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New Monthly ‘Grow Pro’ Webinars

New Monthly ‘Grow Pro’ Webinars

Providing the Floral Industry with Direct Access to Findings and Expert Researchers

Innovation, vision, and education drive the future of the floral industry. Starting this May, we are hosting new monthly webinars on production topics that directly impact growers.

AFE-funded research has provided our industry with solutions to tough challenges for 60 years now. To further communicate new results from university studies and other advancements on a broader scale, these monthly webinars are being offered free of charge, thanks to industry sponsorships.

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.

Art Van Wingerden, Co-CEO of Metrolina Greenhouses, notes, “I have seen first-hand how resources and research from AFE can be used to help better inform employees and improve business practices. From the smallest operations to the largest, the knowledge shared from AFE’s research helps the entire industry provide better quality and longer-lasting product.”

Each session will also feature a live Q&A discussion where you can “Ask a Researcher.” This will allow the audience to get personalized advice and input from our academic experts. This opportunity opens the door for our network to directly access the brilliant minds behind the results.

Our Research Coordinator, Terril Nell, shares, “This innovative and inclusive approach to presenting research findings freely to our entire industry will further advance floriculture and provide video resources for generations to come.”

Nell continues, “Additionally, the ability to connect with the researchers and ask any pressing questions will benefit both sides by informing new research focuses and improving current practices.”

The first three monthly webinars focus on growing media, optimizing LED lighting, and artificial intelligence as listed below.

All webinars are held on a Tuesday and are open to anyone in the industry. The first three webinars include:


May 18th, 2021 at 1PM EST – The Current Status of Growing Media

See the Recording Here

Speaker: Brian Jackson, NC State UniversityBrian Jackson

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.


June 22nd & 29th, 2021 at 1PM EST – Optimizing LED Lighting for Flower Crops

Register HereSponsored by Apogee Instruments, Inc. and Fluence by OSRAMJim FaustSpeakers: Jim Faust, Clemson University (Part 1) & Erik Runkle, Michigan State University (Part 2)Description: 
Part 1 – June 22nd
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 will explain how to determine if your location and crops justify adding supplemental lighting.Erik RunklePart 2 – June 29thQuestions abound when considering 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 will simplify the selection and use of LEDs, both indoors and in greenhouses.

July 27th, 2021 at 1PM EST– Making Sense of Artificial Intelligence in Floriculture

Register HereSponsored by Mercer BotanicalsMercer Botanicals LogoDean KopsellSpeaker: Dean Kopsell, University of FloridaDescription: 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 the 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.

For a complete schedule of webinars, registration information, or sponsorship opportunities, visit www.endowment.org/GrowPro.

In 2021, AFE is celebrating 60 years of innovation, progressive research, and advances through virtual events and campaigns highlighting industry successes and those that helped us get there. Partner with AFE in celebrating at endowment.org/60th. An anniversary $60 for 60 Years campaign encourages recurring annual donations that will further support floral industry funding. Every donor of $60 or more will receive a commemorative t-shirt! Your gift ensures that AFE can continue to fund and present research to the industry bringing new advances for continued growth.

60th Anniversary Ad