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Stevia: high substrate pH induced iron chlorosis

Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) has gained popularity as an alternative sweetener because it contains glycosides that are up to 300 times sweeter than white cane sugar. In warmer climates (USDA zones 9-11), it is a perennial herb, but it will not overwinter in areas with more severe winters and in those locations, it is treated like an annual. A group led by Dr. David Shew of North Carolina State University conducted extensive field trials to investigate its use as an alternative crop. NC State also a breeding program developing new cultivars
suitable to the hot and humid summer conditions prevalent in the Southern U.S.

All plants have an optimal pH range outside of which plants will struggle. At higher substrate pH levels nutrients such as Fe, manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), and copper (Cu) become less available to the plant. In most cases plants with abnormally high pH values will experience Fe-deficiency symptoms. Iron is an immobile element in the plant and in result cannot be translocated from lower foliage to meet the plants needs in the new developing portions of the plant.
Thus, when attempting to diagnose Fe-deficiency it is important to account for the location of the symptomology to help eliminate other nutrient deficiencies. In this case of stevia, the plants upper portions are exhibiting yellowing and interveinal chlorosis (Fig. 3). Thus, with
the combination of symptom location, and the alkaline substrate pH values the cause of the interveinal chlorosis is Fe-deficiency due to elevated substrate pH levels.

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Israel announces creation of global seed company

Two Israeli seed producers, Nirit Seeds and TomaTech, have joined forces to create Israel’s largest vegetable seed company. This synergy will enable unique seed breeding research and development that will accelerate the company’s growth in the international seed markets.

Upon completion of the merger, the company will have more than 80 employees worldwide, including molecular biologists, breeders, agronomists, and others.
The company will improve its breeding activities in Israel, Spain, Mexico and Italy, as well as significantly expand its representation in the Netherlands and North America, with a particular focus on growing vegetables in high-tech greenhouses.

Nirit Seeds is one of the most successful internationally traded tomato and pepper seed producers, investing in the development of revolutionary genetic technologies. TomaTech is one of the leading tomato seed companies in Israel, developing premium varieties, including those resistant to the dangerous Tomato Brown Ruffle Virus (ToBRFV).

The production of crop seeds is one of the most advanced and high-tech sectors in Israel. According to the Seed Department of the Federation of Israel Chambers of Commerce, seed exports currently generate $200 million in annual revenue. There are about 25 large and medium-sized companies in the local industry.

For reference. According to market research, the global vegetable seed industry is valued at $8 billion a year and is growing at a CAGR of 8%.

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Karachay-Cherkessia became one of the leaders in the production of greenhouse vegetables at the end of 2021


Greenhouse vegetable production in 2021 reached a record 1.4 million tonnes. According to the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation, the leaders among the regions in this segment are the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, Lipetsk, Moscow, Kaluga, Volgograd, Novosibirsk, Saratov, Chelyabinsk regions, Krasnodar and Stavropol Territories, the Republics of Bashkortostan and Tatarstan. These regions account for more than 60% of the total production in the country. The intensive development of greenhouse projects in our country helps to provide Russians with fresh vegetables all year round. Last year, the harvest in winter greenhouses updated the 2020 record – more than 1.4 million tons of products were received. Including the production of cucumbers amounted to at least 830 thousand tons, and tomatoes – 590 thousand tons. It is expected that by 2025 the volume of vegetable production in year-round greenhouses will be at least 1.6 million tons of vegetables.


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December: Special Year Overview

In 2022, it will be 22 year since the new millennium started. Can’t believe it? Neither can we, but it is true. Before we go there, it is time to reflect on what has happened this year. Over the next couple of weeks, we will look back at 2021 and we will highlight the most important events that impacted the industry.

New greenhouses, events, even a few shows, technical novelties, and all other relevant news will pass by, offering you something other than Covid to talk about during Christmas and New Years’.


Wish your customers Happy Holidays
This special also offers an opportunity to put your company in the spotlight with a banner in this special box. This banner can be booked until December 24 on our newsletters. For more information, feel free to send an email to: 

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