September 1, 2009

Maintaining Momentum

Put the he-said, she-said banter aside for a moment. The reality is Late Blight infected Bonnie Plants’ tomato plants earlier this summer, and the outbreak is a black eye to our industry whether the disease originated in a greenhouse facility, a retail store or somewhere else. Vegetable sales were our biggest victory of spring. We reeled in first-time consumers, got them excited about gardening and built some momentum for 2010. Now this. The most visible vegetable brand in the commercial greenhouse industry faces a steep recovery following a Late Blight outbreak. And because Bonnie is the face of vegetables at the box stores, consumers are bound to grow weary about growing any vegetable. We simply cannot afford to lose vegetable consumers. Not when significant headway was made this year connecting with younger consumers. This year proved veggies are a gateway to a new realm of gardeners. And if 2009 was […]

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August 17, 2009

Webinar: Combating Chrysanthemum White Rust

Chrysanthemum White Rust (CWR) is a quarantine-significant pest, so it’s particularly important for growers to be aware of the steps they can take to avoid the disease in their fall chrysanthemum crop. SAF and ANLA join Syngenta Flowers, Ball Horticultural Company and GroLink, three of the major U.S. propagation and breeding companies, in presenting a webinar on CWR. The companies encourage growers and their employees to take part. The webinar is a seminar conducted in person by Dr. Jane Trolinger, a plant pathologist at Syngenta Flowers. The webinar is conducted entirely online from your computer.  It is free, and it only takes about a 30 minutes.  The webinar includes excellent photographs teaching growers how to recognize the symptoms of the disease, and it offers important advice on how to avoid it in your 2009 mum crop. The webinar will run four more times beginning Thursday, August 20: – Thursday, August […]

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August 5, 2009

GreenClean Quashes Unpleasant Greenhouse Odors

GreenClean is a quick and easy solution to unexpected spills in the greenhouse, as it absorbs and contains any liquid mess in one application. GreenCleanDD is an extremely lightweight, dry granular absorbent that utilizes powerful green chemistry to break down and eliminate unpleasant odors leaving behind a light citrus scent. The organic granules attach and absorb liquids, holding up to six times their weight and ensuring complete absorption with less product. GreenCleanDD is also a non-staining formula, absorbing liquids and neutralizing odors on contact. GreenCleanDD comes in 2-pound shaker containers and 25-pound pails. For more information on GleenClean deodorizer, visit BioSafe Systems online.

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June 30, 2009

Identifying Herbaceous Perennial Diseases

The American Phytopathological Society recently published a book titled “Diseases of Herbaceous Perennials” that lists common diseases of more than 150 popular perennials. Growers may fine the book useful, as it arranges perennials in alphabetical order and includes 700 color images that may help identify diseases. The book is divided into three sections. The first focuses on basic strategies for diagnosing and managing diseases of herbaceous perennials, the second includes short profiles of 12 major types of diseases that attack herbaceous perennials and the third section organizes herbaceous perennials alphabetically by genus and matches common diseases to each perennial. “Diseases of Herbaceous Perennials” can be purchased for $79 plus shipping and handling from the American Phytopatholocial Society. Click here for more information.

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May 6, 2009

Pageant Fungicide Now Registered In California

Pageant, a fungicide from BASF Turf & Ornamentals that combines boscalid and pyraclostrobin, recently received state registration for use in California. “Growers everywhere are seeking competitive advantages, including those that help control input costs and boost profit margins,” says Toni Bucci, business manager for BASF. “With Pageant fungicide, growers are able to do more with one disease control application to positively impact their bottom line and produce healthier plants.” Pageant works within minutes of application, inhibiting fungal respiration at two separate sites within the mitochondria of fungal pathogens. In effect, it creates a “double lock-down” on the respiration and energy flow within targeted fungi. For more information on Pageant or other greenhouse products from BASF, click here.

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May 6, 2009

Marrone Organic Innovations Revises Company Name

Marrone Organic Innovations will now be called Marrone Bio Innovations (MBI) to reflect the company’s broader biopesticide focus. “We are proud to be in the biopesticide business, a crop protection category that is growing, maturing and realizing widespread acceptance in agribusiness globally,” CEO Pam Marrone says. The three products the company markets are Regalia SC, GreenMatch and GreenMatch EX. Regalia controls both fungal and bacterial diseases in ornamental crops; GreenMatch is a burndown herbicide for use in organic crop production; and GreenMatch EX is more specific to landscaping. For more information on MBI, click here.

