Urban Ag News Online Magazine Issue 10

Urban Ag News Issue 10
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Urban Ag News is celebrating its 10th issue with a jam-packed magazine filled with practical production information and timely industry news.

Every business today uses some type of technology even if it’s just for accounting and product inventory purposes. Urban Ag News celebrated the publishing of its 10th issue with a cover story on “Village Farms uses technology to increase efficiency & produce better crops.”

Mike DeGiglio, president and chief executive officer at Village Farms International talks about his company’s approach to technology and how it’s using it to be more efficient and profitable.

“Our goal was to create the software to be able to run a very sophisticated greenhouse that could have conditions very conducive to plant growth regardless of what it is doing outside,” DeGiglio said. “If you can accomplish that, then you can put the greenhouses not where it is best for the plants, but where it is best for the market to lower freight costs and increase access to labor.”

Florida’s protected agriculture industry continues to expand

Even though the number of protected ag operations in Florida remain fairly small in size, more large growers are weighing the benefits and options of being able to grow year-round in a variety of structures.

“We have a very diverse protected ag industry in Florida,” said Bob Hochmuth, University of Florida Multi-County Extension Agent–Vegetables and Small Farms Statewide Coordinator. “Most people don’t normally think of Florida as a state for greenhouse vegetables. However, there is a lot of opportunity here.”

Deciding which strawberry varieties to grow in greenhouse production systems

Which are the best varieties for greenhouse production? Combining June-bearing and everbearing varieties can help ensure fruit is available during periods of premium pricing.
Trying to decide which strawberry varieties to produce in a controlled environment production system can be a challenge for growers using field-bred varieties. Mark Kroggel, research specialist at the University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture Center in Tucson, said it is possible for growers to produce strawberries nearly year-round by combining greenhouse and field production.

Are you really ready to start your urban farm operation?

So, you have been dreaming about starting an urban farm or are about to launch your new career with an indoor farm. You have gotten funding from friends and family (and Kickstarter) but have you really dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s as far as what challenges you will be taking on as you get your business up and running?
The truth is that many urban farming operations enter the business from one perspective. They may be started by a grower who knows a ton about growing but little about the business and legal end of things. Or, the operation may be started by someone with a business perspective who wants to see a farming operation thrive, but has little knowledge of the daily ins and outs of running a farm. Many urban farms fail. It’s good to be as prepared as possible when starting out so you don’t repeat the same mistakes as others.

Urban Ag News continues to evolve, expand with controlled environment agriculture industry

Chris Higgins, founder of Urban Ag News, said the idea for this information resource began with conversations he had with vendors of horticultural and agricultural products.
“The idea started prior to the big movement in controlled environment agriculture specifically focusing on the production of leafy greens and culinary herbs in vertical farms,” Higgins said. “There have been a few specialized companies that have been selling products related to hydroponic production for many years. But it has only been within the last five years that controlled environment agriculture has become a hot topic. Producing vegetables hydroponically has recently become a topic of interest to both growers and non-growers.”

Higgins talks about how the online magazine and website continues to evolve. Started as a tool to provide people interested in controlled environment agriculture with an unbiased information resource, Urban Ag News is evolving to meet the changing needs of its users.

 

ISSUE 10 includes:

How is Village Farms International using technology?

Mike DeGiglio, president and chief executive officer at Village Farms International, talks about his company’s approach to technology and how it’s using it to be more efficient and profitable.

 

Florida’s protected agriculture industry continues to expand

Even though the number of protected ag operations in Florida remain fairly small in size, more large growers are weighing the benefits and options of being able to grow year-round in a variety of structures.

 

Deciding which strawberry varieties to grow in greenhouse production systems

Which are the best varieties for greenhouse production? Combining June-bearing and everbearing varieties can help ensure fruit is available during periods of premium pricing.

 

Urban Ag News continues to evolve, expand with controlled environment agriculture industry

Urban Ag News founder Chris Higgins talks about how the online magazine and website continues to evolve. Started as a tool to provide people interested in controlled environment agriculture with an unbiased information resource, Urban Ag News is evolving to meet the changing needs of its users.