2012 Spring Trials Report

Dümmen USA Announces Plug Connection As West Coast Rooting Station

Plug Connection and Dümmen USA have reached an agreement that calls for the San Diego-area grower to serve as a rooting station for Red Fox plants.

Plug Connection will be the seventh North American rooting station for Dümmen, joining Bob’s Market and Greenhouses, CF Greenhouses, Genesis Plant Propagation, Ltd., Harts Nursery, Plainview Growers and Timbuk Farms.

“Wholesale growers can choose which Dümmen rooting station they want to use,” says Nicole Jackson, Plug Connection’s Sales and Marketing director. “For the Southwest, we will be a very viable solution for growers.”

Plug Connection has worked with Dümmen for a number of years and has been a Root and Sell station for Dümmen poinsettias since 2008. “We believe there is significant demand to expand our vegetative program with our traditional customers for Red Fox genetics as a rooted liner,” Jackson says. “Both teams are working to integrate our systems to take orders and we’re looking forward to begin shipping this summer.”

Suntory Reduces Royalties On Select Varieties

Suntory is eliminating the marketing piece of its royalty payments for several series in 2013: Surfinia petunias (including the new Summer Doubles), Million Bells calibrachoas, Tapien verbenas, Temari verbenas, Summer Wave torenias and Desana ipomoeas.

The goal of the change is to be responsive to growers’ needs and help manage their costs to produce the varieties.

“The growers have been asking us for this and we’re responding,” says Delilah Onofrey, with Flower Power Marketing, who works with Suntory.

Benary Opens U.S. Breeding Facility

2012 will be the final Benary Spring Trials event held at Plug Connection’s location in San Diego. Beginning in 2013 trials will be hosted at the breeding company’s own brand-new facility in Watsonville, Calif.

Last August, Benary purchased facilities formerly owned by El Modeno. The company has spent the last several months updating the site and turning 10,000 square feet into a state-of-the-art breeding facility.

Matthias Redlefsen, managing commercial director for Benary says he believes the operation will be “the most sophisticated breeding facility in California.”

This will be the company’s first breeding efforts in the U.S.

“We want to be closer to the market,” Redlefsen says.

Seed-Plus-Vegetative Combos Now A Possibility

A year ago, when Selecta introduced the Trixi 2.0 method which roots three different species together into one single-stick multiliner, General Manager Stefan Reiner pointed out that the combo possibilities to come were potentially limitless.

This year, Ball Horticultural Company is taking a leap forward with Selecta’s innovation, introducing the first multiliners to feature both seed and vegetative species at the California Spring Trials. The innovation, called Synergy, falls under the relatively new Ball Ingenuity division.

“Using the 2.0 technology, we can sow seed in trays, stick cuttings and fuse them into one component,” says Kevin Roethle, the head of Ball Ingenuity.
Growers can expect selection announcements in June.

“We’ve started with 290 combinations,” Roethle says. “We’re trying plants like grasses, violas and some cool-season crops. There are so many different options in this program.”

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