weeks after the fire. Besides, the company purchased Peter Bulk greenhouses in Welland, during this rebuilding period.


7 March 2014: In New Zealand, critics were against the introduction of a new biological hothouse pest-control. According to the critics it was a danger to NZ plants and insects. They faired a huge loss of New Zealand native species, or at the very least irreversible damage to plant and invertebrate animal communities.


10 March 2014: The British Tomato Growers’ Association (TGA) were awarded the top prize in the marketing category at the recent national ‘Grower of the Year Award’ ceremony held in London. TGA was awarded for their 2013 marketing campaign.


13 March 2014: In March 2014, some Dutch companies, that are active in Ukraine, expressed their worries about the consequences of the commotion in Ukraine for their business. For example, Jack Groenewegen, a tomato grower, and Dirk Aleven, a greenhouse manufacturer feared a financial boycott.


14 March 2014: In March 2014, Houweling's Tomatoes planned a $79 Million investment in an environmentally friendly greenhouse tomato farm in Utha, the United States. This greenhouse would create more than 280 jobs. At the moment, the greenhouse is being built.


17 March 2014: Over the years the composition of paint has evolved from a simple chalk based product to cool down the greenhouse in the summer months into high end solutions with photo-selective effects: Nowadays there are coatings on the markets that deliver optimum distribution of radiation while maintaining high light transmissions. Hortidaily conducted an interview with a paint supplier, Sudlac.

17 March 2014: A large 10 acreage Dutch tomato grower went bankrupt. Grower Bramani in Luttelgeest operated a modern greenhouse and was established in 2008. The bad pricing on the tomato market is named as the most important reason for the bankruptcy. In the past the growers could keep their heads up thanks to the high price of electricity and low prices for natural gas; a perfect situation for cogeneration. Many growers invested in CHP's. However, the tide has turned; now it is high prices for natural gas and poor prices for electricity.


19 March 2014: The almost record-breaking snowfall and subzero temperatures have been wreaking havoc on Michigan greenhouse businesses and those throughout the Midwest who are in the spring production rush. Challenges faced by greenhouse growers include damaged greenhouse structures from heavy snow loads, high heating bills, increase in labour to remove snow, chilling or freezing damage on vegetative cuttings, and disruptions in production shipping and scheduling.



20 March 2014: On March 9, a meteorite crashed into a South Korean greenhouse. A greenhouse grower in South Korea escaped death when a heavy piece of a meteorite crashed into his greenhouse. The meteorite weighing 9 kilos went through the greenhouse roof and caused a small crater inside the. Luckily nobody was harmed.


21 March 2014: Toyota Motor Cooperation started up a project building a greenhouse to grow bell peppers for the Domestic market. The greenhouse is located in Japan. After a successful pilot with the 0.5 hectare greenhouse, the second stage was another two hectares being constructed followed by another two hectare greenhouse. The greenhouses are equipped with the newest technologies.


26 March 2014: In the last decade Australian horticulture has seen a big shift from field-grown produce to greenhouse production, with supermarkets indicating they want growers to double the supply of tomatoes in coming years. In order to meet the demand, large and modern greenhouses needed to be built. Graeme Smith, an Australian ex-grower and now the owner of Graeme Smith Consulting (Greenhouse Innovations), was heavily involved in a project just outside of Melbourne to develop a 400 hectare greenhouse precinct.


31 March 2014: Harvest Automation introduced a robot to move plant containers. After market research and talking to growers, Harvest Automation found out that there was a big demand for automated plant container handling. "Some tasks can better be done by humans today, but there are also tasks that can be done by a robot more efficiently and moving plant containers was one of them. "



1 A
pril 2014:
Due to climatic limitations, commercial greenhouse activities tend to be seasonal businesses in Alaksa. In order to cultivate in Alaska's harsh temperatures, provide locally grown produce UAF has built a new multi-purpose, two-level greenhouse in Alaska.



