Greenhouse Future & Tech

GGS Bought A Helicopter Sticky

Jun
02

For our customers it won't come as a surprise that GGS is always striving to help our customers explore ways to make their businesses more profitable. Experimenting with new technology is one way that we help our customers.

Recently we decided to enter the exciting world of RC Drones.



Our mini Helicopter is capable of flying up to 1200 feet high, and supports a camera for taking quality aerial video and photographs. It has a range from the controls in excess of 2000 feet, is capable of a top speed of 40km/h and will return back to its launch point if signal is lost.

We quickly found that the footage taken from this setup was astounding.


What Drone Technology Could Mean for Growers:

  • Field crop producers are already seeing enormous efficiency gains from having drones scout the crops from the air, and report back with detailed footage of acreage in a fraction of the time it would take to check the crops from the ground. Precision agriculture like that reduces man hours, improves accuracy, enables checks to be performed more frequently, and is better for the environment
  • For greenhouse growers, a drone enables you to quickly and at a low cost take aerial pictures of your site for building permits
  • Record for posterity the changes in your property year after year as you grow and expand
  • For Garden Centers, drones could be used to check the stock in the back for customers in the front. And maybe even to pick up and deliver flowers
  • For applicants to the MMPR program a drone can save you the need to hire an airplane photographer for the aerial photographs of the site that are required as part of Health Canada’s regulations

Greenhouses often use available outdoor space to grow late summer and fall crops such as pot mums. These growing areas can often consist of multiple acres, a drone would be a quick way to check for:

  • Dry areas, crops can have a darker appearance and be stunted compared to the properly irrigated plants
  • Fertilizer issues – plants often appear lighter in colour
  • Pests and disease – once a plant is identified as stunted or off colour, fly down for a closer look; botrytis can be identified if it’s advanced enough, so can pest damage

Nothing replaces walking the crop and having a personal view but a drone can give quick images and direct you to obvious areas of concern, location info is made even easier with the GPS data logged in the flight recorder on board!

So what’s the catch? This is great news right? Well, it seems that back in 1981 the Federal Aviation Administration in a document titled “Model Aircraft Operating Standards” banned the use of drones for commercial purposes and has restricted the use of these devices to non-commercial uses or “hobbyists”.

Here’s an excerpt from the document.

“MODEL AIRCRAFT OPERATING STANDARDS
Modelers, generally, are concerned about safety and do exercise good judgement when flying model aircraft. However, model aircraft can at times pose a hazard to full-scale aircraft in flight and to persons and property on the surface. Compliance with the following standards will help reduce the potential for that hazard and create a good neighbor environment with affected communities and airspace users”

The document goes on to explain flight restrictions and proper protocol and is mainly more of a guideline for the hobbyist flyers out there.

For Canadians a similar guideline has been set up and can be found under the civil aviation standards.

So that’s the bad news, the somewhat good news is that due to the growing popularity and the speed at which these new high tech devices are being offered to the general public the FAA is developing new rules to govern the operation of these devices. The somewhat part comes from the fact that the FAA has said new rules won’t be finalized until late 2015.

Increasing need for Precision Agriculture and the growing adoption rate of technology in the agriculture industry seems to be pushing back at this lengthy wait time though. The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) is calling for a quicker turn around on these rules in a Policy Amendment they have written. NASDA also cautions that the FAA being too strict could limit the growth of this technology to provide better crops and reducing pesticide use:

With the future of Drone Aviation uncertain, I would encourage growers to have a voice on the topic. In the meantime, GGS will continue to explore how this can be used as a technological advantage for our customers.

Share your opinion below.

Posted By Anthony Mundula read more

Canadian Government Investing in More Plant Science Research

Jun
15

Vineland Research Center

Three weeks ago the Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology), announced a $333-million investment for new research infrastructure through the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)  Fund. 

Now Vineland Research and Innovation Centre has been awarded $614,280 in research funding from the CFI to provide growers with resources to produce high quality and competitive crops.

