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Aug 24 to Sep 18 2015
US: Online course on Nutrient Management for container-grown crops
At the University of Florida IFAS Extension, they have started providing online courses designed for people already working in the ornamental plant industry. This year they offered nutrient and greenhouse management courses for the first time, with a good response (85 and 110 students in our two courses so far, with about half outside the USA). The courses run for about 4 weeks, cost $US200 per participant, and include a personalized certificate of completion.
Each week there are two streaming classes and one activity (about 3-4 hours commitment per week), which can be accessed at any time of day. There are live instructors available using text chat and discussion features. For more information, go to backpocketgrower.org under “training” and “online courses”, and check the attached flier for our next course.
The schedule of online courses planned for 2015 include:
• Nutrient Management for Container-Grown Crops: Level 1(PDF) (Aug 24 to Sep 18 2015). This course covers the basics of essential plant nutrients, fertilizer types, substrate-pH and electrical conductivity (EC). Participants will know how to recognize typical pH and EC problems, select a fertilizer, and conduct an onsite soil test. The course is designed for employees who do not have formal training in horticulture. The typical participant will be a section grower who has practical experience and is responsible for irrigating and fertilizing greenhouse or nursery crops.
• Nutrient Management for Container-Grown Crops: Level 2 (Oct 5 to Nov 6 2014). The course goes into depth on aspects such as pH management, fertilizer formulation, and corrective actions. The course is appropriate for employees who already took the introductory course, are experienced growers, or are in technical or sales roles.
Beginning in June 2016, they will have new courses lined up on weed management, disease management, and cost accounting, and we will repeat our “Greenhouse 101: Plant science for commercial production” course designed for new employees.
For more information
University of Florida
Paul Fisher, Ph.D. and Rosanna Freyre, Ph.D.
Environmental Horticulture Dept., USA
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