2 April 2014: When a fire destroyed some greenhouses at Schriemer’s Family Farm in Otterburne, near Winnipeg back in January 2013, Trevor Schriemer was determined the company would rebuild, and rise like a phoenix from the ashes…

4 April 2014: Nowadays, sustainability and mega-cities are some of the big challenges of greenhouse tech around the globe. 100% sustainability was the goal of a joint-venture between Bluffinghausen University of applied sciences in a suburb of Dresden and Novavert in Greven (Germany). Prof. Dr. Witzmann is one of the leading experts in nano-technology and together with the Novavert engineering team they managed to achieve their goal; they manufactured productive high tech nano greenhouse of 0.14 m²


7 April 2014: In a statement, the Israeli army said it's fighter jets had struck four targets in the northern part of the Gaza Strip and one in the south. Many greenhouses were burnt in the Israeli shelling, according to eyewitnesses. No causalities have been reported.


9 April 2014: Windset Farms proudly unveiled two new remarkable products; greenhouse grown bok choy and greenhouse grown strawberries. Talking to Jaap Dane of Windset, we learned that Windset continues to introduce interesting crops as the US' market continues to request them.


9 April 2014: In Mexico, around 100 hectares of greenhouse plantations devoted to strawberries and other berries were severely damaged by strong winds from a tornado in April 2014.


10 April 2014: Village Farms in conjunction with Quadrogen and Fuel Cell Energy announced the kick off of a renewable energy quad-generation project that's the first of its kind. The ground-breaking project, which took place in April 2014, marked the beginning of a project that promises thermal heat as well as carbon dioxide in the growing of greenhouse produce.


In April 2014: HortiDaily was present at the 16th Hortiflorexpo IPM Beijing 2014. Please take a look at the report we made there: Photo Report : Horti Asia 2014

30 April 2014: Dutch climate control / process management company Priva operated in two sectors that suffer from the economic crisis, leading to stagnations in expansion and substandard financial results. Therefore, the head office in De Lier is slimmed down, which resulted in the loss of 34 jobs.



1 May 2014: Due to the geopolitical tension, Azerbaijani horticulture thrives, with special thanks to Russian consumers and French technology. Oil and gas-rich Azerbaijan is emerging as a horticultural force to be reckoned with thanks to good investment opportunities for greenhouse growers, such as mild temperature in winters, high sun radiations, good export conditions to Russia and of course low energy costs. Rufat mammadov of Baku-based Grow Group Azerbaijan told us all about it.



6 May 2014: In China, there are many greenhouses, but good growers are hard to find. At the 16th Hortiflorexpo IPM in Beijing we had the chance to speak with Jos Houwen, a horticultural specialist who works as a grower trainer for the GreenQ Horticultural Expertise Group. GreenQ trains Chinese growers at several locations in the country, because knowhow and expertise in cultivation skills for modern greenhouses is hard to find, or rather; not available yet. As the Chinese horticulture market is developing rapidly, the industry is demanding qualified people. Houwen: "Many Chinese groups and entrepreneurs are investing in greenhouses over de last years. They realize that there is a good market for sustainable and safe food production, while greenhouses give a good ROI, especially on longer terms. They only need some people who know how to use them."

15 May 2014: In May 2014, Dutch greenhouse constructor Zwirs-Knijnenburg filed for bankruptcy. Zwirs - Knijnenburg was a family company that entered the industry in 1968. The company is specialized in the building and maintenance of greenhouses in national and international projects, with a focus on Venlo and wide span greenhouses. Next to this, the company is also known as a greenhouse demolition company with many expertise.


16 May 2014:
May was also the month of the premier show for horticulture in Southeast Asia. Please take a look at the report we made there: Photo Report : Horti Asia 2014

29 May 2014:
There is an over supply in the greenhouse vegetable sector. Not just in the Netherlands, but also in other places in Europe. This was said by Cor Hendriks, sector manager of horticulture at the Rabobank. Companies are stopping and going into administration. If the prices don't improve, more companies will soon falter. So why is the bank facilitating companies with extension plans?


29 May 2014: A group of Italian eggplant growers were very angry at large traders in May 2014. "They are taking away our dignity". Mario Incardona, administrator for Gold Green, posted some pictures and made an appeal on his Facebook page. Eggplants are in fact quoted at €0.20/kg at Vittoria's market but are then sold at €2.20/kg in supermarkets."This is a year of hard work and sacrifices down the drain. I'd prefer to get my product back."



2 June 2014 : Dutchman Geert Leffers is involved in one of the biggest challenges of his career; the construction of a 60 hectare greenhouse operation for tomato cultivation in Daxing, the southern suburbs of Beijing, China. We spoke with him about the challenges he is facing in China.




