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Grow Pro Webinar Series

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Since May 2021, AFE has hosted FREE monthly webinars on production areas and topics that directly impact growers.

Our nationally recognized researchers, hosts, and speakers will offer ‘how-to’ advice based on AFE-funded and other research projects to help the industry navigate through these ever-changing growing challenges. The webinar topics are current and offer long-term opportunities for growers to focus on increased profit, greater sustainability, and improved labor efficiency.

Webinar presentations will be presented on a Tuesday each month and are 30-40 minutes in length plus a 15-minute question and answer period with the researchers.  This is unique in that the audience gets to ask questions directly of the researcher for any issues you may be experiencing around the topic. For efficiency, the presentations are pre-recorded followed by a live Q&A.

All webinars are FREE and open to anyone in the industry – thanks to our generous sponsors!  Sponsorship information is listed below, or contact AFE at afe@endowment.org.

Series Schedule and Registration Pages:


July 12th, 2022 at 1PM (EST)

Reducing Pesticides in Surface & Subsurface Irrigation Water

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Speaker:
 Dr. Tom Fernandez, Michigan State University

Description: Pesticides are most commonly transported in water. Excess irrigation water returns to the surrounding environment mainly via irrigation return flow (IRF- surface runoff and subsurface infiltration). As growers face more challenges about the quality of wastewater and potential risk of pesticides in the water, it is important to understand the factors affecting pesticide levels in surface and subsurface irrigation water. In this webinar, you will learn about irrigation management practices that effectively limit pesticide movement, particularly highly mobile compounds.


August 23rd, 2022 at 1PM (EST)

DIF and Graphical Tracking

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Speaker: Dr. Royal Heins, Professor Emeritus, Michigan State University

Description: Commercial poinsettia buyers place tight restrictions on poinsettia height and width. Additionally, they expect uniformity for all varieties and container sizes. Precision control of poinsettia height can be accomplished with plant growth regulators or altering the day and night temperatures during crop development or a combination of both methods. Dr. Heins will provide guidance in use of day/night temperature to control height and graphical tracking to guide the temperature changes necessary throughout the crop.

 


September 27th, 2022 at 1PM (EST)

New Technology and Pesticides for Flower Crops

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Sponsored By:

Speaker: Dr. JC Chong, Clemson University

Description: Effective insect control requires the use of the proper insecticides for each pest and the rotation of pesticides to avoid development of resistance to the insecticides. Proper pesticide rotation requires and understanding of the ‘mode of action’ of each pesticide. Insecticides function in different ways to kill insects so rotation programs must select insecticides that work differently than the one being used prior to rotation. Dr. Chong will explain how to select and develop effective insect control programs


October 18th, 2022 at 1PM (EST)

Finish Your Poinsettia Crop Successfully

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Speaker: Dr. Chris Currey, Iowa State University

Description: Producing the best poinsettias requires special attention throughout the crop. The production practices used in the final four to five weeks of the crop will have a significant impact on the success in shipping your plants and the ability for the plants to withstand the display and consumer conditions. In this webinar, you will learn the details and best practices to finishing your crop successfully.

 


November 29th, 2022 at 1PM (EST)

Flowering and Forcing of Perennials

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Sponsored By:

Speaker: Dr. John Erwin, University of Maryland

Description: Perennials have become a popular plant among gardeners since they do not have to be replanted each year. Additionally, they offer a wide range of flower types and flowering times during the growing season. The diversity of plant materials is great for consumers but can be maddening to growers since photoperiod, cold requirements, growing medium, and nutrition differs with each type of perennial. The guidance provided by Dr. Erwin in this webinar will simplify perennial plant production.


December 20th, 2022 at 1PM (EST)

Viruses in Flower Crops

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Sponsored By:

Speaker: Dr. John Hammond, USDA, Beltsville, MD

Description: Flowering plants, including potted plants, perennials, and bedding plants can be affected by viruses. The viruses may be transmitted from plant-to-plant, bulb-to bulb, or in seeds. The transmission of viruses may be by insects, from the parent plant/bulb to the next generation of cuttings, or seeds. The presence of viruses in flowering plants is expressed by necrotic spots, stunted growth, and leaf mottling. This webinar will help educate growers and reduce concern for latent plant viruses that are in plants but cause no ill effects.


Past Webinars of the Series

June 21st, 2022 at 1PM (EST)

Developing an Integrated Pest Control Program for Whitefly on Poinsettia

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Sponsored By:

BASF Logo

BioWorks Logo


Speaker: Dr. Sarah Jandricic, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Moderator: Mary Lewis, Syngenta Flowers NA

Description: Bemisia whitefly on poinsettia is one of the most challenging pests growers of ornamental crops can face. Can it really be managed without relentless pesticide applications? Learn how Canadian growers have successfully tackled this pest using a combination of biological control, careful monitoring, and a few well-timed pesticide applications. The economics of using biological control for Bemisia management versus conventional control with pesticides is discussed.

