Farwest 2019 kicks off on Aug. 21 in Portland, OR. As in the past, the event will feature a wide range of educational sessions, as well as innovations to be found on the trade show floor of the Oregon Convention Center.
If you’re planning to head to the show, or if you’re considering it, here are a few can’t miss events and activities you’ll want to mark on your calendar.
Tours of Local Operations
Every year, Farwest tours explore the dynamic facilities of Portland’s thought leaders in the green industry. This year’s three tours, to take place on Tuesday, Aug. 20, will look at retail garden centers, sustainable business processes and procedures, and wholesale nursery operations. The Farwest tours are sponsored by The Peters Company of Wilsonville, OR. Participants may choose the particular tour that best suits their interests. Space is limited, so early registration is best. The tours can only accommodate 50 people each, and they often sell out.
• Tour 1: Go-to Garden Centers (Retail Tour) — This tour will explore four of the Portland area’s premier retail garden centers with reputations for phenomenal customer feedback. Attendees will see the innovative merchandise displays, product designs, and retail space layouts that make these businesses the highest-rated local independent garden centers on Google and Yelp. Stops will include Cornell Farm (Portland), Farmington Gardens (Beaverton), The Garden Corner (Tualatin), and Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping & Garden Centers (Lake Oswego).
• Tour 2: Seeds for Tomorrow (Sustainability Tour) — This tour will shine a light on the sustainability efforts at three different green industry businesses, revealing what is alike and what is different. Participants will see how these operations invest time and money to reduce environmental impacts, improve energy efficiency, and transform company culture — and they will also see the returns on these investments firsthand. Stops include The Oregon Garden (Silverton), Little Prince of Oregon Nursery Inc. (Aurora), and Brentano’s Tree Farm LLC (St. Paul).
• Tour 3: Growing Landscape Solutions (Wholesale Tour) — This tour will showcase the high-quality trees and shrubs grown in the fertile Willamette Valley south of Portland. Participants will see a range of plant selections across four sites, including growing operations for Japanese maples, grafted conifers, specimen plants, hedge-and-border solutions, azaleas, and woody ornamentals. Stops will include Countryside Nursery (Aurora), InstantHedge (Canby), Highland Meadow Nursery Inc. (Molalla), and Woodburn Nursery & Azaleas Inc. (Woodburn).
Pesticide Recertification Credits
The 2019 Farwest Show will offer seven classes that are eligible for pesticide recertification credit hours as part of its continuing education program. Experts from across the industry will cover various topics, including sanitation, biocontrol, weed management, and boxwood blight. Classes will be delivered in English with Spanish translation available, or Spanish language.
Two different pesticide class pass options are available for attendees:
• The three-day pesticide class pass offers six hours of recertification credit taught in English with Spanish translation, and one hour that is Spanish-only.
• The one-day pass offers two hours of credit on Wednesday and Friday, and three hours of credit on Thursday. Each pesticide pass holder will also be able to access the Spanish-only seminars.
A Close Look at Industry Research and Biological Plant Protection Products
Industry experts Dr. Jill Calabro and Dr. Carlos Bográn will give talks related to pest control for greenhouse and nursery professionals. Calabro will address attendees in three sessions regarding her work through AmericanHort and the Horticultural Research Institute (HRI), upcoming challenges for the horticulture industry, and the current status of boxwood blight. Bográn will give a talk on the compatibility of today’s biological controls.
Calabro’s first session, “What’s New in the Lab? Research Report Update for Oregon Nurseries,” will be a panel discussion. She will discuss her research at AmericanHort and HRI, and how it will affect the nursery industry in the coming years. Her second session “Research Priorities Identified by Industry,” will be a mini-session at the Solution Center. She will report on a recent HRI Research Roundtable that identified current and future industry challenges and opportunities to increase success and profitability in the next 10 years. Her third talk, “The Importance of Cultivar Testing for Boxwood Blight,” will explain how HRI started a new initiative to better understand the range of blight tolerance and susceptibility of cultivars common in U.S. production.
Bográn, technical manager at OHP Inc., will present “To Mix or Not to Mix: Compatibility of Biological Products for Plant Protection.” This seminar will address the compatibility of biological products (such as microbial insecticides and fungicides) with each other and with conventional chemistries.
Mini-Sessions to Focus on Greenhouse Production
A series of free live mini-sessions with special interest for greenhouse growers will take place at the Solution Center on the Oregon Convention Center show floor. The informative sessions take place each day during the show. Topics covered will give greenhouse professionals knowledge and solutions for more productive and efficient operations.
In 30-minute sessions, industry experts with greenhouse expertise will talk about subjects including biocontrol, human resource, plant trends, current industry research, and much more.
Solution Center mini-sessions are designed to give attendees an educational reprieve from the busy show floor. The complete schedule, speakers, and topics for the Solution Center can be found online.
Seminars to Focus on Important Pest Control-Related Topics
A number of seminars at Farwest 2019 will deal with important aspects of pests and pest control. In addition to being timely and informative, the seminars offer credit for pesticide recertification. Three of the seminars will be delivered by industry experts Coleen Warfield, Kelly Vance, and Lloyd Traven. The speakers will give talks on the spread of pathogens, pest identification for biocontrol, and biocontrol implementation.
• Coleen Warfield, corporate plant pathologist at Ball Horticultural Company, will speak on understanding how a pathogen spreads is an integral part of any plant disease management program. Her talk, “Did You Just Touch That? Sanitation and the Spread of Pathogens,” will emphasize viral diseases. This session will look at different modes of transmission and how those may influence sanitation practices in a greenhouse/nursery setting.
• Kelly Vance, integrated pest management (IPM) specialist at Beneficial Insectary, will help growers with the challenge of implementing biocontrols and their decisions regarding which predators, parasitoids, or biopesticides to use for their crop pests. His talk, “Why Your Program Failed: The Importance of Pest Identification in Biocontrol Programs,” will stress the need to identify the pests targeted from the beginning and point out some common mistakes in pest identification, and why certain predators may not work.
• Lloyd Traven, owner and founder of Peace Tree Farm LLC, will deliver a talk on the efficacy of biocontrols in growing operations as a viable alternative to harsher chemical control. Traven’s talk, “A Systematic Approach to Implementing Biocontrols,” will outline how biocontrols, biorationals, and biopesticides are practically effective and beneficial as a resonating environmental message with consumers. Implementation requires diligence, commitment, and a different mindset, attitude and expectation for growers, retailers and consumers.