Take advantage of Growing Forward 2 Funding for Energy Savings!

What is happening?

Growing Forward 2 (GF2) Cost-share Funding Assistance Program for Producers is now offering new support for farmers to make changes in their farming operation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  This is to support producers to transition to low carbon production and encourage energy efficiency and energy conservation on-farms.

Why should you care? One of the new Best Management Practices is especially applicable to greenhouses – A13: Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from indoor agriculture facilities.  

Have I got your attention? Read on to find out more!  Continue reading

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A Grower and A Scientist Walk into a Bar…at the June “Integrated Control in Protected Crops” IOBC Meeting.

To find out the punchline to this joke, you’ll have to attend the Grower Session of the upcoming IOBC “Integrated Control in Protected Crops” Meeting on June 7, 2017 in Niagara Falls.  Read on for details.

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Improperly ventilated heaters & ethylene damage

Spring is on its way, and with cold nights and warmer days we are seeing a common spring problem – poor air quality damage on spring bedding crops.  Symptoms, solutions and preventative measures are included in this 2017 update to a previous post.

Natural gas and propane are popular choices when it comes to heating a greenhouse.  The products of burning fuel are carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H20); both compounds we know are good for your plants.  However, combustion is often (if not always) incomplete, and impurities such as carbon monoxide (CO), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and ethylene (C2H4) are also released leading to poor air quality if your heater is not properly vented.

Typically symptoms from ethylene damage and sulfur dioxide damage can been seen fairly quickly after exposure.

Figure 1. Signs of ethylene damage include leaf curling and epinasty, seen here in A) New Guinea Impatiens and B) lettuce seedlings.

In the short term (a few hours to a few days), ethylene damage results in leaf curling, epinasty (leaves bending downwards from the petiole) and flower drop.  If the stress continues over a Continue reading

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THIS SATURDAY: “Biosecurity Workshop” necessary for submitting GF2 proposals for pest control projects

On Saturday afternoon (Feb. 18th) from 2- 6pm at the Vineland OMAFRA office there will be a “Biosecurity Workshop”run by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association.

This workshop is targeted to greenhouse and hort producers.  It will provide the necessary background for growers to submit applications to the Growing Forward 2 Program for biosecurity and pest control projects.   Attendance at a biosecurity workshop is a necessary to apply for GF2 funding under this stream.

There is no cost for this workshop and all are welcome. Please  register at ontarioprograms.net or contact Margaret May at mmay@ontariosoilcrop.org

A flyer with more details is included below.

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Workshop on Water Quality Testing next week!

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3M Petri Films are an easy to use tool in on-farm water quality testing. 

Want to know when and where pathogen problems are building BEFORE they start? Interested in setting up your own water quality testing program that’s both easy and cost effective?

For those of you attending my IPM Workshop on Friday, you’ll get a bit of a taste of the tools to help you do this that have recently been developed by Flowers Canada, the Soil Research Group and other collaborators.

For those of you who are missing my workshop, or want more hands-on, in-depth information on this topic, then come to the “Greenhouse Water Quality Workshop” being run on Feb. 24.  Read on for more details.

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Spring crops that are “magnets”for certain pests.

aphid_cali_UMAssYou know the old rhyme: “April showers bring May flowers, but what do May flowers bring? Aphids“. Or sometimes it seems that way, anyways, with Spring bedding crops.

To help guide your pest management program this year, our  friends (superiors?) over at Michigan State Extension have released a handy  list of which crops are likely to attract which pests.  Keep reading for more info.

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Hydrangeas: Getting the (right colour) blues

Forcing hydrangeas for Easter? Our friend Dr. Brian Whipker at North Carolina State University has released a great resource on managing nutrients to ensure your blooms are blue and not bluish-purple. Continue reading

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