Technology Is Changing the Game for Growers

Laura Drotleff
Laura Drotleff, Editor, Greenhouse Grower

Technology is sexy. There’s a fervor associated with buying the latest go-go-gadget — and a fear of missing out if we don’t. We all want that latest, most advanced smartphone, home assistant, or wearable tech, no matter the cost. And jobs associated with technology? Google, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter — offer some of the most competitive and coveted positions on the planet. Just look at the stir Amazon made when it announced it would build a $50 billion second headquarters, with cities from all over North America clamoring to be the one chosen, considering the significant economic potential. Technology and tech jobs are it — and it’s no wonder growers don’t feel jobs in horticulture can compete.

But what if they can? If tech jobs are the future and the future of horticulture depends on technology, then we have a real opportunity to seize. Millennials who have grown up digital, not to mention the Gen Z kids we’re raising now who pore over YouTube and have never known a day without a screen, live and breathe technology. Add to that the Millennials’ desire to make a difference in the careers they seek, and horticulture is the ideal venue as we adopt more automation to combat our biggest struggle — labor.

A good example of young technology entrepreneurs who have been moved to make a difference in horticulture can be found in Adam Greenberg, 27, the CEO of iUNU, and Huxley Founder Ryan Hooks, 32 (who you’ll meet in a future article). Their respective teams have been working to develop game-changing solutions in artificial intelligence and augmented reality technology to help address real issues in horticulture, like our current labor crisis, the shortage of four-year educated growers in the market, and the ability for greenhouses to help solve the global food crisis as our population grows.

This technology, as well as some other market conditions we’ve noticed over the past year, have shown us that the game of horticulture is changing rapidly, and we feel as though we are truly on the brink of massive, unstoppable revolution. That’s why in this issue, we are launching our Gamechangers Initiative — an ongoing series of articles, media, and events that will examine epic trends in the market that have changed the course of our industry over time, and monitor new innovations being developed now, of which we all need to be aware.

That’s where we need your help. When you think back over the past decade or more, what have been some of the biggest advancements in the horticulture industry that have changed the game decidedly? With so many facets of our industry and such a number of internal and external influences, from production techniques to growing equipment to the way plants are marketed at retail to the end consumer, I’m sure you can think of several examples of people, plants, and products that have made a difference in the way we do business. We want to know what you think are the ones that have been the most powerful, mind-bending, epic gamechangers that have disrupted the market so thoroughly that they have practically set your hair on fire and made you rethink everything.

Please send me a note at [email protected], to tell me what have been the biggest change agents of horticulture from your point of view, and nominate them as Greenhouse Grower Gamechangers.

Topics: , , ,

Leave a Reply

One comment on “Technology Is Changing the Game for Growers

More From Management...
Marijuana-Company-of-America-Cannabis-Greenhouse-Photo

May 24, 2018

New Cannabis Greenhouse in Washington Nears Completion

Once the Marijuana Company of America’s new 30,000 square-foot facility is fully built, it will have the ability to house approximately 4,000 plants.

Read More
Collegiate-Plant-Initiative

May 23, 2018

Collegiate Plant Initiative Helps Foster a Love of Plants Among Students

CPI offers a unique perspective of the plant world, with the goal of connecting college students with exciting plants and teaching them more about opportunities in the plant industry.

Read More
Biocontrols in a Greenhouse

May 22, 2018

Register Now for Award-Winning Online Greenhouse Growing Courses

Learn about production cost and profit, as well as the basic behind plant science, via two online classes being offered by the University of Florida.

Read More
Latest Stories
Marijuana-Company-of-America-Cannabis-Greenhouse-Photo

May 24, 2018

New Cannabis Greenhouse in Washington Nears Completion

Once the Marijuana Company of America’s new 30,000 square-foot facility is fully built, it will have the ability to house approximately 4,000 plants.

Read More
Collegiate-Plant-Initiative

May 23, 2018

Collegiate Plant Initiative Helps Foster a Love of Plan…

CPI offers a unique perspective of the plant world, with the goal of connecting college students with exciting plants and teaching them more about opportunities in the plant industry.

Read More
Biocontrols in a Greenhouse

May 22, 2018

Register Now for Award-Winning Online Greenhouse Growin…

Learn about production cost and profit, as well as the basic behind plant science, via two online classes being offered by the University of Florida.

