Greenhouse Growers Expo Will Focus On Improving Plant Quality

Great Lakes ExpoGreenhouse growers pride themselves on producing high-quality plants that enhance the lives of their customers. Growers need to manage pests and diseases, control plant growth and branching with plant growth regulators, and provide optimal environmental conditions in order to produce high-quality plants.

Environmental and cultural management to improve plant quality in the greenhouse will be is a major focus of the 2016 Michigan Greenhouse Growers Expo. The Greenhouse Growers Expo takes place Dec. 6-8 at the Devos Place Conference Center in Grand Rapids, MI, in conjunction with the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market Expo.

There will be 14 greenhouse educational sessions, including a three-hour special workshop on greenhouse diagnostics on Thursday, Dec. 8. The sessions that focus on increasing plant quality include:
• Nip Pest Problems in the Bud: Cutting Dip Treatments for Greenhouse Ornamentals
• Diagnosing Petunia Disorders
• Success with Cuttings: From Box to Rooting Stage 4
• The Best Strategies for Managing Resistant Greenhouse Pests
• Get Ahead in the Greenhouse Disease Control Game
• Cutting-Edge Plant Growth Regulators
• 2016 Greenhouse Trends and Challenges: A Year in Review
• Greenhouse Diagnostics Workshop: Symptoms of Cultural and Environmental Challenges (three-hour workshop limited to 50 people; additional $65 fee applies)

The featured speakers of these sessions are well-known experts, including Brian Whipker of North Carolina State University, Roberto Lopez of Michigan State University (MSU), Rose Buitenhuis of Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, Dave Smitley of MSU, and Mary Hausbeck of MSU.

“Nip Pest Problems in the Bud” will cover how greenhouse growers can dip their cuttings in biorational products in order to prevent incoming pest populations and reduce pest pressure in their crops. Smitley will cover how to deal with insect pests that are on the crop and may be resistant to some insecticides. He will give research-based insecticide recommendations for the 2017 growing season during this session. Similarly, Hausbeck will cover the recommended products for disease control for 2017.

“Success with Cuttings,” a 1.5-hour session taught by Lopez and Jason Twaddell of Ball FloraPlant Selecta, will help growers understand the factors that impact the rooting of vegetative cuttings from box to stage 4 of rooting.

MSU Extension educators Tom Dudek and Heidi Lindberg (Wollaeger) will offer insights on the greatest challenges experienced in the 2016 growing season and prepare growers for this coming spring. For those growing one of the most common bedding plants, Whipker will discuss how to diagnose common disorders on petunias.

For those interested in a more in-depth session on diagnostics of environmental or cultural challenges on plants, the Special Workshop offered on Thursday will help ensure the best plant quality while minimizing plant losses.

For information on cost, lodging, and how to register, visit the Michigan Greenhouse Growers Expo website. Early registration ends Nov. 16.

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