Vineland Research Centre Construction

JGS Limited ( part of the GGS group of companies ) is currently in the process of constructing a 3700 m2 ( approximately 40,000 sqft ) state of the art pre-commercial scale research greenhouse for the Vineland Research Center. There are only a few pre-commercial scale research greenhouses in North America, and this will be the largest focused on horticulture research. Vineland’s new complex is designed to provide large compartmentalized spaces with enhanced environmental controls and a versatile layout, to allow researchers to work in spaces ideally suited to their research needs. There are two distinct growing areas one designed for vegetable crops with an under gutter height of 7m, and the other for floral production research has 4m high gutters.

Vineland Research CentreThis new funding will be used by Vineland working with the University of Toronto in a collaborative partnership to investigate techniques to promote plant health through the suppression of pathogens or by enhancing plant immune response to support field and greenhouse crops.

GGS Structures Inc. and JGS Limited have been providing research greenhouse solutions since GGS was founded in 1979.  In addition to horticultural and agricultural research, the GGS marijuana division has been asked to provide solutions for cannabis plant research for several international institutions.

You can learn more about JGS research greenhouse facilities on their website.

Posted By Leigh Coulter read more

ETWW Means Success In Today’s Customer Driven Economy

May
20

ETWW

Before you start your next building project with a greenhouse manufacturer, make sure they are ETWW (Easy to Work With). They should be flexible enough to accommodate customizations, reduce the amount of work/hassle for the grower, and stand behind their work after the job is done.

Is your greenhouse manufacturer flexible when you request customizations?
Every greenhouse manufacturer is different, and some are more willing than others to accommodate requests for modifications. At GGS we manufacture greenhouses customized to each grower’s particular needs. We have standard product lines, but we also remain flexible to our customer’s requests. This doesn’t mean that we can answer every customization request. It does mean we will do our best. Customization does not have to mean more expensive. Often by listening to what our customers want we can provide standard solutions to their specific needs with only minor variations to our product lines. For example, custom post spacing to account for door placement can be accomplished easily within our modular greenhouse design options.

Does your greenhouse manufacturer spend the necessary time with you, even if you’re not sure what you want?
For customers who are not clear on their greenhouse design requirements from the start, GGS will work with you to develop rough greenhouse layouts, and multiple options to consider. Our business is helping you grow.

Will your greenhouse manufacturer stand behind their work after the job is done?
We deliver hundreds of greenhouse orders error-free every year, but when we do make a mistake it is essential that we fix the error as quickly and as effectively as possible.

Is your greenhouse manufacturer willing to listen?
At GGS, we welcome input from our customers to tell us how we’re doing and what you need from us. It is our goal to remain the number one commercial greenhouse manufacturer in the world. We can achieve this only with your help. Tell us how we’re doing, and where we can improve. Together we will make it easier for everyone to build quality greenhouses with GGS.

Here are our thoughts on how a greenhouse manufacturer should be easy to work with:

1. Improve customers interactions.
Products and services are important, and willingness to continue developing new solutions for better growing environments. Equally important is the experience customers walk away with every time they interact with our company. Whether for a quote, an order, follow up on a construction project, or researching what greenhouse design options are available, you to have a positive impression.

2. Reduce the work for customers.
Is your greenhouse manufacturer looking at how they can assist you with more than just the greenhouse purchase. What do you need to do after you have chosen your greenhouse supplier? Do they provide optional turnkey solutions including construction project management for customers who do not want to be tied up managing a greenhouse build and coordinating with all the sub trades.

3. Provide after sales support to ensure customers are fully satisfied.
Every effort should be made to ensure you get the ideal growing environment for your crops. After the project is done your greenhouse manufacturer should be able to fully stand behind their work, and if you have questions or concerns, their sales professionals should continue to work with you until your issues are resolved.

4. Listening to customers and getting feedback to provide an atmosphere of continuous learning
Of course everyone loves hearing positive feedback about how their structures are improving the quality of our customers’ crops. But they should also always want to know how they can further improve – and this industry is all about the exchange of ideas.

Regardless of how well-made greenhouse structures are,  how efficiently ventilation systems work, or how easy it is to build, it is the people inside the company that make or break it. For a greenhouse manufacturer or any other company to be easy to work with, the staff needs to be exceptional, and have the skills and the mindset to improve every day.

