Ontario’s greenhouse vegetable industry seems to be in continuous expansion mode, but according to an article on TheGlobeAndMail.com, one key constraint is limiting growth: infrastructure. Whether it’s water for irrigation, natural gas for heating, or electricity for supplemental lighting during the winter, the costs are getting so high that some companies say they are now eyeing expansion to the U.S., where states are courting them with investments in infrastructure and handing out perks such as tax subsidies and cheaper electricity.
“The investment into agriculture is going to happen, whether or not we have the infrastructure here,” says Richard Lee, Executive Director of the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers. “If we don’t, it will go south of the border.”
Companies are ready to pour money into the market, boosting the industry a further 5% every year for the next 10 years, according to an internal report conducted by the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers. But producing 20 times more food than traditional agriculture requires inputs. Natural gas prices have doubled in price since 2016. In Ontario, electricity prices have been steadily rising since 2006. The future of power in the province is also uncertain. Increasing demand on the system could strain the entire grid as early as 2026 and even trigger chronic shortages by 2030.
Continue reading at TheGlobeandMail.com.
Video of the Week: A Showcase of Greenhouse Lighting Technology