4 June 2014
: Every now and then it happens, the Dutch police discover a marijuana plant between vegetable crops in glass Venlo greenhouses. But the discovery that they found in June was something that they have never seen before. In a greenhouse in Houten, in the province of Utrecht, a gigantic marijuana nursery was found with more then 16,000 plants. The crops were hidden behind a few rows of cucumber plants. After the discovery, the police arrested three suspects on site. All of the plants were destroyed the same day.



15 June 2014: The International ambiance marked the first edition of GreenTech: We took more then 470 pictures during the first edition of the new international horticulture technology trade show GreenTech in Amsterdam. With about 300 exhibitors and many visitors from all around the world, we can look back at a very successful first edition. The fair brought much of what they hoped; international business contacts from all over the world and it's seems like the Amsterdam RAI is back on the map in the world of horticulture.

17 June 2014: Dutch growers make switch to alternative clipping system
We have visited several Dutch greenhouse growers to see how they are working with the alternative binding system of Agrifast. Many have written about and discussed the system and we thought it was time to see and hear from the growers themselves why they are working with this new concept, as the TOM System by Agrifast is gaining more and more popularity in Dutch horticulture; it is being used for tomatoes, peppers and even in high wire cucumbers.



26 June 2014
: Further decrease in Dutch greenhouse acreage, more growers leave industry.The Dutch Bureau for Statistics have published an update on the vegetable greenhouse acreage in The Netherlands. According to the new statistics, the total acreage with Greenhouse vegetables has decreased with 50 hectare to 4,840 hectare. With a decrease of 80 hectare, the pepper acreage shrank the most between 2013 and 2014; from 1,240 ha to 1,160 ha.



01 July 2014: In July, Gautier's Yvo Lens gave the HortiDaily team a tour through their demo greenhouse. Five years ago, Gautier Seeds started on it's mission to develop a new breeding program that would be able to compete with current varieties, but that still would catch attention and distinguish itself by it's special taste. According to him: " the combination of high yields and no flavour are killing the greenhouse industry".


9 July 2014:
During the Dutch trade mission to South Africa on July 7, the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, Lilianne Ploumen, was full of praise on the cooperation of Dutch horticultural suppliers with local entrepreneurs. In her speech she mentioned the most sustainable lettuce farm of South Africa, Jomajoco, as an excellent example.


17 July 2014: Flip-flop on cogeneration policy entrenches a problem for greenhouses. According to Don Cayo, columnist for vancouversun.com, it wasn’t ideal, but it may have been necessary to exempt greenhouse growers from B.C.’s carbon tax when it was introduced in 2008.


21 July 2014: Last year, HortiDaily.com visited a 10 hectare sized greenhouse Geoponica in Mexico. During this visit, Geoponica's headgrower Richard Billekens talked about the Mexican challenges regarding the startup of this greenhouse.


21 July 2014: Last year, Panasonic Corp. started operating a vegetable factory in Singapore on a trial basis by utilizing part of its plant used to attach electronic parts to substrate. With an eye to providing burdock and other fresh root vegetables to local school meals and boxed lunch businesses, the Japanese electronics giant controls the amount of light and temperatures at the plant with cutting-edge technologies.


24 July 2014: In July 2014, Matthews Flower Group was building a 2 hectare cut flower greenhouse. Holsworthy Biogas Plant, a collaboration between Andigestion Ltd and Matthews Flower Growers Ltd would create up to 54 new jobs in Holsworthy.



25 July 2014: In July, HortiDaily.com was present at the Cultivate’14. Please take a look at the photo report that we made there: Photo report Cultivate '14


27 July 2014: From 23-25 July 2014, the GPEC took place at the Tokyo Big Sight Exhibition Centre in Japan. Please take a look at the photo report that we made: Photo report GPEC Tokyo, Japan.



11 August 2014:
In August, the Russian import ban became a fact. At that time, an important question was: What is the effect of the Russian Ban per EU country? In the article, the effect of the EU exports of fruit and vegetables on different countries were presented.

12 August 2014: BrightFarms has cancelled it's crowdsourcing campaign for the construction of a new greenhouse in Washington, D.C. In the letter below Chief Executive Officer, Paul Lightfoot, explains why.