If you’re planning a greenhouse expansion and want to deal with an ETWW manufacturer, contact us now and we will do our best to prove to you that GGS is the easiest greenhouse manufacturer to work with.

Posted By Leigh Coulter read more

The Next Generation Of Greenhouse Employees Might Be The Elderly

May
01

Eldery woman and young girl gardeningOver the last few years the horticultural industry has had a healthy preoccupation with engaging the “next generation”.  We need them as customers, suppliers, innovators, and employees.  And while continuing to court young blood makes good sense, for sustainable growth we should not be ignoring the vast masses of soon to be semi-retired baby boomers, or their predecessors.

Consider Silicon Valley’s 90 year old tech designer, Barbara Beskind, who works 1 day a week at IDEO helping to design human-centered products that speak to the needs of an aging population.  Beskind wants products that help prevent falls, and use facial recognition to provide easy reminders of people’s names. She reminds younger designers that older fingers don’t do as well with nimble tasks, and eyesight and hearing diminishes with age.

Just as listening to younger employees can provide us with a wealth of knowledge of the demands and expectations of their generation, listening to older employees can open a window to a market that may not be fully satisfied with our current offerings.

There are roughly 76 million boomers in the US, representing about 19% of the total population, and while the majority of them are still under 65, every year moves us closer to potential workforce mass exodus, and a dramatically different marketplace.

Think of where an older person’s perspective might change your product offering, or services you could provide. Are your plant tags available with large print, could an inexpensive voice message be embedded in your pots like the greeting card business does, so information could be transferred to the customer aurally eliminating the need to read tags.

And if semi-retired workers appeal to you, think of how you can redesign work cells, production flow, and equipment handling to enable an older workforce to work in the greenhouse efficiently.

It is certainly worth considering that the “Next Generation” in your greenhouse or garden center might not be the one you were initially thinking of.

Sources:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2015/01/19/377702882/at-90-shes-designing-tech-for-aging-boomers

http://www.bbhq.com/bomrstat.htm

Posted By Leigh Coulter read more

Advanced Greenhouse Poly Reduces Temperature Without Losing Light

Apr
22

In order to reduce the high temperatures in greenhouses, chalk and shading paints can be applied. But what many growers do not know is that it is also possible to reduce the temperature inside the greenhouse with advanced polyfilms that reduce the temperature inside without influencing the light levels. This can be of interest for growers in areas with too much light.

Hyplast's new KoolLite+ greenhouse poly is specially designed for protected cropping in countries like Mexico, Kenia, Ethiopia, Vietnam and Saudie Arabia;  regions with a lot of light during the warm hot summers. The greenhouse  film contains a new type of pearlescent pigment (small pieces of metal) that have especially been designed to reflect solar heat near infra red (NIR), in combination with an improved light transmission (PAR).

Over the past years, Hyplast has ran several trials with the KoolLite+. "This new film is able to reduce the temperature inside a greenhouse with 6-7 °C compared to a regular not cooling reference film", said Tom de Smedt of Hyplast. He affirms that the biggest advantage of the film compared to shading nets or chalking, is the fact that the film still allows maximum light transmission inside the greenhouse. "KoolLite+ gives not only a lower temperature during the day, but also a better light diffusion inside the crop which also results in less stress and a better balanced crop. The crop will also develop more balanced with better quality and higher yields in return."

During the night and on cool and cloudy days the temperature in a greenhouse with a KoolLite+ cover is equal to a normal greenhouse film.

"Growers in Mexico are familiar with the results that can be achieved with the film, they have now installed the film on a large scale", said De Smedt. "Also growers in Saudi Arabia are now running trials. According to De Smedt, the reason that not many growers are using it that much, is because of the fact that not many growers are familiar with it.

The price of the KoolLite+ film is higher than a standard film, but according to De Smedt, the film also allows to save costs on other supplies like greenhouse coatings. "Chalking and cleaning are costly operations. It depends on the labour cost per country if a KoolLite+ film can contribute to less labour costs."

KoolLite+ is also available with extra options like Anti-dripping, UV-open, Sulfur resistance (SR), different light stabilisers or UV Blocking.

