New Row Farm Nurseries Mon, 29 Nov 2021 04:05:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 New Row Farm Nurseries 32 32 India’s fertilizer black market is booming as prices skyrocket Mon, 29 Nov 2021 02:04:17 +0000

Indian farmers pressed by a massive shortage of fertilizers are turning to the black market and paying exorbitant prices for their supplies. The shortfall has led to a thriving market where nutrients from subsidized crops are sold illegally at prices well above government-set levels. Shady agents have been busy responding to requests from farmers who call them in desperate need.

With a key planting season underway for the millions of Indian households who depend on agriculture for a living, farmers say they have little choice.

We must either reduce the use of fertilizers and risk lower production, or pay sky-high prices on the black market, said Dilip Patidar, a wheat and onion farmer in Madhya Pradesh state.

Either option is not great. A drop in crop yields could push up food prices, worsening inflation in a country where 15% of the population faces hunger. Paying high prices on the black market will hurt the incomes of marginal small farmers, who make up over 80% of India’s agricultural sector.

India is one of the countries most affected by the global fertilizer crisis. Crop nutrient prices have skyrocketed as coal and natural gas shortages have forced some fertilizer factories in Europe to close. China and Russia have also restricted exports to preserve domestic supplies. These hurdles will keep fertilizer prices high until the first half of 2022, according to Gro Intelligence.

India will be the first to feel the effects, as its demand for fertilizer tends to peak between the fourth and first quarters, according to Alexis Maxwell, analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence. Export restrictions imposed by China, one of India’s main suppliers, have left the South Asian nation with very few options for sourcing fertilizer, she said.

India imports up to a third of its fertilizers and is the world’s largest buyer of urea and diammonium phosphate, known as DAP. The tight supply is likely to hurt the production of staple crops such as wheat, rapeseed and pulses sown during the winter.

“The fertilizer shortage comes at a time when the prices of other inputs like diesel are also high and some farmers have suffered damage due to erratic rainfall,” said Garima Kapoor, economist at Elara Securities (India) Pvt . Ltd. in Mumbai. These could limit the recovery in rural demand, she added.

India is increasing its own production of fertilizers and is working on long-term deals with suppliers to curb price increases, people familiar with the matter say. Current subsidies to fertilizer companies are sufficient, but if more is needed the government will provide them, said the people, who asked not to be named because they are not allowed to discuss publicly.

The federal government has started allocating fertilizer weekly to districts based on demand to avoid hoarding by retailers and farmers amid low stocks, one of the people said. Talks are underway with countries like Oman, Jordan, Morocco and Russia for long-term supplies, the person said.

Economic Affairs Secretary Ajay Seth declined to say whether the government would further increase fertilizer subsidies. A spokeswoman for the fertilizer ministry was unavailable for comment.

On the black market, a 45-kilogram bag of diammonium phosphate sells for 1,500 rupees ($ 20), above the maximum retail price of 1,200 rupees, farmer Patidar said. A bag of urea costs up to 400 rupees compared to the usual price of 266 rupees.

Patidar is awaiting the arrival of its fertilizer stocks. “If I don’t get enough supplies on time, my production will drop,” he said.

Another farmer in Haryana state in northern India is also struggling with fertilizer. Sukram Pal said he managed to sow wheat using half the usual amount of DAP, but now needs urea which is scarce. “Production will definitely drop this year,” he said.

This story was posted from an agency feed with no text editing.

To subscribe to Mint newsletters

* Enter a valid email address

* Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter.

Never miss a story! Stay connected and informed with Mint. Download our app now !!

Source link

Community systems offer alternative pathways for solar growth Sun, 28 Nov 2021 18:08:11 +0000 MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Walking on the roof of his church among 630 solar panels, Bishop Richard Howell Jr. acknowledged that climate change is not the most pressing concern for his predominantly black congregation – albeit it disproportionately harms people of color and the poor.

“The violence we are experiencing, the shootings, the murders, the COVID-19,” Howell said wearily. “You are trying to save families, and right now no one is really talking about global warming. “

Yet his international ministries at Shiloh Temple in northern Minneapolis have welcomed the opportunity to become one of the many “community solar” providers emerging in the United States amid growing demand for renewable energy.

