July 14, 2011

Using Controlled-Release Fertilizers

There’s no question growers could be more efficient in their use of fertilizers in the greenhouse. Some fertilizer is lost as runoff while other fertilizer is used to feed plants when they don’t necessarily need it. Every grower’s goal should be to use fertilizer as efficiently and as effectively as possible to achieve high-quality growth. Fred Hulme, the director of technical services at Everris (formerly Scotts Professional), discussed ways growers could achieve this goal Tuesday in an educational session about using controlled-release fertilizers (CRFs) in the greenhouse. One key to using CRFs is to have good control of the greenhouse environment, particularly temperature. Some of the benefits of using CRFs include: – Easier application into the soil–The ability to vary the rate application in the same growing space for different crops–A slow, constant feeding–even when water cannot be applied–Reduced nutrient runoff–Post-production nutrition–Economics “I see big commercial growers converting over to […]

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June 15, 2011

Vermicompost: Breaking Down The Benefits

Mark Elzinga began researching worm compost four years ago. As owner of Elzinga & Hoeksema Greenhouses (E&H) in Portage and Kalamazoo, Mich., he was in the midst of revamping his facility and looking for more sustainable ways to cut the facility’s energy costs and reliance on synthetic fertilizers and pesticides “I’m not a tree hugger,” says Elzinga, who oversees 1.4 million square feet of greenhouses. “I went into organics for the money.” Elzinga says it was around then that he discovered Worm Power, a vermicompost company based in Upstate New York that recently partnered with Harris Seeds to distribute its products. He ordered a few samples and then more. He’s now a fan, mixing up powerful tea–or vermi-espresso, as he likes to call it–which uses 10 percent vermicompost to water by volume. Elzinga touts the tea as the secret to keeping his organic plants growing strong. The mix is a […]

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May 27, 2011

Growth Products Names Tech Sales Rep

Goris B. Passchier, a 22-year veteran of the fertilizer industry, is Growth Products’ newest technical sales representative. Passchier joined Growth Products in April and is now providing technical advice and sales service to growers and turf managers in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Ohio, as well as Ontario. Passchier is excited about being with Growth Products and has long admired the company for its technological innovations and leadership in producing environmentally friendly yet highly effective products. Passchier has formulated, marketed and sold fertilizer to container and field nurseries from Florida to Minnesota. He has special interests in blueberry production, slow-release fertilizers for any crop, soilless media and the advantageous benefits of natural humates and organic ingredients. Additionally, he has owned his own distribution company for fertilizers in the agricultural and horticultural markets, and has worked for several specialty fertilizer companies. Passchier can be reached at 616-366-7842 or by email at [email protected]

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May 26, 2011

Scotts Professional Group Gets New Name

Three months ago, Scotts Miracle Gro sold its professional division to Israel Chemicals (ICL). On Wednesday, the two companies unveiled their brand-new company name: Everris. Representing the term “ever rising,” the name Everris is symbolic of the new company’s commitment to enhance the technologies, products and services it offers to green industry professionals. In addition to its English meaning, the name also represents the French, Italian and Spanish terms for “green": “vert” and “verde.” Building upon the strengths of Scotts Professional and ICL, Everris will continue to develop plant nutrition brands and products, including Osmocote and Peters. “For years, we’ve helped growers and turf managers to design smarter nutritional programs and plant protection programs that often combine our unique technologies to feed plants exactly what they need, when they need it,” says Fred Bosch, Everris CEO. “Everris combines the technical expertise and resources of both Scotts and ICL, making us well […]

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May 3, 2011

Is Osmocote Pro With Fusion Technology For You?

Growers at container nursery operations deal with the loss of surface-applied controlled-release fertilizer when containers inevitably topple over due to wind or heavy rainfall. Last year, Scotts Professional provided a solution to the predicament by introducing Osmocote Pro with Fusion Technology, a new category of controlled-release fertilizers with a proprietary fusion agent that bonds fertilizer prills to the surface of growing media. Now, Scotts has introduced a new, easy-to-use Fusion Value Calculator to help growers decide whether Osmocote Pro with Fusion Technology is the best controlled-release fertilizer for their specific needs.   “If a grower assumes all products are the same and only considers the cost per bag, any product enhanced with Fusion Technology would initially appear too expensive,” says Chris Buchheit, marketing manager for Scotts Professional’s ornamental horticulture fertilizers. “We developed the Fusion Value Calculator to encourage growers to take the process a few steps beyond price and perform […]

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April 15, 2011

Scotts Introduces Second Product With Fusion Technology

Last year, Scotts Professional introduced Osmocote Pro controlled-release fertilizer with Fusion Technology that adheres surface-applied fertilizer prills to growing media. Now, Scotts Professional is building upon Fusion’s momentum by introducing a second product: Osmocote Pro 20-4-7 with Fusion Technology in an eight- to nine-month longevity.   According to Chris Buchheit, marketing manager for Scotts Professional’s ornamental horticulture fertilizers, this new formulation and longevity will enable even more growers to profit from Fusion Technology. “Many growers in the Southeastern United States expressed interest in using Fusion Technology, but because of the warmer climate, they needed a product with a longer release,” Buchheit says. “Growers in other regions who grow crops over multiple seasons also wanted a product that could provide nutrients over a longer period of time. Our new eight- to nine-month Osmocote Pro Fusion 20-4-7 product makes it possible for both types of growers to realize Fusion’s many benefits.”   […]