GGS is an authorized distributor for Hyplast. Contact GGS or all your greenhouse poly.

Original article

Posted By Guest read more

How To Encourage Interest In The Family Greenhouse

Apr
20

Image of gardening tools

There is a startling statistic: 70% of family businesses fail in the second generation, and 88% fail with the third generation. And yet family farms and family greenhouses perform much better than most family businesses.

I have done some research on this and come up with my theories on why family greenhouse businesses perform better in inter-generational models than other businesses. Below are best practices I have noticed both from growing up in a family business environment and from talking to successful multi-generational greenhouse families.

Family business survival stats

1. Start Them Young

Warren Buffet is said to have bought his first stock at 12 years old, and he will tell you he started too late. Most successful businesses have a passionate, dedicated leader. If you are a first generation business, you started because this is something you love, this is something you enjoy working, days, nights, and weekends. This is particularly true for greenhouse operations and other farms where you can’t just leave your crop and forget about it while you are on vacation. So if you hope to inspire the same kind of passion in your children start them young. My 6 year old begs to help me work - “working is fun” he says. Governments have instituted minimum age requirements for working in most businesses which hampers those of us in manufacturing from getting our kids on the factory floor, but greenhouses and farms have so far escaped much of this regulation. Take advantage of it; give your children the responsibility of growing two or three plants, helping assemble boxes, building a web site page, write a blog, or monitoring the heating costs.

2. Encourage The Entrepreneurial Spirit

There is something noble about stepping up to a challenge, taking a risk, and putting everything you have into making a success. There is courage and strength in accepting a failure and pushing through to a greater success. So whether it is a lemonade stand, an art sale, a plant sale at school, or offering to pull the neighbor’s weeds, encourage your children to do it themselves. Loan them the seed money (i.e. To buy lemons and sugar) or better yet have them take it from their allowance. Celebrate their successes, and allow them to learn from their failures.

3. Grow Their Responsibilities As Their Capabilities And Experience Grow

If your son started in the greenhouse in charge of growing 2 plants for his Mother’s Day gift, let him be responsible for watering a bench next. If your daughter started assembling boxes, next she could help load the plants in boxes, and after that she is responsible for picking plants for shipping. If you have started them young you have ample opportunity to make small increases that give added pride of accomplishment and also broaden their knowledge of the business. Greenhouses have lots of hands on opportunities, and lots of opportunities to see something accomplished, to watch the fruits of your labor grow (literally if you happen to be growing tomatoes, cucumbers, or peppers)

Young girl gardening4. Hold Your Children Accountable Like You Would Any Other Employee

My husband teaches high school in the city, and it is a frequent complaint of the teachers that parents are more interested in their children having an easier life than teaching them the consequences of their actions. Maybe because a greenhouse product is perishable, there is a greater sense of understanding that consequences are real. If your daughter is responsible to water the plants and she doesn’t, they die, there is no second chance. When your son does a good job debudding the mums, he sees the positive result in the beautiful flowers he has helped create. If you want success for your children teach them that what they do really matters.

5. Do Not Specialize Too Young

Remember your first childhood dream job? When my son was 3 he proudly announced he was going to be a dentist and a lion tamer. I wisely pointed out that could be a whole new market: animal dentistry! “No!” He was not going to have me changing his career aspirations; they were separate and both totally achievable.

6. Be Open To Change

Everything changes. What you have to do today to be successful in your business is almost certainly different than what your father had to do. Your children will run a greenhouse business in a different market place. This means possibly different shipping concerns, different production techniques, certainly a whole new realm of marketing requirements.

Family business succession rates

7. Give Them The Confidence To Choose Another Path

We have all seen it, the person stuck in a loveless job, putting in the hours out of duty or fear to do something different, but without any passion or real interest this is doomed to failure. My parents had 3 children, the other two have chosen careers outside of the business. Agriculture is not an easy life, and as many times as I have heard customers tell me they hope their children will one day take over the business, I have also heard someone lament that they hope their child takes another path. In the end what we all hope for is that our children pick the path that is right for them. So provide the opportunities to learn your greenhouse business without the push to join. If you have inspired a passion and your child takes up the challenge you will have a greenhouse business capable of thriving throughout the next generation.

