OMARFRA

This interview details OMARFRA, a company based in Canada. The interview is with Fadi Al-Daoud, Greenhouse Vegetable Specialist of OMARFRA.

Source: OMARFRA

What is the background on what OMARFRA does? 

My role as the Greenhouse Vegetable Specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) is to support vegetable and fruit production in controlled environment agriculture (CEA) systems such as greenhouses and vertical farms. I work with greenhouse and vertical farmers, researchers, and industry to improve the efficiency of these production systems through research and education and training. You can find articles and recorded presentations on our blog (ongreenhousevegetables.ca).

Source: OMARFRA

What does your research focus on? 

Most of my research is performed on-farm. I collect data from commercial greenhouses and vertical farms in Ontario. Recently, my research has focused on characterizing natural and artificial lighting environments and mapping the microclimates in greenhouses and vertical farms. I have also compared water disinfection systems that are currently used for recirculating fertigation in greenhouses and vertical farms. Furthermore, I have also reviewed the scientific literature on a number of other topics including carbon dioxide enrichment in CEA.

Source: OMARFRA

What are your thoughts in CO2 usage in indoor farms? 

You can find my article on the use of carbon dioxide enrichment in CEA on our blog (Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Enrichment in Controlled Environment Agriculture – Is it always a good idea? – ONGreenhouseVegetables). It outlines the latest research on the benefits and drawbacks of CO2 enrichment in CEA. Overall, CO2 enrichment boosts food production if it is used in the right way.

Source: OMARFRA

Energy is a big topic in indoor farming right now. How can farms be more efficient with energy usage? 

Greenhouse and vertical farmers can be more energy efficient by monitoring the performance of their equipment on a regular basis. This will ensure that lights and HVAC systems are working at their optimum rate and they are being maintained regularly. Greenhouses and vertical farms should also ensure that their building structures are as energy-efficient as possible. Researchers at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Harrow Research and Development Centre are working on new long-photoperiod low-intensity lighting recipes that can be more energy efficient and require less lighting fixtures than traditional lighting recipes. You can find a recent article that I co-authored on this topic on our blog (Finding the Right Light Recipe – ONGreenhouseVegetables).

Source: OMARFRA

How can people connect with you or learn more about Ontario Ministry of Agriculture or your research?

You can stay updated on my activities by subscribing to our blog (ongreenhousevegetables.ca).

Source: OMARFRA

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