15 August 2014: Two years after a hailstorm destroyed 80 acres of a Village Farms greenhouse in Marfa and the ensuing battle with the company’s insurance providers, the doors to a newly constructed 60-acre greenhouse at the site is opened and produced at full capacity in August 2014.

20 August 2014: In the night of August 12-13, 2014 a burglary took place at Rijk Zwaan Italy. Thieves broke in to the warehouse in Calderara di Reno (BO) and stole seeds of many varieties. The local police are now investigating the case, but the direction of Rijk Zwaan Italy would like to warn people in the industry to look out for people who are not official RZ representatives and are selling these stolen seeds.


25 August 2014: Japanese greenhouse industry on the dawn of a new era. As part of the intention by the Japanese government to invest in sustainable greenhouse technology, a total of nine projects have been announced to be eligible for subsidies. At the GPEC in Tokyo last month, the details of these nine projects were on display. Please take a look at the Photo Report that we have made.


25 August 2014: In August 2014, a team of researchers at Michigan State University have developed a new type of solar concentrator that when placed over a window creates solar energy while allowing people to actually see through the window. It is called a transparent luminescent solar concentrator and can be used on buildings, cell phones and any other device that has a clear surface.


27 August 2014: In August 2013, greenhouse growers SUNSET Produce have completed Phase II construction of their greenhouse Coldwater Farms, doubling the operation to 60 acres.Open since 2012, the facility grows SUNSET tomatoes on the vine and grape tomatoes 365 days a year. This state of the art greenhouse uses advanced technology including energy curtains and grow lights to provide fresh flavour all year round, even when there’s snow on the ground.


28 August 2014: In a blog, Michael Kester, Syngenta's commercial head for the Benelux talks about patent protection of innovative research and ground-breaking plant characteristic. 


September 2014


September 2014: If you wanted to refresh yourself and do something about ALS in the summer of 2014, the the Ice Bucket Challenge was the perfect solution. We received a few Ice Bucket Challenge videos from Stuppy Greenhouse, AgriNomix and Wadsworth Controls. We share them again in this years overview of September.


5 September 2014: In 2014, the European greenhouse manufacturer Richel celebrated its 50 years anniversary. Celebrating such a long history in the greenhouse business was a good moment to look back at the most recent and significant projects the company has been involved with over the past year.


5 September 2014: The construction of a new $10 million pre-commercial greenhouse at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (Vineland) is underway. This new centre is expected to bolster the economic growth of the Niagara Region and increase the competitiveness of the greenhouse industry. The completion date for the project is spring 2015. In September 2014, HortiDaily published an article that presented the state of the project at that time.


9 September 2014: In September, Fairfood International’s report exposes the poor wages paid to workers in the Moroccan tomato sector. These tomatoes are picked and packed by tens of thousands of workers who do not receive a decent wage for their arduous work. The fruit is then sold by European supermarkets who receive the lion’s share of the profits.


11 September 2014: As one of the world’s largest greenhouse sectors, and with Europe’s highest per capita consumption of vegetables, Turkey is in a good position to capture further growth in future. According to a new report from Rabobank, there is huge potential for the growth of Turkish greenhouse acreage.


12 September 2014: Crushed foam glass meets all the requirements to be a dream substrate. It may sound a little crazy, yet controlled research trials done by Wageningen University and The University of Arizona/Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEAC) showed that plants thrive very well on foamed glass aggregates manufactured for horticulture applications.

16 September 2014: Bad situation in horticulture forces another Dutch tomato grower to stop. The Dutch tomato grower De Grevelingen in Sirjansland closed it's business after this year's cultivation. The bad situation in the Dutch horticulture market has forced growers Arnold and Marc Groenewegen to make this decision.


18 September 2014: On 17 September 2014, Schoneveld Breeding was awarded AIPH 2014 International Grower of the Year. The coveted prize was announced at the 66th AIPH Annual Congress gala dinner in Qingdao, China. The golden rose trophy was presented by AIPH President, Vic Krahn and China Flower Association Secretary General, Liu Hong.


19 September 2014: Philips Horticulture LED Solutions announced that GreenClocks New Generation City farm, a new city farm of Osaka Prefectural University Japan using Philips GreenPower LED production modules, opened on September 19, 2014.