Leigh Coulter is a third generation entrepreneur, second generation greenhouse manufacturer, whose childhood business ventures included, comic book production and sales, weed removal, selling sea shells by the resort casino entrance, and lemonade stands. While getting her business degree she owned and operated a gift service and retail store, before being lured into the family business.

Posted By Leigh Coulter read more

Greenhouse Crops With Maximum Profit Growth Potential

Mar
16

Back in the summer of 2013 I wrote an article titled What Can I Grow in a Greenhouse? The focus was to highlight some of the unique uses for greenhouses that we have encountered in our 35+ years of helping greenhouse growers grow their businesses. Many of the greenhouse products suggested back then still show promise for profitable growth today, and a few new ones have emerged.

When looking for a profitable growth product one of the signals is increasing market demand. Considering the world population is an aging demographic, products that relate to health will likely continue to grow.

Medicinal herbs like: motherwort which is said to be good for heart conditions; spilanthes is considered an immune system stimulant; calendula, basil, feverfew, German chamomile, echinacea, and ginseng, are just a few of the healing herbs that fit the potential market demand.

Continuing on the topic of medicinal plants, marijuana is all the rage. With the US market currently sitting just under 3 billion dollars and estimates of growth to 5 billion by the end of 2016, it is no surprise that some greenhouse growers are looking to convert their greenhouses to this potentially lucrative crop. Marijuana is a cool crop so marijuana greenhouses require good ventilation, but odor control is also necessary for most marijuana production licenses.

Marijuana is not the only hot medicinal greenhouse plant. Several companies over the last few years have discovered that infusing plants with a virus shows great potential for producing vaccines. Typically a strain of tobacco plant is genetically modified instead of using animal protein. This is known as biosimilar plant production and is not only more cost effective, but also requires a lot less time to market than traditional vaccine production. Biosimilar plant production may require research style greenhouse facilities in order to meet the GMP requirements of the drug companies.

Two more trends in consumer health consumption are the “local food movement” and hydroponics. Greenhouses that are able to capitalize on “close to market” advertising have an opportunity to brand their greenhouse produce as a premium quality food for the health conscious consumer. Likewise hydroponic greenhouse growers are seeing increasing demand from shoppers. We work with the leading hydroponic production companies to provide greenhouses and greenhouse heating systems that maximize efficiencies.

Outside of the health market, immigration is exposing most markets to expanding diverse cultures and this is fueling niche market demands for all kinds of ethnic, and otherwise unique foods. Edible flowers provide vibrant colours to restaurant meal. Many Asian fruits and vegetables can thrive in a greenhouse.

In addition to a worldwide aging demographic, consider regional wealth profiles. Asia, and in particular, China is experiencing a tremendous rise in the middle class. As their buying power increases, so do opportunities for greenhouse producers.

According to the World Bank by 2030 fish farms will need to be able to produce close to two thirds of global fish consumption due to population growth and reduced levels of wild fish. Currently 38 percent of all fish produced in the world is exported, and by 2030 Asia is projected to account for 70% of the world demand for seafood products. By using the greenhouse climate to optimize the growing environment, we have seen aquiculture farms succeed. In North America greenhouse aquiculture typically raise tilapia, or arctic char in combination with a water plant like seaweed. In recent years greenhouse farmed aquiculture crops have also included shrimp, and increasing market demand for seafood could see opportunities for other aquiculture farming. For aquiculture the favorite greenhouse is a Widespan gutter connect greenhouse with tall under gutter heights. This enables good environmental control under a square footage that is capable of housing large production water tanks.

Biofuel is another area with increasing market demand. Algae can now be produced in a greenhouse and as advanced fuel research continues to measure and improve ways to replace fossil fuels, this is an area where specialty growers may thrive.

But the future market growth potential of a greenhouse crop is not the only factor in considering whether it could be profitable for you. More profitable crops for long-term growing typically have higher barriers to entry. Medicinal plants have significant regulations which require specialized growing environments, air filtration, and seed to sale traceability, etc. Quality and consistency are of primary importance so established suppliers will have an advantage as medical producers are going to be resistant to switching to an unknown supplier.

