T How to Market Yourself in a Questionable Economy

September/October 2011 • N u m b e r 9 2 9
September/October 2011 • Number 929
How to Market Yourself in a Questionable Economy
By Dr. Charlie Hall
he Great Recession had a major impact on the national
floriculture industry due to job losses, home foreclosures,
declining consumer confidence, lower business spending, and
inflationary pressures on some of our key production inputs.
Due to the cumulative impacts of these stressful economic
conditions, we find that several of our friends and colleagues
are no longer working in the industry. Of those that have
survived, several that I have interacted with have indicated
their business activity is still way down; others say they
have either been “holding their own” or “doing OK.”
However, there has been another (yet smaller) subset of
firms that have indicated their “sales are up” or that their
business has been “expanding” during the recovery. So,
naturally, this prompts the question as to how have they
done it? What is it that separates the firms
that are just doing “OK” from those who
are doing well? As usual, there is no easy
answer, but there are a couple of major
underlying reasons.
First, the severity of the economic
downturn (and the subsequent recovery) has
not been equal in all areas of the country. Some regions
experienced more of an economic downturn than others and
are recovering much more slowly. Firms that operate and
market in regions that are fairing better economically find
themselves in a more favorable market position. Also, firms
who sell directly to end consumers have perhaps benefitted
Continued on page 8
OFA Scholars Program: Transforming
Today’s Students into Tomorrow’s Leaders
By Alicia Wells
ny idea why today’s horticulture students have chosen
horticulture or what they plan to do after graduation?
Based on visits with horticulture students in programs
throughout the Midwest I can offer some insight. The top
two responses I get from “What do you want to do after
graduation?” are: own a greenhouse and work at a
greenhouse. While most students do not have a family
background that includes horticulture, what they all have
in common is a deep passion and respect for plants –
their beauty and the intricacies of growing them.
So what does that mean to the industry?
Well, if you own a greenhouse it’s good and
bad news. You could potentially have more
competition or you could see an increase in qualified
employees. To the rest of the industry it means today’s
students are completely unaware of all the fun, interesting,
and challenging jobs the industry has to offer. The fact that
most of today’s students do not have a family background
in horticulture means they’re in love with plants but not
Continued on page 10
Inside this Edition...
How to Market Yourself in a Questionable Economy 1
OFA Scholars Program: Transforming Today’s
Students into Tomorrow’s Leaders
Fall Mums: A Guide to Higher Profitability
Chlorination for Irrigation Systems
Organic Substrates & Fertilizers
“Clean” Cutting, Plugs & Propagation: A Good
Start for Any Solid Pest Management Program
Million-Dollar Question:
How to Get Employees to Follow Safety Rules?
s-ABA: A New PGR to Extend Shelf Life &
Increase Sell-Through
OFA Members in the News
Welcome New OFA Members & Subscribers
OFA Grow & Sell for Profit Conference
OFA News
This is a member benefit of OFA – The Association of Horticulture Professionals.
OFA Bulletin
OFA Mission Statement
To support and advance
professional horticulture.
OFA – The Association of
Horticulture Professionals
2130 Stella Court
Columbus, Ohio
43215-1033 USA
Fax: 614-487-1216
[email protected]
OFA Bulletin
September/October 2011
Editorial Staff
Stephen A. Carver, Ph.D.
Laura Kunkle
Stephanie Burnett
Shawn Combs
Paul R. Fisher
Dr. Charlie Hall
Jinsheng Huang
Michelle L. Jones
Bruce R. MacKay
Neil Mattson
Rosa E. Raudales
Mark Schermer
Ronald Valentin
Nicole L. Waterland
Alicia Wells
Published Bimonthly
Copyright© OFA 2011.
Permission is hereby given to reprint articles
appearing in this OFA Bulletin provided the
following reference statement appears with
the reprinted article: “Reprinted from the OFA
Bulletin, (phone: 614-487-1117)
September/October 2011, Number 929.”
No endorsement is intended for products
mentioned in this OFA Bulletin, nor is
criticism meant for products not mentioned.
The authors and OFA assume no liability
resulting from the use of practices printed
in this OFA Bulletin.
Fall Mums:
A Guide
to Higher
Mark Schermer
e all understand that every penny
counts in the chrysanthemum market.
Since the market for mums is highly
competitive and the product is seen as a
commodity, it is difficult to influence
market pricing. To grow garden mums
profitably, we must grow them efficiently
and minimize shrink. Royal Heins says,
“The more I think about this, the clearer
and simpler the answer gets: just doing the
things right. Pick the right product range
for the customer in the right amounts, then
do things right in growing and packaging
and you can’t do any better.”
So, what is involved in doing things
right? According to Henk Dresselhuys
and Royal Heins it includes:
• Makingtheappropriatevarietychoices
• Usingclean,healthycuttings
• “Startinggood,finishingright”
First, choose cultivars suited to your
area and purpose. To the consumer, a
chrysanthemum is a chrysanthemum. All
she or he expects from the retailer is to have
the colors they are looking for, so that is
what the retail store will ask for: “Give me a
good range of chrysanthemums in different
pot sizes, which appeal to the consumer.”
Now, as a grower, you are left with the
choice. The questions that matter are:
• WhatdoIwanttoprovidesizewise
and color wise?
• Whatismygrowingenvironment?
Now let your breeder representative set
up the program with the right varieties for
the right end result. Equally important,
if substitutions are unavoidable get the
variety with the right characteristics for
the expected end result!
Second, inspect your cuttings as they
come in; they need to be healthy and free
of disease problems. Third, “A good start
makes half of the end result” is a famous
Dutch saying. In chrysanthemum, it is
even more than half. When you have the
plant making a great start, it will reward
you with the best results.
Asked about how to get to the best
results, Dresselhuys advocates a general
principal: “A stress-free start for the
garden chrysanthemum is very important:
enough water, sufficient nutrition, and
light. Make the plant take off and grow.
A stress-free plant will not go into
premature budding.” Royal Heins agrees.
“Make sure to create an optimal
environment for the vegetative stage.
Provide 50 to 60 ppm of a fertilizer like
17-5-17 in the mist or feed with 200
to 300 ppm 20-10-20 at about day 7,
but make sure to rinse the foliage after
the feed. Also provide long days in
propagation at any time prior to June 1
with minimum of 10 foot candles. Also,
never let night temperatures fall below
68°F during propagation and before
transplant to avoid premature flower-bud
set.” Dresselhuys adds, “It is also
important to not let it get too hot.
Chrysanthemum is a crop that performs
very well in a moderate and steady
environment. On very hot days you can
use extra misting to cool off the crop.
Crop temperature is a very important
issue to manage.”
Figure 1. Just-pinched garden mums
After propagation or upon reception
of the rooted cutting, stick the plant
immediately. Do not let the liners dry out.
OFA Bulletin
September/October 2011 • N u m b e r 9 2 9
Dresselhuys explains the needs of the young chrysanthemum.
“It needs water, nutrition, and space to grow. Make sure you
provide that and have your pest management and disease
management in place. Prevention is the key word, because you
can’t reach plagues or diseases very well with your chemicals
when the plant is well established.” Royal Heins agrees, but
wants to warn the growers as well: “Contrary to popular belief,
garden chrysanthemums do not require, and will not use
nutrients when applied in excess of 125 ppm nitrogen on a
constant basis. Higher rates will either need to be leached or
will accumulate in the media raising EC. Constant feed (at 100
to 125 ppm nitrogen from a fertilizer such as 17-5-17) at every
watering will produce excellent plants without the fertilizer
waste typical of higher rates. However, it is important to make
sure that plants are getting adequate amounts of micronutrients,
which may mean augmenting the fertilizer program. Plants
should receive 1 ppm iron, 0.5 ppm manganese, 0.5 ppm zinc,
0.3 ppm copper, 0.25 ppm boron, and 0.1 ppm molybdenum.
It is all about nitrogen management but with adequate
concentrations of other nutrients.”
Flowering induction in garden chrysanthemums is
promoted by short days and cool night temperatures. But,
Heins explains, “Even under long days, premature bud set can
occur if night temperatures fall below 68°F. To ensure plants
do not form premature flowers, apply Florel (generally 500
ppm) during the vegetative phase. As a general rule, the first
application about 7 to 10 days after sticking will prevent
premature flower-bud set in the liner, and application every
2 weeks after transplant up to no closer than 8 weeks to ship
will prevent premature flower bud set. It is much easier to use
Florel to prevent early bud set than to correct early bud set.
By the way, high fertility does not prevent flowering contrary
to popular belief.”
You want your crop to finish on time and have the right
shape. Give the right number of long days for plant bulking.
Natural day length on any day of the year varies with latitude.
On any given summer day, day length is longer in the North
(e.g. Michigan) than in the South (e.g. Texas). Warmer summer
temperatures in southern states normally work to prevent
premature flower bud set in June and July even as the natural
day length in the south, even in mid-June, is more conducive
for flower induction, especially if temperatures turn cool. The
longest day length in June in North Carolina is the same as
the day length the first of August in mid-Michigan and
Connecticut. By the third week of August, black-out should
length, according to Royal Heins. When growing mums in
larger pots, you should consider putting hoops on the pots or
putting a net around the plant to prevent it from falling apart.
This is especially important for plants grown inside
greenhouses where higher temperatures and lower light levels
typically lead to weaker plants. Hoops and netting are “shrink
insurance,” allowing you to sell more plants because fewer fall
apart and need to be dumped.
Figure 3. Great-looking garden mums
Do’s & Don’ts
Asked about the do’s and don’ts in chrysanthemum culture,
Heins and Dresselhuys are unanimous.
Figure 2. Garden mums with 12-inch spacing.
Pest & Disease management
It is very important to stay on top of pests and diseases,
especially in the early stage of the crop. Dresselhuys states, “It is
more difficult for sprays to penetrate the plant during later stages
of production, so make sure you keep pests under control, earlier
in the vegetative state.” Royal Heins adds more to this. “The
chrysanthemum crop is usually attacked by leaf miners, spider
mites, aphids, Pythium, and Rhizoctonia. Make sure you have a
regular scouting program in place and take action when you see
something happening. Of course, prevention is better. I always
recommend preventative spray programs for insects and foliage
diseases and drenches for soil pathogens.”
OFA Bulletin
Choose the right variety for the pot size and climate
Propagate properly to start
Control the flowering time, prevent premature budding
Control the height
Have your pest and disease management in place
1. Over fertilize
2. Stress the plant in terms of drought, temperature, etc which
can cause premature budding
3. Crowd plants – space on time; the plant needs space to
develop right
Mark Schermer
Fides North America
[email protected]
Chlorination for Irrigation Systems
By Rosa E. Raudales, Bruce R. MacKay, Jinsheng Huang, and Paul R. Fisher
Water Quality Series
of Free Webinars
and Articles
“Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink.”
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner reminds us that water
quality is just as important as access to enough
quantity for irrigation. With increasing competition for
scarce water resources, growers are forced to use lower
quality water from catchment ponds, recirculated run
off, or partially treated municipal supplies.
Growers face water quality issues such as high
alkalinity, waterborne pathogens, clogging of irrigation
lines, and algae. In November, the Water Education
Alliance for Horticulture is launching a new series of
webinars and articles on water quality and conservation
in collaboration with OFA – The Association of
Horticulture Professionals, Florida Nursery Growers and
Extension. Topics include dealing with water sources;
pH, alkalinity and salts; pathogen control; monitoring;
equipment clogging; algae control and pond
management; surface cleaning and sanitation; and
design of water treatment systems. Expert presenters
have been lined up from several universities and
companies. Find out more about this series through
the OFA Bulletin and e-newsletter, or you can go to
www.watereducationalliance.org for more information.
Irrigation water can harbor plant pathogens, algae, and
other microbes that can be distributed by the irrigation
system and result in plant loss. Growers rely on water
treatment technologies to prevent the spread of waterborne
diseases, algae, and biofilm with their irrigation system.
Chlorination is one of several treatment options, available
as a solid (calcium hypochlorite usually as tablets), liquid
(sodium hypochlorite “bleach”), or pure gas chlorine. Chlorine
is widely used by growers, because it is simple to operate, has
low capital and operating costs, and has proven efficacy
against many biological problems in water. As an oxidizer,
chlorine is sometimes used to help precipitate excess iron
or manganese from irrigation water.
Chlorine effectiveness and safety as a pathogen control
depends on the irrigation system design, irrigation water
quality, target organism, and applied dose. This article
describes some of the factors that drive the efficacy of
chlorine. Growers face the challenge of identifying the proper
chlorine dose for the control of their specific problem without
resulting in phytotoxicity of their crop. We summarize
research literature on the effect of chlorine on pathogen
mortality to help growers manage chlorine more effectively
(Table 1, page 6) and introduce a free online tool to access
research data on chlorine and other sanitizing chemicals.
