Profitable Practices: Greenhouse innovation with Red Sun Farms

Red Sun Farms president Jim DiMenna

Red Sun Farms in Kingsville, Ont., is one of 170 greenhouse vegetable farms in Ontario.

Across the province, the Ontario greenhouse vegetable industry grows tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers in 3,900 acres of greehhouse, producing 521 million kilograms of fresh vegetables with a farm gate value of more than $1.4 billion.

On this episode of Profitable Practices, host Bernard Tobin tours Red Sun Farms’ 27.5 acre greenhouse near the southwest tip of Ontario with president Jim DiMenna. He discusses all aspects of the greenhouse — from seed breeding to crop nutrition and pest control — and shares how the growing environment is controlled and managed for optimum vegetable production.

DiMenna also highlights the important role technology and innovation plays in the sustainability and profitability of Red Sun Farms. In the greenhouse, for example, autonomous driving carts move harvested product throughout the sprawling facility, contributing to labour efficiency, enhanced safety and a more competitive product.

On the packing line, automation plays a vital role in streamlining the process from greenhouse to packaging, says DiMenna. At each stage, technology efficiently transfers the product, minimizing the need for human intervention. “When you look around, you can observe the minimal presence of human operators amidst the numerous touch points within the packhouse. This integration of automation not only enhances efficiency but also maintains product integrity and consistency throughout the packing process.” Watch the video below.

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