23 September: On March 6th 2014, a substantial part of North America's largest cut flower growers, Rosa Flora, was destroyed by a fire. Now, more than half a year later, the Rosa Flora run by Ralph Deboer, Arielle Deboer and Jushua Bulk is back in business, and stronger than ever.


29 September 2014: Under the motto "An invitation to innovation", the British Tomato Grower's Association Conference took place at the Chesford Grange Conference Centre in Warwick. Please take a look at the Photo Report that we made.



1 October 2014: During the AGF Detail tradeshow in Houten, The Netherlands, the Dutch Seed breeder was showcasing the orange/red - yellow striped bell pepper variety that was cultivated as a trial by growers Wilfred and Monique van den Berg from Elst. at that time.

3 October 2014: The seed of one of the varieties that Belgian tomato grower Stoffels BVBA grows disappeared during the logistics process in October 2014. What exactly happened was unclear. A complaint was filed and an investigation took place. It is possible that the seed was stolen by another grower with the intention of growing the variety illegally.

6 October 2014: For the past few years, Mexican vegetable growers have been successfully adapting Peatfoam as a propagation medium. The propagation blocks are primarily used in a cultivation cycle with cocopeat slabs. Many growers and agronomists were so enthusiastic about the achievements of the Peatfoam that it has become their substrate of choice.


9 October 2014: In October 2014, a new greenhouse of 20 ha was being built by Dalsem in the Kaluga region in Russia for Agro-Invest. This was the first stage of the in total 238 ha project. The goal was to become self-sufficient in the production of vegetables in the future.


14 October 2014: In October 2014, the Canadian Greenhouse Conference took place at the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The show and conference program, which were all about the ins and outs in the latest greenhouse technology, optimizing production outputs and taking marketing activities to the next level, was a top notch networking event for the North American industry. Please take a look at the Photo Report that we made.


14 October 2014: The North American growers that installed Philips HID/HPS 1000 Watt supplemental lighting in their greenhouses over the past year have gone through a difficult period. Due to a manufacturing error, lamps could explode spontaneously. Even though the chance of it happening was small, the growers that had these lamps installed, were required to turn them off, until they were replaced by new lamps.


21 October 2014: A commercial variety with TM3 resistance was affected by the TMV virus. Tests showed that the entire range (TM0, TM2 and TM3) was viable and that the culprit is a new strain of tobacco mosaic virus. "The important thing now is that growers know that a variety with resistance to TM3 offers less protection against the TMV virus than previously assumed,"says managing director John Coremans of Rijk Zwaan Netherlands.


23 October 2014: In October 2014, the first edition of the HortiDaily Buyer's Guide was printed. The first buyer's guides were distributed during the Canadian Greenhouse Conference in Niagara Falls and the PMA in Anaheim.

23 October 2014: Dutch rose growers have to deal with difficult times. In October 2014, two rose growers had to deal with financial difficulties. Dutch rose grower Zuurbier & Co was in a process of suspending their outstanding payments and Steejo went bankrupt on October 15th VOF Steejo filed for bankruptcy.


24 October 2014: During the Canadian Greenhouse Conference Bus Tour, HortiDaily reported how the growers of Boekestyn / Flora Pack are dealing with stricter Canadian regulations without making concessions to the quality or their business.



4 November 2014: Honduras will get it's own AgroPark in Lempira. Honduras has got a lot of potential for the development of high tech greenhouse horticulture and plans a 100 hectare site in La Campa . In November 2014, they were already busy with the realization of the first 7.5 hectare pepper greenhouse.


5 November 2014: A.M.A. added the supply of BVB Substrates products for greenhouse strawberry cultivation. According to A.M.A.'s Rick Bradt, North American greenhouse growers are experimenting with protected strawberry cultivation more often.


5 November 2014: Together with a large group of tomato growers, Priva is developing a robot that removes the leaves of tomato plants independently and efficiently. The goal was not just a robot that equals the performance of humans, but the automaton must also be economically viable.


11 November 2014: The available space for greenhouse construction at the 200 hectare in Queratero Mexico Agropark has been sold out. All of the lots have been sold and the infrastructures have been made, says Agropark's managing director Alberto Amkie. He announced plans to add another 500 hectares to the existing Agropark.


