42 episodes

Cultural and technical information for greenhouse professionals.

TECH ON DEMAND brought to you by GrowerTalks Bill Calkins

    • Business
    • 4.5 • 8 Ratings

Cultural and technical information for greenhouse professionals.

    Preventing & Managing Disease on Tropical Plants

    Preventing & Managing Disease on Tropical Plants

    Host Bill Calkins is joined by Andrew Britten, a greenhouse and nursery technical expert with a wide range of experience from large-scale production and propagation to technical services and even sales of foliage and tropical plants. He’s been a head grower, young plants manager and production manager at some of the largest and most well-respected operations in North America. Interestingly, Andrew was GrowerTalks’ Young Grower Award winner back in 2005.

    Andrew joins the podcast again to discuss the most common diseases you might encounter when finishing tropical and foliage crops across North America. He goes one by one through more than 10 diseases, sharing causes, how to identify and finally, control strategies.

    The goal with this podcast is to help you produce your best crops ever and send clean, healthy tropicals and foliage to market. If you haven’t listened to the previous podcast covering insect identification and control on tropicals, jump back in the archives and check it out.

    Throughout the podcast, Andrew and Bill reference photos and slides, which you can find at: https://www.slideshare.net/bcalkins/tech-on-demand-preventing-and-managing-disease-on-tropical-plants

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    • 16 min
    Controlling Insects on Tropical Plants with Andrew Britten

    Controlling Insects on Tropical Plants with Andrew Britten

    Host Bill Calkins is joined by Andrew Britten, a greenhouse and nursery technical expert with a wide range of experience from large-scale production and propagation to technical services and even sales of foliage and tropical plants. He’s been a head grower, young plants manager and production manager at some of the largest and most well-respected operations in North America. Interestingly, Andrew was GrowerTalks’ Young Grower Award winner back in 2005.

    Andrew joins the podcast to focus on insects, because they’re something a lot of growers struggle with when they finish tropical and foliage crops across North America. He begins with an overview of the most common pests dealt with in tropical plant production and what kinds of damage to look for when identifying them. These “usual suspects” include aphids, spider mites, mealybug, whitefly and thrips. Then, he turns his attention to managing and controlling these pests, talking about both conventional chemical and biological controls.

    Throughout the podcast, Andrew and Bill reference photos and slides, which you can find at: https://www.slideshare.net/bcalkins/tech-on-demand-controlling-insect-pests-on-tropical-plants

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    • 19 min
    Ball Seed Customer Day: Production & Planning for 2023

    Ball Seed Customer Day: Production & Planning for 2023

    Ball Seed National Sales Director, Jim Kennedy and RCOP, Inc. owner, Mindy Clesen join host Bill Calkins to look ahead and provide the 2022 Ball Seed Customer Day audience with ideas and insights to help greenhouse professionals make the best decisions for the year ahead.

     

    Mindy and Jim share some of their experiences from 2021 and 2022 and how they will apply these to 2023 planning. Then, they discuss recent cost pressures and supply challenges explaining how these factors impact budgeting. Labor is also a topic addressed, with ideas for mitigating what is an extremely relevant difficulty. Finally, they share thoughts on why our industry is more (or less) prepared for the uncertainty facing the North American economy in the short term.

     

    Visit BallSeed.com for a wide range of resources and information to help your business in 2023!

     

    Make plans to attend Ball Seed Customer Days in 2023. Visit BallCustomerDay.com for event information.

    • 40 min
    Greenhouse & Nursery Diseases: Focus on Summer with Dr. Ann Chase & Dr. Aaron Palmateer

    Greenhouse & Nursery Diseases: Focus on Summer with Dr. Ann Chase & Dr. Aaron Palmateer

    In this episode of Tech On Demand brought to you by GrowerTalks, host Bill Calkins is joined for the second time by Dr. Ann Chase, owner of Chase Agricultural Consulting, and Dr. Aaron Palmateer, technical development lead for the ornamental business at SePRO. Both are expert-level plant disease gurus with decades of combined work in the field.

    Last time we talked with Ann and Aaron, the discussion centered on what to expect—from a disease perspective—in spring production. If you didn’t listen to that one, jump back in the archives and check out Episode 33. This time, we’re moving on to summer, but first, the guests reflect back on spring for a bit before jumping right into warm-season diseases like Phytophthora, Rhizoctonia, soft rots like Erwinia, Southern Blight, Xanthomonas and plenty more. They discuss what they’ve seen in greenhouses and nurseries already this summer and what they expect to see soon—more than 25 diseases they’ve seen first-hand. One of the most interesting parts of this cast is a rundown of common diseases and the temperature ranges that bring them on. The episode continues with thoughts on why producing crops (like vinca, poinsettias and fall pansies) out-of-season often requires the most vigilance and hardest work by production teams before concluding with an in-depth look at the most cutting-edge control strategies for summer diseases.

