Problem-solving at the OFA Short Course

May 16, 2007
Written by Greenhouse Canada
Growers attending the OFA Short Course (July 14-17 in Columbus, Ohio) will find solutions to many of their business challenges. The sessions are divided into ‘greenhouse production,’ ‘greenhouse advanced’ and ‘greenhouse survival’ tracks. An all-day tour will serve as an on-theroad learning lab on July 14.
Growers attending the OFA Short Course (July 14-17 in Columbus, Ohio) will find solutions to many of their business challenges. The sessions are divided into ‘greenhouse production,’ ‘greenhouse advanced’ and ‘greenhouse survival’ tracks. An all-day tour will serve as an on-theroad learning lab on July 14.

Delegates will visit two commercial greenhouse operations and the Ohio State University Department of Horticulture and Crop Sciences centre. They’ll learn about challenges the hosts have experienced and how those issues were addressed. The opening day grower program will also feature two half-day workshops on containers and plant growth management, as well as a two-part lean manufacturing workshop.

Whether it’s grouping plant material in a single pot or clustering single specimens together, the container workshop will showcase a variety of recipes highlighting a variety of texture, foliage, colour and flower options.

 The plant growth management symposium is all about getting the most out of chemical and non-chemical approaches. Learn how environmental and cultural parameters influence plant growth and how to control them. The two-part lean manufacturing workshops will illustrate how to:

• Define value and waste in core processes

• Map the stream of value-creating activities that produce what customers want

• Create flow and pull within a company

• Generate continuous improvement within an organization. The Floriculture College of Knowledge, a Michigan State University program, will offer Track One and Track Two courses on July 13 and July 14.

 Track One sessions include seedling plug production, along with root zone, disease and insect management.

Track Two includes bedding plant production, perennial forcing, and environmental management topics. Don’t miss the “Grower Town Meeting: Are We Cultivating Our Own Extinction?” It’s time for growers to talk about it. The fear is that growers have become so fragmented and so independent from one another that they end up fighting even when trying to avoid such problems. Is this infighting, done both deliberately and subconsciously, setting up the industry to become irrelevant in the marketplace?

Additional general sessions will be offered Saturday through Tuesday during the show. Speakers will share their experience and expertise on such as topics as:

• Surviving the energy crisis (a five-part series) • Tank mixing

• Fertilizer runoff management

• New plant categories

• pH shift

• Profitable poinsettia production

• Water sanitation

• New technology approaches

• PGRs on perennials

• Changing world of annuals

• Helping the small grower succeed

• Sustainable horticulture

• New products for new niches

• Pay-by-scan

• Pesticide resistance

• New plants for growers and landscapers

• Advanced plug technology

• Greenhouse automation

• Diagnosing nutrient deficiency

• State-of-the-art water management

• Advanced crop nutrition

• Crop culture and sanitation.

For more information, contact OFA at 614-487-1117 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or visit www.ofa.org.

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