Definitions & How Chlorine Works
underlies its effective use. Liquid sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl)
and solid calcium hypochlorite (Ca(OCl)2) react with water and
produce hypochlorous acid, hydroxide (OH-), and sodium or
calcium ions. Chlorine gas reaction with water produces
hypochlorous acid, chloride (Cl-) and hydrogen ions (H+).
At the concentrations typically applied to irrigation water,
sodium and calcium hypochlorite are slightly basic, and
chlorine gas is slightly acidic.
The balance between hypochlorous acid (HOCl) and
hypochlorite ions (OCl- ) is determined by the pH of the
solution. Hypochlorous acid concentration is higher in
solutions with pH below 7.5 and hypochlorite is greater
when the solution has pH above 7.5 (Figure 1.).
Figure 1. Fluctuation of total chlorine in response to change in pH of the solution.
Chlorine has two main forms in water. Hypochlorous acid is a strong sanitizer, and is
favored below pH 7.5. Hypochlorite predominates at high pH, and has less sanitizing
Hypochlorous acid is the strongest oxidizer derived from
chlorine, whereas OCl- is a weak oxidizer. Chlorine oxidizes
organic matter (i.e. microorganisms, plant material, peat,
chelates), which means that chlorine primarily controls
pathogens by disrupting cell membranes and organic
compounds due to loss of electrons. The oxidation power
OFA Bulletin
September/October 2011 • N u m b e r 9 2 9
of HOCl is estimated to be 20 to 80 times more powerful than
OCl-. Therefore, treatment efficacy will be greater at pH 7.5
or less at a given chlorine concentration.
Total chlorine is the concentration of free and combined
forms of chlorine. Combined forms of chlorine include
chloramines and other compounds that have little to no
disinfestant activity. Chloramines are formed when chlorine
interacts with nitrogen sources. Therefore, chlorination should
be carried out prior to injection of water soluble nutrients to
the irrigation water.
Free chlorine refers to the total concentration of
hypochlorous acid and hypochlorite as a result of the reaction
between chlorine and water. Free chlorine has the main
oxidizing power in chlorinated irrigation water, especially
hypochlorous acid.
Chlorine demand of the water is the amount of free
chlorine that reacts with the microbes, organic matter,
ammonium, and other contaminants in the water or irrigation
system. Chlorine demand can be estimated by measuring the
difference between the injected concentration and the final
“free residual chlorine” concentration coming out of the
furthest outlet away from injection.
Free residual chlorine is, therefore, the amount of free
chlorine available for water disinfestation after the chlorine
demand of the water has been fulfilled.
The total and free chlorine in a solution are highly
dependent on the amount of organic matter present. Research
of organic matter (peat/perlite growing substrate) resulted in a
dramatic drop of the concentration of free and total chlorine
(Figure 2). The higher the organic matter in solution, the more
chlorine that will be required to obtain the desired free residual
chlorine for pathogen control. Therefore, it is very important to
pre-filter the water to remove the excess of organic matter.
Figure 2. Residual and total chlorine concentration as a result of increasing quantities
of peat/perlite growing substrate in a solution treated with sodium hypochlorite.
Efficacy of Chlorine for Control of Waterborne
The applied concentration required to control pathogens
depends on the genotype and growth stage of pathogens
(Table 1, page 6). Research by plant pathologists found ≥90%
mortality of pathogen propagules was obtained with 4 ppm
or more chlorine for Agrobacterium, cucumber leaf spot virus,
Fusarium oxysporum, Geotrichum candidum, Meloidogyne
javanica, Plasmodiophora brassicae and Rhizoctonia solani
OFA Bulletin
mycelia, 2 ppm or less to control Erwinia spp. and zoospores
of Phytophthora spp. and Pythium spp. and 4 and 8 ppm to
control mycelia and sporangia of Phytophthora nicotianae,
Some pathogens therefore required a very high concentration
of chlorine (above 2 ppm) for control, resulting in risk of
phytotoxicity if that dose was applied. In practice, most growers
apply around 2 ppm of free residual chlorine at pH 5.5 to
7.5 to control zoospores of Pythium and Phytophthora. For
some pathogens and resistant life stages, such as Fusarium
oxysporum, chlorine is unlikely to provide adequate control.
Identifying the target organism is therefore important.
Chlorination alone will not eliminate disease. Chlorination
should be part of an integrated approach to disease
management, including clean plant material, growing media,
and containers, and use of fungicides. Excess application
of irrigation water provides an environment that favors
development of disease, increases the volume of water that
must be treated, and therefore increases treatment cost.
The applied concentration may need to change over time
to ensure that the desired residual free chlorine is available.
Monitor regularly at both the injector and the point of
delivery (furthest outlets and emitters) to avoid the likelihood
of over- or under-dosing chlorine. This is especially important
given changing chlorine demand (difference between injection
and final concentration of chlorine) because microbial loads
in irrigation water change over the production season.
Filter before chlorination to reduce suspended solids and
reduce the chlorine demand of the water from peat, plant
parts, and other particles. Chlorine demand is particularly high
in recirculated or surface sources. There are several benefits of
filtration including reducing the applied concentration needed
and therefore chemical cost, and increasing the removal of
pathogens embedded in particles.
Measure water pH, and an acid injector may be needed
for pH control. Maintain water pH in the range of 5.5 to 7.5
so that the majority of chlorine is in the hypochlorous acid
form (rather than hypochlorite at high pH). Managing pH
and chlorine concentration go hand in hand for effective
water treatment.
Increase contact time in order to increase pathogen control
at a given chlorine concentration. For example, maintain
water in a holding tank following dosage with chlorine.
Apply chlorine with adequate contact time before injection
of water soluble fertilizers, to avoid the rapid formation of
chloramines (reaction of chlorine with nitrogen fertilizer)
which are less effective sanitizers than hypochlorous acid.
If you have inline injection of chlorine and water soluble
fertilizers, chlorine may not be the best technology and other
options such as chlorine dioxide, copper, ozone, or activated
peroxygens may be a better choice.
Monitor chlorine level with a hand-held or inline meter to
measure concentration in ppm of free chlorine (rather than
total chlorine, which includes non-sanitizing chemical forms).
Measure oxidation reduction potential (ORP) with a handheld or inline meter as an additional check that the chlorine
is providing adequate sanitizing power (around 750 mV or
above for Pythium zoospores). ORP is a measurement of the
oxidative power of chemicals including chlorine, chlorine
Continued on page 6
Chlorination for Irrigation Systems
Continued from page 5
dioxide and ozone. For example, research has shown that the
same chlorine concentration is likely to have a higher ORP
and better control of Pythium zoospores at pH 6 than at pH 8.
Chlorine, like any new product used in an operation, should
be tested on a small group of plants for phytotoxicity and
efficacy before applying to the entire crop. Chlorination alone is
not likely to completely control pathogens, algae, and biofilm
and an integrated disease management approach is needed.
Water Treatment Technologies Database
The Water Education Alliance for Horticulture has launched
a new online searchable database about the efficacy of the
different water treatment technologies to control waterborne
pathogens. This tool summarizes research information for use
by growers and extension/consulting agents. The database is
searchable by pathogen to the genus level and by water
treatment technology. In addition, the tool provides a detailed
view about each original study. The goal is to help growers
make informed decisions by providing access to research data.
To find more information visit: www.watereducationalliance.org.
Chlorination Checklist
Water pH is maintained between 5.5 and 7.5 following
chlorine and other treatments.
Coarse organic matter has been pre-filtered before chlorine
is injected.
Water soluble fertilizer is not injected prior to chlorination.
Meters are available and staff are trained to measure free
chlorine, pH, and ORP.
Free residual chlorine is maintained at 2 ppm.
ORP after chlorination is above 700 millivolts.
Treated water is stored in a holding tank following dosage
with chlorine to increase contact time.
Table 1. Summary of published efficacy tests for chlorine as a control for waterborne pathogens and algae. This table summarizes published research that tested control of plant
pathogens and algae using chlorine and is not intended as a recommended dosage rate.
Dose required for
>90% control
Practical Implications
Very high dose. 15 to 30 ppm applied to
a recirculating nutrient solution once
Weekly application of chlorine at 15 ppm of chlorine for the first 5 weeks
and then 30 ppm for 9 weeks in a subirrigation solution resulted in algae
control rated as “none, white bench”. This very high dose was probably
required because chlorine was added to a nutrient solution, resulting in
chloramine formation.
Chase and Conover (1993)
Up to 0.5 ppm at pH 6 or 0.75 ppm at
pH 8 for 2 min
0.1 ppm residual chlorine at the spray emitter of the irrigation system
resulted in complete mortality of Erwinia carotovora f. zeae. Lower doses of
chlorine controlled E. carotovora at neutral pH. At a given chlorine dose, the
higher the pH the lower the mortality observed.
Thompson (1965),
Robbs et al. (1995)
Very high dose. 8 ppm for 1.5 min or
10 ppm for 0.5 min
A very high dose of chlorine (8 to 10 ppm, likely to be phytotoxic to crop
plants) was required to obtain high mortality of F. oxysporum in water.
Rates as low as 4 ppm of chlorine for 0.5 min resulted in a mortality ≥ 50%.
Cayanan et al. (2009)
Very high dose. 25 ppm at pH 6.0 for
2 min
A very high dose of chlorine (likely to be phytotoxic to crop plants) was
required to achieve mortality of Geotrichum candidum, the causal agent
of sour rot.
Robbs et al. (1995)
Very high dose. 5% (50,000 ppm) for
5min (eggs), 200 ppm for 24 hours
(mortality of juveniles), 2 ppm for
24 hours (motility of juveniles)
The dose required to control root knot nematodes was extremely high,
indicating chlorine was not an effective control if the irrigation solution
was applied to crop plants and phytotoxicity would be likely.
Stanton and O’Donnell (1994)
Up to 2 ppm for up to 10 min for
zoospores and mycelia, with up to 4 ppm
for 8 min for sporangia of P. nicotianae
2 ppm was an effective control concentration for zoospores and mycelia,
however a higher rate would be required for more resistant life stages.
Berenguer et al. (2001), Bush et al. (2003),
Hong et al. (2003), Roberts and Muchovej
(2008), Cayanan et al. (2009), Granke and
Hausbeck (2010),
Very high dose. None of the doses (0.2,
2.0, 20, 200 ppm) resulted in 90% of
mortality of spores. Mortality ranged
from 5 to 56%, respectively. However,
club root on cabbage incidence was
80% for plants treated with 0.2 ppm
of chlorine and 0% for higher doses.
2 ppm of chlorine may be useful as one component of a disease
management program for club root on cabbage, but did not provide
90% control.
Datnoff et al. (1987)
Up to 2 ppm, or over 700 mV Oxidation
Reduction Potential (ORP), for up to
10 min
High mortality of zoospores was achieved at doses of 2 ppm with 10 min
exposure. For some species, control occurred at a lower concentration and a
shorter contact time, especially when pH was lowered to 6.
Berenguer et al. (2001), Hong and
Richardson (2004), Kong et al. (2004),
Lang et al. (2008), Roberts and Muchovej
(2008), Cayanan et al. (2009)
Very high dose. 10 ppm for 10 min
A very high dose of chlorine (10 ppm, likely to be phytotoxic to crop plants)
was required to control Rhizoctonia solani in water.
Cayanan et al. (2009)
2 ppm for 10 min
100% mortality was observed of X. campestris recovered from pond water
with chlorine treatments of 2 ppm or higher, which is a dosage consistent
with control of Pythium and Phytophthora zoospores.
Roberts and Muchovej (2008)
OFA Bulletin
September/October 2011 • N u m b e r 9 2 9
1. Berenguer, J.J., I. Escobar, M. García, J.Gómez, and
A. Alvarez. 2001. Methods to control Pythium and
Phytophthora in cold plastic houses. Acta Hort. (ISHS)
2. Bush, E. A., C. X. Hong, and E. L. Stromberg. 2003.
Fluctuations of Phytophthora and Pythium spp. in
components of a recycling irrigation system. Plant Dis.
3. Cayanan, D. F., P. Zhang, L. Weizhong, M. Dixon and Y.
Zheng. 2009. Efficacy of chlorine in controlling five
common plant pathogens. HortScience 44:157–163. 2009.
4. Chase, A. R. and C.A. Conover. 1993. Algae control in an
ebb and flow irrigation system. Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.
106: 280 - 282
5. Fisher, P.R., R. Raudales, D.P. Meador. 2010. How Clean
Is Your Water? Choosing a Water Treatment System.
OFA Bulletin, July/August 2010: 4-7.
6. Granke, L. L., and , M. K. Hausbeck. 2010. Effects of
temperature, concentration, age, and algaecides on
Phytophthora capsici zoospore infectivity. Plant Dis.
7. Hong, C. X., P.A. Richardson,P. Kong, and E.A. Bush. 2003.
Efficacy of chlorine on multiple species of Phytophthora in
recycled nursery irrigation water. Plant Dis. 87:1183-1189.
