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CanadaGAP to phase out aquaponics certification

CanadaGAP will begin phasing out certification for aquaponics operations in 2020, citing “potential chemical hazards (antibiotics, for example) associated with aquaponic production” and possible uptake of contaminants through leafy greens.

The government organization will stop GAP-certifying businesses on April 1 and begin revoking certifications from businesses in 2020.

The organization says it uses a generic HACCP model establish food safety requirements. According to CanadaGAP, using that model means more research is needed before aquaponics can be GAP certified again.

>> Read the full story here.

photo: Patrick Williams

Proven Winners to drop out of California Spring Trials in 2020

Proven Winners will not host a stop at California Spring Trials in 2020 and will reevaluate in following years whether or not to rejoin the tour.

With attendance slightly declining at the event in recent years, the company hopes to broaden the pool of horticulture industry members who can learn about its plant introductions, said Jeanine Standard, who handles media and public relations for Proven Winners.

“For us, we are respected for having marketing innovations and new approaches, and this is definitely in that category,” Standard said. “And we’ll be the first to say that there is no guarantee at anything we do. But we felt it was time to try a different approach — something that more of our audience could participate in.”

>> Read the full story here.

Researchers find specialty eggplant varieties grow well in high tunnels

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Researchers with the New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) have found that eggplant varieties developed specifically for growing in greenhouses and high tunnels produced a prolific amount of fruit.

“A comprehensive survey of high tunnel producers that we conducted in 2016 indicated that a surprisingly high number of producers were growing eggplant in tunnels. This number increased further in a 2019 survey. While some cultivars are marketed as being suitable for high tunnel production, there have been no comprehensive studies available to guide selection of eggplant cultivars,” said station researcher Becky Sideman.

According to the USDA’s Census of Agriculture, 92 Granite State farms were growing eggplant to sell fresh to consumers in 2017, an increase from 55 farms in 2012.

>> Read the full story here.