December 2017 is marked by the Christmas preparations of the growers and by the fires that were threatening, among others, flower farms in California. However, more happened in December 2017, below the overview:

Ball opens 18-hectare production facility in Australia

Ball Australia has exciting times ahead with the expansion of their existing young plant production and seed distribution business. Ball Australia has been operating in Australia since 2001 and made the move to a larger 18ha site in Skye, Victoria, Australia in 2017. 

Better Christmas ahead for Ethiopian growers

Christmas is an important holiday for many rose growers and for Ethiopian growers, this year will be a better one compared to 2016. "Last year, we have had very cold temperatures - even some frosts - which affected the production and quality of the crop", says John Magara of Roshanara Roses, an Ethiopian rose farm. This year, Magara is satisfied with the temperatures and crop and therefore has high hopes for Christmas 2017. Next week, Roshanara Roses will start shipping out their roses for the Christmas season.

Australia: Tony’s Flowers goes solar

Tony's Flowers, one of Australia’s largest floricultural companies, has recently flicked the switch on a AU$200k investment into solar energy.

Denmark: Orchid greenhouse to become 40,000 m2 MMJ facility

Spectrum Cannabis Denmark, a joint venture between Canopy Growth Corporation and Danish Cannabis, a European hemp producer, has announced plans to establish a 40,000 m2 production facility in Odense, Denmark. The immediate conversion of 30,000 m2 of existing greenhouse infrastructure could be completed as soon as early 2018, subject to regulatory approvals and licensing, and has the full support of Odense Mayor Peter Rahbæk Juel.

CCFC creates interactive map

US (CA): Flower farms threatened by fires

The US flower basket is being threatened by the Thomas Fire in Southern California, a fire that has already consumed 96,000 acres and is rapidly expanding due to winds and dry conditions.

Denmark: Better schlumbergera season for Rosa Danica

"We are on schedule and our schlumbergeras will probably be sold out before Christmas", says Torben Ryg, Sales manager at Rosa Danica. Due to some changes in the production volumes of the 9 cm and 12 cm pot sizes this year's season is better than last year's for this Danish potted rose grower who supplies European countries with schlumbergeras from October till Christmas.

EU: Snow disrupts floral trade

It has been snowing in the Netherlands and this means chaos, not only on the roads but at the airport too. It started yesterday and fortunately (more or less) stopped today. However, the majority of the country, but Belgium and Germany too, is covered with snow. How is the floral trade coping with the snow?

Danziger “Novemberfest – Bedding Open Days

This week Danziger's bedding open days “Novemberfest” event is coming to an end. An entire month during which bedding customers from all around the world, from Europe to Japan, from North America to Australia came for private sessions with the Danziger management team.

Kenyan Paul Wekesa, Panocal:

Auction prices yellow, orange roses hit critical low

"Usually, the volumes and prices of the orange and yellow colored roses go down in the run-up to Christmas, but the prices are so low at the moment that we decided to stop shipping them out", says Paul Wekesa of Panocal, a 38ha Kenyan rose farm that mainly supplies the auction. According to Wekesa the decrease in price started around 10 days ago and he assumes that the snow in Germany and the Netherlands over the last days made it worse.

US (CA): Flower farms are open for business

While the wildfires in Southern California approached some of the nation’s largest flower farms and hampered the ability for some employees to work, the Golden State’s farms are open and operating.

Christmas means tulip fever in Norway

When you think of tulips, you probably think of Spring. In Norway, however, they think of Christmas too. Tulips are one of their most important flowers during this time of the year and the production at Norwegian greenhouses are in full swing. 

Frans Diedens, Yalkoneh Flowers

Ethiopian hypericum grower adapts to changing climate

"The changing climate is a challenge for us. It is becoming colder and colder", says Frans Diedens of Yalkoneh Flowers. He grows hypericums in Sebeta, Ethiopia, 2,100 meters above sea level and is currently equipping the last hectares of his 17ha farm with a sprinkling system to protect his crops against the frost. 

Japan: Cyclamen losing popularity as year-end gift

The cyclamen has been a popular end of the year gift for many years in Japan. However, over the last years, the demand for this plant is decreasing, which results in an oversupply and in turn to lower prices. Many cyclamen growers are not satisfied with the cyclamen market and are thinking of quitting growing it and replace the crop with a plant that has higher sales. This is explained by Shoichi Oshio of FloralCrest. He grows cyclamen and impatiens in a 3,000 m2 sized greenhouse near Tokyo, Japan. According to him, the decline in demand is due to the change in society and fashion styles in Japan.

US (CA): Wildfires through the eyes of flower farmers

The threat to California’s flower farms from several Southern California wildfires is almost over. That said, flower farmers and others in the ag community can tell you it was an experience like no other – and something they hope to never experience again.

Josef Heuger of Heuger-Gartenbaubetriebe on hellebore season

Germany: "Ideal circumstances for a smooth season"

"The weather was not that favorable this year, but the longer season made up for it", says Josef Heuger, owner of Heuger-Gartenbaubetriebe. This German hellebore and hydrangea breeder and grower is almost out of his hellebore stock that was planned to be sold for Christmas. This year, the demand for one of their newest series Ice N' Roses was higher than expected. 

Afriflora to be purchased by investment company

An affiliate of Sun European Partners entered into an agreement with KKR to acquire a majority stake in Afriflora, the world’s largest grower of roses, alongside the Barnhoorn family. The proposed transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals.

Christian Schwartz, Gartneriet Rønbæk

Europe: Phalaenopsis growers at a loss on what to do

"Usually, Christmas time is quite good for phalaenopsis sales, but this year it is worse than ever", says Danish phalaenopsis grower Christian Schwartz of Gartneriet Rønbæk. According to him, there is no demand for phalaenopsis in Europe and growers are at a loss on what to do.