Cultivation

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US: Integrating crop diversity into high tunnel production systems

High tunnel production has continued to grow in the midwest providing an engine for local food production. However, many growers choose to utilize these structures primarily (or even exclusively) for tomato production leading to very little room for crop rotation. At K-State, they have been working on…

Italians focus on rise of aquaculture and hydroponic systems

The Novel Farm event held in Pordenone on 13th-14th February 2019 focused on hydroponic crops, aquaculture and evolved aquaculture. It was the first edition of a small exhibition part of the Aquafarm fair. Click here for the photo gallery! It showcased lighting technologies, hydroponic components and aquaculture systems. "Hydroponic cultivation is already rather…

Wim van Wingerden, Cropex

"Autonomous cultivation is going to be the basis of climate control"

As cultivation companies get bigger, and investors enter the world of cultivation, people with green thumbs travel the world to share their experiences. Wim van Wingerden: "I think that autonomous cultivation is going to be the basis for climate control in greenhouses." Wim joined Cropex, a group of…

The observations of the Dutch minister

"Patents on classical plant cultivation should not be possible"

A ruling of the Technische Kamer van Beroep of the European Patent Office of December 5 2018, seems to have opened the door to patents on vegetables from classical cultivation. In response to parliamentary questions, Carola Schoten, minister for Landbouw, Natuur en Voedselkwaliteit , stated that she is…

Israel: Fresh cut peppers from the Arava region

It seems that the word pepper has become for a long time now, a synonym with the Arava region, and for a good reason. About 70% of the areas designated for agriculture, are used for growing delicious peppers. The agriculture in the Arava region is definitely designated for export: Over 95% of the peppers grown in…

"Stop nitrogen overdose in soilless tomato to promote fruit quality"

Precision horticulture is fundamental to ensure high quality production with a minimal environmental footprint. It offers the possibility to manage climatic and fertilization inputs closer to the plant needs. In practice, there is a tendency to over‐fertilize, as nitrogen limitation can decrease…

Vegetal-derived biostimulant enhances adventitious rooting in cuttings

Plant-derived protein biostimulants exhibit hormone-like activities promoting plant growth and yield, yet detailed investigations on hormonal function have remained limited. A…

Video: Sustainable microgreens in the heart of Zurich

In the heart of Zurich, startup Umami breeds sustainable microgreens. The organic farm is run by three young entrepreneurs and is specialized in the production of microgreens…

Humidity in cannabis cultivation

Cannabis in the modern era is grown in completely controlled spaces, constantly monitored and adjusted, in order to maintain a consistent quality of product, while attempting to maximize yields. by Rom Meir This highly technologized world of cannabis cultivation emerged from the underground indoor growing operations of the pre-legal world, converging with the…

One of five pilots to reinforce the chain

Demo greenhouse to improve Argentine horticulture chain

Wageningen UR is making plans for five pilot projects to strengthen the horticulture chain in Argentina. The construction of a demo greenhouse with Dutch technology in the…

What is the impact of LED grow lights on indoor horticulture crops?

Michigan State University opened its Controlled-Environment Lighting Laboratory (CELL) in 2017. The 400-square-foot vertical farm research facility is being used to study the indoor production of high-value specialty crops, including edibles and ornamentals with LED grow lights. “The two major crops that we are…

water-cooled Oreon Grow Light 3.0

New LED-fixture: 15% more light output and a 15% efficiency improvement

Oreon, Dutch-based innovative developer of LED grow lights, presents its new fixture at the Fruit Logistica exhibition in Berlin, Germany. This latest model produces a light output up to 2080 μMol/s with an efficiency of 3.1 μMol/J. "The Oreon Grow Light 3.0 is therefore one of the most efficient high…

US (MO): The latest in greenhouse and hydroponics

On a cold and snowy Saturday, producers, experts, and extension educators gathered at the Great Plains Growers Conference, held at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, MO to hear the latest and greatest in a variety of fruit and vegetable production systems. From vegetable IPM and new farming…

"PGR affect number and length of runners produced in strawberries"

Vegetative propagation using runner plants is an important method to expand the cultivation area for the strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa Duch.). However, excessively long runners need an increased total amount of nutrients and energy to receive elongation from mother plants, which may lead to poor growth…

US (HI): UHMC offers courses in greenhouse tech, food innovation

The University of Hawaii Maui College is offering a new training program for Native Hawaiian participants ages 18 and older who are interested in learning applied skills in both controlled environment agriculture and food innovation entrepreneurship. Students will meet on-campus during evening hours to receive hands-on…

