Oro Farms, a cuttings producer in Guatemala, continues to increase its leverage in securing partnerships with breeders internationally. But what sets Oro part is its not beholden breeders, says Brian Gold of Pineae Greenhouses, who founded Oro Farms with Dr. Royal Heins of Michigan State University and Estuardo Arriaga. “We work with a number of breeders to select the best of those lines,” Gold says. “We’re looking for plants that are grower friendly, so growers can be successful without a lot of effort.”
As a plant physiologist, Heins has devoted his life’s work to crop modeling and perfecting production for growers. A more recent addition to the staff is Mike Fernandez, formerly of Glass Corner Greenhouses in Michigan. He spends at least 40 weeks a year on the road visiting growers and providing technical expertise with Heins. “We cover the practical and technical,” Fernandez says. “The practicaly goes a long way with people. Technical isn’t any good if you can’t apply it. Royal is really good and real-world production minded. This drives us to pick the best genetics. If the plants aren’t good, we’re going to get yelled at while we visit growers and have to write credits.”
Highlights of new varieties Oro is offering include Floranova’s Bright Idea ipomoeas, and Sakata’s SuperCals, a cross between petunia and calibrachoa.
Click here to view the slideshow of new varieties.