All of us at 20/20 Seed Labs are particularly excited about the 2022 season because it’s the first season where our new greenhouse will be completely finished and in operation.
We initially had the idea to build a greenhouse five years ago, primarily because we were renting space and had been since we started 20/20 Seed Labs. This became impractical over the long term.
At the same time, opportunities for greenhouse research and greenhouse studies are increasing. At a total of 1,000 square feet, we built our greenhouse to offer flexibility for improved diagnostics.
How it works: Environmental controls are fully automated with a weather station measuring wind speed, relative humidity, outside temperature, and rain. Inside, the temperature sits around 25 C for an eight-hour period and then it drops down to around 15 C, emulating what goes on in a germinator.
It’s fully vented, relying on air circulation to purge stale air and bring in fresh air. It is constantly collecting data on environmental conditions both inside and outside and greenhouse and is set up to let 20/20 Seed Labs staff monitor those conditions remotely.
That means in the event of a problem, we can respond right away to ensure conditions remain steady.
Why it’s of benefit to customers: If farmers want to try a new product like a fungicide, they will often do one strip out on the field to see how it performs. In the greenhouse, we can do it on a much smaller scale, rather than on a full strip, and it can be done all year round. Farmers and agronomists have a lot more flexibility with the greenhouse option.
It’s also allowed us to expand our research and development services. We can now complete grow-out trials and testing for: plant nutrients, disease ratings, herbicide tolerance testing, fungicide and inoculant response, seed treatments, seed quality, product efficacy, plus many more opportunities.
Supporting breeders is a major benefit of the greenhouse, especially breeders who work in high-value vegetable crops like peppers, cucumbers and strawberries. We are also entering the hemp/cannabis space as well as forestry and flowers.
This article was originally published in Germination magazine. Read the latest news in the Canadian and international seed industry at Germination.