Bayer launches organic veg seed, plus PMA canceled

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Friday, September 24, 2021

Jen Polanz Subscribe

Inside Grower

Bayer’s Organic Veg Seed
PMA Canceled
Education Abounds
One More Opportunity
Go West, Mucci Farms


Bayer’s Organic Veg Seed for Greenhouse

Greenhouse growers will have another source for organic vegetable seeds starting in 2022 with Bayer’s announcement Wednesday that it's expanding its vegetable seed offerings under a new Vegetables By Bayer umbrella.

The certified organic seed production for 2022 will focus on three key crops for the greenhouse market: tomatoes, sweet pepper and cucumber. In 2023, tomato rootstock varieties will be available. The vegetables will be sold under both the Seminis and De Ruiter vegetable seed brands, and the initial launch will focus on Canada, United States, Mexico, Spain and Italy with potential future growth based on market demand.

“We serve growers all over the world and believe that they should have the freedom to choose the tools or practices that best suit the needs of their farms and the needs of their customers,” says Inci Dannenberg, president of global vegetable seeds at Bayer, in a media announcement. “The launch of our certified organic vegetable seeds represents an opportunity to continue to bring our best-in-class varieties and industry-leading disease resistance to growers in the organics market, while supporting consumer choice.”

The company has identified global organic foods as a growth category, citing its value of $355 million in 2020 and its expected growth to $480 million by 2025.

PMA Fresh Summit Canceled

After the one-two punch of Hurricane Ida and Tropical Storm Nicholas on the regions of New Orleans and other coastal cities in Louisiana, PMA’s upcoming Fresh Summit trade show has been canceled. The announcement came late last week from PMA CEO Cathy Burns via a video message.

In the message, she says: “While recovery efforts continue, New Orleans and the state of Louisiana have been declared federal disaster areas, and even now face another substantial weather impact as the remnants of Tropical Storm Nicholas move across the region. Now the reality is Fresh Summit is much more than three days in October, requiring on-the-ground resources weeks before the event. We are simply not confident the infrastructure necessary for an event the size and the scale of Fresh Summit will be in place.”

She encouraged viewers to donate to the Red Cross and World Central Kitchen, both of which continue to be on the ground in Louisiana to help residents. You can click the image or click HERE to see the full video message.

Education Abounds

I've been inundated recently with a wide variety of educational opportunities—from hybrid in-person/virtual conferences to a virtual short course, podcasts and more. Check it out:

GreenTech Live & Online runs September 28-30 at RAI Amsterdam in the Netherlands. If you’re going, you’ve probably already booked it all, but if you aren’t, consider watching the online offerings. It’s a great opportunity to find out more about CEA technology.

GLASE is offering a webinar on “Environmental regulation of growth and quality attributes of indoor leafy greens” presented by Erik Runkle of Michigan State University, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern on September 30. He’ll also share indoor lighting research from the OptimIA project.

Canadian Greenhouse Conference runs October 6-7 in person at the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls, Canada, as well as online. The conference offers more than 45 speakers, new product and new varieties showcases, and networking opportunities.

An Online Aquaponics Intensive Workshop is being offered by the Controlled Environment Agriculture Center (CEAC) at the University of Arizona October 19-20. Subjects include System Design & Planning, Fish & Care, Water Quality & Nutrients, IPM, Troubleshooting and much more.

DMA Solutions is offering a webinar series called "Marketing matters on marketing fresh produce." The dates and topics include: November 18—Private Label: Who Does It Benefit? with DMA Solutions President & CEO Dan’l Mackey Almy; December 9—Social Media Planning with the DMA team.

The Polygreens Podcast is one I’ve wanted to mention for a while. It’s from the Nick Greens Grow Team, which offers CEA consulting, and the podcast is hosted by Nick Greens and AmHydro’s Joe Swartz. They cover a variety of topics and interview people involved in lots of different aspects of CEA. There are more than 40 episodes, so lots to download and listen to on the go.

One More Opportunity

Speaking of GLASE, the greenhouse lighting and systems engineering consortium is announcing its first Plant Lighting Short Course, a virtual event that will run for six weeks. Registration is now open for the six-week modular short course, which will provide information on all aspects related to selecting and implementing lighting, as well as the benefits of different systems. The modules begin Thursday, October 14 and run each Thursday from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Eastern.

According to an announcement, attendees will use interactive tools to define their specific lighting requirements, hear from industry experts about available horticulture lighting systems and learn how to compare different lighting strategies. Speakers will include university researchers, CEA growers and allied trade experts.

The six week modules are as follows:

  • Introduction to Crop Lighting
  • Deciding to Use Crop Lighting
  • Crop Production with Supplemental Lighting
  • Crop Lighting Systems
  • Economics of Crop Lighting
  • Future of Crop Lighting

The short course is presented by GLASE, LAMP (Lighting Approaches to Maximize Profits) and OptimIA.

Go West, Mucci Farms

Mucci Farms announced last week it's entered into an exclusive marketing agreement with Houweling’s owner Casey Houweling to market all produce grown in his Camarillo, California, greenhouse under the Mucci Farms brand and trademarks. As part of the agreement, Mucci Farms will open two new distribution centers in Camarillo, California, and Delta, B.C.

“It’s an exciting day for us, as this establishes a presence for us out West,” says Mucci Farms CEO Bert Mucci in the announcement. “Partnering with the well-respected Houweling’s team gives us a strong starting point in the region as we look to expand our reach across the continent.”

An aerial view of the Houweling's Camarillo, California, growing operation.

The two companies seem well matched, as they're both second-generation growers, which the announcement points out.

“We were looking for an exceptional marketing company that would meet the needs of what we grow and that can maximize the returns for quality produce. It was important to us that we chose a marketer who understands not only what it takes to market, but also understand what it takes to grow great quality produce,” Casey said.

He adds in the announcement that they focus heavily on sustainable growing by using waste energy, closed-loop recycling systems and biological pest controls.

As always, feel free to email me at with comments, questions, news and views.

Until next time, stay safe and be healthy,

Jennifer Polanz
Inside Grower

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