 


May 17th, 2022 at 1PM (EST)

Biological Control of Whitefly on Poinsettias – Start Your Crop Correctly

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Sponsored By:

BASF Logo

BioWorks Logo



Speaker:
 Dr. Rose Buitenhuis, Vineland Research and Innovation Center

Moderator: Mary Lewis, Syngenta Flowers NA

Description: This webinar explains the steps to start clean and stay clean in poinsettia production. The goal is to build and maintain a biological control program against Bemisia tabaci whiteflies as long as possible in order to prevent issues due to pesticide resistance. The main tools presented are dips of unrooted cuttings and early establishment of biocontrol agents. Regardless of whether you are just dipping your toes into biocontrol or if you have been doing it for years, this webinar is of interest to everyone.


April 19th, 2022 at 1PM (EST)

The Use of Biostimulants in Floriculture Production

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Sponsored By


Speaker:
 Dr. Michelle Jones, The Ohio State University

Moderator: Mary Lewis, Syngenta Flowers NA

Description: Biostimulants are products that promise a lot, but do they deliver? Biostimulants include microbial and nonmicrobial ingredients that improve plant health and resilience, leading to better quality crops with increased stress tolerance. Beneficial microbes include bacteria and fungi that can improve the efficiency of nutrient uptake and may allow growers to reduce fertilizer applications and still grow high-quality floriculture crops. These microbial-based biostimulants can also be used to maintain the postharvest quality of cut flowers and flowering plants during shipping and retailing. In this webinar, Dr. Jones discusses how biostimulants work, how to select biostimulants, and how to set up a trial in your greenhouse to determine if you will get the desired effects in your production environment.


March 22nd, 2022 at 1PM (EST)

Calculating the Cost of LED Lighting

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Sponsored By:

Speaker: Dr. Marc van Iersel, University of Georgia

Moderator: Dr. Melinda Knuth, NC State University 

Description: Supplemental lighting is often necessary for year-round production of greenhouse crops. However, the expenses associated with lighting can be high. That includes both the capital expenses associated with buying or leasing lights, as well as the electricity costs associated with running the lights. Capital expenses are easy to determine, based on quotes from suppliers. However, operating expenses are much harder to estimate, since electricity use depends on the lighting needs of the crop, greenhouse configuration, and local weather conditions. This webinar showcases free tools that can be used to estimate both capital and operating expenses associated with supplemental lighting in greenhouses.


February 22nd, 2022 at 1PM (EST)

Nutrition of Floriculture Crops

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Sponsored By



Speaker:
 Dr. W. Garrett Owen, University of Kentucky

Moderator: Dr. Melinda Knuth, NC State University 

Description: Three fundamentals for growing plants are fertilizer, substrate, and water. In-house nutrient monitoring provides you with key pH and EC values needed for successful crop production. This webinar provides an overview of pH and EC nutritional disorders, discuss monitoring methods, and present available grower resources.


January, 11th 2022 at 1PM (EST)

Successful Handling and Propagation of Unrooted Cuttings

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Sponsored By:


Speaker:
 Dr. John Dole, NC State University

Moderator: Dr. Melinda Knuth, NC State University 

Description: Huge numbers of cuttings are harvested and shipped each year and the value of each shipment can range from hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars. Learn how to handle each shipment to maximize the number of high-quality rooted plants. In particular, we discuss how to handle delayed shipments and avoid the difficult decision of whether to propagate the cuttings and try to maintain production schedules or wait for replacement cuttings. 


December 7, 2021 at 1PM (EST)

Control and Management of Powdery Mildews

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Sponsored by BASF, BioWorks, OHP, and Syngenta

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BioWorks Logo

OHP Logo

Syngenta Logo

Margery DaughtreySpeaker: Margery Daughtrey, Cornell University
Moderator: Leynar Leyton

Description: Powdery mildew is one of the most conspicuous plant disease problems that growers face. If you grow roses, gerberas, poinsettias, rosemary, phlox or verbenas (to name a few!) you are very aware of how rapidly this fungus disease can build up to an epidemic. Plant breeding efforts have provided some cultivars that are less susceptible to powdery mildew. But knowledge of which plants are prone to this disease, how unusual symptoms might fool you, and how best to deploy fungicides is critical for growing healthy flower crops. Cornell plant pathologist Margery Daughtrey gives an in-depth discussion of integrated pest management strategy for powdery mildew—including what to grow, what to scout for, and some effective treatment programs using fungicides and/or biofungicides.