CAN (ON): Reminders to start the new season

A key goal of production is to maintain a balance between vegetative: generative type of plant. by Shalin Khosla, Greenhouse Vegetable Specialist, OMAFRA Young plants in low light conditions with excess water tend to be vegetative. Control measures need to be implemented to control the vegetative growth in order to flower early.…

Increasing ascorbic acid content and salinity tolerance of cherry tomato plants

Ascorbic acid is considered to be one of the most important antioxidants in plants and plays a vital role in the adaptation of plants to unfavorable conditions. In a new study, an ascorbate oxidase gene (Solyc04g054690) was over-expressed in cherry tomato cv. West Virginia 106 lines and compared with previously studied RNAi…

Strong tomato vines require more light

January started out with poor light conditions for tomato growers in the Netherlands. Ron Kleijn of Van Iperen witnessed this with his own eyes during a recent visit to tomato growers. Under a photograph of a tomato crop on Twitter he wrote that there should be quite a bit more light. "At the moment 100…

Biochar Amendment affects soil water and CO2 regime during Capsicum Annuum plant growth

Recent studies on using soil enhancer material, such as biochar, provide varying results from a soil hydrological and chemical perspective. Therefore, research focusing on…

"Plastic panels solution for floating hydroponic systems"

Plastic Box SRL is an Italian company that has been involved for over 50 years in returnable plastic packaging for the fruit and vegetable sector. It manufactures and trades in reusable plastic crates from its plant and offices in Castagnaro (Verona). Mr. Damiano Ghirlanda, Sales Manager at Plastic Box SRL, says:…

New business models in greenhouse horticulture

The business unit Greenhouse Horticulture of Wageningen University & Research develops new business models based on effective production of high value phytochemicals in The Greenhouse Pharmacy. We work on production of natural pharmaceuticals from plants, but also on natural colours, flavours and…

'The only way is up'

Expansion of artificial lighting in cucumber high-wire cultivation

The use of artificial lighting in horticulture has grown extensively in recent years and is expanding in nearly all greenhouse crops, most notably for tomatoes, cucumbers, and…

The effect of phosphorus and root zone temperature on anthocyanin of red romaine lettuce

In a Korean study, phosphorus (P) strength [(full strength: 1×-P, half strength: 0.5×-P and zero strength: 0×-P)] and root zone temperature (10 and 15 °C RZT) were…

Israel: "Besides green fingers you need accessories to assist you"

Growing is an infinite challenge with the climate, and workers, especially for pepper growers in the Arava region where the water quota is low and the radiation strong. Next to making decisions based on gut instinct, growers are also looking for tools to make more sensible decisions. As one of the…

New funding for 'Improving agricultural education in Afghanistan' project

Just before the onset of winter the Dutch embassy in Kabul awarded an additional € 2.9 million to the Improving Agricultural Education in Afghanistan; or ATVET project. This raises the total project budget, until the end of 2021, to €26.5 million. These extra millions allow the project to expand its leading role in…

The amount of light plants can cope with

Is it possible for a plant to be exposed to too much light? Caution is the operative word for potted plants. However, various cut flowers and vegetable crops are able to cope with much more light than currently thought. Provided that the light is properly distributed. Horticultural consultants are regularly asked how much light a…

Different kinds of white LED light induce different plant responses

The market is saturated with LED companies offering “white light” LED products. Many growers associate white LED light with a sunlight or daylight spectrum i.e. a replica of the light provided by the Sun. While it can be so, spectra appearing white to human eyes can differ greatly and thus induce…

growing tomatoes in China & Iran

"Investors often think that one year is enough to learn the trade"

Dutch growers impart their cultivation knowledge all over the world. André Hamel is one of them. "Most of the time it's about a newly set-up greenhouse with new people who are quick to think they can do it all themselves." André Hamel is in Iran on behalf of Bilancia Horticulture Projects. "It is my fourth year now as head…

Mitigating the adverse effects of drought stress on strawberry

Silicon (Si) is a beneficial element that alleviates the effects of stress factors including drought (D). Strawberry is a Si-accumulator species sensitive to D; however, the function of Si in this species is obscure. A study was conducted to examine the effect of Si and inoculation with an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus (AMF)…

Increasing taste and appearance of microgreens with light spectrum

Microgreens are gaining popularity and have created a steady demand from end-consumers. Its fast turnaround times for harvest has made it an ideal crop for all types of controlled environments in agriculture including indoor growing, greenhouses, hydroponics and vertical farming. Microgreens in highest demand are…

Peter Geelen charts the course

A decade of Next Generation Growing

When looking back at ten years of Next Generation Growing (Het Nieuwe Telen), Peter Geelen explains the differences being made in horticulture, “The image of a grand exploration comes to mind. Only now I realize how impressive this journey is by a large number of ports we have passed and the developments…

