A Fine Company

A chemistry that is off patent isn’t necessarily generic, especially when it has an expanded-use label that not even the original formulation allowed.

This is what growers in the U.S. ornamental market will understand when they come to know brands from Fine Americas, a newer subsidiary of Fine Agro Chemicals Ltd., with 23 years of experience developing plant growth regulators (PGRs) in the ornamental and fruit markets. The company is 100 percent dedicated to providing not only quality PGR products but also application solutions that go beyond the traditional methods and are backed by trials from the top researchers in the United States.

Greg Johnson, vice president of sales and marketing for Fine Americas, says the company’s focus remains defining and commercializing PGRs. “Our expertise is on the PGR side, and for a company our size, we’re putting in a lot of development because these products are very important for us,” he says. 

Going Off Patent

Fine’s five main products — Piccolo, Dazide, Fresco, Florgib and Concise — are all off-patent chemistries. Florgib and Fresco are gibberellic-acid-based products to increase plant and bract size, while Piccolo, Dazide and Concise are anti-gibberellins that make plants more compact and increase flowering.

Johnson uses Piccolo, a paclobutrazol product, as an example of how Fine has taken an off-patent chemistry and made it unique through research and an expanded label.

“Piccolo is the only PGR with a liner dip label,” he says. “We have worked with a number of the key researchers, such as Brian Whipker (North Carolina State University), Jamie Gibson (University of Florida), Joyce Latimer (Virginia Tech University) and Jim Barrett (University of Florida), to expand labels to allow growers more flexible use of the PGRs. We see the need and then we go out and try to commercialize those benefits by expanding the labels or maybe modifying formulations to make them better for growers to use.”

The liner dip technology is just what it sounds like, Johnson says. Growers can dip rooted cuttings or liners into the product and it absorbs into the media. Fine Americas received EPA approval for this pre-transplant soak method in September.

“We’ve seen a lot more growers using liner dip applications and that’s why we’ve expanded our Piccolo label,” he says. “Sometimes they have the liner in for a defined time frame and they measure how much moisture is on that liner prior to application. All the key researchers have done a lot of work on this to define a method.”

University trials have shown the treatment is highly effective in reducing the height of very vigorous plants, with a particular benefit of allowing the use of variable Piccolo rates in mixed containers. This provides greater plant growth uniformity in the end product, according to Johnson.

“The use of Piccolo as a liner dip opens up tremendous opportunities for growers who strive to grow a superior crop,” he says.

Fine Americas advises growers to always test a few plants first to determine optimal rates for their particular operation and conditions.

In August, the company introduced Concise, a uniconazole formulated as soluble concentrate. Concise produces more compact and marketable plants across a broad range of ornamentals from bedding plants and potted flowering crops to herbaceous and woody perennials. Its label offers growers flexibility in application because it can be used as a foliar spray, drench, dip and media spray. Johnson says Fine Americas has received registration for Concise in most states but the company is waiting on registration in New York and California. 

An Economic Approach

In addition to expanding applications and improving PGR formulations, Fine is focusing on providing technical assistance and information technology to growers using its products.

“We’re committed to quality products and support of our products,” Johnson says. “That goes in to providing material that meet their needs, expanding product labels and technical support because of our expertise in this market.”

In the coming years, Johnson says he feels off-patent chemistries will be a benefit to growers looking for expanded application technology, as well as those aiming to reduce input costs.

“They’re going to be a benefit to the grower and also to the industry because they are allowing growers additional tools for their use,” he says. “Expanding research in this area is going to be beneficial because it will make the products more efficient to use and potentially an economic advantage to the grower. With the cost of energy and everything else, growers are continuing to look at how they manage all of their costs. So if we can provide a tool that helps them manage their business and their costs better, they’re very open.”

While Fine Americas provides third-party comparison testing for the various products its PGRs compete against, Johnson says the company encourages growers to do their own comparisons and evaluations of Fine’s products.

