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FROM YOUR EDITOR
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2/1/2024

Changing It Up

Jennifer Polanz
Article ImageIt’s fitting that as we move forward with a new year and new look for Inside Grower (more on that in a minute) that we focus on the impact of changing the growing environment. After all, everything that’s done in CEA is what sets it apart from field grown, where farmers have very little to no control over factors like temperature, humidity and lighting.

Inside a greenhouse or vertical farm, though, those are where you can make those incremental changes that improve yield, change the color of a leaf or increase the size of a fruit. Optimizing the environment is the key to the kingdom, so to speak. That’s why we’re focusing on the different environments greenhouse growers and vertical farm operators experience for our cover story on page 14.

You can read more about the new Vice President of Plant Science at Plenty, Sasha Preuss, on page 22, and his take on how they’re working on bringing out the best in their crops. Then you can turn to the next installment from researchers at Michigan State University in their end-of-production lighting research and its impact on nutrition and leaf color (page 28). And while indoor production is a controlled environment, it’s not a closed one, so we still have to be cognizant of sanitation and food safety. You can read Dave Kuack’s article on sanitation protocols to keep equipment areas safe for food production on page 18.

This issue is fitting, too, because we’re tweaking our environment, too. We’ve untethered Inside Grower from our flagship GrowerTalks/Green Profit magazine and are sending it directly to CEA growers quarterly. Whether you got this at home, picked it up at a trade show or are seeing it online, if you’re a qualifying subscriber (i.e., you’re with a company that grows fruits, vegetables, herbs and/or leafy greens indoors), then visit the subscribe page and sign up for a printed copy (it’s free!).

With the new change in mailing the magazine, we’ve added some new departments, too. In every issue you’ll find stories under Technology (page 12) and Pest Management (page 30), along with our existing Research Corner, as well as a familiar face at the end. We’re honored to have Dr. Gene Giacomelli as our new columnist to wrap up each issue. He’s been at the forefront of sustainable food production and CEA research for four decades at Rutgers University and at the University of Arizona, serving as the inaugural Executive Director of the Controlled Environment Agriculture Center at U of A for 18 years. You can read his first column on page 34.

One of the keys to tweaking the environment is monitoring feedback and we’d love to hear yours. What do you think? Is there something pressing you’d love to see us write about in the magazine? Email me at jpolanz@ballpublishing.com and let me know.

 

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