FRA: Floriculture's Own 'Consumer Reports' Group
An essay from Bill Swanekamp of Kube-Pak.
December 9, 2011
Kube-Pak joined the Young Plant Research Group under the University of Florida's Paul Fisher in 2005. The Floriculture Research Alliance (FRA) more recently grew out of that group. By joining, we have access to some of the brightest minds in our industry.
Newfound Fungus Gnat Results
One initial research area Paul focused on was fungus gnats. In the past, we had seen much research on this subject. But Paul was able to take the results to another level. Not only did we see which chemicals were the most effective, but Paul provided us with the cost per pot.
Cost Accounting Strides
A year later, Paul embarked on one of his most ambitious projects: developing a cost accounting model that actually worked. Paul and I worked closely together for the past four years and have developed a model that accounts for many of the variables that previous models did not. This has allowed us to more accurately predict the profitability of any given crop.
Next-Level Water Research
The next area of focus was water. Yes, we already know a lot about water. But after the research started, we realized how little we really knew. For example, there are numerous vendors proclaiming their water treatment system is the best. FRA has separated the chaff from the grain.
Not only do we know which treatments work, but we know their relative cost to each other. Now, we can target what's needed to clean up our water without wasting money on non-essential items.
We support FRA for these reasons. By joining this group we have access to some of the brightest minds in our industry. They're only a phone call away.
Bill Swanekamp is the president of Kube-Pak, a greenhouse operation in Allentown, N.J. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.