“Growers are continuing to look at their input costs and all growers are going to evaluate the products in their greenhouse conditions,” he says. “It’s important for us to be able to show growers the performance and similarities but they are going to apply and evaluate, which we very much encourage. Once they’ve done that, we’ve seen a very quick adoption of Piccolo in the industry because of the benefits that we’re providing: very broad label, flexible applications and also an economic advantage.” 

Careful Applications

With increased competition and retail consolidation to consider, Johnson says he is seeing more growers of all sizes expanding their use of PGRs, especially active PGRs such as Piccolo and Concise.

“There was a first generation of PGRs with a little less active compound. Triazols are what I call second generation PGRs,” he says. “They’re more concentrated, and Piccolo falls in that category because it’s very flexible to apply, especially now with our liner dip application. Growers can apply it as a liner dip, drench, sprench or spray, so it allows for different modes of application and has a very broad label, which we’re expanding. So I think Piccolo is one of the key PGRs in the ornamental PGR arsenal.”

Johnson says while growers are using PGRs more, they’re also doing it with a more careful approach to applications.

“Right now I see more specific applications of PGRs, almost more of a pharmaceutical approach to growing crops,” he says. “Everyone is looking at what’s the best way of growing their crops and getting quality, and that’s going to be ever-changing. It depends on the grower and the crop itself and what they’re trying to accomplish.”

Leave a Reply

2 comments on “A Fine Company

  1. Dear Sir/Ms

    Glade to find your link at you website.
    we are writing to enquire whether you would be willing to establish business relations with us
    according your market we introduce below products to you:

    NAME : SeedKing RootKing and MoreKing (plant growth regulator for field crops and vegetables, horiculture)
    ADVANTAGE : natural, harmless
    TECHNICAL APPROACH : promotion of the gene express
    SPHERE OF APPLICATION: fruit, horticulture and vegetable.
    RESULT could make crops yield increase 10%-30%
    .
    We are the manufacturer of the new ,natural plant growth regulator.
    Strong ability of production and R&D is the basic assuring of the reasonable price and good quality.
    pls contact with us ,it will be a pleasure to provide more information about the new product to you.
    we look forward to your early reply

  2. Dear Sir/Ms

    Glade to find your link at you website.
    we are writing to enquire whether you would be willing to establish business relations with us
    according your market we introduce below products to you:

    NAME : SeedKing RootKing and MoreKing (plant growth regulator for field crops and vegetables, horiculture)
    ADVANTAGE : natural, harmless
    TECHNICAL APPROACH : promotion of the gene express
    SPHERE OF APPLICATION: fruit, horticulture and vegetable.
    RESULT could make crops yield increase 10%-30%
    .
    We are the manufacturer of the new ,natural plant growth regulator.
    Strong ability of production and R&D is the basic assuring of the reasonable price and good quality.
    pls contact with us ,it will be a pleasure to provide more information about the new product to you.
    we look forward to your early reply

More From Crop Inputs...
Greenhouse Grower’s 2015 Head Grower Of The Year Tom Wheeler - Feature image

September 1, 2015

Greenhouse Grower’s 2015 Head Grower Of The Year Tom Wheeler Of Bell Nursery USA Leads By Example

Greenhouse Grower’s 2015 Head Grower Of The Year Tom Wheeler is laying a strong groundwork for the industry by mentoring future growers and instilling a sense of pride in growing quality crops.

Read More
Greenhouse Grower’s 2015 Head Grower Of The Year Tom Wheeler - Feature image

September 1, 2015

Bell Nursery USA Cultivates New Growers Through Internships

Bell Nursery USA started its internship program two years ago with the aim of identifying and training the growers of the future. Each season, the company’s internships give interns a broad overview of the company, exposing them to everything from growing and production to distribution, retail and finances.

