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Protect Spring Crops from Ethylene

Protect Spring Crops from Ethylene Ethylene damages and kills plants and flowers. Ethylene is a naturally occurring wound hormone that causes leaf yellowing, leaf drop, bud drop, and reduced flower life. Ethylene gas is given off by dying, decaying, and dead fruits and vegetables. Also, plants and flowers produce ethylene internally as they age and when plants have undergone mechanical damage, such as vibration during shipping, drought, and heat stress. Damage to plants and flowers may be caused by ethylene in the atmosphere and from ethylene produced within the plant.  In severe situations, plants may not be marketable unless plants are treated with anti-ethylene products. You can protect your plants and flowers from ethylene. Today, several products are available from…

Biocontrol of Whiteflies in Poinsettia: What Works and Why Do It

Unfortunately, poinsettia and sweet potato whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) go together like cats and fleas; if you have one, you’ll have the other. By this time (June) you should already be considering your whitefly management strategy. Here, we make a case for biocontrol as both a viable and economical way to control whitefly based on leading research supported by the American Floral Endowment (AFE) and many years of grower experience in Canada. The Problem with Pesticides Management of Bemisia whiteflies with pesticides can be difficult, if not impossible, in some years. This is because whiteflies that originate on cuttings (and those that fly in from field crops, as in the Southern US) have likely been exposed to multiple applications of several…

Answering Some of Your Questions on Insecticide Rotation

Article Author: Juang Horng “JC” Chong, Clemson University Department of Plant and Environmental SciencesAs a researcher and educator, I receive questions that touch on the minutia of how to build a successful insecticide rotation program as I preach and write about the importance of developing a rotation program. In this article, I’d like to take the opportunity to explore some of these direct questions.I’m going to proceed with the assumption that everyone who reads this article has some basic knowledge of how to rotate pesticides. If you’ve never heard of the terms “pesticide rotation” or “pesticide stewardship,” or if you are a novice to the practice of rotating pesticides, I invite you to read one of my older AFE’s Growing…

Pioneering a New Era of Nutritional Monitoring with Fert, Dirt, and Squirt

Figure 1. The collaborative group of greenhouse and floriculture specialists and educators, e-GRO, launched a Nutritional Monitoring of Floriculture Crops website. Pictured is the website homepage. Photo by Dr. W. Garrett Owen.Nutritional disorders are among the many challenges greenhouse growers encounter during crop production. These disorders often develop when substrate pH or soluble salts [referred to as electrical conductivity (EC)] drifts above or below optimal ranges for plant uptake. To assist greenhouse growers in addressing nutritional disorders, the collaborative group of greenhouse and floriculture specialists and educators, e-GRO, has launched a Nutritional Monitoring of Floriculture Crops website, Fert, Dirt & Squirt (Fig. 1), led by Dr. W. Garrett Owen and Dr. Brian Whipker. The Nutritional Monitoring of Floriculture Crops, sponsored…

Newly Released: Research Webinars for Thrips and Botrytis

Thrips & Botrytis Webinar Series Recordings Now Available We have released webinar recordings from a 6-week webinar series highlighting new research findings from our specially-funded Thrips and Botrytis Research Fund. Initially presented exclusively to our Thrips and Botrytis Fund supporters, these recorded webinars are now being released to the industry in both English and Spanish. Take advantage of these FREE resources to help with your pest and disease management!Throughout these webinars, you will learn the best practices for managing and controlling thrips and botrytis, understand why decisions are made, and how to make the best management decisions for your greenhouse. Our featured topics also include addressing fungicide resistance and the opportunity for use of biological controls. These presentations are brought to you directly from our…

How Biostimulants Can Increase Plant Health and Quality

Read the Full Article Here By Nathan Nordstedt and Michelle JonesThis article was originally published in Greenhouse Grower. 

The Physiology of Photosynthesis: Implications for Supplemental Lighting

Supplemental lighting is often required to produce high-quality plants in a timely manner. However, the costs associated with that supplemental lighting can be high. For the profitable production of high-quality crops, it is important to assure that the crops can use supplemental lighting efficiently. To develop to most cost-effective lighting methods possible, we decided to start with the basics: quantify how efficiently different crops can use light and use that knowledge to develop smarter lighting strategies. In this article, we will focus on perennials. There are of course many species of perennial plants, so we decided to focus on 10 popular species.Light Use Efficiency of PerennialsThe first two questions we wanted to answer were simply: 1) how efficiently do different…

Introducing Research and Outreach Project LAMP: Lighting Approaches to Maximize Profit

Figure 1. Black-eyed Susan seedlings exposed to the same DLI as photoperiod increased from 12 to 21 hours. Plants receiving 21 hr of lighting had a 30% higher shoot dry weight than 12 hr plants.IntroductionSupplemental lighting provides quicker crop turns, higher yields, and increased quality for the $6.5 billion a year greenhouse floriculture and vegetable industry. But it comes at a steep cost, especially when growers adopt LED technology. Electricity for lighting can account for 20-30% of operating costs and lighting has been estimated to cost the controlled environment agriculture (CEA) industry $600 million annually. Enter Project LAMP. They are a research and outreach team funded by a grant from the USDA Specialty Crops Research Initiative. The study’s mission is to…

Prime Your Plants for Success with Biostimulants

Read More >> This article was originally published on Greenhouse Grower.

Successful Poinsettia Packing, Shipping, and Handling

Preparing Your Poinsettias for Shipping and Retail Display Begins at Bract ColorIt is hard to believe that the first poinsettias will be shipped to retail stores in just 4–5 weeks and shipments will continue until near December 20. Life becomes hectic in poinsettia greenhouses as the season progresses so it is prudent to establish handling and shipping practices now that will ensure that quality poinsettias are shipped, and quality poinsettias are received. In the past, growers would ‘harden off’ crops to prepare them for the entire handling, shipping, and handling programs by reducing watering and fertilizer and lowering temperatures. Today, poinsettia performance is best when plants are grown with strong root systems and are grown lean in the final four weeks…