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December 5-7 in Grand Rapids:

US (MI): Learn more about marketing, production and pest management at Greenhouse Growers Expo

The 2017 Greenhouse Growers Expo, in partnership with the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable, and Farm Market Expo, will be Dec. 5-7 at the DeVos Place Conference Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Michigan State University Extension floriculture team worked with the Western Michigan Greenhouse Association and the Metro Detroit Flower Growers Association to develop an educational program consisting of 15 sessions on a variety of relevant subject areas. This year’s lineup of topics highlight retail and marketing strategies, integrated pest management, young plant production and edible crops.

Photo by Jeremy Jubenville, MSU Extension

These programs feature presentations by Extension faculty and educators, as well as industry experts, and are designed for target audiences across the organizational spectrum from entry-level employees to operations managers.

The marketing and retail sessions will touch on a variety of subjects that include plant combination design, increasing retail sales and event planning. Featured speakers include Will Heeman from Heeman’s Greenhouses and Strawberry Farm, Bridget Behe of MSU, and a discussion panel consisting of Jessica DeGraff from Proven Winners, Mark and Patty Watkins of Bogie Lake Greenhouses, Jon Barson from Barson’s Greenhouse and Tamme Carlson of Carlson’s Greenhouse. Be sure to catch these sessions: Don’t Miss Out! Hosting Events that No One Wants to Miss
  • Retail Best Practices: 10 tips to Step-up Sales
  • Creating Combinations that Break the Botanical Barrier: A Panel Discussion
New and experienced growers will benefit from presentations on young plant production and nutrient management. MSU’s Erik Runkle will talk about which plant growth regulator practices yield the desired results. Ryan Dickson from the University of New Hampshire will discuss the finer points of substrate composition and nutrient management. Young plant production and crop management topics will be presented by Paul Karlovich of C. Raker and Sons, and MSU’s Roberto Lopez and Garrett Owen. Sessions include:
  • Choosing the Right Growing Substrate
  • The ABCs of Growing Plugs from Seed
  • Do’s and Don’ts with PGRs
  • Click and Grow with Apps, Websites, and Calculators
Several sessions on pest management will help growers learn about best practices, suggested tactics and updated insect and disease management recommendations. These sessions are presented by MSU’s Mary Hausbeck and Dave Smitley and include:
  • Insect Management Update for Greenhouse Growers: Biological Control, Life without Neonics, or Conventional Pest Control
  • Get the latest on Disease Control
  • How to Start Clean Crops for Successful Biological Control
The educational program also features two sessions for greenhouse vegetable, herb and edible ornamental growers with presentations by Josh Kirschenbaum and Cheni Filios from Pan American Seed and Dave Smitley of MSU. Additional greenhouse vegetable production sessions are also offered by the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable, and Farm Market Expo.

Visit the Michigan Greenhouse Growers Expo website for the full session schedule.

Registration opens Sept. 25. Attendees and exhibitors can find registration, lodging and trade show information at the Great Lakes Expo website.

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