8. Hong, C. and P.A. Richardson. 2004. Efficacy of chlorine
on Pythium species in irrigation water. SNA research
conference proceedings. 49: 265-267
OFA Bulletin
9. Lang, J. M., B. Rebits, S.E. Newman, and N. Tisserat. 2008.
Monitoring mortality of Pythium zoospores in chlorinated
water using oxidation reduction potential. Online. Plant
Health Progress doi:10.1094/PHP-2008-0922-01-RS
10. Robbs, P. G., J. A. Bartz, J.K. Brecht, and S. A. Sargent.
1995. Oxidation- reduction potential of chlorine solutions
and their toxicity to Erwinia carotovora subsp. carotovora
and Geotrichum candidum. Plant Dis. 79: 158- 162
11. Roberts, P.D. and R. M. Muchovej. 2009. Evaluation
of tailwater from vegetable fields for recovery of
phytopathogens and methods to reduce contamination
(B201). Southwest Florida Water Management District
12. Stanton, J.M. and W.E. O’Donnell (1994).Hatching,
motility, and infectivity of root-knot nematode
(Meloidogyne javanica) following exposure to sodium
hypochlorite. Australian Journal of Experimental
Agriculture 34: 105-108
13. Thompson, D.L. 1965. Control of bacterial stalk rot of
corn by chlorination of water in sprinkler irrigation.
Crop Sci. 5:369–370.
Rose E. Raudales, Bruce R. MacKay,
Jinsheng Huang, and Paul R. Fisher
Environmental Horticulture
University of Florida
1533 Fifield Hall
Gainesville, FL 32611
352-226 4410
352-392 3870
[email protected]
How to Market Yourself in a Questionable Economy
Continued from page 1
from the increased interest in “buying local” that has
stemmed from the rise in fuel prices.
However, more importantly, firms who are doing better in
today’s economic climate have been (1) proactive in shaving
costs out of their value chain (through either lean flow
analysis and/or adopting technology/mechanization), and
(2) successful in differentiating themselves in the marketplace
by effectively articulating their value proposition.
In marketing lingo, differentiation exists when customers
(under conditions of competitive supply and faced with a
range of choices): (a) perceive that product offerings do not
have the same value and (b) are prepared to dispose of
unequal levels of resource (usually money) in acquiring as
many of the available offerings as they wish. Customers (both
end consumers and business-to-business) generally use five
major attributes in making a decision about what products/
services to buy and from whom to buy them from including
quality, price, service, convenience, and selection. Value
represents the tradeoff between the benefits derived from this
varying mix of attributes relative to the sacrifices (dollars)
made in getting them. So the key for firms in the floriculture
industry is to provide greater value to customers. The
interesting thing is that the difference in value that customers
perceive (when comparing your firm to competitors) can either
be real or perceived through various signals you relay through
your marketing efforts.
Economists characterize demand by a concept called the
“price elasticity of demand,” which measures the nature and
degree of the relationship between changes in the quantity
demanded of a good/service and changes in its price.
An important relationship to understand is the one between
elasticity and total revenue. The demand for a good/service is
considered relatively inelastic when the quantity demanded
does not change much with the price change. Therefore, when
the price is raised, the total revenue of the firm increases;
likewise, when prices are lowered, revenue decreases. What
this effectively means is that firms can actually raise their
prices, and though they might sell fewer units, total revenue
for the company still goes up.
So, the obvious question is this: How does a firm go about
making the demand in its respective trade area more inelastic?
By distinguishing itself somehow in terms of perceived value
(e.g. the mix of quality, price, service, convenience, and
selection attributes). That is why marketing efforts are so
important in the first place. They are the key to successful
However, the only way in which all of this makes sense
economically is if the firm successfully differentiates itself
in the mind of the customer in terms of the types of products
or services offered and the segment(s) of customers it targets.
While it may be too soon to start raising all prices in the short
run since we are still in the midst of economic stress, there is
a chance for firms to test the waters, so to speak, on some of
their more differentiated product/service offerings.
Of course this requires a firm to stay the course in terms of
marketing efforts. Firms actually need to consider increasing
their marketing efforts during times of economic stress. As
others make cutbacks (and marketing is usually the first thing
to go during economically stressful conditions), an increase in
marketing efforts can lead to increased customer “mindshare.”
While it may seem counter-intuitive, firms normally spending
3 percent to 5 percent of gross sales on marketing in
prosperous market conditions should consider increasing
this to 5 percent to 8 percent during times like the industry
is currently experiencing. As the saying goes, speak when
others are quiet, and even a whisper can be heard.
An ideal marketing communication is one that will help
promote the business, maintain relationships, attract new
customers, and be relatively inexpensive. Social media is a
relatively new and exciting way of communicating with
existing and potential customers that does all of this. It has
become widely used by other industries but has only recently
been explored in depth by the floriculture industry. Social
media includes two-way communication that allows customers
to directly interact with the company and/or brand. As such,
it has a lot of potential as a method to reach a significant
number of floral industry customers.
For example, social media users in 2011 reported high
levels of influence as follows: (a) 23.1 million discover new
brands or products through social media (up 22% from 2010),
(b) 22.5 million use social media to learn about unfamiliar
brands or products (up 9%), (c) 17.8 million are strongly
influenced in their purchase decisions by opinions in social
media (up 19%), and (d) 15.1 million refer to social media
before making purchase decisions (up 29%).
Many successful businesses have established or are
planning on developing social media sites for their companies
to communicate with customers, promote their products, and
generate growth. For example, 83 percent of Inc. 500
companies (which includes the fastest-growing companies
percent reported that social media was “very important” to
their marketing program. Many small businesses with limited
marketing budgets have also turned to social media campaigns
to promote their products and services.
Of course, what matters most is the message that is being
communicated through social media or other marketing tools.
If, through unified messaging, the floriculture industry can
position itself in such a way that its products/services are
considered to be necessities in people’s lives and not mere
luxuries, it will be the best mitigation strategy against
recession and weather-related risks it can employ.
Post-recession consumers are willing to undergo greater
OFA Bulletin
September/October 2011 • N u m b e r 9 2 9
search, acquisition, and learning costs in making decisions
regarding their purchases. They have particularly exhibited
a willingness to purchase and, in some cases, pay a premium
for products and services that enhance their quality of life in
terms of social well-being, physical well-being, psychological
well-being, cognitive well-being, spiritual well-being, and
environmental well-being.
This positioning strategy warrants further examination.
The value proposition (or differentiation strategies) for all
firms in the industry in the future must focus on the unique
ways in which quality of life is improved for its customer
base. Whether one is a member of the Baby Boomer, Gen X,
or Gen Y generation, quality of life is a higher order need
that is important to them.
For example, although the economic downturn has
increased anxiety on the part of Baby Boomers regarding
retirement, they are nevertheless proactive in seeking
innovative solutions to dealing with aging. They view their
new stage of life as one of activity and fulfillment rather than
idleness. Members of Gen X are the most “time-starved”
generation, often juggling career and family obligations, but
they maintain a strong commitment to work-life balance in
their lives. The Gen Y generation is just beginning their adult
lives and facing many firsts – first home, first job, and most
importantly, first independent income. They are trying to find
the right balance between spending for necessities and
spending for entertainment. This generation is concerned not
just with function and utility but also with style.
All of these generational attitudes are related in one key
aspect: all of these demographic segments are interested in
enhancing their quality of life through health/well-being
enhancements, ecosystems services benefits (also referred
to as environmental amenities), and economic paybacks.
For example, some of the economic benefits associated with
flowers (and flowering shrubs and trees) are that they beautify
and help draw customers to shopping districts, reduce shopper
stress while they are there, enhance overall curb appeal for
local businesses, boost apartment and commercial building
occupancy rates, increases revenue from tourism, create local
jobs (from various interiorscape and landscape design,
installation, and maintenance activities), increase residential
and commercial property values, and even reduce the costs
of street repairs from the reduced temperatures resulting from
shaded roadways and sidewalks.
While the list of environmental amenities, otherwise known
as ecosystems services, is quite exhaustive, it is impressive to
consider a mere subset of them such as the carbon that is
sequestered, oxygen that is generated, wildlife that is
attracted, biodiversity that is enhanced, the heat islands that
are offset, the air, noise and glare pollution that is reduced,
soil erosion that is mitigated, storm water runoff that is more
efficiently handled, wind damage that is minimized, and the
reductions in energy use that arises from the temperature
buffering that plants provide around buildings. Needless to
say, many of these environmental amenities translate into
substantial economic contributions to local economies as well.
While these economic and environmental benefits may not
come as much of a surprise, the plethora of health and wellbeing benefits might. Peer-reviewed research has documented
a person’s ability to concentrate in their work environment if
enhanced by the presence of plants and flowers. Children
OFA Bulletin
learn faster and are less distracted in flower and plant-filled
environs as well, and flowers have even been documented
to reduce stress levels, hypertension, and ease the effects of
attention deficit disorder. Any person who has given/received
flowers or plants as gifts knows the joy and excitement they
generate and these powerful emotions carry over to beautified
interiorscapes and landscapes as well.
However, the plethora of benefits provided by flowers is
not common knowledge, let alone ingrained in modern day
American culture. Humans often have difficulty in even seeing
flowers or plants in their own environment, much less
connecting plants to tangible benefits – a phenomenon called
plant blindness. For most people, flowers and other plants are
a part of the subconscious sector of mental life, perceived as
the backdrop, not the main actors in the playing out of our
everyday lives. Thus, all industry firms need to emphasize
these types of messages in the marketing efforts of their
individual companies. Since previous efforts on the part of
the industry to provide a united voice through a generic
advertising campaign (e.g. Got Milk) have been met with
a less-than-enthusiastic response, this may be the best
alternative to propagate the quality of life value proposition.
Of course, one industry-wide effort that is already in place
that has shown to be quite effective in conveying this message
is America in Bloom (AIB). Now in its tenth year, the program
has countered early naysayers by effectively not only
conveying the industry’s message of beautification, but one of
economic development, provision of environmental amenities,
and enhancement of health and well-being as well. Almost 200
cities and several million citizens have been exposed to AIB’s
message; undoubtedly benefitting the countless local businesses
in those trade areas. One such business owner stated publically
at this year’s OFA Short Course that they had experienced
an 8 percent increase in business during the period their city
had participated in America in Bloom. While this alone is
impressive, it is exciting to consider that as AIB continues
to expand, even more synergistic benefits will likely result.
In summary, there is an old adage that says: “If you always
do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve
always gotten.” This latest economic downturn has certainly
caused us all to do some things differently than we had been
doing them previously. We’re doing more with fewer people
and in some cases, fewer resources. But as we move into the
future, even more aggressive marketing will be needed to
ensure that we are considered as necessities in our consumers’
lives and not mere luxuries. Now is exactly the time to make
those strategic marketing investments both as individual firms
and through industry-wide (e.g. AIB) efforts.
Dr. Charles Hall
Texas A & M University
202 Horticulture/Forest Science Bldg
College Station, TX 77843
[email protected]
OFA Scholars Program: Transforming Today’s Students into Tomorrow’s
Continued from Page 1
necessarily the industry. And when they are unable to find
a suitable job after graduation they often switch industries.
Several years ago OFA recognized the need to expose
students to more facets of the industry and various career
paths in order to retain qualified individuals in the industry.
OFA’s Generation Next committee, a dedicated group of
young professionals, went to work to develop a student
program to fulfill this need. With Jenny Pope, a passionate
student advocate at the helm, the committee developed the
OFA Scholars Program.
What is the OFA Scholars Program?
The OFA Scholars Program is a week-long program for
college students at the OFA Short Course. The main goals are
exposure and networking. In addition to attending educational
sessions and visiting the trade show, Scholars meet with
industry professionals in small groups and one-on-one. Some
of the industry professionals the Scholars have networked
with include Anna Ball, Dr. Marvin Miller, Dr. Allan Armitage,
Tom Smith, and Rick Schoellhorn. The Scholars also meet with
representatives from academia, the trade press, brokerage
companies, consultants, breeders, and small- and large-scale
growers and retailers. Beyond meetings the OFA Scholars
experience the horticulture industry through visiting the
Conservatory, and creating floral arrangements through
Project Anew.
Each Scholar’s schedule is tailored to meet their individual
career goals. For example, if a Scholar is interested in garden
center merchandising and marketing their schedule would
include meeting industry professionals such as Brenda
Vaughn, Horticultural Division Marketing Manager at the
John Henry Company, and Bridget Behe, Professor of
The OFA Scholars Program begins a few days prior to Short
Course to allow participants a behind-the-scenes look at the
event as well as a chance to assist with creating and building
the OFA Scholars display and other displays in the convention
center. It’s a positive team building experience that provides
the Scholars an opportunity to get to know each other in an
informal way. During this time the Scholars network with
Ecke Ranch and OFA’s staff, board, committees, and other
volunteers. Even before the Scholars arrive at the Short Course
they are tasked with simple reports on industry news and the
global horticulture industry so they are aware of what’s
currently going on in the industry.