Read More
Growing For Futures Logo

September 1, 2015

Growing Solutions Farm Gains New Native Plant Garden

Growing Solutions Farm, a Chicago-based vocational therapeutic garden for young adults with autism, is now the home of a pollinator-friendly native plant habitat. The raised-bed native plant display was added thanks to a donation from American Beauties Native Plants and Midwest Groundcovers, who partnered to donate 220 pollinator-friendly plants. It comes on the heels of a 2014 fundraiser hosted by the National Garden Bureau, which was able to donate more than $44,000 in cash, products and supplies to the farm by the end of 2014. “Last year, during the IGC Chicago Show, I took several guests over to Growing Solutions Farm,” says Diane Blazek of National Garden Bureau. “One of those guests, Peggy Anne Montgomery, was so inspired by this project that she and American Beauties Natives worked with Midwest Groundcovers to make this donation a reality. It’s so nice that the farm now has the plants they need to […]

Read More
Latest Stories
Bill Lewis grower manager at Delray Plants

August 31, 2015

Delray Plants Takes Preventative Approach To Pest Contr…

The 300-acre nursery in Venus, Fla., has made biologicals its first line of control when dealing with pests.

Read More
Bob’s Market and Greenhouses’ Ron Morris pours Stockosorb into the hopper for distribution on the conveyor line

August 13, 2015

Soil System Improves Growing And Sales

My father started our company 45 years ago growing bedding plants, mainly early season production and finished plants for our West Virginia market. It was in the early 1980s that we started growing earlier spring production and shipping materials to southern markets, and by the late 1980s, we also produced pansies for fall. We started using hydrogels when they first came on the market in the early 1990s and found that they really helped with our production by keeping plants healthier for these new markets. Over the years, we’ve grown to be a large young plant producer and have a sizable business growing finished plants in cell packs, 4 1/2-inch pots, 6-inch pots, gallon containers, hanging baskets, multiple sizes of large containers and large baskets for municipal use. Creating The Ideal Soil Mix With our old system, it took several workers to mix pre-made soil with slow-release fertilizers in cement […]

Read More
Fertilizer Rates Feature Image

August 12, 2015

Selecting Fertilizer Rates For Several Spring Bedding P…

Fertilizing bedding plants can be difficult due to the differing needs of the large variety of plants that we grow. Many operations do not grow enough of any one crop to cater the fertilizer specifically for each crop. Therefore, grouping crops with similar fertilizer requirements and having two to three fertilizer strengths available is a practical way to ensure plants are getting the fertilizer they need. With many new plant varieties on the market, we wanted to conduct a trial at Cornell University to determine best fertilizer rates for several common bedding plant crops. 22 Bedding Plants Studied To Establish Fertilizer Rates Plugs and rooted liners of 22 crops (Table 1) were transplanted into 4-inch (500 mL volume) round pots with a commercial peat/perlite based substrate. The plants were grown in a glass greenhouse at Cornell University during the spring season at a spacing of one plant per square foot. Heating set […]

Read More
Feature image The Aphid Guard Aphid Banker Plant, coming soon to the market, supports beneficial insect populations.

June 21, 2015

The Latest In Crop Protection

Protecting your plants from the latest threats is no easy task, but new product lines promise to safely and effectively eliminate a wide range of pests and diseases, without harming your employees or the environment.

Read More
Bee On Flower

June 18, 2015

Pest Management And Marketing Strategies For Bee-Friend…

Michigan State University Extension shares pest management practices to produce plants that are safe for pollinators and marketing strategies for clearing up confusion about bee-friendly plants.

Read More
NSOrganicPlantFood3-1-1_featured

June 13, 2015

UMASS Fertilizer Trials Recommend Nature’s Source Organ…

In a recent online fact-sheet at its Extension website, the UMass Amherst Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment lists Nature’s Source Organic Plant Food 3-1-1 as “the best liquid organic fertilizer,” according to Dr. Douglas Cox, Stockbridge School of Agriculture. It is called-out by the Extension after a number of years of studying the use of organic fertilizers for growing commercial greenhouse crops. The trials evaluated traditional water soluble and granular slow-release chemical fertilizers. Dr. Cox recommends Nature’s Source Organic Plant Food 3-1-1 as a liquid fertilizer that is readily available, cost effective, OMRI-listed and with good label directions for greenhouses. He also mentions the ease-of-use in how it mixes well with water and can pass fertilizer injectors. “Nature’s Source is currently the best liquid organic fertilizer,” Cox wrote in his article “Organic Fertilizers – Thoughts on Using Liquid Organic Fertilizers for Greenhouse Plants,” “I have seen no foliar chlorosis yet with this fertilizer. Nature’s source is widely available and a great […]