Larger than domestic roof systems but smaller than large-scale complexes, they are located on top of buildings or on abandoned factory and farm grounds. Individuals or businesses subscribe to portions of energy sent to the grid and obtain credits that reduce their electricity bills.

The model appeals to people who cannot afford rooftop installations or who live where solar power is not accessible, such as tenants and homeowners of homes without direct sunlight.

“We are helping to fight this climate war and provide families with lower costs,” Howell said.

Nearly 1,600 community solar projects, or “gardens,” are operating across the country, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo. Most are in Minnesota, Massachusetts, New York, and Colorado, although 41 states and Washington, DC have at least one. Florida has relatively few of them, but they’re big enough to make the state a top producer.

Together, they generate about 3.4 gigawatts – enough for about 650,000 homes – or about 3% of the country’s solar production. But more than 4.3 gigawatts are expected to come online within five years, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

“We can have a cheaper, cleaner, and fairer system for everyone if we build smaller local resources,” said Jeff Cramer, executive director of the Coalition for Community Solar Access, a business group.

Still, it’s unclear what role community solar power will play in the United States’ transition from fossil fuels to renewables.

The Biden administration is continuing a $ 15 million Department of Energy initiative started in 2019 to support its growth, especially in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. The department announced in October its goal of supplying the equivalent of 5 million homes with community solar energy by 2025, saving consumers $ 1 billion.

But electricity regulation occurs at the state level, where interest groups compete for what defines community solar energy and who should produce it.

The Solar Energy Industries Association says the label should only apply where private developers and nonprofit cooperatives, not just utilities, can operate solar gardens and send electricity to the grid. The association says 19 states and Washington, DC, have such policies.

Utilities say having too many players could undo the regulatory structures that ensure reliable electricity service. They warn of disasters like last winter’s deadly power outage in Texas.

“You have a lot of profit-driven players trying to make money,” said Brandon Hofmeister, senior vice president of Consumers Energy. Michigan’s power company is fighting state bills that would allow non-public community solar power providers.

Others say utilities simply avoid competition.

“What is really driving the community solar energy boom is the free market,” said John Freeman, executive director of the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association, a trading group. “It saves money and promotes a cleaner environment.”


Community solar power took off in Minnesota after lawmakers in 2013 asked Xcel Energy, the state’s largest utility, to establish a program open to other developers. It has more than 400 gardens – peaks in the United States – with nearly 500 pending applications.

Keith Dent and Noy Koumalasy, who are married, say the Shiloh Temple garden subscription has reduced their bills by an average of $ 98 per year.

“You generate your own electricity and save a bit of money,” said Dent, who has helped set up several complexes built by Cooperative Energy Futures, a local non-profit organization.

Xcel, who is forced to buy electricity for the gardens, says the state’s formula for pricing solar energy makes it too expensive. The costs, spread across all utility customers, essentially force non-subscribers to subsidize community solar power, spokesman Matthew Lindstrom said.

Community solar power supporters say Xcel’s claim ignores savings from lower distribution costs at local gardens.

Among the gardens of Cooperative Energy Futures are 3,760 signs in a parking lot overlooking the Twins baseball stadium and a collection on a farm near Faribault, 50 miles south of Minneapolis.

Despite clashing over cutting six acres of production, farmer Gerald Bauer supports climate cause and says lease payments of $ 1,200 per acre make community solar power a financial winner .

“Agriculture does not even reach the income generated by solar energy,” he said as he walked through rows of signs framed by cornfields.

A cooperative project for a municipal roof in the nearby town of Eden Prairie has twice as many potential subscribers as there are signs.

“There are people in the community who want to support clean energy in any way they can,” said Jennifer Hassebroek, sustainability coordinator for the suburban city.

But community solar developers face a roadblock: Under state law, residents and businesses can only subscribe to facilities in their county or in an adjacent county.

This means that the very populated Twin Cites have many potential subscribers but lack space for the gardens. Rural areas have plenty of room but fewer buyers for energy.

“Instead of expanding across the state, we’re going to focus on counties adjacent to subscription demand,” said Reed Richerson, COO of Minneapolis-based US Solar Corp., who built solar projects in half a dozen. States.

A bill from State Representative Patty Acomb, a Democrat representing a suburban Twin Cities district, would drop the “contiguous county” rule.

But Xcel says it contradicts a basic community solar principle: to produce power close to where it’s used.

