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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Why does greenhouse equipment need to be simple?

By Chris Higgins What is the number one thing to look for in commercial horticulture and agriculture equipment? Simplicity. Simple well engineered commercial horticulture equipment performs best. Regardless of the product or the product category the best selling and most successfully used products are easy to learn, easy to use and easy to fix.  But, this […]

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How will you ensure that your small business survives both COVID-19 and the post COVID-19 economy?

By Chris Higgins Over the past few months I have watched many small farmers who were solely focused on servicing the food service and restaurant industry change simply to stay alive.  I have been amazed and impressed by their conviction and ability to create new opportunities to survive.  Their actions have inspired me to share […]

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Why I still believe in Red/Blue LED Grow Lights

Top 3 Reasons to Consider RED/BLUE LED Grow Lights By Chris Higgins LED grow lights have been a very hot topic for more than a decade now and as with any (relatively) new technology, the first decade of LED grow lights has seen massive changes and improvements.  From the amount of companies selling LED grow […]

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Robots to run commercial farms and I still don’t have a real hoverboard

It’s hard to believe we are already in the year 2020.  For someone who was born in the 1970’s, it has been a bit of a let down.  I feel like I was promised flying cars, robots, hoverboards and bubble covered cities.  I must admit that I was most excited for the hoverboards, but unfortunately […]

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What are the challenges to running a successful indoor farm?

(I had the opportunity to host the Great Lakes Ag-Tech Summit in Cleveland on Sept. 23, 2019.) The amount of investments made in the vertical farming and controlled environment agriculture industries has been well documented. Those companies that successfully raise capital are seen as industry heroes and it’s quickly assumed that they must have all […]

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2017 International Congress on Controlled Environment Agriculture (ICCEA) Creates Magic

The International Congress on Controlled Environment Agriculture brought together industry-leading participants in controlled environment agriculture to focus on working to reach its full potential. What happens when you bring together leading educators, researchers and thought leaders from the horticulture and agriculture industries? What happens when you combine those leaders with enthusiastic growers, entrepreneurs and personally-invested […]

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Part 3: Publicly Funded Research is Key in Driving Agriculture and Horticulture Growth

“Knowledge builds on itself so that the pace of discovery is faster when knowledge is freely available.” USDA-ERS, Nov. 10, 2016 The Urban Ag News team is continuing to adapt to the changes we recently announced. It has not been easy and as anyone who tries to effect change knows, it doesn’t always go smoothly. […]

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Part 2: Public funding for agricultural R&D continues to decrease

This month I had the pleasure of attending the 2017 North Central Extension & Research Activity (NCERA-101) annual meeting. It was an excellent opportunity to meet with many leading plant science researchers from universities, institutions and corporations in the U.S. and Canada. Over the course of two intense days I was able to obtain research updates […]

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Urban Ag News continues to evolve

Even as Urban Ag News’ method of delivering information on the controlled environment agriculture industry changes, it will continue to diligently work to provide a variety of platforms to disseminate science-based, unique content to industry members. Part 1: Urban Ag News is changing formats Some of you might be wondering (at least I hope some […]

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