In an article shared on UrbanAg News, commercial horticultural supplier Hort Americas has announced its participation in a research and development project to advance the controlled environment agriculture (CEA) field. The USDA has awarded the project a $3.77 million grant. It will be led by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) with contributions from Rutgers, Cornell, the University of Arizona, Hort Americas, and Koidra.
Guil Signorini of CFAES and Chris Higgins of Hort Americas will work together to map decision-making processes for adopting greenhouse technologies. The four-year study will focus on developing a data-driven decision-making platform, validating the efficacy of new data-driven decision-making, understanding the socioeconomics of greenhouse technology adaptation, and engaging stakeholders through professional learning opportunities.
“For AdvanCEA to be successful, it is essential that we get data and feedback from North American growers requiring, desiring, and financing in the technology being studied,” Higgins said. “Our most significant error would be focusing on systems that do not add value to the community. In Essence, growers must be able to afford the tech, which should either enhance their efficiency, improve yield or save them capital. We must get data from growers to ensure we can deliver based on those metrics.”
“This funding will help us pioneer controlled environment agriculture in the United States,” commented Ohio Controlled Environment Agriculture Center (OHCEAC) director Kubota. “Presently, domestic growers depend on technologies designed predominantly in the Netherlands, which sticks to distinct design benchmarks, measurement units, and government laws, thus driving delays in adjusting new technologies in the United States.”
The study will be conducted in the Controlled Environment Agriculture Research Complex (CEARC), a state-of-the-art greenhouse at the vanguard of controlled environment food production research. This collaboration between Hort Americas, universities, and Koidra is poised to make significant advancements in the field of CEA and provide valuable insights for stakeholders in the industry.
Hort Americas’ participation in this project demonstrates its commitment to advancing the industry and improving the viability and sustainability of food production through Controlled Environment Agriculture. The company’s expertise in the horticultural sector, combined with the research capabilities of leading universities and Koidra, will ensure the success of this project and help shape the future of controlled environment agriculture.
Image probided by Hort Americas
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