 


November 9, 2021 at 1PM (EST)

Care & Handling: Sell the Highest Quality and Longest Lasting Cut Flowers
(webinar for Retail and Wholesale segments)

Clicke Here to Watch

Sponsored by Smithers-Oasis/Floralife

Smithers-Oasis Floralife

Speaker: Loann Burke, AIFD, AAF, PFCI, Furst the Florist & Smithers-Oasis
Moderator: Leynar Leyton, Spring Meadow Nursery, Inc.

Description: Are you up to speed on the latest in flower care and handling?  What should you do to make sure the flowers you present to your customers are at their best?  We’re taking you back to the basics of proper care and handling techniques and why it’s important to make sure everyone on the team is trained properly.  AFE has supported the development of ‘industry friendly’ handling techniques for cut flowers.  Loann Burke AIFD, AAF, PFCI, a highly acclaimed retail florist and event specialist, will demonstrate many of the key steps every florist should use to assure flower quality and longevity.  From flower box to finished design, Loann takes you through every step of the process and shows you the tricks of the trade to keep your flowers fresh and your customers coming back.


October 19, 2021 at 1PM (EST)

Sensors & Advances in Technology

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Sponsored by Total Grow Lights and Pure Green Farms


Speaker: Krishna Nemali, Purdue University
Moderator: Leynar Leyton, Spring Meadow Nursery, Inc.

Description: ‘Smart N-Sensor’ technology for floriculture crops will be presented.  This technology uses images of plants to estimate whole-plant N content. The technology is reliable, easy to use, and low-cost (minimal to a few hundred dollars). Using the technology, floriculture growers can non-destructively quantify plant N status whenever needed for optimizing fertilizer application in greenhouses. The technology offers either smartphone (for small-scale operations) or micro-controller (for large-scale operations) based models.


September 14th, 2021 at 1PM (EST)

Managing Impatiens Downy Mildew with Variety Selection and Production Practices

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Sponsored by PanAmerican Seed Company and Syngenta

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Syngenta Flowers Logo Imara Logo

Margery DaughtreySpeaker: Margery Daughtrey, Cornell University
Moderator: Leynar Leyton, Spring Meadow Nursery, Inc.

Description: Impatiens was once one of the most popular bedding plants until Impatiens Downy Mildew (IDM) devastated landscape plantings around the world. Plants often looked good in production but died once planted in the landscape. After a decade of breeding and technology, impatiens are back with two new series offering a high degree of resistance to IDM. Margery Daughtrey, plant pathologist at Cornell University, discusses the attributes of Beacon (PanAmerican Seed) and Imara XDR (Syngenta Flowers) series and share practical tips to optimize the performance of these plants from propagation to planting in the landscape. You will learn that using protectant fungicides during production is a good idea, even when impatiens are highly resistant to downy mildew.


August 31st, 2021 at 1PM (EST)

Using Biological & Chemical Controls to Manage Whiteflies in Greenhouses

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Sponsored by BioWorks

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Speaker: Dr. Lance Osborne, University of Florida
Moderator: Ping Yu, Texas A&M

Description: Work has been conducted over the last few years to determine the efficacy and rotations of various non-neonicotinoids for managing MED whitefly (Q-biotype). Discover how to evaluate the efficacy of biological control agents and pesticides in a commercial greenhouse as a grower.


August 24, 2021 at 1PM (EST)

Heat Delay in Poinsettias

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Sponsored by Dummen Orange and Syngenta

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Syngenta Logo

Speaker:  Jim Faust, Clemson University
Moderator: Ping Yu, Texas A&M University

Jim FaustDescription: Heat delay of poinsettia flowering is of growing concern across the U.S. as climate change has caused fall weather patterns to be less predictable and many regions of the country are experiencing higher average temperatures. A few extra degrees of heat at the wrong time can easily cause a one to two week delay in flowering, which can be disastrous for growers. Our research has focused on improving our understanding of the timing and magnitude of the high temperatures that cause heat delay and developing practical solutions to help growers avoid missing target market dates. Our results reveal that poinsettias are not equally susceptible to high temperatures throughout the fall. There are specific weeks of the poinsettia season that high temperatures will cause the largest delays in flowering. We have also identified the specific temperatures during the day and night that are most critical to avoid. By increasing our understanding of the variables that contribute to heat delay, we have identified practical solutions to avoid missing target market dates, such as cultivar selection and black-clothing. These solutions are discussed so that growers have practical options for addressing this phenomenon.


July 27th, 2021 at 1PM (EST)

Making Sense of Artificial Intelligence in Floriculture

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Sponsored by Mercer Botanicals

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Dean KopsellSpeaker: Dean Kopsell, University of Florida
Moderator: Melissa Munoz, Clemson University

Description: Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being mentioned in all aspects of agriculture. The idea of AI in floriculture and other segments of agriculture seems like scientists are bringing ‘Star Wars’ concepts to your businesses. Once you hear about the opportunities with AI, the future will seem much brighter as AI will be supporting your decisions for many aspects of your business. AFE has supported projects on use of handheld monitors for monitoring plant nutrition and to provide early detection of western flower thrips. There are so many more opportunities. Take this opportunity to understand AI in just 30 minutes.