Celebrating Five Years of Success
Success is defined in many ways by different people
and perspectives. Let’s consider the perspectives of several
stakeholders. From a student’s perspective the OFA Scholars
Program is a success because their knowledge of the industry
skyrockets, they feel that they have found a professional
“home,” and they often leave Short Course with internship
and employment offers. From an educator’s perspective the
OFA Scholars Program is a success because it provides
students with an experience that compliments their studies,
facilitates learning in a non-traditional way, and isn’t
something that can easily be implemented given the time
and resource constraints of an educator. From an employer’s
perspective the success of the OFA Scholars Program is
evident in the quality of internship and job candidates who
have been OFA Scholars. Employers often remark that these
individuals possess a solid foundation of industry news and
happenings as well as an established network of peers that is
unusual for students.
My view of success is slightly different. As the program
coordinator I have extensive interaction with each Scholar
and the fortunate position to see each one grow as a person.
I see success on their face when they overcome their fear of
public speaking, easily engage a stranger in a productive
conversation, or collaborate as a group to design and build
a display. The OFA Scholars Program not only provides them
with an amazing journey into the industry, but helps develop
their confidence, communication skills, and ability to work
with people.
The fifth group of OFA Scholars “graduated” at the end of
Short Course in July bringing the total number of students
sharing the designation of OFA Scholar to 28 (representing
selected each year out of 30-plus applicants, giving the
program and those selected to participate an elite status.
Get Involved
If you’re a student that’s interested, or you know a student
that would benefit from the OFA Scholars Program, visit
www.ofa.org/scholars for program details. If you are a young
professional interested in being on the Generation Next
Committee, contact me or Susie Raker ([email protected]),
the current committee chair. If you’re an industry professional
interested in helping with the OFA Scholars Program in some
capacity please get in touch with me. If you’re looking to hire
great talent consider one of the 28 OFA Scholars listed on the
next page.
OFA Bulletin
September/October 2011 • N u m b e r 9 2 9
2007 OFA Scholars
Cassi Kerr
The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute
Rachel Rossler-South
The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute
Doug Schuster
The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute
Nicole Waterland
The inaugural group of OFA Scholars,
(from left to right) Rachel Rossler South,
Doug Schuster, Cassi Kerr, and Dr. Nicole
Waterland, continue to be involved with the
program through meeting and networking
with students every year at Short Course.
The Ohio State University
2008 OFA Scholars
Gladys Anguti
The Ohio State University
Aubrey Ballinger
Cincinnati State Technical College
Jenny Barnett
The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute
James Cooley
The Ohio State University
Christy Dudgeon
The Ohio State University
Tim Sauner
The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute
The first full group of six students, (from left to right) Aubrey Ballinger, James Cooley,
Tim Sauner, Jenny Barnett, Christy Dudgeon, and Gladys Anguti, started the tradition
of designing and creating the OFA Scholars display in the Concourse at Short Course.
2009 OFA Scholars
Alicain Carlson
North Carolina State University
QuiXia Chen
Kansas State University
Carola De La Torre
The Ohio State University
Gretchen Giles
Michigan State University
Kay Jeong
The 2009 OFA Scholars, (pictured left to right)
QiuXia Chen, Gretchen Giles, Kay Jeong,
Alicain Carlson, Jong Kim, and Carola De La
Torre, were not to be outdone in their display
efforts, going to great lengths to incorporate
live Betta fish in suspended glass vases.
North Carolina State University
Jongyun Kim
University of Georgia
2010 OFA Scholars
Thomas Baker
Clemson University
Chris Currey
Purdue University
Chris D’Angelo
Cornell University
Morgan Jenkins
Kansas State University
The 2010 group of Scholars, (from left to right)
Jim “Chip” Moylan, Heather Pariso, Thomas
Baker, Morgan Jenkins, Chris Currey, and Chris
D’Angelo, enjoyed a behind-the-scenes tour of
Franklin Park Conservatory and named Unplugged
as the best networking event they ever attended.
Jim “Chip” Moylan
Michigan State University
Heather Pariso
The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute
2011 OFA Scholars
Jared Barnes
North Carolina State University
Jenn Evans
Michigan State University
Jen Hatalski
College of Western Idaho
Allison Justice
Clemson University
Lori Moshman
Cornell University
The 2011 Scholars, (pictured left to right)
Allison Justice, Jenn Evans, Jen Hatalski,
Lori Moshman, Jared Barnes, and
Nicole Rud, participated in several new
and unique events - a flash mob and
speed networking session.
Nicole Rud
University of Toledo
Continued on page 12
OFA Bulletin
OFA Scholars Program: Transforming Today’s Students into Tomorrow’s
Continued from Page 11
Student’s Perspective
Educator’s Perspective
Aubrey Ballinger
2008 OFA Scholar
Greenhouse Manager,
Wasson Nursery, Union City, Indiana
“Being an OFA Scholar really helped my career, in fact it
started it. I left Short Course with several contacts for job
opportunities. I’ve stayed in contact with many of the
people I met as a Scholar. Their wealth of knowledge has
been invaluable and has helped me grow and be more
confident in my abilities and future career potential.”
Employer’s Perspective
Dr. Bob McMahon
Associate Professor and Coordinator,
Greenhouse Production and
Management Technology,
The Ohio State University
Agricultural Technical Institute,
Wooster, Ohio
“The OFA Scholars Program opened my students’ eyes
regarding all the valuable resources that the Short Course
has to offer. Several Scholars received job and internship
offers during the Short Course, thanks to the OFA
Scholars Program. The scholars also found the grower
sessions and the trade show to be very educational and
helpful for their careers and reinforced what they had
learned in their production courses at Ohio State ATI.
I will continue every year to encourage qualified students
to apply for this second-to-none immersion in the
floriculture industry. Thank you, OFA, for creating
and implementing the OFA Scholars Program! ”
Emily Showalter
Human Resources,
Willoway Nurseries Inc, Avon, Ohio
“The OFA Scholars program is beneficial to students in
many ways, especially in preparing them for entry into
the workforce. The students are able to experience the
real-world side of the industry, something they don’t
often get in school. As an employer I know that hiring
an OFA Scholar means less time in getting them up to
speed on what’s happening in the industry and they
have a good start at building a professional network –
that’s invaluable.”
Alicia Wells
OFA – The Association of Horticulture Professionals
2130 Stella Ct
Columbus, OH 43215
[email protected]
Interested in knowing where the OFA
Scholars are in their careers and what they
thought of the OFA Scholars Program?
Visit www.ofa.org/scholars!
OFA Bulletin
September/October 2011 • N u m b e r 9 2 9
Organic Substrates & Fertilizers
by Neil Mattson and Stephanie Burnett
Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in the
July 2010 issue of Greenhouse Grower. For more
cutting edge production and research articles, visit
operations have started growing organically some of
their containerized plants, particularly vegetable and herb
transplants. This has resulted in an 83 percent increase in
organic production in greenhouses and nurseries since 2004.
For growers who are considering growing organic, there are
many important production and marketing challenges to
consider. We surveyed current organic growers in Maine to
determine what they considered the greatest production
challenges. All growers were, not surprisingly, concerned
about managing insects in greenhouses. But, the other major
concern was how to utilize organic substrates and fertilizers
for consistent and quick plant growth? In this article, we’ll
like to describe how to approach organic substrate and
fertility management.
If you decide to produce organic containerized plants,
the substrates and fertilizers you utilize must be acceptable
to determine if a product is certified organic is to check with
an external group called OMRI (Organic Materials Review
Institute) at www.omri.org. OMRI reviews and lists almost
all organic products, making it easy to search for certified
organic fertilizers and products. However, not all companies
pay to have their materials included on this list. So, if
is not on the list, you are typically okay. Simply check with
your certifying agent to ensure it is an allowable product.
Organic Substrates
Almost all of the components commonly used in
greenhouse substrates are accepted for use in organic
production. Even if they are not labeled “certified organic” or
are listed as “OMRI approved,” they are accepted as organic
due the nature in which they were produced or harvested.
However, some additives in conventional potting mixes such
as synthetically-produced fertilizers and wetting agents are
not allowable in organic production. Materials that are always
acceptable to utilize in organic production include peat,
perlite, and vermiculite. If you make your own mix from these
ingredients, you will only need to ensure that the fertility you
add to the mix is organic.
Another component to consider incorporating into organic
substrates is compost. It has a high water- and nutrientholding capacity. Compost typically contains nutrients, and it
will act as a starter fertilizer in the substrate. Some growers
have found that using compost improves root growth. One
OFA Bulletin
thing to consider with compost is that it retains a lot of
water in a pot. To make sure your mix doesn’t become overly
saturated with water, incorporate no more than 30 percent to
35 percent compost. Including perlite or rice hulls in a
compost-based mix will improve drainage substantially. One
compost-based substrate we’ve successfully used incorporates
peat, perlite or vermiculite, and compost at a 1:1:1 ratio.
Despite the benefits of using compost, it’s important to
choose a compost carefully before incorporating it into your
substrate. Some composts we’ve tested have a high
concentration of non-nutrient salts (higher than 4 mS/cm).
We’ve grown basil and marigolds in a variety of compost-based
substrates and found that growth was acceptable in only half of
those substrates (Table 1). This could have been due to high salt
concentration, low nutrient concentration, or lack of maturity
in the compost. Before choosing a compost, make sure you test
the salt concentration, and grow at least a few plants in the
final substrate to ensure that plant performance is optimum.
Coast of Maine (Lobster)
Coast of Maine (Manure)
New England Organics
Table 1. The substrates included composts at a 1:1:1 ratio with peat and perlite.
The EC of some composts was higher than would be recommended for salt sensitive
species. Growth of marigolds and basil was best in MooDoo, New England Organics,
and Winterwood Composts despite the high EC in MooDoo and Winterwood. EC was
measured using the saturated media extract method.
Since many substrate components are considered organic,
both Sun-Gro and Fafard are currently making organic
potting mixes. Both of these are similar to their conventional
substrates. For example, Fafard Organic contains bark, peat,
perlite, and vermiculite, similar to Fafard 3B. Their organic
mix contains an organic wetting agent and starter fertilizer.
Managing Fertility
Organic fertilizers come from naturally-occurring minerals
or are derived from plant or animal matter. Some examples of
organic mined materials and the nutrients they supply include
dolomitic limestone (calcium and magnesium), rock phosphate
(phosphorus), and greensand (potassium). Some animal- and
plant-based organic fertilizers include alfalfa meal, blood
meal, fish emulsion or hydrolysate, seed extracts, poultry
litter, seaweed extract, and manure composted according to
National Organic Program (NOP) guidelines.
Continued on page 14
Organic Substrates & Fertilizers
Continued from page 13
Your options for supplying organic fertility are
1) incorporate it into the substrate before transplanting,
2) top-dress during crop growth, and 3) add liquid organic
fertilizers with the irrigation water. While conventional
greenhouse growers provide most of their fertilizers in the
irrigation water (i.e. constant liquid feed), several of the
organic fertilizer components noted above cannot be readily
dissolved or suspended in water. Because of this, many
vegetable and herb transplant growers incorporate fertilizers
into the substrate prior to transplanting.
Figure 1. Growth of tomato seedlings in response to substrates prepared as
described in Table 2.
One downfall of relying on substrate-incorporated fertilizers
is that plants will eventually deplete nutrients. A given mix
might be suitable for producing plants over a short cropping
cycle such as four to six weeks, but may not supply enough
nutrients for extended growth. Top-dressing with a fertilizer
source can supply additional nutrients, but since these are not
directly incorporated into the root-zone they may not supply
readily-available nutrients. Another option to supply
additional fertility is to use liquid formulated products; some
ingredients include fish emulsion, kelp extract, seed extract,
and finely ground blood meal suspended in water. Similar to
substrate-incorporated fertilizers some commercial liquid
products combine multiple ingredients in an attempt to
develop a balanced source of macro and micro nutrients.
One challenge with organic fertilizers is that not all the
nutrients are provided in a plant-available form. That is,
nutrient release depends on naturally occurring
microorganisms to break down complex organic matter into
mineral ions that plant roots can absorb. For example, when
a conventional fertilizer is used, the entire amount of applied
nitrogen is readily available and plants will quickly “green
up” following fertilizer applications. However, with organic
fertilizer sources, you will need to look at the product label
for the percentage ammonium, nitrate, and urea plant roots
readily absorb these. Any additional nitrogen in the fertilizer
should be thought of as “slow release.”
One benefit is that several components can be combined
in attempt to supply all required nutrients. For example, at
seedling growth. The base mix contained 70 percent peat, 30
percent perlite and dolomitic limestone; additional treatments
and germination percentages are noted in Table 2 (Figure 1).
After six weeks, we found that plant growth was acceptable
in treatments containing conventional fertilizer or 10 percent
vermicompost. The largest plants received a combination of
vermicompost and blood meal. It should be noted that
vermicompost can have high salt levels – a rate of 10 percent
by volume worked well for tomato but may be too high for
salt-sensitive seedlings.