Read More

June 10, 2015

BASF’s Sultan Miticide Receives California Regist…

BASF Sultan miticide recently received registration in California, giving ornamental growers a new rapid, targeted mode of action for mite control. Sultan miticide, with active ingredient cyflumetofen, offers ornamental growers targeted knockdown of all life stages of tetranychid mites, with long residual control. It has practically no toxicity to beneficial insects, including predatory mites and pollinators. Sultan miticide offers a new mode of action to combat cross-resistance with other commercial miticides, and is compatible with integrated pest management programs (IPM). “The long-awaited California registration of Sultan miticide is exciting news. Greenhouse, nursery and landscape professionals in the state now have a new class of chemistry that gives them fast control over all life stages of plant-damaging mite populations,” says Joe Lara, senior product manager for BASF. “Sultan miticide now provides California growers with a much needed new first choice for miticide resistance management programs that won’t disrupt populations of beneficial […]

Read More
Bee on a Sedum

May 27, 2015

Industry Associations State Their Support Of National P…

AmericanHort, Society of American Florists, American Floral Endowment and Horticultural Research Institute joined together to embrace key aspects of the federal government’s recently announced National Strategy for the Protection of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators. The long-awaited strategy has three major goals: reducing honey bee colony losses, increasing Monarch butterfly populations, and restoring or enhancing millions of acres of land as pollinator habitat through public and private action. According to the statement, the associations are studying the details, but they agree that the overall approach appears balanced and mostly sensible. The rest of the statement reads as follows: “The national strategy’s overarching goals dovetail well with the focus of the ongoing Horticulture Industry Bee and Pollinator Stewardship Program. Under that initiative, we have directly funded several priority research projects, and collaborated on additional research funded by others, to provide critical scientifically sound guidance for professional horticulturists. We are developing a grower […]

Read More
Bee On Flower

May 20, 2015

White House Task Force Releases Pollinator Health Strat…

An interagency Pollinator Health Task Force commissioned by President Obama released its “Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators” on May 19. The strategy, released in accordance with the Presidential Memorandum issued last June, is accompanied by a Pollinator Research Action Plan, which outlines needs and priority actions to better understand pollinator losses and improve pollinator health. The recommended actions will be supported by a coordination of existing federal research efforts and accompanied by a request to Congress for additional resources to respond to losses in pollinator populations. Pages 47 through 52 specifically address pesticides and pollinators. The report calls out plant production, native plants, mosquito control and all urban uses in its Pollinator Action Plan. RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment) says it supports the goals of improving pollinator health and habitat contained in the White House Pollinator Task Force’s release of its National […]

Read More
r3bv2 disease

May 20, 2015

SAF And AmericanHort Ask Government To Take Ralstonia O…

The Society of American Florists (SAF) and AmericanHort want Ralstonia solanacearum, Race 3, Biovar 2 (R3Bv2) taken off a list of animal and plant diseases that the federal government has determined could be misused as terrorist weapons. SAF and AmericanHort submitted formal comments together on the horticulture industry’s science-backed position on the matter. According to Lin Schmale, SAF’s senior director of government relations, extensive research has proven R3Bv2 does not belong on the government’s list of animal and plant diseases that can be misused as terrorist weapons. Every two years, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) requests a public review of the Select Agent list, asking for comments on whether plant or animal diseases should be taken off the current list or added to it. In the floral industry, R3Bv2 can have a devastating impact on geranium (pelargonium) crops, Schmale says, and both the potato and tomato industries also could be adversely affected by introduction […]

Read More
Two-spotted spider mites, adults and eggs

May 18, 2015

Beware Of Spider Mites In Bougainvillea And Mandevilla …

Greenhouse growers need to scout for spider mites on bougainvillea and mandevilla and use appropriate treatments that minimize pesticide resistance.