Marijuana currently has extremely high barriers to entry with most government bodies strictly controlling and limiting who gets a license to grow. In Uruguay there are only 5 marijuana cultivation licenses being awarded, in Minnesota it was just two.

When strategically examining crop options you also need to consider your team’s strengths and weaknesses and make sure that you pick crops which complement your organization. Can you easily import knowledge through consultants or new hires where needed? Does the new crop have synergies with your existing product mix, or does it make sense to have an entirely different business venture.

Of course this article is just scratching the surface of possibilities for commercial greenhouses today. If you have experience with any creative greenhouse crops or other uses we would love to read them in the comments below!

Source: http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2014/02/05/fish-farms-global-food-fish-supply-2030

Posted By Leigh Coulter read more

The Power Of Love In A Single Rose

Feb
09

Single Rose Image

 

 

 

 

 

 

As Valentine’s Day approaches everyone’s thoughts turn to flowers. The Cupiddrone is the newest tech initiative from funnyhowflowersdothat.uk. Using smart new technology to delight and surprise customers the Cupiddrone none the less shows us that technology alone is not the answer. It is the flower in the end that makes the human connection.

At GGS we are dedicated to helping growers grow.  We design greenhouses to provide the ideal environments for your plants, and we look for technological advances that can help us as well as our customers. Back in 2013 when we received notice from Google that we had been selected to be one of the google glass explorers, we knew that wearable internet connected devices have the potential to be disruptive technology in the greenhouse industry. One year later we were one of the first companies to bring drone technology to greenhouses and farms, exploring how drones could be used by our customers to improve their businesses. 

But regardless of the technology, and whether it improves production efficiency, provides marketing insight, helps you grow a better crop, or allows you to make viral youtube videos, the flower is what really matters. Last year Bloemenbureau Holland reminded everyone of the power of a rose without any high tech gadgetry.

So this Valentine’s Day, whether you are delivering bouquets by drones, by van, or by foot, know that the flowers you grow in your greenhouse are making the world a better place. 

Happy Valentines Week!

Posted By Leigh Coulter read more

Generation Now: Bryce Danbrook on Why He Got Into Horticulture

Jan
26

Commercial Greenhouse Hydrangea GrowerIt was late 2009. I was 3 and a half years out of high school and working full time at Canada’s largest musical instruments retailer. If you had asked me then, I would have told you I had my dream job. I was constantly learning, meeting interesting people, and had access to all the latest toys and gadgets. It’s funny how perspective can change. I was very proud and successful in what I did, but no longer felt challenged and was seeking the fulfillment of participating in something more profound. In the midst of economic uncertainty, nothing seemed more secure and essential than the need for food.

Out of countless friends and acquaintances spending many thousands of dollars on a post-secondary education, few of them had pursued a career in the field of their studies. I was convinced that if I was going to spend my money, I wanted to specialize in something that was inarguably essential. It’s a funny thing, food. People need it. Every day. With all the talk in those days about careers being “recession proof”, it seemed obvious that people’s need for food was unwavering. Therefore, if I was able to produce food, there would always be mouths to consume it.

Having come from a farming family, I was all too familiar with the harsh conditions and intense labour required in the lifestyle. I wasn’t exactly thrilled with the idea of committing to the immense effort involved, when one late frost, or exceptionally dry summer could tarnish an entire season’s work. Can you blame me? I began to really see the value in controlled environment crop production, and was convinced that the future of agriculture depended on it. I remember coming across an article forecasting the coming age of vertical farms. Something inside me clicked, and I knew that I somehow needed to prepare myself to participate in bringing that dream to fruition. I didn’t want to aim myself for where horticulture and agriculture is today, I wanted to aim for where they’re going in the future.

Through months of researching college and university programs, I became particularly interested in Niagara College’s Greenhouse Technician Co-op program. Being in the routine of working, I felt that the blend of practical hands on learning, and structured academic study would favour my learning style, as well as offer me real work experience within the industry. I became fascinated with the intricacies of greenhouse production, and felt that the science involved would be the most transferable to where I saw the future of both horticulture and agriculture heading.  Several months later, I had been accepted and was looking for an apartment to move into for September, near the NOTL campus.