Base mix (70% peat, 30% perlite,
7.5 pounds per cubic yard
dolomitic limestone)
Base mix + 7 pounds per cubic
yard blood meal
Base mix + 10% vermicompost
(by volume)
Base mix + blood meal +
Base mix + conventional liquid
fertilizer (75 ppm N from 21-5-20,
drenched twice weekly)
Figure 2. Yellowing of lower leaves on these impatiens is due to nitrogen deficiency.
Table 2. Organic substrate mixes trialed with tomato seedlings at Cornell.
Monitoring Fertility
An additional challenge to using organic fertilizers is that it
is more difficult to monitor substrate fertility. In conventional
production, the general fertility level is monitored measuring
soluble salts with electrical conductivity meters. In
conventional fertilizers all supplied nutrients are dissolved in
water as mineral ions. Because some organic substrates are
high in non-fertilizer salts, EC monitoring may not directly
indicate the amount of available nutrient ions. Therefore, EC
guideline charts developed for conventional fertilizers are not
directly applicable. Periodic monitoring is still a useful tool –
in particular, trends over time can be tracked. When EC values
OFA Bulletin
September/October 2011 • N u m b e r 9 2 9
Organic production continues to be a growing sector of the
greenhouse industry. While organically managing substrates
and fertilizers requires a different approach, it is possible to
grow healthy, marketable plants using organic fertilizers. Keep
in mind, that as one would do with any new product, be sure
to test organic fertilizers and substrates on a small number of
plants before using them on the entire crop.
Figure 3. Low phosphorus availability appears as purpling of lower leaves on these
decline over time this indicates that fertilizer ions are being
consumed by plants faster than they are supplied. The
monitoring of root-zone pH is also useful as it directly
affects solubility of nutrient ions.
Another practical approach to monitoring fertility is
visually inspecting your crop. Record notes weekly on your
plants’ appearance. Have plants grown any larger in the past
week? Stunted development, sparse branching, and poor leaf
growth may indicate that fertilizer has run out. Symptoms of
low fertility often manifest first as nitrogen or phosphorus
deficiency. Nitrogen deficiency appears as uniform yellowing
of lower leaves (Figure 2), whereas phosphorus deficiency
appears as purpling of lower leaves (Figure 3). Damage from
high salts can cause poor germination or weak growth; in
addition burning of lower leaf edges can occur (Figure 4).
Figure 4. Cuphea growing in a substrate with high salts (left) shows leaf edge burn
and poor growth as compared to a control plant (right).
Neil Mattson
Cornell University
Plant Science Building, Room 49D
Ithaca, NY 14853
[email protected]
Stephanie Burnett
University of Maine
5722 Deering Hall
Orono, ME 04469
[email protected]
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“Clean” Cutting, Plugs & Propagation: A Good
Start for Any Solid Pest Management Program
By Ronald Valentin
lean cuttings, young plants, or plugs – this has been a
discussion point for many years in our industry. It has
also been a source of tension between growers and suppliers.
My goal is to present some thoughts and hopefully stimulate
some discussion among growers, propagators, breeders, and
other industry technical support people.
Learning from the Past
The greenhouse vegetable industry addressed the issue of
clean propagation material more than two decades ago. I grew
up in the greenhouse vegetable industry in the Netherlands
where my parents owned and operated a 6-acre hydroponic
tomato production greenhouse. The meaning of the phrase
“clean plant” is very different today than when my father took
over from my grandfather in 1966. Then, a clean plant was a
plant that had NO bugs (what is still called zero tolerance
today). My father implemented biological control for the first
time in 1971 to control whitefly in his tomato crop. He
employed bio-control because whiteflies had developed
resistance to pesticides available to the vegetable industry at
the time. In those early years, using bio-control in vegetables
was a challenge because it wasn’t always as effective as
expected, and the reasons for failure were often unclear. But
by trial and error, keys to success where found. A few these
include commitment, patience, implementing bio-control early
in the crop cycle, monitoring activity, and staying focused
from the crop’s start to finish.
Starting bio-control early in the crop cycle is of particular
importance. Releasing biological control agents (BCAs) early
(Encarsia formosa for whitefly in my dad’s case), before the
pest has a chance to establish itself, is critical for success. This
was more or less done on a preventive basis, even if whitefly
was not yet seen. Greenhouse vegetable growers in the
Netherlands received their young plants from specialized
propagators, and starts arriving at the greenhouse were about
six weeks old. Of course these plants needed to be clean.
However, it quickly became evident that clean wasn’t always
“clean.” Plants arrived with pests in tow. Worse, the plants also
had been sprayed with a plethora of pesticides, a number of
which had long residuals and were harmful to BCAs. In those
years, products such as oxamyl (Vydate), methomyl (Lannate),
endosulfan (Thiodan), and acephate (Orthene) were still
registered for use on vegetable crops in the Netherlands.
Needless to say, their use made it difficult to begin effective
biological pest management programs. Within a short period
of years, propagators and growers developed a common
understanding of pest management and developed a new
definition for “clean plant.” The phrase “zero tolerance” also
disappeared as it became clear that young plants with a few
pests but NO long term pesticide or harmful residue was
preferable to a few pests WITH long term pesticide residue.
The former was preferable because it afforded growers a better
chance of establishing an effective biological pest management
program. Because pesticide resistance develops quickly, using
an arsenal of pesticides does not guarantee a plant clean of
pests and zero tolerance was and is unrealistic goal.
Today most vegetable propagators have instituted an IPM
program which uses BCAs as a first line of defense. That
doesn’t mean that they never use a pesticide, but when they
do, it is BCA compatible or is at least a pesticide that does not
have a long negative residual effect. With this technique, they
are providing growers with plants on which BCAs can be used
effectively, and they are doing their part to help manage the
development of pesticide resistance.
Figure 1. Use of parasites in poinsettia propagation.
How Can We Translate This to the Ornamental
Pesticide resistance is a common development in the
ornamental industry, especially with thrips and the twospottedspidermite,bothintheUnitedStatesandtherest
of the world. With the global trade of plant material, when
pesticide resistance shows up in one location, it soon appears
in the rest of the world. Pesticide resistance has become a
major motivator for ornamental greenhouse growers to look
at bio-control alternatives, just as it was for their vegetable
grower colleagues in the 1970s and 80s. There are many
growers who are really very successful. But just as vegetable
growers had to go through a learning curve, many of us are
now doing the same in the ornamental greenhouse industry.
And we, too, are grappling with the issue of what clean rooted
or unrooted cuttings really means.
OFA Bulletin
September/October 2011 • N u m b e r 9 2 9
Canada, five varieties of chrysanthemum were checked for the
presence of thrips upon arrival from the breeder. This study
was conducted over a period of eight months with sampling
done every two weeks. Not one single sample came in as
“clean.” In all cases, thrips adults and immatures were found.
In some instances as many as one adult thrip for every two
cuttings was found. This is too many to start any solid pest
management program. Of more concern in the study, however,
was the fact that an arsenal of pesticides was applied to the
stock plants. The presence of thrips, despite an extensive
pesticide program, implied that these thrips were resistant
to many of the pesticides used. The growers involved in this
project work with BCAs as part of their pest management
effort, and the fact that these cuttings are not “clean” (the
presence of thrips and pesticide residual) is troublesome.
There is a three-year study being conducted in the
Netherlands designed to address this issue of “clean” cuttings.
The program’s objective is to identify the presence and
amount of pesticide residue on cuttings on different crops
coming from within the country as well as from different
parts of the world. This project was initiated to answer the
question, “Are pesticide residues the major reason why BCAs
are often not as effective as expected in controlling problems
on incoming cuttings?” In the first year of the study, 2010,
39 cutting samples were evaluated. On these 39 samples, 302
pesticide residues were found. Of these, 115 were compatible
(“safe” on BCAs) products; 55 more were compatible with
some BCAs but not others; and 132 were incompatible
(harmful to BCAs) products. A question that still needs to be
answered is, “How long does it take for incompatible pesticide
residues to degrade to a level that allows effective BCA pest
management?” We are looking for further insights in the two
remaining years of this study.
Too many times, growers focus only on whether their cuttings
come in “clean,” i.e. without pest hitchhikers, when they
should be focusing on how to minimize initial pest levels
AND the presence of long term pesticide residues on incoming
cuttings. A breeder’s or propagator’s pest management
program that includes BCAs, as well as some short residual
and compatible pesticides, will benefit the industry. Such a
program will benefit growers who use BCAs in their pest
management program, as well as growers who typically
use more traditional pesticides as it will help manage the
development of pesticide resistance. The key take-home
message is that propagative material coming from breeders
and propagators who don’t use long residual pesticides gives
growers flexibility, whether they use BCAs or a more
traditional pesticide program. Conversely, propagative material
produced under a pest management regime that includes a
whole arsenal of pesticides AND still has pesticide resistant
pests restricts a grower’s options and makes it more difficult
to use any pest management program successfully.
Figure 3. Bio-control in vegetable propagation; aphid banker plants for aphid control.
What Can Be Done in the Meantime to Make as
“Clean” a Start as Possible and Minimize Risk?
Figure 2. Amblyseius cucumeris mini sachet for thrips control in cyclamen
Where Do We Go from Here in North America with
“Clean” Cuttings & Plugs?
Some breeders and propagators have already implemented
more BCA-friendly pest management programs. However, in
an ideal world, it would be great if all ornamental propagators
and breeders learned from and avoided the mistakes made by
our vegetable counterparts and implemented a more BCAfriendly pest management strategy.
OFA Bulletin
Of course it is always important to inspect any incoming
propagative materials for the presence of pests, but it is
unrealistic to set an acceptance threshold of 0 for pests. What
is preferable is for growers to get information on what pest
management tools and products were used during the
propagation. This will help growers understand the potential
effectiveness they can expect from BCAs. This would also help
growers using traditional pest management programs to
choose their pesticides wisely. Of course the question that still
remains is, “What is a reasonable acceptable threshold for any
given pest?” For example, unrooted poinsettia cuttings will
have some whitefly PERIOD, but it is unacceptable if every
cutting has as many as six adult whiteflies (as I saw last year).
To reduce the level and risk of pests coming in through the
door, many growers have started to treat rooted and unrooted
cuttings with products such as Botanigard, biological
fungicides such as Rootshield, and the nematode, Steinernema.
Treating cuttings before they enter the greenhouse will not
eliminate pest problems, but it will reduce the number and
Continued on page 18
“Clean” Cutting, Plugs & Propagation: A Good Start for Any Solid Pest
Management Program
Continued from Page 17
measures have shown excellent results in controlling thrips
adults and immatures, though not so much on thrips eggs as
they are protected in the plant tissue. By controlling most
adults and immatures, total thrips numbers are reduced which
“buys” the grower (and the BCAs) some time if pesticide
residues are an issue. Products like nematodes and Botanigard
work only by contact so dipping is the best way of getting
optimal coverage. However, there may be some risk of disease
activity following dips, so it is up to each grower to weigh the
risks and benefits. Sprenching can be effective, though not as
much as dipping.
treatments have been successful on thrips. Thirty minutes at
102.2°F (39°C) or 15 minutes at 104°F (40°C) gave excellent
results on chrysanthemum cuttings without any plant damage.
This hot water regime, however, is not guaranteed to control
all the thrips on mum cuttings nor has it been tested on other
plant species. Horticultural oil was shown to be effective for
reducing both thrips and whitefly, but is not currently
registered for use as a dip treatment.
The above treatments have no residual effect on BCAs
and might be used in any pest management program.
I wish everyone a very successful and “clean” growing
Ronald Valentin
Biological Control and IPM Specialist
Biobest USA Inc
Biobest Canada Ltd
[email protected]
Find Easy-to-Implement Solutions
Right at Your Fingertips
Declare victory over viruses
Unlock the secrets of URCs
To light or not to light?
Tank mix cook books
Tech toolbox for high quality plugs and cuttings
Keeping the root zone happy and healthy
Increase yield and uniformity
Spanish sessions also available
September 12-14, 2011 San Jose, California
OFA Bulletin
September/October 2011 • N u m b e r 9 2 9
Million-Dollar Question:
How to Get Employees to Follow Safety Rules?
By Shawn Combs
ne of the most frustrating issues for employers when
discussing workers’ compensation and workplace safety is
the challenge of how to get employees to follow established
safety rules. A common refrain heard from employers is “I can
have the best safety program in the world, but if employees
don’t follow the rules, then what good is it?” The milliondollar question is how to get employees to stop making risky
decisions that lead to on-the-job injuries and higher workers’
compensation premium expenses.
The challenge for employers is to raise the awareness among
employees of the importance of safety and gain their buy-in
for the company’s safety initiatives. As with most things in
life, everything starts at the top. The message sent by business
owners and management to employees sets the tone for the
value placed on safety within the business. However, safety
cannot simply be a top-down, management-driven process.
While business owners and management are doing their part to
establish safety as a business priority, efforts need to be made
to include employees in the process and generate grassroots
involvement to make your operations safer.
