Avoiding Rookie Mistakes With PGRs

Avoiding Rookie Mistakes With PGRs

“Every grower moves the decimal point at some point,” Morris says. “Instead of putting a 1 down you put a 10. I laugh about it, because it happens. I don’t know a grower who hasn’t done it once. You’re in a hurry and you know better, but it still happens.”

Fortunately, some PGR mishaps are correctable. In Morris’ case, applying 10 times the amount of Bonzi wasn’t the end of the world. Certain chemicals, she’s found, can help prevent simple mistakes from wiping out a crop.

“I have growers who beat themselves up about it,” Morris says. “But did you learn something? As long as you learn from it and don’t do it again, it’s OK.”

Even if a mistake isn’t correctable, the key is learning from it. All growers will make mistakes–some may be mistakes to which you can look back and laugh–but taking those experiences and pocketing them for the next time is what puts a grower on the path toward perfection.

Trial & Error

One way growers are increasingly avoiding mistakes is with their own trials. Before setting up your own trials, the best place to start is, of course, with PGR manufacturers and the breeders.

“I have a lot of contact with PGR tech reps to get their information,” says Sam Drahn, director of research at Bailey Nurseries.

PGR Preferences?

Which plant growth regulator products do growers prefer and why? Find out

“[Last] year, for example, we were growing peonies and we wanted to see how they responded to different PGRs. So I sent some feelers out to the folks at OHP, (horticultural consultant) Paul Pilon and (Syngenta’s) Nancy Rechcigl. These people have different experiences with the crops, so connecting with them keeps us from shooting at a dartboard.”

Based on information PGR experts provide, plus a grower’s own experience with a crop, a plan can usually be formulated. But PGRs react differently as conditions like time of day and temperature change. So the learning never really stops.

“I’m a grower who thinks it’s important for my growers to trial everything and anything,” Morris says. “Trialing is the best teaching lesson for a grower. When I started in the industry, our head grower was the same way. If you don’t understand how a product works, compare it to other items. You come up with a conclusion and can then make a decision.”

Suggestions For Small Growers

All growers don’t have the space to perform full-fledged PGR trials, though. Many times, in fact, the space big operations devote to PGR trials is equal to a small operation’s entire production area. Growers at big operations do, however, have suggestions for smaller operations.

“I would go with the strategy of less is probably better,” Drahn says. “Overdose is an extremely hard thing to turn around. Certain products tend to get expensive, and if you’re going to start playing around with things, I would rather err on the side of caution and be more conservative so you can make corrections.”

Adds Larry Morgan, head grower at South Central Growers: “Smaller growers may want to apply PGRs with sprays. For us, we want to apply a PGR once and be done with it.”

Another suggestion is to take advantage of PGR trials, like the one Millstadt Greenhouse conducts on poinsettias each November and opens to fellow growers.

“We compare Bonzi versus Sumagic versus Cycocel versus B-9,” Morris says. “We have Florel and Augeo. We compare using Fascination and not using it; using Florel and not using it. We’re open for two days, and we share all the rates we used. We had 500 pots in the PGR trial this year. Anyone can come up and look.”

The trial is also helpful to brokers, Morris says, because they can sell in part based on how particular PGRs function. Additionally, if you don’t have access to a PGR trial near you, Morris suggests building a grower network in which tips can be shared. Our FreshAirForum.com is yet another place to turn.

“I get together with three growers once or twice a year,” Morris says. “You try to help them along. For example, I gave a recommendation we had past experience with. I was having a problem with something and someone said, ‘Drench those with Fascination and they will break out in a minute’–and they did.

“There are some growers whose lips are sealed about their PGR use, and that’s fine. But this industry is big enough that we should be helping each other out.”

Leave a Reply

More From Crop Inputs...
mycoapply-from-mycorrhizal-applications-feature

December 5, 2016

New Growing Media Advancements Giving Growers More Options

With innovative, sustainable growing media components, growers will be able to improve plant health, achieve consistency among crops, save money, and reduce inputs, while saving space on storage.

Read More
foxglove-aphid

November 29, 2016

How Greenhouse Growers Can Manage The Foxglove Aphid

Recent research is shedding new light on the foxglove aphid. Understanding host plants, identification, and biology will help growers deal with this pest.

Read More
growing-media-december-2016-feature

November 27, 2016

How The Sustainability Movement Impacts Growing Media

As consumers continue to focus on sustainability, growers need cost-effective media additives and options that produce high-quality plants, all while conserving precious natural resources and reducing the grower’s carbon footprint.

Read More
Latest Stories
foxglove-aphid

November 29, 2016

How Greenhouse Growers Can Manage The Foxglove Aphid

Recent research is shedding new light on the foxglove aphid. Understanding host plants, identification, and biology will help growers deal with this pest.