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April 25, 2009

Actinovate Is A Trick Up Your Sleeve

Your plants are potted and the season is going fine. One morning you wake to discover distinctive white or gray spots covering your crop. It’s powdery mildew again, and you need to treat your plants fast. Untreated, powdery mildew can weaken a plant’s structure and impair photosynthesis. Not only does powdery mildew affect the leaf structure of your plants, it also affects the stems, buds, flowers and fruits. An effective tool for treating this disease does not necessarily have to be a standard chemical. Now, you can use an organic alternative that works as good, if not better than, most chemicals. Actinovate SP, a biological fungicide, works to suppress and control powdery mildew quickly and efficiently. Trial photos of plants affected with powdery mildew have shown fungi being suppressed within 24-72 hours after using Actinovate SP. “Of all the diseases Actinovate SP has been trialed against, I think its ability […]

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March 3, 2009

FreeHand Now Registered In California

FreeHand 1.75G herbicide, a BASF product which combines a granular formulation of dimethenamid-P with pendimethalin, received full state registration in California. “With FreeHand, California customers have a powerful, cost-effective alternative to manual weeding,” says Toni Bucci, business manager at BASF. For more information, visit www.betterplants.com.

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February 13, 2009

Industry Company Cracks Unique Forbes List

Which companies will still be around in the year 2109? Forbes magazine put together a list of 100 companies that will still be around, and it included Novozymes A/S, producer of ROOTS products, among companies like BASF, Coca Cola and Toyota among the world’s 100 most sustainable corporations. The list was generated by measuring what companies are doing best in several major sustainability-related areas, including human capital, environmental risks, governance and more. “We are pleased to be included on Forbes’ 100 most sustainable companies list,” says Thomas Nagy, executive vice president of stakeholder relations for Novozymes A/S. “This recognition validates our commitment as a corporation to sustainability and bio-innovation for the future. As the world’s resources become increasingly scarce, we work together with our customers to ‘rethink tomorrow’ and create a more sustainable environment for the world.” Says Novozymes Biologicals President Ted Melnik: “This recognition validates the biological approach offered […]

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February 10, 2009

The Broad Approach

Competition challenges growers to stretch their resources effectively, down to every dollar and minute spent producing better plants. Growers depend on new disease management innovations, such as the newly registered Pageant fungicide from BASF Turf & Ornamentals, to grow healthier plants while controlling input costs. With a one-two punch of boscalid, an active ingredient newly registered for use in ornamentals, and pyraclostrobin, the active ingredient in Insignia fungicide, Pageant offers excellent control of a variety of diseases. Among the diseases it controls are downy and powdery mildews, phytophthora fungal leaf spots, anthracnose, rusts and scab, blights like botrytis and monilinia, and crown and basal rots like rhizoctonia, fusarium and cylindrocladium. “Pageant is a broad-spectrum fungicide with activity on all four classes of fungi,” says Todd Burkdoll, technical specialist for BASF. “It gives growers broader fungicidal activity and plant safety than any other product on the market. Growers using Pageant in […]

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January 19, 2009

Detecting Surprise Diseases

Diseases are always on the move, and it’s impossible to predict which diseases will show up in the greenhouse. Growers can, however, learn from the diseases that show up elsewhere. At SAF Pest Management Conference next month, Colleen Warfield of the University of California will share information about unusual disease problems encountered in the last year. And she’ll tell you what to watch for in the year ahead. What is the significance of your topic to growers? “For most growing operations, it is fairly predictable that certain plant diseases will occur every year and on a particular crop. And wouldn’t it be nice if those were the only diseases we had to worry about? “There are two things that the floriculture industry is really good at–introducing new plant materials and sharing plant pathogens. Of course, the sharing of plant pathogens certainly isn’t intended. In fact, an incredible amount of resources […]

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January 13, 2009

Dealing With Viruses

The nature of vegetative propagation and a distribution system that now touches all corners of the world has increased the likelihood of viruses having an impact at your greenhouses. There are, however, ways to detect and emerging methods developing to combat them. Deborah Mathews at the University of California Riverside, will discuss some of those methods at the 25th annual Pest Management Conference next month, and she recently shared a few thoughts on her topic. How concerned should growers be about viruses today? “Viruses and viroids pose an often overlooked threat to the ornamental plant industry. Many times, the infections cause no symptoms in their hosts. But with the transport of tissue culture products, cuttings and whole plants around the world, the introduction of new pathogens, as well as known pathogens to new geographic locations, occurs frequently. “There have been several quarantine events in the United States in the last […]

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