Does Quality Matter? If So, Prove It.

If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. We all know brands with products and services that represent quality. But have you ever been the person responsible for selling quality? For earning the premium price associated with producing quality products?   Since my first job in 1996, every company I worked for, represented or […]

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The Biggest Challenge for CEA, LABOR

In July 2023, I posted the article The 2023 Controlled Environment Agriculture Market – How Are We Evolving? After fielding several questions and comments from industry professionals who I really respect, I feel the need for one (maybe two) follow-up articles.  This article is first because I firmly believe labor is the biggest challenge we […]

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The 2023 Controlled Environment Agriculture Market – How are we evolving?

Photo: AppHarvest, Somerset Kentucky The U.S. controlled environment agriculture (CEA) industry received lots of publicity over the past 10 years. From interviews on CNBC to articles in Forbes, investors and the general business community found interest in an industry that seemed new despite the fact that it was anything but.   (If you are interested in […]

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Becoming an Environmentalist while trying to turn a profit

Photo: Close friend and Kansas farmer enjoys a break. Credit: Chris Higgins Thoughts of a businessman just trying to figure it out, while not messing up. “Isn’t it pretty to think so?” – The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway In a previous article, I posed the question, Who Should Lead The Environmental Movement? In this […]

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Why the Jury is still out on Robotics and Autonomous Intelligence (AI) In Agriculture

Photo: Chris Higgins, Hendersonville NC. Recent company failures and layoffs will likely have people second guessing their commitment to the agtech movement and possibly controlled environment agriculture (CEA). The past 15 years of my career have seen a rollercoaster of interest in my chosen industry. In the 2000s, the Canadians and Mexicans drove investments as […]

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Greenhouse Vegetable Production Is All About Balance

Greenhouse and Vertical Farm Vegetable Production Is All About Balance. Ever wonder what’s the difference between a good grower and a great grower? I recently made a post on Linkedin that brought out some amazing comments from professional growers. It also highlighted the fact that those new to our industry do not understand the terminology […]

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3rd Generation Farmer Shares His Thoughts on Next Generation AgTech and Greenhouse Vegetable Production

Chris Higgins and Michael Del Ciancio discuss the importance of ag-tech in shaping the next generation of family farms.  Urban Ag News is extremely grateful that Michael Del Ciancio of DC Farms based in Ruthven Ontario, Canada, has agreed to discuss his thoughts on new ag-tech trends with us.  A third- generation farmer, Michael grew […]

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Pro-Tip Number 1: Measure these 9 items.

When you know the 9 cardinal parameters of plant science, you’re able to smell a fraud. The best in the industry know that no one item determines successful plant production. Instead, they look to the 9 Cardinal Parameters of Plant Science:  Light Learn more with Dr Ricardo Hernandez and the Farmer Tyler:  https://urbanagnews.com/blog/light-quality-with-farmer-tyler-and-dr-ricardo-hernandez/ Temperature Learn […]

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You know what a greenhouse and vertical farm are, but what is controlled environment agriculture (CEA)?

Cornell University Explains CEA. Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) is an advanced and intensive form of hydroponically-based agriculture where plants grow within a controlled environment to optimize horticultural practices. CEA techniques are not simpler than older systems for growing plants. Indeed, they demand sound knowledge of chemistry, horticulture, engineering, plant physiology, plant pathology, computers and entomology. […]

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Why does energy efficiency matter when selecting LED grow lights?

Learn the 3 things to consider when choosing energy efficient lighting in your greenhouse or vertical farm.  __________ Before we get started, let’s set some ground rules for this article.  1. I want to believe that everyone wants to do what’s right for the planet as long as they think their business can afford it, […]

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Shenandoah Growers, Virginia

Is the latest technology worth the investment for your hydroponic farm?

Photo: Shenandoah Growers, Virginia Remember: It is possible to operate a successful and profitable hydroponic farm in a hoop house, a greenhouse, vertical farm or even outside in parts of the world. There are only three primary reasons a grower or a farmer should invest in technology. Yet if you listen to anyone in the […]

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Chris Higgins environmental movement

Who should lead the environmental movement?

Photo: Our decisions today affect our planet tomorrow.  Protect what you love, whether that be work or play. Simple answer, those with the most passion and perseverance. As the controlled environment agriculture industry we spend a significant amount of time discussing how we are going to improve our communities, the environment, the farming experience and the […]

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Which type of hydroponic system is better?

Hint: They are all just irrigation systems. One of the questions that I get most frequently is, “Which hydroponic system is the best?” I am fairly sure that my standard answer of, “it all depends” annoys most of the people I am speaking to.  From suppliers to growers and from researchers to hobbyists there is […]

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Important Tips for Designing a Hydroponic Production Facility

Why do you keep saying buffer capacity? For anyone that has called me to discuss the design of their new vertical farm or greenhouse, they have probably grown quickly tired of me using the term buffer capacity.  But, of everything I have learned over the past 25 years, the understanding of “buffer capacity” might possibly […]

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