Read More
growth-products-catalog

November 19, 2016

Growth Products Launches New Catalog Of Horticulture Bi…

The full-color resource guide provides detailed product descriptions and rate charts for all of the company’s bioinnovations, liquid fertilizers, micronutrients, and biological control products.

Read More

November 1, 2016

Bayer Production Ornamentals Hits The Market With 17 Pr…

November 1 officially marked the launch of the Bayer Production Ornamentals business, serving professional growers in greenhouses and nurseries across the U.S. Its comprehensive portfolio of innovative product solutions and support includes product and pest management expertise and a team of technical specialists.

Read More

October 25, 2016

Why Logic May Be The Best Defense Against Q-Biotype Whi…

Greenhouse Grower Editor Laura Drotleff says while you may feel you're in a lose-lose situation with pest control, there are some solutions that can help.

Read More
eric smith Biosafe

October 13, 2016

BioSafe’s New Hort Sales Rep Says Water Regulation And …

Eric Smith, BioSafe Systems’ New Horticultural Technical Sales Representative, has several years of experience that he says will help him when working with growers on critical issues facing them.

Read More
weeds

October 8, 2016

Sign Up For The University Of Florida’s Weed Management…

Participants in the course, which starts October 24, will learn how to manage all aspects of weed management in greenhouses, including weed identification, developing herbicide programs, and the latest non-chemical methods of weed control.

Read More
Downy mildew lesions on light coleus cultivars feature

October 4, 2016

Crop Protection Manufacturers Detail 2017 Early Order D…

Greenhouse Grower asked crop protection product manufacturers to send us the details for their 2017 Early Order Discount Programs and ongoing rebate programs, to provide you with a compiled knowledge resource of all discount offers at a time when you're making decisions for 2017.

Read More
tomato spotted wilt virus angular-necrosis-of-leaves-and-plant-stunting

September 28, 2016

Tips For Managing Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus In Mums

According to a report from Michigan State University, symptoms of tomato spotted wilt virus on chrysanthemum include yellow blotching and rings, necrotic lesions, and stem collapse.

Read More
cannabis-crop-protection

September 27, 2016

Washington State Outlines Pesticide Criteria For Cannab…

The state has also compiled a searchable list of pesticides that fit the criteria for use on marijuana.

Read More
Orius_June 2015

September 25, 2016

Peace Tree Farm Hosting Biocontrols Event In October

“Advanced Greenhouse Biocontrols for Ornamental and Vegetable Producers” will feature advice from biocontrol authorities Lloyd Traven and Suzanne Wainwright-Evans.

Read More
steve-larson-bayer

September 23, 2016

Bayer Continues Its Shift Into The Ornamentals Market

The company has announced its 12 distributor partners, and also recently named Steve Larson — formerly with Color Spot Nurseries — as its ornamental specialist.

Read More
Biocontrols and beneficials absolutely can be used in outdoor production, with the use of banker plant systems

September 19, 2016

Learn About Biological Controls In The Greenhouse In A …

Michigan State University Extension (MSU) and Kansas State University Research and Extension are collaborating on a pre-recorded online course on “Biological Control for Greenhouse Growers.”

Read More
Bees And Pesticides

August 23, 2016

Studies Offer Conflicting Views On Neonic Effect On Bee…

How much exposure to neonicotinoids do bees need before their health becomes affected? That’s the question two research teams look to answer.

Read More
Chrysanthemum Aphid

August 22, 2016

How To ID And Manage Black Aphids In Chrysanthemums

Growers in Michigan have recently been reporting a higher presence of this pest. Here are some tips on how to control it.

Read More
Cannabis Crop Protection

August 22, 2016

Cannabis Group Stays Focused On Consistent Standards Fo…

The Foundation of Cannabis Unified Standards (FOCUS), is an independent, third-party, not-for-profit organization, is in the process of developing cannabis-specific standards for everything from cultivation and extraction to packaging and retail.

Read More
Leaf Septoria In Cannabis

August 21, 2016

Three Diseases To Watch For In Cannabis Production

The development of root rot, powdery mildew, and leaf septoria can damage cannabis to the point of complete crop loss.

Read More
Greenhouse Whitefly

August 18, 2016

Vestaron Planning For More Research And Development Of …

On the heels of launching Spear-T, its first bioinsecticide, Vestaron has received additional financing that will be used to develop new products with new modes of action.

Read More
BioWorks Mycotrol

August 17, 2016

New Organic Mycoinsecticide From BioWorks Now Registere…

BioWorks’ Mycotrol can be used to manage whitefly, thrips, aphids, and other insects in greenhouses and nurseries.

Read More
[gravityform id="35" title="false" description="false"]