Italy: Bad season for the Sicilian artichokes

The main Sicilian artichokes producers are facing a very unpleasant situation. Enzo Nisseno invited us to the Maas in Catania to tell us about the current campaign trend, which is indicative of a bad season for the second year in a row. Enzo Rametta Rametta explained, “For the second year in a row, the artichoke campaign is just a…

Greenhouse in an Auchan hypermarket

In Italy, Auchan is testing the installation of a greenhouse in a hypermarket. Fresh herbs and salads grow directly on the shelves and customers do their own “harvesting”. Agricooltur, a young company from the Turin region, is the originator of this scheme. The neighboring Auchan hypermarket placed the installation in its market area…

Lower leaf interveinal chlorosis: Magnesium deficiency of tomato

Tomatoes commonly develop symptoms of interveinal chlorosis (yellowing) on the lower leaves due to magnesium (Mg) deficiency. This e-GRO Alert highlights the symptomological development of Mg deficiency to help you identify the problem and discusses management procedures. by Brian E. Whipker - bwhipker@ncsu.edu , Josh…

University of Florida researchers to explore the impact of blue light on water-use efficiency

The water-use blues: Using light to enhance crop production

Fluence’s LED lighting technology has helped open a groundswell of research into the effects of the photosynthetic spectrum and how it can affect production for controlled environment agriculture. Now, with precise control over the lighting spectrum, scientists can go beyond the fundamentals of…

"Drainage one of the most important factors in choosing the right pots"

"Planting in containers allows the grower complete control over the growing conditions of the plant. They can control the nutrient supply to the plant by choosing the right soil. Likewise, they can regulate the amount of sun the plant receives, its water supply, and so on." Speaking is Ana Cristina…

Why not an aquaponics coffee table?

Some plastic tubes, plants, fish, water and creativity, it is all you need to make a little aquaponics system. Use it as a coffee table or place one in the window to create a real eye-catcher.

The amount of light plants can cope with

Is it possible for a plant to be exposed to too much light? Caution is the operative word for potted plants. However, various cut flowers and vegetable crops are able to cope with much more light than currently thought. Provided that the light is properly distributed. Horticultural consultants are regularly asked how much light a…

Spain: Murcia using thermal blankets to protect the crops

The frost alert raised in much of the region, with damages already caused to several crops, is keeping producers on their toes. Some of them have already decided to use thermal blankets on their plantations, especially in those with newly planted lettuce. The entry of a cold and dry mass of polar air will cause a…

Greengrocers fear winter weather in Spanish and Italian growing areas

"Today's harvest and growing leaf lettuce partially damaged or destroyed"

The weather conditions in the formerly "safe" growing areas of Italy and Spain are becoming increasingly extreme. Italy is struggling with considerable snowfall, parts of Spain have to deal with frost. Even if it would only turn out to be a short period of frost or snow, the consequences are already…

Plant empowerment and data driven growing enjoys worldwide following

From October 2018, LetsGrow.com is in the process of introducing the Growing by Plant Empowerment (GPE) book worldwide. Meanwhile, already about 1000 copies of the book have been sold and distributed. The authors and publisher (LetsGrow.com) celebrated this success just before the Christmas holidays. The…

How to coordinate screens and coatings in a greenhouse?

When there is a coating, there is less of a need to close the moveable screen beneath it. The best results are achieved when the coating, screen, and shading strategy are properly aligned. ReduSystems wrote an article about it. Growers that are using a coating for the first time consistently report that there is a significant reduction…

Dennis Tuk, ViVi:

"We can advise in any crop to be micropropagated in a safe way"

Taking cultivation to the next level - whether it's for a tissue culture laboratory or a multi layer grower system. That's what can be done with ViVi, the growing method developed to grow products in the final packing. Recently turn-key projects at Shandong D&F Agriculture and AgriGarden have been…

Exploiting genetic and genomic resources to enhance heat-tolerance in tomatoes

High temperature is one of the most detrimental abiotic stresses in tomatoes. Many studies highlighted that even small increases in temperature can alter the plant reproductive system, causing a significant reduction in tomato yield. The aim of a new study was to exploit the phenotypic and genomic variations of a…

New book highlights benefits of technology in the greenhouse

Recently the book ‘Greenhouse horticulture – Technology for optimal crop production’ was presented in Wageningen. The authors Cecilia Stanghellini, Bert Van ‘t Ooster and Ep…

