Missed Our Webinar on Strategies to Improve Spring Crops? View it Here!

If you missed our presentation by Dr. Neil Mattson (Cornell University) on November 18th, fear not! There’s a few ways to still watch his presentation!

You can either register for the original webinar here, which will then give you access to the recording on Zoom.

Or, you can check out the recording on our ONFloriculture YouTube Channel! An added bonus? By subscribing to the channel, you’ll always be notified when we post new videos. A direct link to Dr. Mattson’s talk can be found here.

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Funding Opportunity: The Greenhouse Technology Network

This guest blog post was written by Dr. Rita Sterne, Project Manager with the Greenhouse Technology Network. Read on for important information about this funding opportunity.

Why do we need a Greenhouse Technology Network (GTN)?

Success for a greenhouse business comes from many things including balancing systems, constant vigilance, and the use of technologies across complex production activities.  From tools, equipment, and machines, to methods, systems, and techniques, new and improved technologies must help growers run  a profitable businesses in a world where there are increasing demands from society, environment, and economy. 

Technological advancements often develop in response to a challenge, but research and development is a costly undertaking for many small and medium sized businesses and some persistent challenges require research expertise that is hard to access.  This is where the Greenhouse Technology Network can help!

Robotic technology in a greenhouse.

What is the Greenhouse Technology Network?

The need for new and improved technologies is the driver behind the Greenhouse Technology Network (GTN), a consortium of three research-focused institutions. GTN members leverage their research expertise in greenhouse technologies with greenhouse and related technology businesses to help grow innovation in Ontario’s greenhouse industry.

Powered by funding from the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, GTN members help businesses de-risk innovation activities and help new and improved technologies get to greenhouse growers faster where they will help business thrive and grow.

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Can We Improve Pesticide Application in Greenhouse Ornamentals?

As anyone battelling whitefly on poinsettia this season can attest to, good pesticide coverage in ornamental crops can be challenging. Hydraulic sprayers are the industry standard, but does that mean they’re the best option? Where does sprayer technology need to go in the future to get growers better results?

This summer, Dr. Jason Deveau, OMAFRA’s official “Spray Guy”, and myself did a trial at a local greenhouse with some experimental equipment to try and answer these questions. The results were intriguing, to say the least.

For all the details on this trial, check out the link to Jason’s blog post, below.

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Time to Prepare for Spring 2022

This post was jointly written by Dr. Chevonne Dayboll and Dr. Sarah Jandricic

It’s time to think about spring again! This post gathers some of the most important things to plan and prep for in the greenhouse before your spring production begins in earnest.

1. Make sure your inputs are ordered

We can’t emphasize this one enough. COVID-19 and container boat issues are still causing shipping delays that are affecting many industries including greenhouses. Make sure you order potting mixes, plastic trays and pots, fertilizers, and production inputs well ahead of when you will need them. If you are planning on doing greenhouse upgrades in between seasons make sure you confirm delivery and installation timelines with your contractors.  Many of them are facing delays too!

2. Now is the time for preventative maintenance

Heat loss from an older (left) and newer, more efficient boiler (right). (Photo credit: OMAFRA)

Now is a great time to schedule preventive maintenance for your boiler, irrigation and shading systems.  Make sure that all motors and alarms are working before you need to rely on them. No one wants to find out that their temperature alarm failed on a cold February morning! Ensure you are getting the pressure you expect all along your irrigation system.  If you rely on propane heaters for early spring production make sure they are venting properly. Damage from improper venting can present as stunted growth or leaf burn.

Take some time to inspect the greenhouse for wear-and-tear. Repair cracked poly and broken glass to keep heat from escaping. Make sure old torn energy curtains are replaced. A heat sensitive camera can help to identify areas of energy loss and help you plan for energy efficient upgrades in the future.

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Upcoming Webinar – Staying Alive: Strategies to Improve Shelf Life of Spring Crops

It’s almost November, there’s a chill in the air, leaves on the ground and spring is right around the corner! We’re sure that many of you are planning for 2022, and the next webinar in our series should help with your spring preparations.

Dr. Neil Mattson joins us to share his tips for spring production based on his extensive research in ornamental plant production. Dr. Mattson is a familiar face to many in the floriculture sector, and we are looking forward to his insights. Check out the details below, and don’t forget to register!

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Cost-Share Funding Alert: Canadian Agricultural Partnership Intake Opens November 15th

The next application intake for cost-share funding under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) will be November 15 to December 6, 2021. This is good timing if you are looking to implement improvements in your greenhouse for the 2022 season.

Adopting innovative automation to improve labour productivity is an eligible project area. (Image of an automatic cutting transplanter; AutoStix)
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Missed our Webinar on Smart Sensors for Floriculture? Access the Recording On-Demand

Missed our latest Controlled Environmental Agriculture Webinar by Dr. Nemali? That’s OK. We recorded it for you!

Just register for the webinar using the link in the original posting, and you’ll have access to the recording right away. (Note there’s a few minutes of dead air in the recording – don’t worry! Exciting content starts at about the 2 minute mark.)

You can learn more about Dr. Nemali’s exciting research by checking out his CEA website!

You can also find the link to the webinar recording here:

https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_71KmGWbGQtKzGFae9tjVdA

OMAFRA CEA Webinar Series: Smart Sensors for Floriculture

Ever thought your plants were looking a little chlorotic, but didn’t want to waste time or money on tests? What if an smartphone app could tell you their nitrogen level? What if low cost sensors could help you monitor plant growth and tell you when PGRs are needed?

Having previously covered topics such as artificial intelligence and smart spraying, OMAFRA is continuing it’s CEA Webinar series, looking specifically at smart sensors. And they don’t have to be anything fancy to help you monitor your crop.

Although “floriculture” is in the title, the sensors and apps Dr. Krishna Nemali from Purdue University will discuss have applications across all avenues of controlled environment agriculture. Keep reading for details on the webinar, and how to register.

Knowing when to apply PGRs to crops like poinsettia is critical. A smart phone app could help make things easier with less staff training.
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Water Treatment: What System Should I Choose?

Water media filter in a greenhouse
Media filters can be an important step in water treatment: see this article in Greenhouse Grower.

This is the 6th article in a series about water sanitation. The goal of this series is to get you reflecting on your own irrigation system before a problem occurs. 

If you’re following our series on water sanitation, you saw that previous posts covered where problems are likely to occur in your greenhouse, the types of pathogens found in waterwhere and how to sample your water and getting and interpreting a DNA test for pathogens in your water.

This post covers water treatment options, and was written by C. Dayboll with input from Phytoserv and Soil Resource Group.

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