Community solar is touted as making renewable energy more accessible to households, especially those who need it. Yet businesses and public entities with sustainable development goals, such as schools and town halls, underwrite most of the power.

Some states are trying to change that.

New Mexico requires at least 30% of subscribers to each community solar project to be low-income. Colorado, Maryland, New Jersey, and Oregon reserve portions of energy for low- and moderate-income residents. New York offers financial incentives for developers to recruit them.

“Much remains to be done to open access to the community solar market to marginalized people,” said Gilbert Michaud, assistant professor of public policy at Loyola University in Chicago.


Community solar is struggling in states without established systems.

Michigan has about a dozen projects, although Consumers Energy opened a 1,752-panel garden on the grounds of an abandoned factory in Cadillac this summer.

Conservative Republican Michele Hoitenga and Progressive Democrat Rachel Hood are sponsoring House legislation to establish a state-regulated program open to third-party energy providers and utilities.

Hoitenga says it would boost freedom and the economy without raising taxes. Hood emphasizes climate benefits and equal access to renewable energy.

But their bills are disputed by Consumers Energy and DTE Energy, the two largest utilities in the state. They would cause “an overproduction of energy … and ultimately higher tariffs,” said Pete Ternes, spokesperson for DTE Energy.

The outlook is brighter in states favorable to utility developers such as New Jersey, Maine and Illinois, said Rachel Goldstein of consulting firm Wood Mackenzie.

It forecasts a 140% increase in production capacity nationwide by 2026, although growth may depend on removing obstacles such as project size limits.

Community solar power is unlikely to compete with rooftop installations anytime soon, Goldstein said, let alone come close to large-scale operations.

“It is unrealistic to say that we are going to solve the climate crisis with this and that everyone will be a millionaire,” said Timothy DenHerder-Thomas, managing director of Cooperative Energy Futures. “But we can say that you are going to have a better, more affordable, and cleaner life.”


Follow John Flesher on


Follow AP’s climate coverage at


The Associated Press’s Department of Health and Science receives support from the Department of Science Education at Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Migori youth venture into herb cultivation – Kenya news agency Sun, 28 Nov 2021 11:18:17 +0000

Fred Odhiambo, a youth from Rongo Town, Migori County, cultivates herbs on his 40-square-meter organic farm for medicinal purposes.

Odhiambo, teacher by profession and director of Organic Green System whose herbal business initiative is my farm, my food, my health and my wealth. He said he was motivated to start growing herbs in 2018 to tap the underdeveloped sector and help Kenyans lead healthier lives.

Mixer Fred Odhiambo which mixes the juice of herbs. The juice is mixed with sugar cane to give it a sweet taste. Photo by Geoffrey Makokha

He says he started planting the herbs when he realized the yields were much better than his previous vegetable business.

Odhiambo says his forty-square-meter farm has 43 different herb crops that take between two and a half to seven months to mature. The farm has crops of herbs like Moringa aloe vera, ginger, peppermint, beetroot, yellow dock and the Artemisia plant (malaria plant).

He says some of these herbal remedies help normalize blood pressure, improve wound healing, and get rid of constipation. He also notes that the herbs help with blood circulation, prevent colds and coughs, and relieve heartburn.

Odhiambo notes that he also planted vegetables like spinach as a herb due to its medicinal value. He encourages Kenyans to always include spinach in their diet as it helps in weight loss, promotes eye health and bone health. The surplus spinach is sold to vegetable vendors in Rongo town.

He explains that these herbs prevent many chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension which have become a problem for our health and which have depleted many of the financial resources of Kenyans during the treatment process.

He recognizes that organic farming can solve many health problems because the crops grown are natural and free from the toxic chemicals and fertilizers that are commonly used. He notes that the nutrition obtained from his herbs will help many people lead a healthier lifestyle.

Odhiambo mixes and packages herbal juice which he sells in Migori, Nairobi and other counties neighboring Nyanza. A liter of mixed herbal juice costs 150 Sh. His daily income varies between 2,000 and 3,500, which he says is a good return.

“I sell seedlings to local farmers, which increases my profits. I also train farmers in organic farming and planting herbs because of the passion and self-satisfaction I get from the business, ”said Odhiambo.

The farmer notes that he has attended various training sessions to improve his skills in agro-industry. He says the skills learned will improve his herb business as well as being able to train other farmers on the same.