In terms of demonstrating management commitment to
workplace safety, ways to do this start with developing a
company safety policy and extend to making safety a regular
topic at employee or management meetings. However, these
words will ring hollow if they are not followed up with
action. Ways to “walk the walk” include providing resources
(financial or otherwise) to implement safety initiatives,
empowering employees to identify areas of need, suggest ideas
for improvements, make decisions and support their decisions.
Last but not least, it is critical to follow through on promises
made to employees or at the very least explain why certain
corrective actions cannot be taken.
OFA Bulletin
Ideas for engaging employees include creating projectspecific teams or focus groups that have a specific goal (e.g.
creating an emergency evacuation plan or developing a safety
recognition program) and timeframes. These “Involvement
Teams” could be involved with internal inspections and selfaudits, among other projects.
Perhaps the most effective way to engage employees is
through a formal safety committee. The purpose of a safety
committee is to identify, evaluate and address safety issues
(employee comments, complaints, safety inspection results,
safety goals/metrics, employee injuries, etc.). Safety committee
meetings should include representatives from every area of the
company and meet on a regular, continuous basis. Candid,
open discussion between employees and management on
a wide range of topics should be encouraged at safety
committee meetings. A critical element is to value the input of
all safety committee members, act on suggestions and follow
through on promises.
Safety recognition initiatives are also a good way to jumpstart a company’s safety program and can go a long way
toward raising awareness among employees and encouraging
safe behavior. Safety recognition awards range from gift
cards, gas cards, and movie passes to paid time off.
If done right, any of these strategies generate an enormous
amount of learning about the exposures in your business,
foster better communication between employees and
management, and create a greater likelihood that employees
will follow safety procedures…all things that over the longrun can lead to reduced workers’ compensation expenses.
Shawn Combs
5500 Glendon Ct #360
Dublin, OH 43016
877-360-3608 x 2364
s-ABA: A New PGR to Extend Shelf Life
& Increase Sell-Through
By Michelle L. Jones and Nicole L. Waterland
Water Stress Reduces Shelf Life
High postproduction temperatures can cause rapid substrate
drying and plant wilting. Drought-induced wilting during
retailing can reduce product sell-through and increase shrink.
This can be a huge problem with impatiens and other crops
that use water rapidly or in bedding plants with relatively
small substrate volumes. Drought-stress causes plants to
produce the plant hormone abscisic acid (ABA). This ABA
acts like a signal, telling the plant that water availability
is low and that it should close its stomata (microscopic pores
on the leaves) to conserve water.
Figure 1. s-ABA (Contego™ Pro SL ; Valent Biosciences Corp.) applications
delay drought-induced wilting in New Guinea Impatiens ‘Ovation Blush Rose’, and
Chrysanthemums ‘Wilma’. Plants on the right of each photo were sprayed with
1,000 ppm (New Guineas) or 500 ppm (garden mums) Contego™ Pro SL + 0.05%
surfactant (CapSil, Aquatrols Corporation of America, Inc.,) and control plants on the
left were sprayed with water with surfactant only. Photos were taken at nine days
(New Guineas) and seven days (mums) after treatment and last irrigation.
Anti-transpirant PGR Contego Pro SL
Anti-transpirants reduce water loss by physically blocking
the stomata or by causing the plant to close its stomata.
Contego Pro SL (Valent Biosciences) is a new anti-transpirant
PGR that will be available in spring 2012. The active
ingredient in Contego Pro SL is s-ABA, the biologically active
form of the natural plant hormone abscisic acid. Applications
of Contego Pro SL cause rapid closure of the stomata,
reducing transpiration and delaying drought-induced wilting.
The result is a plant that can tolerate temporary drought stress
in the postproduction environment and remain marketable for
an extended period of time.
Figure 2. Contego Pro SL applications delay drought-induced wilting in impatiens and
petunias. Plants on the right of each photo were sprayed with 500 ppm Contego Pro
SL + 0.05% surfactant (CapSil, Aquatrols Corporation of America, Inc.,) and control
plants on the left were sprayed with surfactant only. Photos were taken at five days
(impatiens) and seven days (petunias) after treatment and last irrigation.
Application Tips
Contego Pro SL is most effective as a foliar spray at
concentrations from 125 to 2,000 ppm, with a spray volume
of 2 to 3 quarts final solution per 100 square feet of growing
area. Thorough coverage of the plant is important and the use
of a surfactant increases uptake and efficacy. Apply to well
hydrated plants before the plants are under stress. Optimal
rates and responses vary with different species and between
cultivars, so always run tests on a few plants before applying
to your entire crop.
Anything that ships for more than one day could benefit
OFA Bulletin
September/October 2011 • N u m b e r 9 2 9
from the added protection of Contego Pro SL. Other uses
include retail displays where irrigation may be irregular or
inconsistent. Crops like mums that are not turned over quickly
and need to have a shelf life of a week or more would also
benefit from an anti-transpirant PGR application.
Species and cultivar
Salvia ‘Picante Scarlet’
Wilting delay in treated compared
to untreated plants (days)
Impatiens ‘Xtreme Lavender’
Petunia ‘Ultra Red’
Pansy ‘Bingo Rose Frost’
Viola ‘Penny Deep Blue’
Marigold ‘Bonanza Orange’
Geranium ‘Maverick Red’
Figure 3. Phytotoxicity symptoms in seed geraniums, marigolds and pansies include
lower leaf chlorosis.
Calibrachoa ‘Aloha Purple’
Contego Pro SL Delays Wilting & Increases Shelf Life
in Many Ornamentals
Zinnia ‘Double Zahara Fire’
Dahlia ‘Carolina Orange’
Contego Pro SL is very effective at delaying wilting when
water is withheld from garden mums (Figure 1). Some cultivar
differences were observed. A 500 ppm spray application of
Contego Pro SL resulted in a 0.8- to 3.8-day delay in visual
wilting symptoms among the cultivars evaluated (Table 1).
‘Wilma’ and ‘Flash Gretchen’ had the longest delay in wilting
and were considered marketable for more than three days
after the untreated plants had wilted.
Mum cultivar
Shelf life extension (days)
‘Colina Red’
‘Flash Gretchen’
‘Golden Cheryl’
Table 1. Wilting delayed and shelf life extended in 6-inch garden mums sprayed with
Contego Pro SL, a new anti-transpirant PGR. The shelf life extension is the number of
days that treated plants remained turgid after the untreated plants wilted.
Contego Pro SL is also very effective on New Guinea
Impatiens. Figure 1 shows New Guineas after water was
withheld for nine days. The untreated plants were wilted and
desiccated, while the treated plants remained turgid and held
all their blooms. No flower or leaf damage was observed with
either 500 or 1,000 ppm spray applications in New Guineas
and mums.
Contego Pro SL decreased water loss and delayed wilting
in all of the 4-inch bedding plants that were subjected to
drought stress, but phytotoxicity was observed in some
species. Spray applications of 500 ppm were evaluated in
impatiens ‘Xtreme Lavender’, seed geraniums ‘Maverick Red’,
Scarlet’, pansy ‘Bingo Rose Frost’, viola ‘Penny Deep Blue’,
calibrachoa ‘Aloha Purple’, zinnia ‘Double Zahara Fire’, and
dahlia ‘Carolina Orange’. Well-watered 4-inch pots of each
species were sprayed with either 0 or 500 ppm Contego Pro SL
(s-ABA) plus 0.05 percent CapSil surfactant (Aquatrols
Corporation of America, Inc.). Water was withheld to
determine when treated and untreated plants wilted.
Contego Pro SL applications delayed wilting symptoms in
all drought-stressed bedding plants (Table 2 and Figure 2).
Petunias, violas and zinnias had delays of four days or more.
While visual wilting was delayed in all treated plants, this did
not result in an extension in the shelf life or marketability of
OFA Bulletin
Table 2. Wilting delays in 4-inch ornamentals sprayed with 500 ppm Contego Pro SL.
some crops because of phytotoxicity. ABA induced premature
leaf senescence (i.e. death) and chlorosis in pansies, violas,
geraniums, and marigolds (Figure 3). Leaf yellowing symptoms
were most extreme on pansies and violas and the severity
varied by cultivar.
Leaf Yellowing Caused by Contego Pro SL
Can be Prevented
Even in the absence of drought stress, all Contego Pro SL
(s-ABA) applications to pansies and violas resulted in some
degree of leaf yellowing. This symptom has not been observed
in all areas of the country and is likely highly influenced by
environment. Applications of a PGR, like Fascination, that
contains cytokinins (BA) plus gibberellins (GA4+7) effectively
prevents ABA-induced leaf yellowing (Figure 4). The Fascination
application was equally effective when applied 4 hours or
12 hours before or concurrently with the Contego Pro SL.
While the tank mix of Fascination and Contego Pro SL is a good
option for preventing side effects of leaf chorosis, Fascination is
not currently labeled for use as a tank mix.
If you are losing product during shipping or retailing due
to drought stress, consider evaluating the effectiveness of
Contego Pro SL in your operation. As with any PGR make
sure you trial the product on all species and cultivars that you
are interested in and use the lowest effective concentration to
prevent negative side effects.
Figure 4. Spray applications of Fascination at 2 to 5 ppm prevent the leaf chlorosis
caused by Contego Pro SL in pansy.
Michelle L. Jones
Department of Horticulture
and Crop Science
The Ohio State University OARDC
Wooster, OH 44691
[email protected]
Nicole L. Waterland
Division of Plant and
Soil Sciences
West Virginia University
Morgantown, WV 26506
[email protected]
OFA Members in the News
Heinz Brothers Greenhouse, St. Charles, Illinois
MasterTag, Montague, Michigan
Featured in: Changing Identities, GrowerTalks August 2011 issue,
pages 36-38
Featured on: Lawn & Garden Retailer’s web site, www.lgrmag.com
Bob’s Market & Greenhouses, Mason, West Virginia
MasterTag is working on a consumer web site,
MyGardenInsider.com, that will provide consumers with
garden project instruction and inspiration, as well as a
searchable image library. The web site will integrate social
media and be mobile friendly. The web site was debuted to
industry professionals at the 2011 OFA Short Course.
Direct link to article:
Featured on: GreenhouseGrower.com
Peace Tree Farm, Kitnersville, Pennsylvania
How do you identify yourself? Greenhouse or garden
center? If you’ve questioned your business’ identity you’ll
want to read this article. Author Pam Buddy-D’Amrosio
checks in with Jay and Joel Schrock on how their business
has evolved over the past two decades.
Bob’s Market is well known for producing some of the
highest quality plugs in its region. In fact, Bob’s is among the
just 15 years of focus in that area. Robert Barnitz and his
wife, Corena, established Bob’s Market more than 40 years
ago. All five of their sons chose greenhouse floriculture as
their career paths, and all five have a stake in the business
as owners. One of the sons, Bobby, served as President of
OFA from 2007 to 2009.
Chris Currey, Purdue University, 2010 OFA Scholar
Allison Justice, Clemson University, 2011 OFA Scholar
Featured on: American Floral Enowment’s web site, www.endowment.org
Chris and Allison are not only student members of OFA,
but previously participated in the OFA Scholars Program.
They each received a scholarship from the American Floral
Endowment. Chris received the James K. Ratmell Jr. Memorial
Scholarship for academic study and research in Guatemala
and El Salvador early next year. Allison received the Seed
Companies Scholarship for her PhD work on how different
mycorrhizae effect adventitious root formation.
Featured on: GrowerTalks Magazine Live YouTube Channel
Interested in unique eye-grabbing plants? In a short video
Peace Tree Farm owners Lloyd and Candy Traven showcase
unusual plants, edible container gardens, and certified organic
herbs and vegetables.
Graf Growers, Akron, Ohio
White Oak Garden Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
Wilson’s Garden Center, Newark, Ohio
Featured on: Today’s Garden Center Steal This Idea Showcase:
Early Bird Specials
Does your garden center offer Early Bird Specials? Three
Ohio-based OFA members demonstrate the fun and quirky
ways they handle Early Bird Specials. One of them uses rubber
fishing worms as the “coupon.” Do you know who?
Visit www.ofa.org/InTheNews
for more links to the full articles.
