This is the first of four features honoring winners of Greenhouse Grower’s Medal of Excellence Awards. Special thanks to Title Sponsor MPS and WestRock for supporting Greenhouse Grower’s Medal of Excellence Awards.
Janeen Wright (Editor, Greenhouse Grower): What are the costs and benefits to growers of having more disease-resistant varieties available for production?
Sean Valk, Global Director of Sales for PanAmerican Seed: There are several important benefits a grower can realize by using more disease-resistant varieties. The first is the reduction in the use of chemical control inputs to manage the crop. This saves not only on chemical costs, but also the time required to apply, lost access to the crop/greenhouse depending on the re-entry interval, and impact to the crop.
Taking all these factors into account, more disease-resistant varieties also allow the grower to produce crops in the same area easier, with the focus being more on the optimum environmental conditions and watering needs, without spending as much time having to consider potential overspray impact. The actual cost savings is an aggregate of all these items and will vary from grower to grower.
The greatest benefit from disease-resistant varieties like Beacon Impatiens comes at the consumer level. Consumers typically do not accurately diagnose a problem and have access to far fewer control options. Having plants that thrive in the environment — even under disease pressure — without the need to treat in the garden results in far greater success.