The annual Texas A&M AgriLife Urban Agriculture: Controlled Environment Conference will be held Dec. 9-10 at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Dallas in the Water and Land Resources Building at 17360 Coit Road.
This is the third year of the conference, which was held virtually last year. The event runs from 1-6 p.m. on Dec. 9 and from 8 a.m.-noon on Dec. 10. The event is led by research faculty and specialists of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Texas A&M AgriLife Research, who welcome new and prospective controlled-environment growers for this online learning event.
“The conference will be held as a hybrid meeting accommodating both in-person and online participation,” said Joe Masabni, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Horticultural Sciences in the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and AgriLife Extension vegetable horticulturist, Dallas. “Virtual attendees will be able to listen to all presentations and even join virtually in the hydroponic greenhouse tour.”
Preregistration is required at https://tx.ag/UACEC21. The cost is $60 if attending in person and $40 if attending virtually. The event for in-person attendees includes a dinner and social hour on Dec. 9.
Commercial environmental agriculture
“This conference should appeal to anyone interested in commercial environmental agriculture, or CEA, including commercial growers, beginning farmers, enthusiast or hobbyist, and researchers and educators,” Masabni said.
The conference is designed for those interested in specialty crop production under a controlled environment, such as high tunnels, greenhouses or indoor vertical farms
The first day of the conference will focus on CEA vision, opportunities and challenges in Texas, in addition to the latest research on hydroponic production, he said.
“For day one we have invited Dr. Gene Giacomelli, a leading engineer and professor in CEA with the University of Arizona, to talk about the novel nutrient delivery system he has developed for hydroponic production,” Masabni said. “For the second day we have invited CEA industry leaders Hoogendoorn, Eden Green Technology and Hort Americas to share their experience and knowledge.”
This year, exclusive sponsorship opportunities are available to support the event. Contact Masabniat email@example.com or visit the registration link for more information.
Day one topics
Onsite registration begins at 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 9 and the conference will start at 1 p.m. At the conclusion of the greenhouse tour, dinner and a social hour will follow. The topics and speakers are:
–Welcome, Center Vision and Research Update — Daniel Leskovar, Ph.D., interim director of the Texas A&M AgriLife center at Dallas.
— Automation and AI in Controlled Environment — Azlan Zahid, Ph.D., AgriLife Research assistant professor of controlled-environment agriculture engineering, Bryan-College Station.
— Opportunities and Challenges of Controlled Environment Production in Warm Climates — Genhua Niu, Ph.D., AgriLife Research professor of urban agriculture, Dallas.
— Microgreens Research at Dallas Center — Ling Sun, AgriLife Research associate, Dallas.
— Nutrient Delivery Systems: Unique Plumbing for Plant Water and Nutrient Demands — Gene Giacomelli, Ph.D., The University of Arizona.
— Tour of hydroponic greenhouse.
Day two topics
The second day of the event will start with donuts and coffee at 7:30 a.m., followed by the first speaker at 8:15 a.m. Dec. 10 topics and speakers are:
— Data Driven Growing — Luis Trujillo, Hoogendoorn America sales manager, Ontario, Canada.
— Controlled Environment Strawberry Production — Brian Harris, Hort Americas regional sales manager, Frisco.
–-Introduction to Eden Green Technology — Aaron Fields, Eden Green Technology director of horticulture, Cleburne.
— Basic Light and Media Testing in Propagation – Fields.