2017 was a year that saw many greenhouse growers seek out new opportunities in production and technology. As the industry continues its recovery from the recession years, many producers recognize that they must remain innovative to stay competitive.
Greenhouse Grower put a spotlight on this innovation throughout the year. Here’s a look back at the stories that turned heads in Greenhouse Grower in 2017, with links to each.
• Why ArizonaEast Is Expanding Its Succulent Production To Florida
When Brian and Joe Vitale saw a chance to expand their New Jersey-based succulent operation, they jumped at the opportunity.
• 2017: State of the Industry: A Year of Investment and Growth for Horticulture
Growers, suppliers, and researchers who took Greenhouse Grower’s 2017 State of the Industry Survey shared cautious optimism in the answers they provided to the questions tailored to their specific influences on the market.
• 4 Ways We’re Leaving Growth Opportunities On The Table
Horticulture is a multi-million dollar industry with lots to offer, yet Kelly Norris says we’re still overlooking several avenues for growth.
• Amazon is Coming to Plant Retail; Here’s What it Means for Growers
Plant e-commerce may finally take off soon. The question is, are you ready?
• Tips to Stay Ahead of Aphids, Mites, and Thrips
Control these persistent pests with innovative chemistries that will expand your rotation options with new modes of action.
• Seasonal Plant Trends for 2017 and Beyond
Aligning your plant sales with popular lifestyle and home décor movements will engage your customers and multiply your profits.
• 4 Pathogens to Prepare For in 2017
Early detection of disease and virus symptoms in the greenhouse is critical. One expert says there are a few pathogens in particular that growers should be monitoring.
• Tips for General Combination and Hanging Basket Production
Bell Nursery’s Head Grower Tom Wheeler provides his recipe for success when growing premium combos that put on a show at retail.
• How Growers Can Make the Most of Automation
A Greenhouse Grower Top 100 Grower says investing in automation can reap several long-term benefits, as long as you do so for the right reasons.
• How lēf Farms is Leaping Into the Leafy Greens Market
Recognizing a unique opportunity, Pleasant View Gardens partnered with a leafy greens expert to develop a cutting-edge operation focused on producing the freshest baby greens and salad mixes.
• How You Can Market the Benefits of Biocontrols
Educating retailers and end consumers about the use of biocontrols and why it’s important has helped Fessler Nursery gain new customers and profits.
• 2017 Greenhouse Grower Top 100 Growers: The Complete List, and More
Growth signifies a healthy industry, and indeed, several of Greenhouse Grower’s Top 100 Growers expanded their operations significantly between 2016 and 2017.
• A Look Inside Florida’s Newest Cannabis Cultivation Facility
Chosen last year to be one of just six nurseries in the state to produce medicinal cannabis, Knox Medical is officially open for business.
• Find Out What Bell Nursery Learned About Bees While Keeping Beehives
In spring 2014, Bell Nursery stopped using neonicotinoids to find out how it would impact production. Then the operation began keeping bees to learn more.
• Customers Come First at Prides Corner Farms
This people-focused grower serves a diverse set of customers, successfully giving each one individual attention without sacrificing efficiency.
• Growers Offer Advice on What to Know Before Your Next Building Project
Two Top 100 Growers discuss their most recent building projects, the challenges they addressed, and what they learned during the process.
• Plant Patent Law: Protecting the Variety Pipeline
Breeders call for better cooperation in protecting intellectual property while considering how stricter laws and expensive patents could impact the future of innovation.
• New Marketing and Retail Display Ideas to Boost Your Plant Sales
Innovative marketing displays and retail concepts at California Spring Trials 2017, inspired by popular consumer trends and the need to encourage consumer success, overflowed with exciting new ways to promote plants.
• Allan Armitage Describes His Path to Citizenship
In between offering his take on new varieties and gardening trends, Allan Armitage and his wife Susan recently became proud citizens of the U.S.
• Innovation Never Stops at Catoctin Mountain Growers
The Van Wingerden family knows the importance of keeping up with change, and is always looking to make the necessary updates at its Maryland operation.
• Seed Your Future Aims to Inspire Careers in Plants
Who will be the next generation of horticulturists? The answer lies in helping to change the perception of horticulture and using contemporary new language to tell our stories.
• Spring Crops Report: Sales Up for Most Growers
Despite a general increase in sales, a mix of cold, rainy weather and lack of labor availability presented some serious challenges for growers and retailers in the 2017 spring season.
• Head Grower of the Year Aron Hoff Never Stops Learning
Hoff originally wanted to be a teacher. Now, he is incorporating those skills he learned into his leadership and desire to keep learning and educating.
• Vivero Internacional Elevates Clean Cuttings to New Heights
One of the last independent cutting operations, this fast-growing company raises the standard for delivering clean, high-quality unrooted cuttings.
• How to Successfully Integrate Biocontrols Into Greenhouse Floriculture Production
The widespread adoption of biocontrol in Canadian floriculture greenhouses grew out of necessity. The lessons they learned can help you incorporate these tools in your production.
• Team Empowerment Pays Off at Micandy Gardens Greenhouses
With a strong team that acts more like family powering its success, the 2017 Operation of the Year mixes good business practices with the pleasure of spreading the joy of plants.
• How Willoway Nurseries Gets Its Staff Engaged in The Company’s Future
Willoway Nurseries in Avon, OH, is creating a culture with people who think, act, and feel like owners. Learn how its team is taking the business to the next level.
• Horticulture Is All About Connections
The beauty of our industry is that we are more than willing to reach out and help those around us. What connections can you make today to help your business, and what can you offer to help another grower?
• Metrolina, Other Growers Show Off Their Summer Best During Southern Garden Tour
This summer’s Southern grower trials experienced unseasonably cool weather, but the plants still thrived. Consumer panels topped off the week, providing valuable insight for suppliers, growers, and their retail customers.
• Gamechanger: How Artificial Intelligence Works in the Greenhouse
Artificial intelligence may not be taking over the world yet, but it could make a difference in the greenhouse by helping growers do their jobs more efficiently.
• How to Take Your Cannabis Operation to the Next Level
Cannabis is a unique product, but successfully and profitably growing it is very much a business. To succeed and achieve maximum profitability, your operation has to be efficient.
• Skagit Horticulture Builds New, Inclusive Business With Six Main Divisions
By merging two large-scale producers, Skagit Gardens and Northwest Horticulture, the new company has realized its strengths through focused divisions that emphasize efficiency and success.
• How RFID Technology Can Help With Plant Cart Tracking
One of the biggest hassles in the greenhouse is keeping track of all those shipping carts. Improved RFID technology for cart tracking may be one solution to help keep profit losses due to lost or damaged carts at a minimum.
• Growers Showing Renewed Interest in Specialty Cut Flowers
At the brink of its 30th anniversary, the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers is connecting a diverse and growing group of members dedicated to producing and marketing cut flowers.