     

    Resources:

    Dr. Ann Chase: archase@chaseresearch.net



    Dr. Aaron Palmateer: aaronp@sepro.com


    Chase Horticultural Research: www.chaseagri.com

    SePRO: https://www.sepro.com/Hort

     

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    • 50 min
    Control Your Inputs: Reduce Risk Through Growing Mix Selection

    Control Your Inputs: Reduce Risk Through Growing Mix Selection

    In this episode of Tech On Demand brought to you by GrowerTalks, host Bill Calkins is joined by two dynamic guests for a discussion that’s equal parts informational and instructional with a healthy dose of humor added to the mix. In relation to current supply chain challenges that are predicted to continue for some time, the importance of versatility and flexibility is as important now as ever and trialing to develop modern plans and backup plans plays a huge role in successful crop production. With growing media (especially peat) at the foundation of professional greenhouse production, understanding how you can take more control of your inputs and continue to create optimum quality plants is a critical component to your overall plan.

    We’re lucky to have two experienced and creative guests join us this episode to share their thoughts, knowledge and advice to explore potential solutions for increasing crop quality, as well as efficiency. Pierre-Marc de Champlain and John Santoro from Berger are here to explain ways to ease supply chain burdens using creative growing mix selection and incorporating different media components in the correct way.

    The discussion begins with the current supply chain, good and bad, and then moves on to why peat is not only the backbone of soil mix components but also a very viable option now and looking to the future. Get ready to hear all about why responsible bog management is at the forefront of Berger’s approach and why this is good for the entire industry. Pierre-Marc and John share their thoughts on why versatility is critical now more than ever and ways to fine tune your production by looking closely at your media mix. The episode wraps up with an explanation of the importance of trialing and creating a plan and backup plan related to growing media. Both of the guests have a lot of experience and unique takes on greenhouse production and I know you’ll find this episode engaging, informational and fun.

    You’ll want to listen all the way to the end of this episode, because we cover a lot of topics that build to a comprehensive growing media strategy.

     

    Resources:

    Learn more about Berger: https://www.berger.ca/



    Connect with Berger Experts: https://www.berger.ca/en/grower-resources/grower-advisors/



    Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association: https://peatmoss.com/

     

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    • 58 min
    Dynamics of Growing Media (Part 3): Successful Analysis & Interpretation

    Dynamics of Growing Media (Part 3): Successful Analysis & Interpretation

    In this episode of Tech On Demand brought to you by GrowerTalks, host Bill Calkins is joined by Troy Buechel, a Horticulture Specialist with Premier Tech, for the final episode in a three-part series discussing the technical side of growing media. Now that we’ve worked our way through testing and sampling, it’s on to analysis. Looking at returned data from tests conducted on growing media, water and plant tissue can seem overwhelming but Troy is going to walk you through it.

    This episode begins with a look into the most important numbers to consider when you see results from a test. From pH to EC and macronutrients to micronutrients, a lot can be gleaned when you understand what’s most critical. Knowing deficiencies can quickly lead to reversing the issues at hand and bringing your crop back to its potential.

    Next, Troy discusses contaminants that can lead to plant stress, such as sodium chloride, and what this can mean to a crop. Clear results from testing are important before starting to correct problems. Next, the discussion turns to the ranges you want to see related to pH, EC, macronutrients and micronutrients. The conversation gets pretty in-depth and technical so feel free to pause the podcast, make notes and then hit play again.

    Another topic of conversation in this episode is types of tests and ways they are conducted. Some can be done easily, in house, while others require the expertise of a lab. Troy helps make sense of this, so you choose the best path. This episode (and series) ends with some real-world stories and situations Troy has encountered over the years. As you listen, you might start nodding because as we all know, no grower or greenhouse is immune to common problems, or even the weirdest ones.

    You’ll want to listen all the way to the end of this episode, because the information builds throughout! Special thanks to Troy and the folks at Premier-Tech (the company behind Pro-Mix Growing Media) for lending much-needed expertise to such an important topic.

     

    Premier Tech Resources:

    To listen:

    Benefits of Analytical Testing
    Testing Water EC
    How to Test Water pH and Alkalinity

    To read:

    Sampling Procedures for Testing Water and Fertilizer Solution
    Media and Tissue Testing – Why Test?
    Media and Tissue Testing - Media Testing Methods
    Media and Tissue Testing - Measuring pH and E.C. of Media
    pH Meter Calibration And Sample Preparation For In-House Testing

    To connect: 

    Facebook
    Twitter
    LinkedIn
    YouTube

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    • 44 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
8 Ratings

8 Ratings

OldBluuue ,

Great podcast for all greenhouse growers

I am glad Bill Caulkins is back doing a podcast. He brings in very experienced and educated people that speak on important topics for all professional greenhouse growers and growers in training.

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