I have received many inquiries about how to improve ventilation of high tunnels from growers with tunnels that have only roll-up sides. The issues they are facing tend to be either high temp, high humidity or both, leading to plant stress or disease. These situations tend to be in less than ideal sites for ventilation […]
Smooth and cleanable surfaces are an important aspect of areas where produce is washed, packed, stored and processed. Many farms are investing in renovations and expansions of these areas and are seeking materials to meet this “finish surface” need regardless of specific regulation. Meanwhile, entrepreneurial food processing companies are often required to incorporate these materials […]
I sometimes receive requests for help designing barns, sheds and other structures. It is a bit out of my scope of practice, but there are loads of designs available from the Midwest Plan Service (at Iowa State University) including their free building plans section. There are also other plans available from the Canadian Plan Service […]
I have been receiving several inquiries recently on supplemental lighting for greenhouse production. The most common question is “Should I install LED lights to support growing?” I have found one report to be the most complete and current on this topic and wanted to share it here. Economic Analysis of Greenhouse Lighting: Light Emitting Diodes […]
Yesterday we held our annual Oilseed Producer’s Meeting. At this meeting, I presented an economic overview of oilseeds in Vermont. Ina nutshell, Vermont has an installed on-farm biodiesel capacity of 600,000 gal/yr (5 sites) with a normalized initial cost of $1/gal of capacity (better than national average). Fuel can be produced for an average cost […]
We recently completed a series of small scale oilseed press evaluations related to on-farm oilseed processing. The video below summarizes the different presses and a full report is available for download.
Although estimates vary, we invest about 14 calories of fossil fuel-based energy and 15-20 calories of energy in general into every 1 calorie of food produced. And (here’s the kicker) 30-50% of the food produced never makes it to a digestive track. So those energy input numbers are actually low by any true measure of […]
I really like the Ag Census and USDA-NASS. Fellow data geeks (but they have the better electric guitar).