14 November 2014: Vegetable growers migrated to commercial cannabis cultivation. Shane Hutto, for example, who owns a consultancy firm for cannabis growers based in Colorado, specialised in high-tech and large-scale warehouses. He formerly worked at Grodan, where he developed the company’s cannabis irrigation strategies on a global level.


21 November 2014: At the Expo Agroalimentaria, the quality of exhibitors and the level of supplies and innovations at the show was impressive. This is a direct result of the fact that Mexico is an important player in the field of food production for the North American market. North American greenhouse growers are sourcing Mexican greenhouse produce to provide their customers year round. Due to the fact that the US and Canadian retailers demand the same high quality produce from Mexico, the Mexican greenhouse growers have improved their production methods significantly and the growers are able to produce top quality fruits. This definitely contributes to the success of the expo for the horticulture industry. Please take a look at the Photo Report that we made.


24 November 2014: An epic storm has wreaked devastating damage on prominent farm family Amos Zittel & Sons of Eden Valley, causing several million dollars in damage to greenhouses and buildings in the farm complex and destroying plants that were being grown.


24 November 2014: If you are running a greenhouse growing operation you are well aware that accidents causing injuries are a very real concern. Click here to see the top 10 causes of injuries in a greenhouse operation and ways of prevention.


24 November 2014: During the Expo Agro Alimentaria Guanajuato that was held in Irapuato last month, PlantaNova organized a very nice raffle in which visitors had a chance to win half a hectare of youngplants from PlantaNova. At the closing of the show, Planta Nova's general manager Pharis Rico picked the winning business card of Juan Montibeller. Mr Montibeller has won half a hectare of vegetable young plants.


1 December 2014: Directors and staff at a leading technology transfer centre welcomed the Tomato Growers Association (TGA). The conference facilities at Selby based Stockbridge Technology Centre (STC) have been selected as the venue for the TGA Board and Technical Committee meetings on December 3rd and 4th.

4 December 2014: In December, an Israeli pepper grower Avi Ben-Zion was murdered. Twenty-four hours after he was found lying unconscious with a severe head wound in the middle of a road in the Jordan Valley on Monday night, Avi Ben-Zion, 63, died in Petach Tikva's Beilinson Hospital on the Tuesday. Ben-Zion's family members believe he was the victim of a nationalistically motivated attack.


5 December 2014: Mexico is well on its way to becoming the number one, year round supplier of greenhouse vegetables for the North American market. The technical, capabilities and ambitions of the Mexican growers are increasingly important . Nowadays it is hard to find a difference between a Mexican tomato versus a U.S. or Canadian grown piece of fruit. If it is up to Fried de Schouwer of GPC, Mexico will become the most important supplier on a year round basis for North America. "Our growers have become fully dedicated to delivering high quality produce, year round."


12 December 2014: In December 2014, the Growtech Eurasia took place in Antalya. Due to the current geo-political circumstances, there was a lot of potential for greenhouse development in and around Turkey; The country that already has massive domestic consumption of greenhouse vegetables has a big potential to become one of the most important players in the European vegetable trade. Please take a look at the Photo Report that we made.


10 December 2014: In December, Van der Hoeven announced plans to build a new Sundrop Greenhouse in Port Augusta, South Australia. Water scarcity, specifically in agriculture, is a problem in that area. So how to make something out of nothing? The solution is the Sundrop System: making use of the natural resources of seawater and sunlight.

11 December 2014: Turkey and Russia; two big players in regards to the current development in the global greenhouse industry. The warm relationship between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart PM RecepTayyip Erdoğan not only results in a very stable partnership in regards to trade and energy, but also in the exchange of knowledge for greenhouse development.


19 December 2014: 50% of Dutch greenhouse vegetable companies were unable to pay their bills, with another 15% having no money to invest in the company. If the sector doesn't change, the remaining 35% will also run into problems. That's what McKinsey & Company reported in December 2014.


22 December 2014: Only three months after the official opening, half the board of PlantLab resigned. According to various sources, a big crisis erupted within the Dutch company in December 2014. CEO and co-founder Gertjan Meeuws has resigned, as well as Ruud van Helden (finance) and Hubert-Jan van Boxtel (Legal Affairs).

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