OFA Bulletin
September/October 2011 • N u m b e r 9 2 9
OFA News
Welcome New OFA Members & Subscribers
Beijing Richland Consulting Company Ltd – Beijing, China
Natural Art Garden Center – Toms Brook, VA
Bloomnet – Canal Winchester, OH
Amanda Boggs – West Jefferson, OH
NewPro Company – Zionsville, IN
Dallas Arboretum – Dallas, TX
Novarbo Oy – Eura, Finland
Novozymes BioAg Group – Saskatoon, SK, Canada
Ditsch Greenhouses – Ridgeway, ON, Canada
Learning Garden – Columbus, OH
Florigen Greenhouses – Traverse City, MI
George Freas – Ball Horticultural Company, West Chicago, IL
Bailey Garwood – Oakland Schools Technical Campus SW,
Wixom, MI
Perfect Image Orchids Inc – Half Moon Bay, CA
Quiet Heart Music – Beaver, PA
Gary’s Perennials LLC – Maple Glen, PA
Tip Top Bio-Control – Thousand Oaks, CA
Gateway Technical College – Kenosha, WI
Treasure Hunt Nursery – Fortville, IN
Grand Openings – Colgate, WI
Very Cool Stuff – Morrice, MI
Hanging Tree Nursery Inc – Apopka, FL
Vivers De Premia De Dalt SL – Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Janet’s Jungle Inc – Fremont, NE
John David Weekly – My Garden 2 Go, Gallatin, TN
Mesquite Valley Growers Nursery – Tucson, AZ
West Coast Floral Ltd – Surrey, BC, Canada
Wholesale Fairy Gardens – Dublin, OH
Jerry Montgomery – Montgomery Consulting Services,
Ocala, FL
Windham Greenhouses – Glenwood, GA
My Garden Nursery – Mill Creek, WA
OFA Bulletin
Highland Heights, OH
Boost Your Bottom Line
November 8 - 9, 2011
Raleigh, North Carolina
OFA Bulletin
OFA Bulletin
Need to earn pesticide recertification
credits? The OFA Grow & Sell for Profit
Conference has three credit-approved
sessions available! Look for the
symbol. Visit the conference web site
at www.ofa.org/conferences to see
if your state has approved pest
recertification credits.
Pesticide Recertification
North Carolina is easy to get to. And once
you’re there, we promise to give you tons of
ideas to make your business stronger and
more competitive.
Short Drive. Long Results. Raleigh,
The conference is supported by the North
Carolina Commercial Flower Growers
Association, the South Carolina Greenhouse
Growers Association, and the Virginia Flower
Growers Association to facilitate this two-day
event of networking, learning, and connecting
you to great ideas.
will boost your bottom line with profitpacked solutions for growers and garden
center retailers. The conference will focus on
delivering take-home business solutions that
can rev up your business.
Rev Up Your Business –
The OFA Grow & Sell
for Profit Conference,
November 8-9, 2011 in the
Raleigh, North Carolina area
OFA – The Association of Horticulture
Professionals isu the leading horticuluture
educational association in the United
States. It is a non-profit, all-industry,
educational organizaution and its core puurpose/
mission is “to support and advance professional
horticulture.” Industry segments served include
garden centers, greenhouses, nurseries, retail
and wholesale florists, and interior plantscapers.
To learn more about OFA and how it can help your
business be more successful, visit www.ofa.org.
Just want to come to the trade show?
No problem. Registration is $25 per day
to visit the exhibit hall. This is member
pricing, so if you’re not yet a member of
save on registration by becoming one
today. See the registration form on page
15 for OFA membership options.
times are tough, so we’ve made sure this
conference is affordable to everyone.
For only $99 you can enjoy two days of
education, trade show, and lunch both
days. Only able to come to one day?
Registration is only $69. Want even more
good news? Anyone else who comes from
your company only pays $49 whether they
attend one or two days. That price even
includes lunch!
Affordable…Really! We know
OFA Grow & Sell for Profit Conference • November 8-9, 2011
Profit Connection Held on the trade show floor,
“Profit Connection” is like nothing you’ve ever
experienced. “Profit Connection” is where you get
face-to-face with production and retail experts like
Rick Schoellhorn and Bridget Behe who can answer
any question you throw at them. Go ahead and try to
stump them; we dare you. Conveniently located on
the trade show floor in the Carolina Ballroom, “Profit
Connection” is designed with you in mind. It’s a place
where you can connect with industry resources that
put growing and selling solutions at your fingertips.
This is your chance to enjoy one-on-one time
with companies that have the products and
services you need to make your business more
profitable. The trade show will be open both days
so you can enjoy a mix of educational sessions
and time with exhibitors.
Connect with Industry Suppliers
No TSA Pat Downs! Sometimes the cost
of travel can be a barrier to participating in
educational events. No worries about that with
the OFA Grow & Sell for Profit Conference. It’s
within easy driving distance, and we’ve purposely
selected a hotel that provides free parking,
complimentary breakfast, and an evening
manager’s reception for registered guests.
September/October 2011 • N u m b e r 9 2 9
OFA Bulletin
It’s All About Customer Service (Reynolds)
Trade Show Open (Lunch from 12-1 PM) (Carolina Ballroom)
Profitable Events in Your Garden Center (Reynolds)
Finding Your Niche: Successful Products & Services (Reynolds)
Relational Retailing (Reynolds)
10:30 - 11:30 AM
11:30 AM - 4:30 PM
1:30 - 2:30 PM
2:45 - 3:45 PM
4:30 - 5 PM
The Future of Our Industry (Cameron)
Calculating the Cost: Energy Saving Technology (Cameron)
The Future of Our Industry (Cameron)
Social Media in 15 Minutes a Day (Reynolds)
9:15 - 10 AM
10:30 - 11:30 AM
Garden Center Tour with a Focus on Merchandising* (Convention Center Entrance)
1 - 5 PM
3:30 - 4:30 PM
2:15 - 3:15 PM
Social Media Kick-Start: Office Hours (Reynolds)
1 - 4:30 PM
*Separate registration fee required
Production Inputs for Growing Quality Crops & Getting Dollar Returns: Light & Temperature (Cameron)
Production Inputs for Growing Quality Crops & Getting Dollar Returns: Water, Media & Nutrition
Effective PGR Strategies to Minimize Stretch (Cameron)
Trade Show Open (Lunch from 12-1 PM) (Carolina Ballroom)
Trade Show Open (Lunch from 12-1 PM) (Carolina Ballroom)
9 AM - 2 PM
1 - 2 PM
Breaking into Retail (Cameron)
Get More from Your Web Site with Less Effort (Reynolds)
Packaging Your Product for Profit (Cameron)
Minimizing Shrink: Smart & Economical Insect Management (Cameron)
Minimizing Shrink: Smart & Economical Disease Management (Cameron)
Trade Show Open (Lunch from 12-1 PM) (Carolina Ballroom)
8 - 9 AM
Wednesday, November 9 (Trade Show open 9 AM - 12 PM)
New Crops that Can Create Consumer Excitement & Grow Your Bottom Line (Cameron)
New Crops that Can Create Consumer Excitement & Grow Your Bottom Line (Cameron)
9:30 - 10:15 AM
Minimizing Shrink: Recognizing the Signs of Production Problems that Can Rob Your Bottom Line
Business Decisions to Help Me Outshine the Competition (Cameron)
Secrets of Successful Selling (Reynolds)
(Meeting room names in parentheses)
8 - 9:15 AM
Tuesday, November 8 (Trade Show open 11:30 AM - 4:30 PM)
Schedule at a Glance
OFA Bulletin
Firestar Speaking
Raleigh, NC
Denise Ryan
Reynolds – 1 hour, 15 minutes
Secrets of Successful
8 AM
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX
Charles Hall
Cameron – 1 hour, 15 minutes
Business Decisions
to Help Me Outshine
the Competition
Forget the hard sell – no one likes high
pressure. This session begins with an
overview of marketing and the important
role of direct selling. It addresses issues such
as what it takes to be good at sales, how to
generate prospects/leads, effectively using
the telephone, establishing rapport with
prospects, handling objections, and closing
the sale. Denise has been both a salesperson
and a sales manager, and believes if you
can’t sell you can’t succeed. This seminar
will help you succeed.
8 AM
(Closes at 4:30 PM)
11:30 AM Trade Show Opens
(Closes at 4:30 PM)
7:30 AM Registration Opens
Tuesday, November 8
Consumers are always looking for flowers
that are new and distinctive. Growers and
retailers can best take advantage of this
time-sensitive opportunity by being on
the front end of a floral crop’s popularity
curve. But in the “sea of new product” that
becomes available every year, how can you
pick a winner? Rick will share his insights for
picking potential hit floral crops from the perspective of a plantsman and a consumer. He
will also cover plant material that is available
now which could be set for a rapid increase
in sales.
Proven Winners
Alachua, FL
Rick Schoellhorn
Cameron – 45 minutes
Consumer Excitement &
Grow Your Bottom Line
9:30 AM New Crops that Can Create
It is no secret that the floral market has not
been growing quickly enough to handle the
increasing supply of floral products. Add
to that the disastrous impact that periodic
droughts (and now flooding) and the economic downturn have had on flower sales
in the last half dozen years, it is easy to
understand why the industry has become
very competitive, margins have shrunk, and
many growers have left or are just barely
hanging on. Join Charlie as he helps you step
back and take an objective look at your
operation and evaluate some strategic
business options that can help you stay in
this industry that we all love.
Session Descriptions
12 PM
Carolina Ballroom – 1 hour
Lunch Available on the Trade
Show Floor (Lunch is included
in your registration)
Plants can tell you a lot about what is going
on. Learn the signs and symptoms to help
you diagnose disorders caused by nutritional,
cultural, and environmental conditions while
distinguishing them from insect and disease
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC
Brian Whipker
Cameron – 1 hour
Recognizing the Signs
of Production Problems
that Can Rob Your
Bottom Line
10:30 AM Minimizing Shrink:
Customer service either makes or breaks a
business. If you aren’t taking care of your
customers, your competitors soon will.
Attend this high-energy session and improve
your skills in dealing with customers (and
people in general!). You’ll learn the 5 things
customers want, how to deal with problem
customers, and 10 things you should NEVER
say to a customer. This session is unlike
any other customer service session you’ve
attended because it has an Elvis theme! Be
prepared to have a great time learning how
to take better care of your customers.
Firestar Speaking
Raleigh, NC
Denise Ryan
Reynolds – 1 hour
Customer Service
10:30 AM It’s All About
Your Garden Center
Plant disease epidemics are often influenced
by cultural conditions and the actions taken
by growers. Economics plays an important
role in the management of diseases that
attack plants, since an economic incentive
can influence grower decisions to adopt or
reject a change in their production practices.
Kelly will present information on what
preventive steps can be taken in order to
avoid plant disease epidemics in the greenhouse, as well as information on the cost vs
efficacy of cultural, chemical, and biocontrol
practices once disease epidemics have
become established. This data will be
presented with the most common greenhouse
diseases in mind, including root rots, downy
and powdery mildew, and leaf spots.
This session is eligible for pesticide
recertification credit.
Mountain Horticultural Crops
Research & Extension Center
Mills River, NC
Kelly Ivors
Cameron – 1 hour
Smart & Economical
Disease Management
1:30 PM Minimizing Shrink:
Garden center events are a great way to
promote your business, build customer
relationships, attract new clients, and
connect with your community. Join this
panel of garden retail veterans as they
detail their steps to being successful and
avoiding pitfalls, and most importantly
their secrets to creating profitable events.
Wingard’s Nursery & Garden Center
Lexington, SC
Wally Steinhauser
Strange’s Garden Center
Richmond, VA
Tom Rush
Boulevard Flower Gardens
at Ruffin Mill Road
Colonial Heights, VA
Mark Landa
Reynolds – 1 hour
1:30 PM Profitable Events in
September/October 2011 • N u m b e r 9 2 9
OFA Bulletin
Brenda Vaughn
Cameron – 1 hour
Juang Horng Chong
Are insects and mites bugging your operation
and reducing profit margins? Learn from JC
and Steven how to manage some of the most
common pests – thrips, whiteflies, mites,
mealybugs, etc – effectively and economically
using the newest cultural, biological, and
chemical pest management technologies.
This session is eligible for pesticide
recertification credit.
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC
Steven Frank
Whether your customer is the end consumer
or a retail operation, you can prep your crop
for quicker sales, increased sales and margin,
and more return sales by increasing its appeal
and convenience through packaging and
presentation. Brenda and Tal will show you
the range of these value-added options that
could be suited to your operation and that
have been shown to be successful.
White’s Nursery & Greenhouses Inc
Chesapeake, VA
Tal White
John Henry Company
Lansing, MI
Cameron – 1 hour
Pee Dee Research & Education Center
Florence, SC
for Profit
4:30 PM Packaging Your Product
What is it about your people and store
environment that gives you a competitive edge? Relational retailing. It’s about
relationships, connection, and authenticity.
Treat your customers as you would want to
be treated and not as a faceless transaction.
The value you place on your relationship with
your customers is directly proportional to the
loyalty they will have to your company. Create
environments where customers can connect
so relational retailing can occur. Join Joe as
he discusses how building relationships with
your customer, employees, vendors, and
peers can build your business.
& Economical Insect
2:45 PM Minimizing Shrink: Smart
Learn from your peers about products and
services they have developed into successful niches. Some of the niches you will learn
about include custom containers, birding,
event hosting, orchids, water gardening, and
cafes. Developing the right niche for your
market will draw in additional customers and
add to your bottom line.