South Italy: Frost wave did not cause many damages

Low pressure coming from Northern Europe did not affect southern Italy produce much. FreshPlaza contacted Gianfranco Romano, regional president of Coldiretti Matera, in order to better understand the current situation. “The lower temperatures were not a big issue. Even though the temperatures reached -1.5°C, citrus fruits…

Scientists engineer shortcut for photosynthetic glitch, boost crop growth 40%

Plants convert sunlight into energy through photosynthesis; however, most crops on the planet are plagued by a photosynthetic glitch, and to deal with it, evolved an energy-expensive process called photorespiration that drastically suppresses their yield potential. Now, researchers from the University of…

Banana cultivation in cold greenhouses in Hveragerði

Icelanders operate northernmost banana plantation in the world

The Icelanders have a dream. They want to take care of themselves. That goes for their tropical fruit consumption as well. But it is so cold. And now there is this: In Iceland, they are…

Mexico: Protected agriculture could be the best alternative

Protected agriculture systems could be the best way to produce food, and protect the more than 50 thousand hectares of vegetables that are sown in Sonora against climate…

Sunviva-Tomate is there for everyone

Plant breeders of the University of Göttingen are protecting tomato seeds as a common good

Plant breeders of the University of Göttingen and the Association Agrecol have launched a joint initiative to protect seeds as a common good. Agrecol developed an "open-source seed license", which secures seeds as a common good and thus protects against patenting and plant variety protection. The results…

New GmbH takes over sales activities in the edible plants sector

Lubera Edibles GmbH starts its first year in business

As of January 1st, the Lubera Edibles company in Strullendorf has taken over the sales activities of the Robert Mayer distribution company in edible plants sector, and the European general license of the varieties of Swiss breeder Lubera. This was reported by Gabot.de. Lubera Managing Director Markus Kobelt (l.) and…

University of Exeter & AHDB Horticulture research:

“Wildflowers and bees boost courgette crop by 39%”

The effectiveness of pollinators and wildflowers has been highlighted in a new study which shows that crop yields of courgette increased by 39% with their help. That additional yield could have been worth £3.6 million to the 2017 courgette crop, with pollination services valued around £3,400 a hectare. Results from…

January 17-18, Wooster

US (OH): Roots at the root of Greenhouse Management Workshop

The Ohio State University’s 2019 Greenhouse Management Workshop, set for Jan. 17-18 in Wooster, will dig all around a plant’s roots. The theme is “Root Zone Optimization.” Peter Ling, associate professor in Ohio State’s Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, said this year’s program is unique…

USDA grant to develop reliable biocontrol for Fusarium wilt of tomato

Heavy reliance on pesticides to manage plant diseases has degraded the environment, negatively impacted human health and accelerated the emergence of pesticide resistance. A…

US: Comparing tomato varieties under organic high tunnel and open field management

Tomatoes are an important crop for small to mid-sized farmers selling directly to customers through farmers markets, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), and restaurant sales. In a multi-year study (2014-2016), researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison evaluated 15 different tomato varieties for performance…

'Black Apples' growing in China

Apples commonly come in vivid reds, greens, yellows or a mixture of the three colours, but they can apparently grow dark purple, almost black, as well. These rare apples are called “Black Diamond” and they are only grown in the mountains of Tibet. Black Diamond apples are a breed of Hua Niu apples (also known as Chinese Red…

Scientists isolate fungi that can boost plant growth even under less water conditions

Scientists at the Bharathiar University engaged in studying the ecology of soil microbes that colonize plant roots have isolated a fungus that can enhance plant growth even in…

Research focused on plant health, lighted cultivation, flavor and content substances

Dutch growers unite in Strawberry Innovation Cluster

Four leading strawberry growers in the southeast of the Netherlands have joined forces. Under the banner of Innoveins, an ecosystem where innovations at the intersection of plant and technology are realized, they are going to work together with other interested parties in the coming months to establish…

Ghana: Greenhouse horticulture in tropical lowlands

The population in Ghana is growing at a steady pace, and people migrate from rural settings to bigger cities like Accra, Tema and Kumasi. Currently most of the fresh…

New holiday crop lights up the season

Happy Freshtivus™! The first winter crop of flavorful, red-and-yellow-striped Aloha™ peppers has arrived to brighten holiday sales, Sunset® announced today. “We’re all about celebrating fresh…

Horticulture of the future:

Lettuce from old coal mines

The world population is growing steadily and with it, the food it requires. At the same time, traditional ways of growing food are becoming increasingly uncertain because of drought and other extreme…

Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden

New research shows how organic farming is worse for climate

One of the main aims of organic farming is to maximise the 'natural' aspects and minimise chemical interference when it comes to producing our food. But is it actually better for the environment? A new study, published in Nature, looked at pea and wheat crops and it suggests the opposite. It claims that organic farms…

