• 13-12-2016

    New Czech anti-hail system

    Anti-hail nets can be a lifesaver for fruit growers but that doesn’t mean they will be effective in every storm. Whether it be through an excess load of hail accumulating on the net or stones coming through the gaps and damaging fruit anyway, the technology is by no means foolproof. In steps Czech company Krodes, with its Stripex products that connect netting structures with clip or zip fasteners. “After we...
    • 13-12-2016

    Robots bringing huge benefits to farming

    Farming is embracing a technological revolution that involves the likes of computers, global positioning systems (GPS), unmanned drones, driverless tractors, and robots and much more. The industry is on the brink of enjoying major developments in robots that could take the hard work and drudgery out of harvesting fruit and vegetables by hand. There are two critical factors that separate a robot from a machine - the capacity...
    • 13-12-2016

    New Greenhouse Centre of Excellence

    The Leamington Chamber of Commerce is launching a feasibility study into the growth of the greenhouse industry. The year-long study will look into a Greenhouse Centre of Excellence, that would offer post-secondary programs for skills development in the agri-business sector. Ghamam Consulting has been hired to carry out the year-long study. It is being funded with a $75,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. ...
    • 13-12-2016

    Andalusia’s greenhouse area exceeds 33K ha

    In recent years Andalusia has recorded a development of greenhouse areas, which is confirmed by the recent mapping study of the Ministry of Agriculture. According to this study, the area of ​​greenhouses in Andalusia totaled 33 596 hectares in 2016. The vast majority is in the province of Almeria which reaches 30 007 hectares (+ 33% compared to 2014), the coast of Granada accounts 2,848 hectares and the Velez Malaga region...
    • 9-12-2016

    Biobest buys Kenyan biopesticide firm

    Belgian crop protection firm Biobest has acquired Kenyan biopesticide firm Real IPM in a deal designed to boost market presence for both companies. Real IPM co-founder Henry Wainwright will continue in the role of general manager in Kenya for the next two years to ensure a seamless transition, a statement said. Real IPM is present in the UK through subsidiary Real IPM UK, but will grow its profile in Europe via its new...
    • 9-12-2016

    Plant factories cropping up in Hong Kong

    Plant factories, in which vegetables and other crops are grown indoors, are cropping up in Hong Kong amid growing awareness about food safety among the middle class. With some 20 companies entering the market over the past three years, annual production of hydroponic farms is expected to reach 750 tons. In late November at a supermarket in the territory's Wan Chai district, Davis, a 35-year-old man who works at a...
    • 9-12-2016

    $3M funding for robotics research in US

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced $3 million in available funding for robotics research, application, and education for agricultural systems that benefit consumers and rural communities. This funding is made available through the National Robotics Initiative (NRI), a federal research partnership that includes NIFA, the National Science Foundation...
    • 9-12-2016

    Dutch style tomato growing in China

    After three years of planning Dutch group Levarht is now planting tomatoes in China, through a project with Beijing HongFu International Agriculture that is expected to yield the first crop in February. The first tomatoes were planted this week in the group’s Dutch style glasshouse in Beijing’s Daxing district, using “the best Dutch technology and selecting the best varieties”. The team will be...
    • 9-12-2016

    Mexico: Long run of good growing weather

    In Mexico, a long run of good growing weather extended at least toward mid-December. Tropical fruit growers in Chiapas were enjoying abundant production as unseasonably hot weather boosted production of bananas, papayas and other crops. Up Mexico’s west coast, unusual Culiacan heat reached into the triple digits in early December. For Del Campo y Asociados S.A. de C.V., protected tomato production was strong, with...
    • 5-12-2016

    New Plant Health Portal launched in UK

    A new website has been launched by Defra today to improve access to data on plant pests and diseases. The Plant Health Portal ( planthealthportal.defra.gov.uk ) will make it easier for professionals to share and use vital information on plant pests and diseases, unlocking the power of data to better assess threats and determine actions to tackle them. The portal was first proposed in 2014’s Plant Biosecurity Strategy...
    • 5-12-2016

    New rail link in EU to transport fresh produce

    Belgian retailer Colruyt Group has commenced the transport of fresh produce from Spain via Cool Rail, a low-emission fresh transport system between Valencia and Cologne. Cool Rail is described as ‘a sustainable alternative to road transport’. Each container travels 83% fewer truck kilometres, which results in a 70% reduction in CO2. The group says that the initiative forms part of its broader pursuit of sustainable...
    • 5-12-2016

    New discovery in plant-disease mechanism

    We all know that when it rains, plants grow. When it doesn’t, they don’t. However, new research led by plant scientists at Michigan State University has found that too much rain, coupled with prolonged high levels of humidity, can result in more plant disease. The research, detailed in the publication Nature , sheds new light on how climate conditions can influence disease outbreaks in all plants, including...
    • 5-12-2016