Atlantic Avenue Orchid &
Garden Center
Raleigh, NC
Maggie Terry
Fairview Greenhouses & Garden Center
Raleigh, NC
Brad Rollins
Boulevard Flower Gardens at
Ruffin Mill Road
Colonial Heights, VA
Mark Landa
Reynolds – 1 hour
Successful Products
& Services
2:45 PM Finding Your Niche:
Homewood Nursery & Garden Center
Raleigh, NC
Joe Stoffregen
Reynolds – 1 hour
4:30 PM Relational Retailing
The Garden of Words LLC
Wilmington, NC
Katie Elzer-Peters
The Garden of Words
Wilmington, NC
Heather Claus
Reynolds – 1 hour
Get More from Your
Web Site with Less Effort
Trade Show Opens
(Closes at 2 PM)
Garden centers need to have a professional,
updated web site presence in order to attract,
retain, and communicate with customers.
You could build or upgrade the web site
yourself, but is that really your expertise?
It’s probably best left to a professional so
you can focus on other aspects of your
business. The right web professional should
be able to help retailers create a web site
and e-newsletter that work together for the
benefit of the garden center and help add
profit to the bottom line. This session will
help independent garden center owners feel
confident interviewing, working with, and
establishing a productive working relationship with a web site design professional.
8 AM
9 AM
(Closes at 3:30 PM)
7:30 AM Registration Opens
Wednesday, November 9
Breaking into Retail
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI
Bridget Behe
Cameron – 1 hour
There are a number of factors at work that
combine to create a challenging business
environment for the green industry.
Escalating energy and input costs, an
insufficient pool of available legal labor, the
recent economic downturn, the hit-n-miss
cool, wet springs and hot droughty summers,
over-production, and a stagnant market are
a sampling of the challenges with which our
industry is grappling. Despite these troublesome issues, there are still opportunities for
our industry and for individual businesses.
Charlie will share his perspective for how
these challenges and opportunities may
shape our industry’s future.
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX
Charles Hall
Cameron – 45 minutes
9:15 AM The Future of Our Industry
With the blink of an eye or the snap of
fingers, a successful wholesaler can become
a successful retailer, right? Not so fast. This
session will focus on the essentials a successful wholesaler should do and some pitfalls to
avoid when making a transition from entirely
wholesale to some portion of retail sales.
Attention to detail and merchandising basics,
as well as some key differences from wholesale marketing, will be conveyed.
8 AM
OFA Bulletin
One of the many challenges facing our
industry, over which individual growers have
little or no control, is the escalating cost of
energy. While growers can do little about
these costs, they can look at how efficiently
they are using energy, and consider additional
ways of lowering energy usage. A part of
that consideration should be an assessment
of systems and technology that can help
manage and even reduce energy. But those
systems typically cost money, too. This
session will focus on helping you understand
how to weigh the energy savings and
financial pros and cons of any improvements
you may consider implementing.
Banner Greenhouses
Nebo, NC
Jeff Mast
USDA Rural Development
Raleigh, NC
David Thigpen
Cameron – 1 hour
Energy Saving Technology
10:30 AM Calculating the Cost:
Social media is no longer a “might do” but is
now a “must do” for all locally-run businesses.
With the right strategy and planning, it is
possible to integrate social media into the
overall marketing strategy by spending
15 to 30 minutes a day. Social media is fun
and beneficial. Instead of viewing it as a giant
time suck, retailers can create a strategy that
will help them get to know their customers,
resulting in more sales.
The Garden of Words LLC
Wilmington, NC
Katie Elzer-Peters
The Garden of Words
Wilmington, NC
Heather Claus
Reynolds – 1 hour
a Day
10:30 AM Social Media in 15 Minutes
The Garden of Words LLC
Wilmington, NC
Katie Elzer-Peters
The Garden of Words
Wilmington, NC
Heather Claus
Reynolds – 3 hours, 30 minutes
Social Media Kick-Start:
Office Hours
Carolina Ballroom – 1 hour
Lunch Available on the Trade
Show Floor (Lunch is included in
your registration)
Convention Center Entrance –
4 hours
Garden Center Tour with a
Focus on Merchandising
At Homewood you’ll get hands-on learning
when attendees break into groups to
create endcap displays. There will be an
Join the garden center tour on a visit to
Homewood Nursery & Garden Center and
Logan Trading Co. Tour these two retail
operations that have stayed innovative since
the mid-1960s, and learn first-hand about
their successful merchandising strategies.
1 PM
While we have social media experts
Heather and Katie in town we encourage
you to take advantage of their knowledge.
They can help start your business on social
media activities and answer any related
questions. Heather and Katie will hold “office
hours” to help you find the solutions you’ve
been seeking. To schedule a 30-minute
appointment contact OFA’s Michelle Gaston
at [email protected] or 614-884-1142 with
your contact information. The limited number
of appointment spots will be filled on a first
come, first-served basis. You can check for
availability on-site at the registration desk.
1 PM
12 PM
In addition to a tour, see how Homewood
Nursery, a high-volume/high-quality
poinsettia retailer, merchandises poinsettias
and holiday tie-ins, and learn what they do
to be successful with this challenging crop for
independent retailers. Learn more about it at
Homewood has long been recognized as
a leader in the horticulture industry and
has been featured in local, state, and
national publications. Homewood’s unique
combination of more than 4 acres of greenhouses, garden center, and outdoor nursery
department and the high quality of service
and plants are what keep Homewood on the
top. As one industry expert put it, Homewood
“is a classic family retailer/grower/garden
center.” The greenhouses and nursery area
are regularly toured by university horticulture
classes and have been a learning ground for
many students.
Homewood Nursery & Garden Center
In 1967 Homewood’s founder, Bill Stoffregen,
first built a 19’ x 100’ greenhouse in his
backyard. He sent out postcards to his
neighbors and friends letting them know
he would probably be growing more than
he could use and would love to sell the rest.
The business grew and in 10 short years
he relocated his family and business to a
remote part of northern Wake County. He
believed the future of Homewood would be
in wholesale, growing and selling to other
garden centers and florists. As Raleigh
ballooned, Homewood grew beyond being
just greenhouses, adding a nursery area
under the pine trees, a unique atrium for
the garden center, a gift and floral shop,
and became a major local garden retailer.
Landvision Designs was also invited to join
Homewood which added a full-service
landscape company.
evaluation of each display based on
merchandising “rules.” This is a fun way to
learn merchandising principles you can use
in your own business.
The early registration price for members of
OFA, North Carolina Commercial Flower
Growers Association, South Carolina Greenhouse Growers Association, or Virginia Flowers
Association is $30; the non-member price is
$35. Space is limited and early registration is
strongly encouraged. Please refer to the
registration form. Attendees are not permitted to follow the buses in their own vehicles.
Logan’s will take the group on a historical
guided tour of the old railroad station and
its facility. They have been voted “Best in
the Triangle” year after year. Learn more at
In 1965, Robert Logan Sr. started selling
produce and bedding plants at a local Farmers
Market shed. That keen salesman turned a
dream into success as Logan Trading Co. was
formed and grew into what is today a thriving
gardening oasis. With his father’s heart and
fresh vision, Robert Logan Jr. continued to
grow this business after the passing of his
father. With family values and the pursuit
of excellence as his guide, Robert Logan Jr.
relocated to the old Seaboard Railroad station
in 1991. Since then, Logan’s has flourished
into not only a favorite place to shop, but a
charming place to visit. The location offers a
variety of “stations” for shoppers to explore
and learn about gardening.
Logan’s Trading Company
Logan Trading Co. is located in the renovated
Seaboard Railroad Station in downtown Raleigh.
This location and the atmosphere make
Logan’s a unique garden center. Patrons can
even have lunch at Seaboard Café. With the
vast variety of annuals, perennials, house
plants, and more, customers can easily pass
the afternoon at Logan Trading Co. enjoying
all of the beautiful surroundings.
September/October 2011 • N u m b e r 9 2 9
A quality, salable plant begins with a healthy,
active root system. The growing medium,
fertilizer, and water/irrigation practices all
Profit Connection Held on the trade show
floor, Profit Connection is like nothing you’ve ever
experienced. Get face-to-face with production
and retail experts who can answer any question
you throw at them. Go ahead and try to stump
them; we dare you.
Conrad Fafard Inc
Anderson, SC
1 - 9,999
10,000 - 24,999
25,000 - 49,999
50,000 - 99,999
James Gibson
Retail/Wholesale Greenhouse
Retail Greenhouse
Wholesale Greenhouse
Garden Center
Retail Florist
Cameron – 1 hour
Growing Quality Crops
& Getting Dollar Returns:
Water, Media & Nutrition
* Member of OFA, NCCFGA, SCGGA, or VFGA.
2:15 PM Production Inputs for
Sub Total
You are well aware of the importance of
managing both temperature and light in
your greenhouse. Roberto will provide you
with a deeper understanding of how these
two environmental factors influence crop
timing, physiology, and overall crop quality.
In addition, he will also provide data that
clearly shows the economic returns of using
supplemental lighting.
Individual E-mail
Purdue University
West Lafayette, IN
Roberto Lopez
Cameron – 1 hour
Growing Quality Crops &
Getting Dollar Returns:
Light & Temperature
3:30 PM Production Inputs for
Virginia Tech, Department of
Blacksburg, VA
$110 $
$49 $
$80 $
by Oct 28 Member*
after Oct 28 No
2-Day Additiona w, and 2 lunches)
l Registrant fro
(includes sessions
, trade sho
m Company
1-Day Conferen w, and 2 lunches)
– Tuesday
(includes sessions
, trade sho
1-Day Additiona w, and lunch)
l Registrant fro
(includes sessions
, trade sho
m Co.– Tues.
1-Day Conferen w, and lunch)
ce – Wednesd
(includes sessions
, trade sho
1-Day Additiona w, and lunch)
(includes sessions
, trade show, and strant from Co.– W
Garden Center
Trade Show On
ly – Tuesday
(includes lunch)
Trade Show On
ly – Wednesday
(includes lunch)
OFA Membersh
ip (add $10 for Canada and
Company Mem
bership $125 ico, $15 for all other countries)
Student Mem
Educator Mem ip $25
bership $75
Retired Mem
bership $6
Web site address
(includes sessions
, trade
Company E-mail
2-Day Conferen
Joyce Latimer
Cameron – 1 hour
Effective PGR Strategies
to Minimize Stretch
Production of quality plant material typically
involves the use of plant growth regulators
(PGRs). Proper PGR use is based on an
understanding of how a number of factors, including the relative “potency” of the
various PGRs, mode of uptake, the variable
sensitivity of the different crop species and
cultivars to the PGR of interest, and the
effect that environmental conditions and crop
vigor at the time of application can influence
efficacy. Proper use can produce plants that
are properly sized, toned, and more stress
tolerant with greater shelf life than untreated
plants – all traits that make you more money!
Join Joyce as she shares strategies for
effective PGR use.
This session is eligible for pesticide
recertification credit.
1 PM
have a direct bearing on root zone
environment, and therefore the health and
growth of the roots. An understanding of
how these root zone components, both
individually and interactively, can influence
the root environment and how to monitor
them during production will help avoid
root-related problems before they occur –
and avoid the costs of time, labor, and material involved in correcting the problem.
Onsite Registration Hours
Monday, November 7
12 – 5 PM
Tuesday, November 8
7:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Wednesday, November 9 7:30 AM – 3:30 PM
Trade Show Hours
Tuesday, November 8
11:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Wednesday, November 9 9 AM – 2 PM
Nature of Business (check all that apply)
H Institutional/Educational
I Government/Extension
J Manufacturer
K Supplier/Distributor
L Home Center/Hardware
M Mass Market/Discount
N Other _________
Growing Area under Cover (sq. ft.)
100,000 - 249,999
250,000 and over
Open Field:_____ Acres
None of the Above
Registration will not be processed without full payment.
❑ U.S. check made payable to OFA
❑ VISA ❑ MC ❑ AmEx
Credit Card #
Expiration Date
Authorized Signature
Total $
Billing Address
OFA Bulletin
September/October 2011 • N u m b e r 9 2 9
Capital Ideas
for Greenhouses & Garden Centers
America in Bloom
Symposium & Awards
Learn how your business and community can
work together to plant pride and prosper.
October 6-8, 2011 Washington, DC
Planting Pride in
Our Communities
For a Decade
OFA Bulletin
2130 Stella Court
Columbus, Ohio 43215-1033 USA
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Calendar of Events Visit www.ofa.org for more details on each of these events.
OFA Plug & Cutting Conference
September 12-14 – San Jose, California
OFA Grow & Sell for Profit Conference
November 8-9 – Raleigh, North Carolina
Water Webinar Series
Co-sponsored by The Water Education Alliance for Horticulture, Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association, and OFA.
Visit www.watereducationalliance.org for details.
•BMPsforWaterConservation–November 29
•pH,Alkalinity,andSalts–December 6
•BiologyofWaterbornePathogens–December 13
•MonitoringWaterQuality–December 20
•Filtration,Biofilm,andClogging–January 10, 2012
•AlgaeControlandPondManagement–January 17, 2012
•SurfaceCleaningandSanitation–January 24, 2012
A European Perspective – January 31, 2012
•DesigningWaterTreatmentSystems–February 7
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OFA Bulletin