Plant Health, Business Health: A Convergence Of Management Practices [Sponsor Content]

Joe Lara, BASF product manager

Joe Lara, BASF product manager

The words, “The Greatest Show On Earth®” immediately bring to mind images and memories of the world-famous Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Recent business travels to Sarasota, Florida, put me in the hometown of the Ringling Museum of Art and the Ringling Brothers Museum. It got me thinking about childhood memories related to the awe and wonder of circus entertainment – all taking place under the “big tent.”

What does this have to do with greenhouse and nursery production? In similar ways, there is great beauty and wonder that are the result of what takes place under those big glass houses. And not unlike what is seen in a highly choreographed three-ring circus, we’ve had the privilege of witnessing the precision of how greenhouse and nursery operators meticulously grow, prepare, stage, load and deliver their products to an appreciative gardening public.

The great show that takes place in thousands of greenhouse and container growing operations across the U.S. is to the credit of both large and small business owners who pour their skills into the production of ornamental crops with pride. But, the pressure and intensity of the various cropping cycles to produce a highly marketable product, along with the large financial resources invested, is much like a high-wire walker act – it requires focus and balance of management practices by the grower-owner.

Of the many things that a skilled grower-business owner must do, the production of the highest-quality crop requires focus and attention to detail to grow healthy plants. Likewise, attention to the business details — reliable raw material sources, cost of goods, inventory turns, effective marketing and sales, management of receivables and payables, cash flow, return on assets, etc. – are all necessary for a healthy, profitable and sustainable enterprise.

BASF understands that the foundation of growing healthy, resilient plants is the culmination of well-honed horticulture skills, including the integration of various pest management techniques. From the decision to select pest-resistant plant varieties, to proper sanitation, fertilization and irrigation, to early pest scouting, implementation of mechanical pest barriers and the introduction of biological control agents, to the judicious use of conventional pesticides — all are essential components of a comprehensive program that a grower can and should utilize.

At BASF, our goal is to create and build the kind of innovative products that have become the foundation for effective and efficient pest management programs for many growers.

Soon to come, BASF will introduce a new miticide with the active ingredient cyflumetofen. Independent university research has shown the active ingredient is effective on all life stages of economically important spider mite species, demonstrates effective knockdown in as short as three hours and can provide residual control up to 28 days.

Forward-looking growers can anticipate knowing that research has also shown cyflumetofen to have little to no adverse impact upon commonly used greenhouse biocontrol agents such as beneficial insects and predacious mites.

Pending formal registration by the EPA, cyflumetofen (commercial name Sultan™) will join the growing BASF family of professional horticulture products that have become the foundation of many successful leading horticulture programs — familiar names like Pageant® Intrinsic™ and Empress® Intrinsic™ fungicides, FreeHand® 1.75G and Pendulum® herbicides, Nemasys® brand beneficial nematodes and Sprint® 330 and 138 brand chelated iron micronutrients.

BASF believes that creating and building innovative products that help the horticulture professional grow healthier, more resilient plants, ultimately supports their goal to grow and sustain a healthy business enterprise.

Learn more about Intrinsic brand fungicides at www.IntrinsicPlantHealth.com and other BASF Professional Turf and Ornamental innovations at www.betterplants.basf.us.

Always read and follow label directions. Sultan and Intrinsic are trademarks and Pageant, Empress, Freehand, Pendulum, Nemasys and Sprint are registered trademarks of BASF. The Greatest Show on Earth is a registered trademark of The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. ©2014 BASF Corporation. All rights reserved.

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