Our View of COVID-19 Effects on The Greenhouse Industry

Firstly, we would like to offer our heartfelt sympathies to all those affected by COVID-19, whether directly from the virus or through the effects of the lockdowns. Many of our customers have suffered greatly in their businesses and we want you to know that CO2 GRO is there to help in any way we possibly can.

As we are getting closer, hopefully 🤞, to opening our economy from the COVID-19 lockdowns, some industries have been little affected by the lockdowns, some have benefited, while others have been terribly impacted.

Those industries that were deemed essential by governments, such as food, cannabis and hemp greenhouses continued to do business as close to usual as possible, with proper distancing and cleanliness measures. However, in many regions, flower and landscape greenhouses have been hurt badly as they were not deemed essential.

During the COVID lockdowns, cannabis demand was steady and, in some regions, booming as online and even in-store cannabis purchases surged. Vegetable and fruit sales were adversely impacted despite people still needing to eat. While people had to cook and eat at home as many restaurants were closed, people have tended to choose processed foods versus buying fresh vegetables and fruits. With the floriculture industry being deemed as non-essential in most regions, those growers have been tragically hit the hardest with many greenhouses on the brink of closure due to COVID lockdowns. Whether the greenhouse grows cannabis, vegetables, fruits or flowers, in nearly all greenhouses the problem of worker safety has still been an issue.

Human Issues at Larger Greenhouses

Greenhouses with larger staffs cannot risk putting employees in close proximity to one another. Some have reduced staffing while others have had COVID-19 outbreaks. This is pressuring the greenhouse industry to look for more automation to maintain productivity with fewer workers, especially in times of virus outbreaks.

An unfortunate example of COVID-19's impact on the production side of greenhouses was the 65-acre Green Empire Farms greenhouse that grows tomatoes and strawberries. The NY State government reported that the facility had 120 out of 300 employees test positive for the COVID-19 virus. All were asymptomatic as those showing symptoms had not been allowed in for weeks. Daily temperature and health screenings and face coverings were all required. The cleaning and sanitizing of the greenhouse was also increased early on. However, working in a greenhouse requires people to interact to some degree and this creates an environment for the spread of such viruses, no matter how much people try to operate safely.

As we look to the future, it may be that we experience more outbreaks of viruses such as COVID-19 which will require us to practice physical distancing. In such cases, greenhouses that rely on more labor will be at a disadvantage to those that operate in more autonomous operations. 

One of the key benefits growers will be looking for is automated systems that can deliver nutrients to plants with minimal human input needed. CO2 Delivery Solutions™ is a fully automated system for delivering CO2 to your plants via misting an aqueous CO2 solution directly on to plant leaves. It is safe, low operational cost, requires practically no human labor on a day to day basis, and delivers greater yields.

To learn more please visit co2delivery.ca or email sales@co2gro.ca

We hope you and your families are safe and we look forward to helping all greenhouses operate safely and profitably.

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