Upcoming events for greenhouse growers during January – March 2019

Sign up today for many greenhouse events occurring in the coming weeks throughout Michigan in preparation for the spring growing season.

Greenhouse
Photo by Heidi Lindberg, MSU Extension

January 2019 has arrived, which means it is the beginning of another spring growing season for greenhouse growers. Your Michigan State University Extension floriculture team has been busy planning numerous events to be held around the state in the coming eight weeks. Register for the following events today to make sure you secure a spot.

What to Expect During a WPS Inspection & Respirator Maintenance and Safety
Jan. 10, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Fillmore Complex in West Olive, Michigan

The new Worker Protection Standard requirements went into effect January 2018. Learn about when and why an MDARD pesticide inspector comes to visit your greenhouse, and tips to make it go smoothly. Participants will learn about implementing a respiratory protection program in an agricultural setting and identifying risks from agricultural hazards. The MSU Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine will provide a limited number of respirator fit tests. Fee: $30 (lunch included). Register by Jan. 8.

Substrate Evolution: Is Wood Really Good?
Jan. 16, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m., Online

Perhaps second only to pollinator protection, the buzz surrounding using wood fiber substrates has increased drastically in the past two to three years. This presentation will cover the history and evolution of wood fiber substrates and explore the properties and performances of many commercial products. Laboratory, grower analysis and trial data will be presented to cover some perspectives of the potentials and issues with wood fiber mixes. Q&A will follow presentation. Free. Register by Jan. 15.

Energy, Labor-Saving, and Sustainability Greenhouse Field Day
Jan. 22, 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., starts at Countryside Greenhouse in Allendale, Michigan

The purpose of this greenhouse tour is to promote energy efficiency practices, labor-saving technology and environmental sustainability practices that reduce overall greenhouse operational expenses. Free (lunch included). Register by Jan. 18.

Managing pH and EC for Optimal Plant Nutrition
Jan. 22, 10 – 11:45 a.m. at the Kalamazoo Valley Community College Food Innovation Center in Kalamazoo, Michigan

Substrate pH and electrical conductivity (EC) are dynamic chemical properties and can be challenging to maintain over time. Garrett Owen will join us for a discussion on these subjects from 10-11 a.m. Topics include testing initial pH of substrates, pH and EC management and corrective procedures, and alternative substrates (e.g., coir, pine bark, wood fiber). Q&A will follow presentation (bring your questions—ask the expert). Free. Register by Jan. 21.

Pesticide Applicator Core Manual Review and Exam
Jan. 31, 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. at the MSU Tollgate Farm and Education Center in Novi, Michigan

Prepare for the MDARD Core Pesticide Applicators Certification exam with this review session. The morning review covers the National Pesticide Applicators Certification Core Manual and the Michigan addendum. The review is followed by lunch and the MDARD exam is given that afternoon. Register to attend the event all day (review plus exam), review only or exam only. Fee: $50 (lunch included).

Greenhouse Lighting: Are LEDs Right for You?
Feb. 8, 1 – 3:30 p.m. at the Fillmore Complex in West Olive, Michigan

Interested in installing energy-saving LEDs in your greenhouse, but are unsure where to begin? Over the past eight years, MSU has conducted a wide variety of supplemental, photoperiodic and sole-source lighting research on young plants, annuals, perennials, potted crops, microgreens, vegetable transplants and herbs. In this workshop, Erik Runkle and Roberto Lopez will cover the topics you need to know to select the appropriate lighting system for your operation. Topics will include the dimensions of lighting, lighting strategies, lighting considerations and fixture efficacies. Conventional fixtures as well as LEDs will be discussed. Free. Register by Feb. 7.

Pesticide Spill and Fire Preparedness and Introduction to MAEAP
Feb. 14, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at the Micandy Gardens in Hudsonville, Michigan

Most chemical users are knowledgeable about the safe use and handling of chemicals, but few are prepared to manage an accidental pesticide or fertilizer spill, release or fire. Learn from Ottawa County Emergency Management how to prepare for a pesticide spill or fire. Tour Micandy Gardens and learn how you can become environmentally-verified through the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program. Free (lunch included). Register by Feb. 12. Sponsored by PNC Bank.

Pesticide Applicator Core Manual Review
Feb. 20 and March 7 at the Fillmore Complex in West Olive, Michigan

Prepare for the MDARD Core Pesticide Applicators Certification exam with this review session that covers the National Pesticide Applicators Certification Core Manual and the Michigan addendum. Fee: $20 (lunch included). Register by Feb. 17 for Feb. 20 review and by March 24 for March 27 review.

Biological Control of Greenhouse Pests
Feb. 21, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Bogie Lake Greenhouses in White Lake, Michigan

This workshop will emphasize biological pest control in spring floriculture crops. Topics will include knowing your enemy; biological pest control for thrips; integrating aphid, whitefly and mite control tactics into a thrips biological control program; and product demonstrations and exploration. Register by Feb. 20

Respirator Maintenance, Safety, and Fit-Testing
Feb. 27, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the MSU Tollgate Farm and Education Center in Novi, Michigan

Participants will learn about implementing a respiratory protection program in an agricultural setting and identifying risks from agricultural hazards. The MSU Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine will provide a limited number of respirator fit tests. Fee: $50 (lunch included). Register by Feb. 27.

Ag Labor Update
March 4 at the Fillmore Complex in West Olive, Michigan

This west Michigan labor meeting will update agricultural producers on recruiting labor, recruiting and retaining employees, mechanization to reduce labor needs, and updates and resources about the H2A labor program. Register by March 1.

For more information, contact your Michigan State University Extension floriculture educator or outreach specialist. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Floriculture Production newsletter to get updated news and event information.


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