    New substrate mixing facility by Jiffy

    On Wednesday December 7th, Jiffy’s new 1Plant will be officially opened by Dagfinn Andersen, CEO of Jiffy International AS, parent company of Jiffy Products International BV. Many of Jiffy’s customers and business relations have been invited to participate in the festivities around the official opening taking place in Zwijndrecht the Netherlands. Tours of the new facility will be available for the guests during...
    • 5-12-2016

    Biobest buys Kenyan biopesticide firm

    Belgian crop protection firm Biobest has acquired Kenyan biopesticide firm Real IPM in a deal designed to boost market presence for both companies. Real IPM co-founder Henry Wainwright will continue in the role of general manager in Kenya for the next two years to ensure a seamless transition, a statement said. Real IPM is present in the UK through subsidiary Real IPM UK, but will grow its profile in Europe via its new...
    • 29-11-2016

    New tech to monitor crops for stress

    A cutting edge new technology system, which can remotely monitor soft fruit crops for stresses, is being developed. The automated imaging system is able to monitor and measure how plants respond to stresses such as drought or attacks by pests or diseases. Once fully developed, it is hoped the system will not only enable growers to keep a constant remote monitor for signs of stress on crop areas or individual plants, but...
    • 25-11-2016

    NethWork launches Master program in GUA

    NethWork , a Dutch cluster of complementary horticultural companies is proud to announce that its educational partner, University Rafael Landivar, is launching a unique Master program on protected horticulture starting from July 2017. NethWork supports the sustainable development of the horticultural market in Central America, by developing various projects and activities in cooperation with strong local partners. NethWork...
    • 25-11-2016

    New weapon unleashed in fruit fly fight

    The newest weapon against one of the world’s worst horticultural pests has been unveiled in South Australia. The world-leading National Sterile Insect Technology (SIT) Centre will initially tackle the Queensland fruit fly, which costs the Australian horticulture industry more than $300 million a year. The $3.8 million centre will produce 50 million sterile male Queensland fruit flies each week. The flies will be...
    • 25-11-2016

    WUR’s robots for produce quality control

    Innovation was a key theme at the recent Amsterdam Produce Show and Conference in the Netherlands, which happens to be home to the world’s leading university in agriculture and forestry, according to QS rankings. Wageningen University had a booth at the trade fair where its robotics were on display, using sensor technology to monitor the appearance of a batch of Brazilian mangoes. “We’re looking into...
    • 23-11-2016

    Breakthrough regarding plant breeding patents

    It was never the European legislator’s intention to grant patents on products of essential biological processes. This is the tenor of an interpretation of the Biotechnology Guideline of 1998 presented by the European Commission on 3 November of this year. The EU view on things marks an important step in a discussion on patents in plant breeding that has been ongoing for many years and it is now up to the European...
    • 23-11-2016

    Crop yield gets boost with modified genes

    Plant biologists have bumped up crop productivity by increasing the expression of genes that result in more efficient use of light in photosynthesis, a finding that could be used to help address the world’s future food needs. Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), and the University of Illinois targeted...
    • 23-11-2016

    The future of targeted weed control

    ‘eyeSpot’, a research project part-funded by AHDB Horticulture, is driving innovation in weed control and aims to reduce herbicide inputs by up to 95%. Experts at University of Reading, Precision Farming Robotics Ltd., Concurrent Solutions llc and Knight Farm Machinery Ltd. are developing the use of a cutting-edge automated spot herbicide ejector, which will ‘point and shoot’ metered droplets to...
    • 16-11-2016

    Smartphones to detect food contaminants

    Checking food for the presence of harmful substances using your smartphone: this is the aim of the new European FoodSmartphone consortium. Researchers will develop an entirely novel approach towards food safety monitoring. Recently, the European Research Executive Agency granted almost €3 million to this consortium, which consists of RIKILT Wageningen University & Research and institutes from five other countries...
    • 16-11-2016

    Tomatoes could help prevent wrinkles

    Eating plenty of tomatoes could stave off wrinkles - and even skin cancer, say scientists. The fruit is rich in an antioxidant called lycopene that helps shield the body from harmful UV radiation. A study says it isn't a substitute for sunscreen but offers another important line of defence. German researchers said it could lead to people taking supplements containing the chemical for health - or cosmetic - purposes...
    • 16-11-2016

    Vanilla next to bloom in Dutch greenhouses

    Flowers more exotic than the humble tulip will soon flourish for the first time in Dutch greenhouses after intensive research into growing the capricious vanilla orchid to harvest one of the world's most expensive spices. In the middle of potato fields in a central Dutch rural town, scientists from Wageningen University have for the past four years been nurturing vanilla orchids. And their research has been deemed...
    • 10-11-2016

    Funding for strawberry harvesting robots in UK

    A Cambridgeshire technology business has secured funding from the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative to develop a robotic harvesting project in the UK. Dogtooth Technologies, based in Haslingfield in South Cambridgeshire, has plans to develop the first strawberry harvesting robot designed to replace the hand-picking of strawberries. The initial phase of the project will involve manufacturing ten harvesting robots and...