Read More
Westerlay-Orchids-School-Donation

May 19, 2018

Westerlay Orchids Shows Its Support for Local Schools

Proceeds from all sales the company made during the Carpinteria Greenhouse and Nursery Tour will be donated to fund STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) programs.

Read More

May 18, 2018

Five Education Tracks Set for IGC Show

The event will feature topics such as online sales, store renovations, and more.

Read More
Ian Baldwin

May 17, 2018

Ian Baldwin: Why the Rise of the Under 35s Will Help Yo…

In his latest blog, garden retail consultant Ian Baldwin says this new generation of plant buyers is seriously engaged in gardening, and is using social media to help become successful plant owners.

Read More
Perennial-Plant-Symposium

May 16, 2018

2018 Perennial Plant Symposium Offering Power to the Pe…

Perennial and gardening enthusiasts of all experience levels are invited to attend plant discussions on Monday, July 30 for a chance to hear from the best in the field on a range of topics.

Read More
Growing Innovations conference and tradeshow logo

May 14, 2018

Growing Innovations Geared to Connect Specialty Ag With…

Innovation abounds in agriculture, yet it can feel sometimes as if the gap between exciting new developments and what growers actually need in their operations can be awfully wide. We at Meister Media Worldwide intend to help narrow this gap. Which is why we’re pleased to introduce Growing Innovations – an altogether new type of event that will debut Nov. 7-8 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV. Unlike most agricultural events and trade shows, Growing Innovations is not about technology per se, nor is it about everyday issues that growers face. Instead, this new conference and tradeshow is very acutely solutions oriented. It takes as its starting point specialty crop growers’ most pressing real-world challenges – production efficiency, labor and water shortages, logistics, and data management to name just a few – and showcases advances, both current and up-and-coming, that have the greatest potential to bring […]

Read More
Laura Drotleff

May 8, 2018

Greenhouse Production Costs Keep Going Up, So Why Are P…

There is a general sentiment within the industry that pricing needs to be reevaluated to better account for the trend toward rising input costs.

Read More
2018-Top-100-logo-with-image-feature

May 7, 2018

2018 Greenhouse Grower Top 100 Growers: The Complete Li…

Strong growth among the nation's largest growers shows no signs of slowing down, as nearly a third of the Top 100 growers have significantly expanded production, and many have ongoing projects underway.

Read More
Lean-Event-at-Smith-Gardens-feature

May 3, 2018

How Companies Can Work Together to Solve Problems and B…

Pacific Northwest Lean consortiums show what growers can achieve when they work together to solve problems and improve labor efficiencies.

Read More
Luxflora Networking

May 1, 2018

Luxflora Launches Flourish Funding to Support Women-Led…

The nonprofit, floriculture organization plans to announce its first Initiative winner at Cultivate in July and encourages interested applicants to submit their applications by May 31 to be considered.

Read More
Greenhouse-Space-Tracking

April 27, 2018

Five Keys to Accurate Greenhouse Production Costing

There are several steps you can take to make sure you understand the true costs of running your business.

Read More

April 26, 2018

ForwardGro Advances Medical Cannabis in Maryland With F…

Building on roots in agriculture, this new medical cannabis facility continues to implement process improvement to provide quality medical-grade product for the patients who need it.

Read More
Mucci-Farms

April 24, 2018

Mucci Farms Completes First Phase of its New Ohio Tomat…

The new facility, the company’s first expansion outside of Canada, encompasses 24 acres, with harvest set to begin in May.

Read More
Seed-Your-Future-Initiative-Release-3.3.16-1

April 24, 2018

Bloom Campaign by Seed Your Future Will Address “Plant …

BLOOM! connects young people to the power of plants to build a pipeline of future talent for the industry behind them: horticulture.

Read More
Griffin-Massachusetts-Cannabis-Workshop

April 23, 2018

Griffin Hosting Cannabis Growers Workshop in May

The half-day program in Colorado will focus on several aspects of crop fertility and nutrition delivery strategies.

Read More
AFE-Flower-Marketing-Videos

April 20, 2018

Your Weekly Chance to Market the Positive Vibes That Fl…

Each week between now and the end of the year, American Floral Endowment will post a new video promoting flowers.

Read More