"Efficiency is key in medicinal cannabis cultivation"

The worldwide demand for medicinal cannabis increases and production facilities become larger and more automated. Efficiency in the cultivation of medicinal cannabis is key and this starts with automation and process planning. Codema has been providing automation to a few of the top 10 cannabis growers…

UK: Time for growers to take a closer look at their soils

The AHDB GREATsoils programme has been signposted as a vital resource and tool for growers as part of two new soil qualifications from BASIS, the independent standards setting and auditing organisation. BASIS facilitated the creation of two new syllabuses as requested by its members for foundation and advanced level awards,…

LEDs for bell pepper cultivation:

"The crop is ready for the darkest period"

Only two more weeks and the days will get longer again on the Northern hemisphere, making it quite a challenge for growers these days to keep their crop up and running. The team at the Delphy Improvement Centre is doing their best as well. They're currently conducting a light test in which the first bell peppers were…

Study identifies mechanism that allows plants to tolerate salt

Purdue University scientists have discovered a signaling pathway necessary for plant salt tolerance. The findings are important for understanding how plants overcome some environmental stresses. High salt already affects about 20 percent of the world’s arable land, reducing crop yields. By 2050, it’s thought that around…

Bell pepper growers Henk and Jan Breugem:

"The last planting got a boost this year"

Henk and Jan Breugem from Bleiswijk in the Netherlands are happy with the production of their bell peppers this late in the season: "We can see a boost in the last planting of the peppers, and we believe it's due to the effects of Pentakeep. The green bell peppers of the Frazier variety were considerably…

Digestate as alternative substrate for soil-less lettuce farming

The consumption of ready-to-eat salad has been growing over the last 20 years in the European market. The annual growth rate is at 4%. That's why this food category is renowned as one of the most profitable horticultural segments. As a result of a growing trend, the lettuce and chicory are farmed over a 1.2 million…

Food & Energy training in South Africa

14 participants from a Correctional Services department in South Africa successfully participated in the Food & Energy training in November. They received their certificate after a 4-day training course with theoretical and practical part in the areas of agro-solar food production and technical…

CAN (BC): Students complete “From Analysis to Recipe” course

A mix of students, faculty and staff of Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s (KPU) School of Horticulture recently successfully completed a blended learning looking at the practicalities of developing a hydroponic crop nutrient recipe based on solution analysis. This course called “From Analysis to Recipe” is especially…

Measuring the taste of a tomato with an iPhone

Measure the taste without tasting. For tomatoes this has been possible for decades with the taste model developed by Wageningen University & Research. This model makes judging the taste much easier than with a panel, but it is still fairly cumbersome. For a current taste measurement with the model, a…

Jan Reijm, positive about test results Winterlight Greenhouse

"Think about how test results can be used to your advantage

Jan Reijm, of Komkommerkwekerij Reijm & Zn. grows cucumbers on the high wire in Berkel en Rodenrijs, together with his father. The company is about 4.5 ha in size, and…

Austria: Vegetable harvest 2018 was significantly weaker

This year's harvest of field and horticultural vegetables has come to a total of 562,700 tons. This is a decline of 6 percent compared to the previous year, or a decrease of 8…

Syngenta gathers in one place the main players of the courgette supply chain

Italy: the present and the future of the courgette

In Sicily, Syngenta organised “A day about the present and the future of courgettes in Italy” with the participation of producers, technicians, retailers and nursery farmers. During the day, many topics were discussed such as varietal innovations, plant diseases, genetic research and consumption trends.   Visiting…

Italy: fighting pepper plant diseases

On Friday 23rd November 2018, Dr Laura Minozzi from the Institute for the Sustainable Protection of plants – CNR and Cristian Carli (Agrion Foundation) illustrated new technologies for monitoring the peppers’ diseases and they also showed the results of the 2018 experimentation on the varietal comparison…

Central Italy: Floods raise concerns about water stagnation

In the southern areas of Central Italy, heavy, persistent rain and floods have caused a critical situation to develop in the countryside. Here, we show some photos taken at the beginning of the 48th week that illustrate the conditions in fields and greenhouses. A local producer confirms the seriousness of the situation, “Almost a…

The yield dropped by 70%

South Italy: the effects of climate change on Italian produce

Giorgio Mercuri is the Fedagri-Confcooperative national president and an entrepreneur. He described the critical conditions that Southern Italy has been experiencing, “For more than one month, we have been facing very dramatic situations throughout Southern Italy”. Damaged crop The past months’ extreme climatic conditions – heavy, persistent…


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