McGregor & Florexpo Grow Organic Herb Cuttings

McGregor Plant Sales and Florexpo now offer USDA Certified Organic herbs for U.S. and Canadian markets. With offshore certified organic unrooted cuttings, growers will no longer have to hold their own mother stock in organically certified houses for 12 months before being able to ship.

“We owe a lot to Tim Wada and The Plug Connection for helping us get started,” says Doug McQueen, vice president of McGregor Plant Sales in Carlsbad, Calif. “Plug Connection has been committed to organic production for years and they were looking for a partner to help them with their vegetative liner production.”

After touring Florexpo in Costa Rica in October of 2006, Wada connected Florexpo with California Certified Organic Farms (CCOF) to develop the protocols which would be approved in an audit. The California CCOF auditor became the consultant in Costa Rica and wrote the production and traceability manual and performed the mock audit. After preparing this way, the Costa Rican CCOF auditor was invited to the Florexpo facility and granted certification in September 2007. For several months Florexpo has been shipping certified Organic unrooted cuttings to The Plug Connection. Also, Florexpo quitely introduced the program to a few key growers.

“The reception has been encouraging,” McQueen says. “Growers are looking for a way to get into the game without the expense of holding mother stock for a year. They also recognize that certified organic is a pedigree that can earn them better margins and loyal customers. We did a quiet and careful release because this is an important program for our industry’s future. Our goal was to ensure the logistics and the quality of cuttings met expectations before we began wide-scale distribution.”

After strong success with early shipments, McGregor Plant Sales is selling most of the availability in the first wave of production. The second wave of availability will come online in June 2008, as a new block of production crosses its 12-month holding cycle. Florexpo owner Fernando Altmann’s son, Fernando Altmann Jr., has returned to the farm as head grower for the organic program. He is a specialist in organic and sustainable production and earned a decree in horticultural science from the prestigious EARTH University.

Beyond the standards, Fernando Jr. has taken production to a level ahead of expectations. Florexpo’s organic production now requires zero procurement of pest control or fertilizer chemicals. Pest control is achieved in fully enclosed greenhouses with beneficial insects, beneficial fungi, organic fumigation and strict adherence to sanitary requirements.

Florexpo has been using a “Killer Fly” predator of whitefly. Killer Flies consume whiteflies and when the population is down, it consumes its own population. The Killer Flies are gathered in an interesting way. Florexpo periodically vacuums plants with 6-inch mouth vacuums. If there is a gathering of whitefulies with the mix of Killer Flies, they take the bags to a cooler. The whiteflies have a lower tolerance for cool temperatures and will fall first. The remaining population in the bag are Killer Flies, which are released back into the greenhouse.

These practices and discoveries are important to the future of the organic movement, the company says. Florexpo shares its discoveries with partner customers to strengthen the economics of growers it serves. McGregor Plant Sales will offer the organic herb program and will help growers find certifying agencies in their states.

Leave a Reply

2 comments on “McGregor & Florexpo Grow Organic Herb Cuttings

  1. Everybody needs to do this even if you can’t make much of an impact, we all need ‘Victory Garden’ to get through the financial crisis. If it causes us to rediscover the organic path, those who survive will be glad you did.

  2. Everybody needs to do this even if you can’t make much of an impact, we all need ‘Victory Garden’ to get through the financial crisis. If it causes us to rediscover the organic path, those who survive will be glad you did.

More From Varieties...
Jim Devereux, Green Fuse Botanicals

June 24, 2017

Green Fuse Botanicals New Vice President is Focused on Helping Growers Succeed

Jim Devereux, who will oversee production, sales, and marketing for Green Fuse, says he hopes to bring genetics to the market that break from traditional production methods for finished growers.

Read More
Ushio Sakazaki feature

June 22, 2017

Japanese Breeder Ushio Sakazaki Wins Medal of Excellence Award for Industry Achievement

From Supertunias to Superbells, this innovative Japanese breeder has used wild genetics to create game-changing plants that help consumers reconnect with the beauty of nature.

Read More
CallaFornia Red

June 20, 2017

Dümmen Orange Enters Calla Market With Acquisition of Golden State Bulb Growers Portfolio

Golden State will continue to supply the market through September 2018, at which time Dümmen Orange will assume supply and delivery of much of Golden State’s product line.

Read More
Latest Stories
Jim Devereux, Green Fuse Botanicals

June 24, 2017

Green Fuse Botanicals New Vice President is Focused on …

Jim Devereux, who will oversee production, sales, and marketing for Green Fuse, says he hopes to bring genetics to the market that break from traditional production methods for finished growers.

Read More
Ushio Sakazaki feature

June 22, 2017

Japanese Breeder Ushio Sakazaki Wins Medal of Excellenc…

From Supertunias to Superbells, this innovative Japanese breeder has used wild genetics to create game-changing plants that help consumers reconnect with the beauty of nature.

Read More
CallaFornia Red

June 20, 2017

Dümmen Orange Enters Calla Market With Acquisition of G…

Golden State will continue to supply the market through September 2018, at which time Dümmen Orange will assume supply and delivery of much of Golden State’s product line.