I was sensible enough to know that no school program will get you where you want to go. Rather, school introduces you to the skills, and develops the confidence needed for ambitious people to pursue their goals. I took every opportunity available to participate in extracurricular learning, join research groups, and pick the brain of industry experts. I tried to adapt every project and assignment to be relevant to my particular goals, or at least take something relevant from the experience. I particularly enjoyed the challenge of designing indoor vertical farming systems, and production techniques to be used for such applications. I relearned the importance of always keeping the big picture in mind, staying organized and thinking outside the box to solve problems, which in crop production, are never in short supply.

Since entering the industry, I have been privileged to apply my skills in several areas such as horticultural research, large scale hydroponic vegetable production and floriculture. For two seasons I managed a garden center offering countless varieties of vegetables, annuals and perennials. This demanded a huge amount of multitasking and time management, and challenged me to take full responsibility of managerial duties. Following this experience, I was contacted by a group in the beginning stages of applying to Health Canada’s new MMRP program. For those who are unfamiliar, this is the new program tasked with regulating Canada’s new commercial scale medical marijuana facilities. For the next year, I became the go-to for horticultural knowledge and consulting in retrofitting a 30,000 square foot warehouse into a highly efficient indoor farm. I saw this highly valuable crop as a basis for developing techniques that will enable other crops to be adapted for vertical farming applications. This process provided invaluable insight to the unforeseen complications inherent within such a project. I accumulated a huge amount of knowledge and experience which would serve as a solid foundation for helping others pursue similar projects, and overcoming the challenges necessary to carry vertical farming into the future.

It’s been a short 4 and a half years. I have been privileged to gain experience in many facets of crop production and the supporting industries. I am excited to now be a member of the GGS team. Each day I look forward to applying what I’ve gained through my own experiences, and learning from the years of experience GGS has to offer. I still don’t know exactly what the future holds, but I rest assured that I’m in the right place to help develop the horticulture and agricultural systems of tomorrow.

Posted By Bryce Danbrook read more

Marijuana: Not Enough Research

Dec
03

Research Greenhouse

                                                                                                Photos courtesy of:  JGS Limited  Research Greenhouse Specialists

While the debates around the cannabis plant are heated and varied, one thing that all opinions appear to agree with is: there is not enough research to date.

There is not enough research to know the effects on the adolescent mind, there is not enough research to prove the benefits for Alzheimer’s patients, or Epilepsy, or Parkinson’s sufferers, or soldiers with PTSD. The anti-pot campaign wants more research before we risk exposing innocents to a new drug. The Pro-cannabis side argues that research has been stifled to perpetuate a myth of “Reefer Madness”. And everyone should want to understand more about the benefits of THC, CBD, and the other 83 active cannabinoids that have already been identified in cannabis.

The citizens of the world, are no longer willing to wait for clinical trials and more research. Voters are casting their ballots in response to enormous amounts of anecdotal evidence that shows marijuana has valid and just medical benefits for millions of sufferers. The movement has spread throughout the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, the UK, Spain, Uruguay, Columbia, South Africa and more.

 

 For the times they are a-changin’!

 

So where do we go from here?  If we can all agree there is not enough research then focus needs to be placed on doing research.  Our sister company, JGS Limited is a worldwide leader in the design of technologically advanced research environments.  With a focus on building facilities that empower plant scientists to study and innovate, JGS has worked with many of the leading Agricultural Research institutes. 

Companies and individuals looking to encourage cannabis plant research should start a dialog with one or more of these Agricultural Science Universities, which according to US News, have been ranked as the Best Global Universities for Agricultural Sciences. Clinical research starts with plant life science research. Together we can make a difference.  We have placed a leaf beside those universities that we are currently aware have a cannabis research program in place or plans to start one.