“I was sponsored by One Vision, a Migori-based non-governmental organization, to attend the Kenya Climate Change Innovation Center (KCCIC) training on entrepreneurship and mentoring programs,” said Odhiambo.

Odhiambo says his teaching profession has helped him train other farmers on how to use small land resources to generate wealth through organic farming. He encourages Kenyans to always grow their own organic food to lead healthier lives.

Odhiambo advises young people to start with the little space they have and to use the opportunities to be entrepreneurs and self-reliant. He says his vision is to set up a cooperative to allow many farmers to benefit from his herb business as well as organic farming.

Mr. Glen Watson, an Organic Green System donor and one of the representatives of the International Non-Governmental Organization of Denmark working with Kenya on environmental issues in Lake Victoria, says the model organic herb company of Odhiambo was scalable and one of the best farming practices that can be emulated by young Kenyans.

He points out that he has decided to support the agriculture and marketing aspects of the Organic Green System business. Mr Watson explains that agricultural skills applied on the farm can be applied elsewhere and, therefore, should be encouraged. He notes that when Odhiambo becomes a successful farmer and mentor, many young people will benefit.

Watson says the Odhiambo farm is barely forty square meters and yet it was producing beyond capacity. He noted that the Odhiambo farm’s agricultural model was the best because the herbaceous plants stabilized the soils and helped mitigate soil erosion.

By Geoffrey Makokha

Cultivation of herbs Source link

Chicago Small Business Saturday: “Time to Really Get Out” Sat, 27 Nov 2021 22:31:03 +0000

Neighborhood groups across the city focused on small businesses on Saturday, luring shoppers with deals, live music, refreshments and more after another brutal year for retail due to COVID -19.

“Small businesses are what makes Chicago, Chicago,” said Angelica Moore, owner of Detoxxed Body in Bridgeport. “We are a city of neighborhoods, we are a city of small businesses.

Moore was among the entrepreneurs who settled for Small Business Saturday in Bronzeville, where a pop-up market for emerging operations was launched alongside a village of shipping containers that now serve as storefronts.

The annual ‘buy local’ party was also recognized in the north, where Rogers Park Business Alliance District Manager Carolina Juarez offered fresh pancakes to passers-by in hopes of getting them to visit some of the 17 participating stores. to the neighborhood’s “Love Rogers Park” promotion.

“Now is the time to really get out there and just support the small businesses in the community that have been completely devastated over the past year and a half. That’s why we kind of went all out this year, ”Juarez said.

Carolina Juarez, director of the business district of the Rogers Park Business Alliance, delivers a bag of goodies to a customer outside the new 400 Theater in the Rogers Park neighborhood.
Pat Nabong / Sun-Times

Audrey Ney, director of Common Cup (1501 W. Morse Ave.) said the cafe was closed from March to September due to the pandemic, and seeing residents return to the scene was uplifting.

“I think this is a testament to the safe space it has been for people for so long,” said the 26-year-old.

Small businesses in Illinois have been hit hard by pandemic restrictions and financial losses, with more than a third of small businesses shutting down after the first year of the pandemic, according to the conservative Illinois Policy Institute.

Cassandra Westover, owner of Homegrown Wrappings (1505 W. Morse Ave.) said the diversity of businesses still present in Rogers Park shows the resilience and robustness of the neighborhood.

“I’ve never lived in another neighborhood where I walk around and I’m like, ‘Woah, am I in heaven?’,” Westover said. “The diversity of this district, the friendliness, it’s so good. I think this translates very clearly to the small businesses that support the community. “

In Bronzeville, operators sold their goods from reused shipping containers to “Boxville,” a lot managed by the Urban Juncture Foundation at 330 E. 51st St.

People are walking around Boxville in Bronzeville on Small Business Saturdays.

People are walking around Boxville in Bronzeville on Small Business Saturdays.
Pat Nabong / Sun-Times

“One of the best things about Small Business Saturday is the hope it provides,” said Janeen Mays, marketing consultant at Urban Juncture. “People are really proud of what they do, what they create and what they offer. “

One of the shipping containers is home to Southside Grinds, which found its permanent home in Boxville in September. Before that, the company was a pop-up store that hosted parties and events.

“You see the good coming out of the community, so that’s pretty dumb,” said Will Hale, an employee of Southside Grinds.