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February 18, 2011

Organic Fertilizers In Greenhouse And Nursery Production

Chemicals that have the potential to contaminate may become contingent environmental liabilities for businesses that are identified to potentially cause harm to the environment. The potential expenses associated with cleaning up pollution may weigh heavily as more agricultural enterprises come under new EPA clean-up regulations and are scrutinized for pesticide and nutrient violations. The issue of how horticulture grows crops in the future can be seen as a threat to an ossified paradigm, or as a challenge and opportunity to better serve the needs of society. One of the tenets of sustainability is continuous improvement. Whatever noble strides growers have made at present will seem inadequate in years to come. Growers interested in developing more sustainable growing practices will eventually adopt organic nutrients into their fertility management programs. While few growers are interested in organic certification today, exploring the beneficial possibilities that organics provide is well worth the effort. I […]

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February 17, 2011

New Fungicide Products

PERpose Plus broad-spectrum algaecide/fungicide from A Growing Alternative is a hydrogen peroxide-based product. It is formulated and specifically engineered to include a proprietary blend of stabilizers and buffers to counteract phytotoxicity. Its primary mode of action is oxidation of the outer cell membrane of vegetative endorspore, yeast and mold spore cells, fungus and algae.   Mozart TR fungicide from BASF, with the active ingredient fludioxonil, controls a broad spectrum of greenhouse diseases, including alternaria, botrytis, downy mildew, powdery mildew and rust. One six-ounce can covers 4,500 square feet of greenhouse space. In growing conditions with high disease pressure, growers can increase the number of cans to cover every 1,500 square feet of the affected area.   ZeroTol broad-spectrum algaecide/fungicide from BioSafe Systems has a newly updated label in California. This expanded label includes new applications for treatment of hard surfaces and greenhouse tools and equipment to prevent the spread of […]

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February 16, 2011

Harris Seeds Introduces Worm Power

For the first time, home gardeners will have easy retail access to the organic earthworm-made fertilizer that commercial growers have already discovered. Harris Seeds, a seasoned provider of high-quality garden seeds, supplies and organic gardening solutions, is partnering with Worm Power to offer its proven-effective organic fertilizer to gardeners nationwide. Worm Power is an all-natural organic fertilizer, loaded with beneficial microorganisms and rich in both primary nutrients (NPK) and micronutrients. It’s an effective fertilizer for anything that grows, including flowers, vegetables, fruit trees, shrubs, outdoor garden beds and delicate indoor plants. Unlike synthetic fertilizers, Worm Power provides abundant natural microbial populations and feeds the soil available nutrients, which in turn increases overall plant performance. Worm Power’s fertilizer, which shares the company name, is produced by millions of earthworms, raised under ideal conditions in a state-of-the-art facility. The rich and crumbly, odorless fertilizer is now available nationwide in convenient shaker cans […]

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February 3, 2011

The New-Look GrowthProducts.com

Growth Products, a provider of liquid fertilizers, biological fungicides, natural organics and chelated micronutrients, recently launched its redesigned website at GrowthProducts.com. The site offers more than 100 pages of searchable information of interest to green industry professionals. The updated site remains a vital reference for golf course superintendents, turf managers, agriculturalists, horticulturalists, and arbor care professionals who are interested in sustainable, environmentally-friendly solutions. The website includes intriguing grower profiles that highlight real-life professionals and the issues they encounter, as well as detailed information on the company’s wide line of products, ranging from its 100 percent organic Essential Plus to its fully chelated micronutrients. In addition to industry research reports and a product catalog, the website presents proven solutions for correcting and preventing chlorosis, improving seed germination, increasing root development, increasing crop yield and reducing plant stress.

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January 31, 2011

Dosta Labs Launches New Contract Lab Business

Dosta Laboratories has opened a contract analytical laboratory facility in Valdosta, Ga., providing laboratory services to its clients. Dosta Labs offers a comprehensive range of analytical services, while specializing in the analysis of plant protection products. Dosta Labs has the ability to perform the most commonly required physicochemical tests and do so in full compliance with Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) requirements of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Title 40, Part 160. Capabilities include the majority of the tests required by EPA OPPTS Series 830 Guidelines, including, but not limited to: wet chemistry techniques, gas chromatography, liquid chromatography, UV/Vis, flammability, storage stability and corrosion characteristics. All types of testing are designed to be performed and reported in full compliance with GLP guidelines. Additionally, Dosta Labs offers Quality Assurance services including auditing, data gap analysis, data review, study commissioning and study monitoring.

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January 27, 2011

Monrovia, Ferti-lome Partner On Co-Branded IGC Products

Monrovia and VPG, which is the provider of Ferti-lome, have partnered to introduce a line of co-branded garden and plant health products to be sold exclusively at independent garden centers, hardware stores and farm and ranch stores. “We are impressed by Ferti-lome’s reputation for producing high-quality fertilizers, soil amendments and plant health products,” says Elin Dowd, Monrovia president. “Like us, they have had a longstanding commitment to the independent retailers. Each of us is highly committed to the long-term success of our customers and we believe cross marketing our complementary products will benefit all involved.” Through this partnership, Monrovia will incorporate select Ferti-lome products into its growing practices, as well as launch new products for home use. The collaboration is designed to enhance the independent gardener’s lateral marketing efforts to the end consumer. “The new co-branded plants and related gardening products will provide consumers with a complete solution for a […]

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