Maumee Valley Growers Association (MVGA) Winter Conference
Several members of the USDA-ARS Greenhouse Production Research Group (GPRG) attended the MVGA winter conference hosted at the Brodbeck Greenhouse. The day's event started off with a tour of the Brodbeck facility followed by various presentations. Attendees consisted of growers, retailers, research, and extension affiliates. Dr. Locke and Dr. Krause used the opportunity to introduce newest GPRG employees to the MVGA, gave USDA-ARS updates and expressed continued support of the MVGA.
The first and most discussed topic was the disease threat growers are facing with Impatiens Downey Mildew on Impatiens walleriana. Impatiens Downey Mildew is a foliar disease causing foliage discoloration (yellow), presence of white sporulation on underside of leaves, plant collapse and severe defoliation. Members of the MVGA discussed possible approaches to take in making the customers knowledgeable of the possible problem, return policies, and displaying of signs.
Other talks included Tom Parry from Michell's discussing new trends and improved products in the floriculture industry. Bob Jones gave a talk on the new Food Safety Act recently passed, how it will affect local growers and how they can get Ohio Produce Marketing Agreement (OPMA) certification. More information on OPMA certification can be provided at http://opma.us. Tara Webb a representative from BioSafe Systems, presented on the different types of test the company carries out and the current products that are available to growers and retailers.