AmericanHort’s Production Technology Conference in Dallas, TX, kicked off on Monday, Oct. 10, with a tour of three local production facilities.
• Hort Americas Greenhouse. The Hort Americas Greenhouse is engaged in active research and demonstration of what it takes to economically grow leafy greens and herbs. We saw displays of five different production systems, including capillary mat systems; deep water culture floating raft systems; nutrient film technique (NFT) systems; hydroponic tower systems; and grow racks.
• Southwest Wholesale Nursery. Southwest Nursery has evolved over its 77-year history. It first began as a retail facility and transitioned into being wholesale-only as its expertise and renown in growing grew. Self-sufficiency and innovation have been mainstays in this company that employs about 100 people and services within a 300-mile radius. \At this stop, we learned about Southwest’s mobile app, which is used to connect with customers on availability, orders, shipments, and pick-ups; its color-rotation program, which allows for year-round production; the use of technology to limit plant handling and improve overall plant health; irrigation innovations that allow Southwest to control the water supply; and shipping techniques that involve a cutting-edge racking system for quicker turnarounds and on-time deliveries.
• Seville Farms. A Top 100 Grower that specializes in annuals, perennials, and ground covers and supplies both box-stores and independent retailers, Seville Farms prides itself on implementation of lean flow practices. Highlights from this visit included lean flow in action; Seville’s production line from planting to irrigation to shipping; and a close look at Integrated Botanics, an on-site young plant supplier that sells exclusively to Seville.
Check out the slideshow above for some of the tour highlights.