Read More
Plantpeddler Variety Day

June 14, 2017

Plantpeddler Hosting Variety Day on Aug. 4 in Cresco, I…

The free event will allow attendees to tour Plantpeddler’s trial gardens, which include more than 1,200 varieties of vegetative annuals displayed in large containers, baskets, window boxes, and beds.

Read More
Jonathan Babikow, Emerald Coast Growers

June 9, 2017

New Head Grower at Emerald Coast Growers is Excited abo…

Jonathan Babikow, Emerald Coast Growers’ new general manager/head grower for its Lancaster, PA, location, talks about his favorite perennials, the advantages of growing in Pennsylvania, and his future hopes for his career.

Read More
Petunia 'Amore Mio' (Danziger)

June 8, 2017

AmericanHort Update on Genetically Engineered Petunias

AmericanHort is actively assisting affected plant breeders, distributors, growers, and retailers as the genetically modified petunia regulatory response continues. Since the last update, there have been several changes to the list of petunias confirmed or suspected of being genetically engineered and therefore unauthorized to be imported or sold. Also, the list of recognized laboratories for petunia variety confirmation testing has expanded. Most importantly, petunia varieties on the USDA-APHIS Biotechnology Regulatory Services (BRS) list require an APHIS Form 2000 for importation. APHIS also began requiring that any Petunia spp. Shipments, not including regulated GE varieties, must be accompanied by a list of variety names. This resulted in some inspection delays at the USDA-APHIS plant inspection station in Atlanta over the past two weeks. In response, AmericanHort has negotiated a more flexible approach with APHIS, and new guidance has just been posted for importing Petunia plants, cuttings, or seed. The new guidance allows […]

Read More
Bailey Expo

June 8, 2017

Bailey Nurseries Expo to Take Place in Late July in Min…

This year’s expo will focus on bridging the gap with Millennials and non-gardeners through creative marketing, engaging in-store displays, and heightened customer service.

Read More
Scaevola Mix from Suntory

June 6, 2017

How Was Your Spring? Let Us Know by Taking Greenhouse G…

Please take a few minutes to answer Greenhouse Grower’s 2017 Spring Recap Survey. The deadline for completing the survey is June 20.

Read More
Eason Horticultural Resources Hot New Perennials Booklet

June 6, 2017

Eason Horticultural Resources Releases New Perennials B…

“Hot New Perennials for 2018” is a compilation of information shared with Eason from a broad range of perennial young plant producers, breeding companies, and breeder representatives.

Read More
Beedance Bidens Yellow (Suntory Flowers)

June 1, 2017

Recommendations for Successfully Growing BeeDance Biden…

Anne Roberts of Meadow View Growers says growers in northern states can take advantage of cooler temperatures early in the season and grow BeeDance Bidens varieties with less heat.

Read More

May 30, 2017

Danziger Launching New Interactive Marketing Programs D…

The new campaigns include a focus on Danziger’s Amore petunia series, using videos and displays to help attendees “share their love” for Amore.

Read More

May 25, 2017

Genetically Modified Petunia Update: Breeders Take Swif…

Now that the initial shock of genetically engineered petunias is wearing off, breeders continue testing for tainted stock and look toward the future. On the consumer side, uncertainties remain.  

Read More

May 23, 2017

USDA-APHIS Bulletin on Unauthorized Distribution of Gen…

On May 2, 2017, USDA-APHIS was informed that an orange petunia variety was potentially genetically engineered and had been imported and moved interstate without required authorization by APHIS. This led to testing of numerous petunia varieties, which confirmed this particular variety and several others are genetically engineered, and meet the regulatory definition of a regulated article under APHIS regulations. APHIS continues to work with the industry to ensure unauthorized GE petunias are not distributed in the United States.

Read More
Petunia F1 African Sunset from American Takii

May 22, 2017

Genetically Modified Petunia Update: Question and Answe…

AmericanHort’s key role interfacing with the USDA on the recall of genetically modified petunias has helped the horticulture industry rapidly address the problem. Senior Vice President Craig Regelbrugge talks about recent updates, the impact on the industry, and where it goes from here.

Read More
Eason 2017 spring trials report

May 16, 2017

New California Spring Trials Report Now Available From …

The report features genetics from 21 different breeding companies and information gathered from the 15 different stops on this year’s tour.

Read More
Schizachyrium scoparium The Blues

May 13, 2017

How Ornamental Grasses and Sedges Can Play a Role in Po…

Grasses and sedges provide food, shelter, and support for pollinators and the birds and mammals that keep insect populations in balance.

Read More
Asclepias with a bumblebee

May 8, 2017

How to Choose the Best Native Plants for Pollinator Gar…

The popularity of native plants is rising as gardeners become conscious of the need to plant more pollinator gardens. The challenge is to select the right plants to put in them.

Read More
Allan Armitage Of Naked Ladies and Forget Me Nots

May 2, 2017

Allan Armitage: How Growers Can Be Creative to Take Gar…

Our industry does a good job of making things convenient for our customers. It’s time to take it a step further.

Read More