June 29th, 2021 at 1PM (EST)

Optimizing LED Lighting for Flower Crops, Part 2

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Youtube’s auto-generated closed captioning is available in multiple languages.

Sponsored by Apogee Instruments, Inc. and Fluence by OSRAM

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Fluence by OSRAM Primary Logo

Erik RunkleSpeaker: Erik Runkle, Michigan State University
Moderator: Melissa Munoz, Clemson University

Description: Questions abound when considering the use of LED lighting. Choices of fixtures and light quality can be very confusing. Erik Runkle has been evaluating LED lighting since they were first available to the greenhouse industry. He simplifies the selection and use of LEDs, both indoors and in greenhouses.

June 22nd, 2021 at 1PM (EST)

Optimizing LED Lighting for Flower Crops, Part 1

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Youtube’s auto-generated closed captioning is available in multiple languages.

Jim FaustSpeaker: Jim Faust, Clemson University
Moderator: Melissa Munoz, Clemson University

Description: Growers seek to optimize plant growth while maintaining production costs. Interest in LED lighting has surged in recent years due to the potential energy savings. Growers continue to wonder if supplemental lighting with LEDs is needed for their greenhouse operations. Jim explains how to determine if your location and crops justify adding supplemental lighting.


May 18th, 2021 at 1PM (EST)

The Current Status of Growing Media

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Youtube’s auto-generated closed captioning is available in multiple languages.

Brian JacksonSpeaker: Brian Jackson, NC State University
Moderator: Melissa Munoz, Clemson University

Description: Growing media seems to change constantly as growers seek a medium to grow plants successfully at the least costs. There have been major changes in growing media in the last 10 – 15 years.
Topics include:
What is important in a good growing media?
Are there new components that growers should consider and are the components sustainable?
What should growers be asking their supplier when selecting a high-quality growing media?


New Daily Lighting Integral Maps and Advances in Supplemental Lighting for Ornamentals

Nov 2, 2018, at 12:00 PM EST

Presenters: Jim Faust, Assoc. Professor, Plant and Environmental Sciences Department, Experiment Station, Clemson University Marc van Iersel, Professor of Horticulture, University of Georgia

Description: Daily light integral (DLI) is a very useful measurement of sunlight for anyone that grows plants for a living. New DLI maps describing the light levels delivered across the U.S. are now available, and during this webinar, Jim Faust shows how to use them to improve your crop planning and production. Following Jim’s presentation, Marc van Iersel discusses plant physiological responses to light and how to use that information to develop cost-effective supplemental lighting strategies.

Click to watch:

Part I – New Daily Lighting Integral Maps https://youtu.be/liEhwprD584 Presentation slides available here

Part 2 – Advances in Supplemental Lighting for Ornamentals https://youtu.be/TBC1MxbZZLQ Presentation slides available here


Additional Research Webinars

Thrips & Botrytis Research Webinar Series Recordings

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In November-December of 2020, AFE hosted a 6-week webinar series highlighting our funded thrips and botrytis research. Initially released exclusively to our Thrips and Botrytis Fund supporters, these 6 webinars are being made available to the public free of charge in both English and Spanish.

Learn the best practices for managing and controlling thrips and botrytis, understand why decisions are made, and learn how to make the best management decisions for your greenhouse. The presentations come directly from AFE’s expert researchers.


Become a Grow Pro Webinar Sponsor!

To better communicate new research results from AFE-funded university studies and other advancements, monthly webinars are being conducted free of charge for the industry.  To help cover expenses to create these webinars, sponsors are needed.Sponsors will be recognized during webinars, and on the AFE website.

Sponsorship Opportunities start at $1,000.  There can be several sponsors per webinar – or if a sponsor commits to a $2,500 sponsorship, they can become a single/sole sponsor of the event.  **Please confirm sponsorship availability for the $2,500 sponsorship opportunity prior to submitting the form.

Sponsors receive their logo/name on promotional emails and communications, their logo on the webinar slides, and promotion on AFE’s social media platform.  Additionally, they will receive recognition in AFE’s newsletter, and the opportunity to send one promotional piece through AFE’s newsletter with a link, following the webinar.

Sponsorship Form


Additional Resources for Growers – Check them out!

Currently Funded Research | Final Research Reports | Research Applications & Information

AFE’s Grower Newsletter | Need Interns? Become an Internship Host | AFE Career Center

About AFE:
The American Floral Endowment (AFE) is the national floral industry nonprofit organization that funds scientific research, educational grants, scholarships, and internships to advance the industry. For 60 years, AFE has identified solutions to critical industry challenges through research, grants, and other important programs.