Canada                                                         

University of Guelph marijuana leaf denotes cannabis research

University of British Columbia marijuana leaf denotes cannabis research

University of Alberta

McGill University marijuana leaf denotes cannabis research

University of Saskatchewan

University of Manitoba

University of Toronto

 

 

United States 

University of California-Davis marijuana leaf denotes cannabis research

Cornell University

University of Massachusetts-Amherst

University of Florida

Harvard University

University of Wisconsin-Madison

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Rutgers State University

Tufts University

University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign

University of Georgia

Michigan State University

Pennsylvania State University marijuana leaf denotes cannabis research

Washington State University

North Carolina State University

University of California--Berkeley

Purdue University

Ohio State University

Iowa State University

Texas A&M University-College Station

Oregon State University

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Kansas State University

Colorado State University

University of Maryland-College Park

University of Arizona

Johns Hopkins University marijuana leaf denotes cannabis research

Australia 

University of Western Australia

University of Queensland Australia

University of Adelaide

University of Sydney marijuana leaf denotes cannabis research

University of Melbourne

 

 

Austria

University of Bodenkultur Wien

 

 

Belgium 

Ghent University

KU Leuven

 

 

Brazil 

Universidade de São Paulo

Universidade Estadual de Campinas

Universidade Estadual Paulista

Universidade Federal de Viçosa

 

 

China 

China Agricultural University

Zhejiang University

Nanjing Agricultural University

South China University of Technology

Jiangnan University

Northwest A&F University-China

Huazhong Agricultural University

 

 

Denmark 

University of Copenhagen

Aarhus University

Technical University of Denmark

“Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought.”

Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

Containment Greenhouses environmental compartments

Finland

University of Helsinki

 

 

Germany 

University Hohenheim

Technical University of Munich

University of Bonn

University of Kiel

 

 

Greece

Agricultural University of Athens

 

 

Iran 

University of Tehran

University of Göttingen

 

 

Ireland 

University College Cork

University College Dublin

 

 

Israel 

Hebrew University of Jerusalem marijuana leaf denotes cannabis research

 

 

Italy

University of Milan

University of Bologna

University of Naples Federico II

University of Padua

 

 

Japan

University of Tokyo

Kyoto University

Hokkaido University

 

 

Malaysia 

Universiti Putra Malaysia

Netherlands 

Wageningen University and Research Center

VU University Amsterdam

Utrecht University

Maastricht University

 

 

New Zealand 

Massey University

 

 

Portugal

Universidade do Porto

Universidade de Lisboa

 

 

South Korea 

Seoul National University

 

 

Spain 

University of Barcelona

University of Valencia

Polytechnic University of Valencia

Universitat de Lleida

Universidad de Cordoba

University of Zaragoza

Autonomous University of Barcelona

 

 

Sweden 

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Lund University

 

 

Switzerland 

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich

 

 

Taiwan 

National Taiwan University

National Chung Hsing University

China Medical University Taiwan

Research Greenhouse Rooftop Greenhouse

United Kingdom 

University of Reading

University of East Anglia

University of Aberdeen

University of Nottingham

 

While, Agricultural Universities are a good starting place for all plant science research including cannabis research, it is not the only place to look.  The University of California's Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR) is set up in San Diego with the purpose of coordinating scientific studies to assess the safety and efficacy of cannabis and cannabis compounds for treating medical conditions.

Of course Colorado is currently the most active area in North America, with health officials having recommended funding 8 different cannabis research studies, two of which will study the effects on childhood epilepsy, and two others will research the benefits for treating post-traumatic stress disorder.  And while The University of Colorado has understandably benefited most from the funding proposals, The University of Pennsylvania and John Hopkins University in Baltimore have also benefited.

If you are aware of any additional Cannabis Research please comment below.  At GGS we are committed to helping growers grow.  We work with canabis growers to ensure your mother plants, cloning, and growing rooms are designed and built to ensure quality, and maximize yield.  Our sister company JGS works along side plant scientists to provide the most technologically advanced research greenhouses around the world.  Together we all can make a difference.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.usnews.com/education/best-global-universities/agricultural-sciences

http://jgslimited.com

https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/MMR-research-grant-recommendations

http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_27005133/colorado-health-officials-recommend-grants-8-marijuana-studies

http://azdailysun.com/news/state-and-regional/marijuana-researcher-gets-m-grant-from-colorado/article_4cea05cb-a728-5149-b655-8c0f8f3dfbb4.html

 

Posted By Leigh Coulter read more

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