Read More
CrownBees_Blue-Orchard-Bee-Female_Artz

May 14, 2015

Pollinator Health 2015: What’s Next For Horticult…

The news on pollinators and neonicotinoids continues to fluctuate between good and bad. Research and outreach efforts backed by the Bee and Pollinator Stewardship Initiative help move the industry in a positive direction.

Read More
empress-intrinsic-brand-fungicide

May 13, 2015

BASF’s Empress Intrinsic Fungicide Is Approved Fo…

BASF’s Empress Intrinsic brand fungicide received supplemental labeling, providing California growers with an effective drench fungicide for disease control and plant health. The supplemental labeling is for use on herbaceous and woody plants in greenhouse, nursery container and field production in California. Empress Intrinsic fungicide provides protection against the four major root and crown disease pathogens: fusarium, phytophthora, pythium and rhizoctonia. Research shows Intrinsic fungicides control the broadest range of ornamental diseases while improving plant resilience to quality and reducing stresses that commonly occur during commercial production, handling and transportation. “More and more growers across the country are discovering the benefits of Empress Intrinisic brand fungicide treatments at propagation for rooted plugs, cuttings and seedlings, and in drench applications on transplants during the production cycle to protect against the major root diseases,“ says Joe Lara, senior product manager for BASF ornamentals. “A BASF fungicide program utilizing Pageant Intrinsic and Empress Intrinsic […]

Read More
Green Mum Basket

April 21, 2015

Growers Face Dilemma In Managing Plant Growth

Whether you’re applying plant growth regulators, manually pinching plants or using automated trimming, the most important thing is to find the right balance.

Read More

April 20, 2015

Three Michigan State University On-Demand Webinars Offe…

The first rule of effective insect and disease control for vegetables is to take action to prevent problems before they occur. But in order to do that, you need to have an effective pest and disease management strategy in place that incorporates best practices to ensure a successful outcome. Michigan State University offers three pest and disease management on-demand webinars that will get you started and keep you on the right track.

Read More

April 15, 2015

BASF’s Pageant Intrinsic Fungicide Registration A…

The state of California has approved the supplemental label registration of Pageant Intrinsic brand fungicide for disease control in the commercial production of greenhouse-grown tomatoes and tomato transplants for the home consumer market.

Read More
Egg card used for insect control in Parkway Garden’s retail area.

April 13, 2015

Biocontrols Use Requires Commitment

For some companies, a switch to biocontrols is an easy decision to make. Parkway Gardens of Ontario, Canada, began using biocontrols nine years ago after Erik Jacobsen, the company’s owner, wanted to expose Parkway, its customers and the environment to fewer pesticide products. “Many pesticides were increasingly ineffective, and in Canada, new product registration moves with glacial slowness,” Jacobsen says. “The labor cost of applying pesticides is much greater than using biocontrols.” In addition, it was also an opportunity to market the company’s eco-friendliness to a younger demographic, he says. In a Q & A with Greenhouse Grower, Jacobsen explains what biocontrols and methods have proved effective for Parkway Gardens Greenhouse Grower: In what types of greenhouse structures are you using biocontrols? Erik Jacobsen: Our greenhouses are all poly covered. About half the range is a Westbrook 14-foot at peak gutter-connected block, and the remaining half a mix of quonset-style […]

Read More

April 11, 2015

Lowe’s Announces Commitment To Phase Out Neonicotinoids…

Home improvement retailer Lowe’s companies announced April 9 that it has committed to eliminate neonicotinoid pesticides from its stores in a gradual phase-out over the next 48 months. In response, horticulture industry associations issued a statement that Lowe’s position is surprising, considering the most recent and positive reports on the state of honeybee health and recent peer reviewed research, and that this is an issue for which sound science must take priority.

Read More