William Hale, a Southside Grinds employee, poses in the Boxville store.

William Hale, a Southside Grinds employee, poses in the Boxville store.
Pat Nabong / Sun-Times

Inside the Black Wall Street Journey Gallery, other small businesses displayed their products on tables while a group performed in the center of the storefront. From plants to herbal holders, from aromatherapy to skin care, the pop-up hosted a variety of products from an array of vendors.

Sharnele Amos, owner of Soilful Pots, and Karen Fair, owner of Grown Sumthin, both started their businesses in the midst of a pandemic and said they were grateful for the community’s support for their fledgling businesses.

“Business has grown thanks to COVID. Everyone wants to be a plant mommy or a plant daddy, ”Fair said. “I’ve always been a plant freak, so my inbox has gone mad during that time.”

With many businesses in Boxville or the pop-up that have only started in recent years, Mays said she sees the pandemic as an opportunity for people to make their small business dreams come true.

“A lot of people who wanted to do something on their own, whether it was losing their jobs or indulging in their passion, actually managed to get it out of their heads and bring it to life.” , Mays said. .

Boxville stores are open Wednesday through Saturday. Its pop-up holiday market next door will be open again on November 27, December 4 and 11.

Source link

Grow hydroponic vegetables with the “catch-all” crop Sat, 27 Nov 2021 11:09:33 +0000

I recently had the opportunity to join our volunteer Master Gardeners in Stark County on a tour of the student greenhouses on the Wooster Campus at Ohio State University.

Our guide, Dr Uttara Samarakoon, Assistant Professor Specializing in Hydroponics and Floriculture, is also the Associate Program Coordinator of the Applied Diploma in Greenhouse and Nursery Management at OSU Agricultural Technical Institute.

Following:Plant Lovers’ Almanac: There is still time to prepare the garden for winter

While our visit highlighted the production of poinsettia by students as well as the different areas of research of Samarakoon, his work on the development of a sustainable agricultural production technology for hydroponic vegetables using environment-controlled agriculture m really touched. One study focuses on what she calls “catch-all culture.” In this study, edible vegetables (mainly leafy greens such as spinach, chard, lettuce) are grown in a hydroponic system using a plastic “tote” with a lid and monitored for. pre and post EC (electrical conductivity) and pre and post pH.

Each tank is filled with a mixture of water and liquid fertilizer. The tote cover has six to eight openings that hold a hydroponic growth cup. Vegetable seeds are started in a traditional tank filled with a soil-less substrate and are transplanted once established; or the seeds are started directly in a fibrous cube medium inside the hydroponic growth cup.

Leaf lettuce plants grow in the lid of a plastic bag.  Note the extensive network of roots.

The roots grow through the bottom and sides of the growth cup to reach the water / fertilizer solution. In the study, the tubs are placed on a grow table in one of the greenhouses. Soon after, leafy greens emerge, converting carbon dioxide into food for the plant, which in turn produces a delicious, green, healthy treat.

This economical and convenient option is a great way for the home gardener or teacher and students to learn and experience simple hydroponic food production. If you want to try out ‘catch-all’ cultivation this winter, collect the following supplies (listed below) and give it a try!

Supply List

• Plastic bag (Commander XL-17 gallon (16.4 liters) – black with yellow cover: size for small vegetables

• Liquid fertilizer for hydroponic systems

• pH buffer for hydroponic systems

• Hydroponic growing cups (2 to 3 inch cups depending on the diameter of the hole cut in the lid)

• Seeds: select the types and varieties that grow well in hydroponic environments

• Simple pH meter or test strips

• Ruler to monitor the water level

• Above-ground medium and starting plate of seeds or fiber-based culture cubes (rock wool or rock wool)

• The water

• Light source

A leaf lettuce plant shows its successful growth in a hydroponic system.  The roots of the plant enter the mixture of water and fertilizer in the bag where they take the nutrients that the plant needs.

For additional resources on growing vegetables using simple hydroponic systems, check out the following resources:

Small-scale hydroponics extension of the University of Minnesota

University of Tennessee Extension – Introduction to Small-Scale Soil-less Vegetable and Hydroponics

Ohio State University Extension-Hydroponic Nutrient Solution for Optimized Greenhouse Tomato production

To learn more about OSU ATI’s Greenhouse and Nursery Management Program or to join Samarakoon, visit the following links: