October 4, 2011

Fafard Responds To Peat Shortage

North America’s leading peat suppliers are working with customers to make sure they get their orders in for the coming spring season. We caught up with Chuck Buffington, who directs sales for the Flowers Pro division of Syngenta and was vice president of sales, marketing and technical services at Fafard, Syngenta’s growing media company. Fafard’s bogs are located in New Brunswick and Manitoba. The Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association is projecting a shortage of 70 to 85 percent in the Northeastern Canadian provinces, where two thirds of the peat is produced. While production in the Western provinces helps offset the shortfall, it won’t be enough and the industry is looking about half the peat supply it normally has. Customers who buy prepared mixes will take priority over those who buy raw peat to mix their own. “We have enough peat available to fulfill all our current mix customers’ needs,” Buffington […]

Read More

October 3, 2011

Poll: Majority Struggling To Access Peat

After the Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association (CSPMA) announced last week that the peat supply in Eastern Canada will be 15 to 30 percent of historically targeted requirements, Greenhouse Grower polled its readers about whether or not they’re struggling to access peat for next spring. A GreenhouseGrower.com poll last week indicates more than half of all growers are having a more difficult time than usual accessing the amount of peat they need for next spring. Our poll question was: Are you having a more difficult time than usual accessing the amount of peat you need for next spring. Of the 27 growers who responded, 14 (52 percent) indicate they are struggling to find peat. Thirty-seven percent say they are not struggling to find the amount of peat needed for next spring while 11 percent say they haven’t started to pursue 2012 peat yet. ”We’re going through it right now,” Roy […]

Read More

September 23, 2011

CSPMA: Peat Supply Down Considerably

The Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association (CSPMA), whose members represent 95 percent of the North American peat production, released a statement Friday indicating the peat harvest in Eastern Canada will only be 15 to 30 percent of historically targeted requirements. CSPMA indicates the weather conditions in Western Canada have been better than Eastern Canada’s, allowing for continued harvest in some locations. Western Canada, however, represents only 30 to 40 percent of the total Canadian production. Sixty to 70 percent of all Canadian peat is harvested in New Brunswick and Québec – the areas of Canada hit hardest by rain in recent weeks. “The outcome is that overall the industry is facing one of its poorest peat harvest seasons,” CSPMA writes in its statement. At the distribution level, IHA, an alliance that includes BWI Companies, Griffin Greenhouse and Nursery Supplies and BFG Supply, is working closely with growers to help them manage […]

Read More

August 30, 2011

Storm To Affect Peat Supply, Pricing

Jeff Bishop was hoping September would be a dry month in Canada so peat producers could resume harvesting. But after Tropical Storm Irene rolled through Sunday, leaving eight to 10 inches of rain in parts of Quebec, Bishop says the peat harvesting season is essentially done for producers in Eastern Canada. “This was the worst harvesting season in the history of the industry,” says Bishop, a sales representative for Lambert Peat Moss. “The season was virtually written off up until Sunday because of weather anyway. We were hoping we’d get out there for a few days in September. We have 150 harvesters. If we could get them going we could make a dent. Some facilities and locations have been closed for weeks. We’ve had to lay people off because we simply could not pay people to sit around.” The peat harvesting season was so poor this year that producers like Lambert Peat […]

Read More

August 23, 2011

Young Plant Grower Now Distributing Peat

ForemostCo has partnered with Klasmann-Deilmann to distribute its peat substrate products, adding yet another offering to a grower with a unique model. ForemostCo already has growing operations in Miami and Winter Garden, Fla. It sources its own cuttings from Vita Farms, a farm in Guatemala. And it acts as a plant brokering company which, according to ForemostCo.com, acts as “the only plant brokering company in the U.S. that handles its own customs and USDA clearance and runs its own fleet of temperature-controlled trucks.”

Read More

August 9, 2011

Peat Report Receives Two Awards

Greenhouse Grower Editor Kevin Yanik and Associate Art Director Brad Kish received national awards from the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) for their work on The Peat Report published in November 2010. Yanik and Kish received a Silver Award in the Special Supplement category, and Kish earned another Silver Award for his front cover design. The Peat Report is still available online at GreenhouseGrower.com. Greenhouse Grower’s sister magazine, Today’s Garden Center, also earned two ASBPE awards, including one of the most coveted national awards: the Multi-Platform Presentation of the Year for its “Steal This Idea” coverage last October. Today’s Garden Center also won the Multi-Platform award in 2009 for the Revolutionary 100 Roundtable Special Report. Greenhouse Grower earned an honorable mention that same year in the category for its California Spring Trials coverage. Group Editor Richard Jones, Senior Online Editor Sara Tambascio and former Editor Jen Polanz were […]

Read More

July 29, 2011

Premier Splits Products Into Two Lines

Premier Tech Horticulture’s products are now divided into two separate lines: Excellence and Performance. The Excellence line is tuned for horticulturists who want to increase yield, crop quality and resistance to various stresses. Growers can choose PRO-MIX products with mycorrhizae, biofungicide or a customized blend reflecting their own specifications. The Performance line offers the solutions all growers seek. With the Performance line, growers will find the consistency, uniformity and quality of the PRO-MIX products they’ve come to know over 40 years. “There has never been a better time to bring together Premier Tech Horticulture’s offer and the ever-changing expectations of customers," says Chantale Duchesneau, Premier’s communications director. "All of our teams have been involved in this exciting project, and we are proud those two product lines are now available for our clientele to experience." For more information, visit PThorticulture.com.

Read More

July 14, 2011

Berger Acquires California Peat Supplier

Berger Peat Moss has acquired Sun Land Garden Products, a peat supplier based in Watsonville, Calif. Sun Land has commercial grower and retailer products. Its commercial division serves all of California and is reaching into other states, while its retail division produces more than one million bags of product per year. In a letter co-authored by Claudin Berger, president of Berger Peat Moss, he writes: “Berger has seen a great opportunity in purchasing Sun Land Garden Products by the fact that as family-owned businesses, the two companies share the same values, the same philosophy of a consistent quality product, strong innovation and a similar market approach with close customer relationships. ”Thanks to its excellent reputation, Berger’s clients know [Sun Land] is a dependable supplier of consistent quality products that responds rapidly to their needs and is eager to listen to them. We strongly believe the teams of Berger and Sun […]

Read More

June 15, 2011

WSJ: Scotts Exploring Medical Marijuana Market

Scotts Miracle-Gro relies on Home Depot, Lowe’s and Walmart for nearly two-thirds of its revenue. But because consumers are still cautious about spending and, consequently, because the three box stores are not building stores at the rate they were several years ago, Scotts is exploring new markets to generate sales. Markets like medical marijuana. In a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article published June 14, Scotts CEO Jim Hagedorn says he wants “to target the pot market,” and other niche markets to boost his company’s sales. To target marijuana growers, WSJ indicates Scotts would buy niche dirt companies that already exist rather than create its own line of branded products. Learn more about Scotts online at Scotts.com.

Read More

June 15, 2011

Behind The Scenes At Jiffy

One advantage Dutch floriculture has over our industry here in the United States is its monocultural focus. Because the auction system is still very much in place, the market allows Dutch growers to focus on particular crops and become true experts on their production. And because growers have mastered particular crops, the quality of their product is arguably better than the quality you’ll find here in the U.S. Now, that notion isn’t a slight on U.S. growers. Instead, it’s more the result of our polyculture, which forces growers to manage a variety of production systems and become experts on a variety of crops. Just ask yourself how many SKUs your operation manages–the number for some of you might even be in the thousands–and think how much easier your job would be if you weren’t responsible for providing every last variety to your retailers. This, however, is how greenhouse floriculture in […]

Read More

June 10, 2011

Research Supports PBH As Partial Pine Bark Replacement

Research from the Department of Horticulture at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, authenticates the use of PBH as a partial replacement for pine bark in nursery stock container media. The research concludes that pine bark substrates amended with up to 40 percent PBH Nature’s Media Amendment will not decrease plant growth or increase the volume or frequency of irrigation for the production of container-grown spirea over one (25 weeks) and two (70 weeks) growing seasons, respectively. Based on the research, pine bark-based substrates amended with up to 40 percent PBH retained physical properties that were generally within current guidelines for nursery container substrates after one or two growing seasons. Decomposition was not an issue. The research substantiating the use of PBH Nature’s Media Amendment as a partial pine bark substitute comes at a time when growers have seen pine bark availability decline, prices rise and freight charges increase. PBH gives growers a […]

Read More