Pest & Production Management Conference

PPMC 2015

Schedule at a Glance

Thursday, February 19

Noon – 5 p.m.

Optional Growing Operations Tour*

Visit local growing operations – and go behind the scenes of their production and pest management practices. Learn from other growers, and pick up valuable strategies for your operation.

*Additional fee applies. Box lunch and transportation provided.

6 – 7:30 p.m.

Networking Reception

Some of the brightest learning discoveries arise from casual conversations. Mix and mingle with growers, researchers and educators while building professional and social networks. And, take your first lap through the Tabletop Showcase.

Tabletop Showcase Hours:

  • Thursday: 6-7:30 p.m.
  • Friday: 7-8 a.m., 10-10:30 a.m., 2:30-3 p.m.
  • Saturday: 7-8:10 a.m., 10-10:30 a.m.

Talk directly with suppliers of crop production tools and services about their products’ benefits and effective use for your growing operation.

Friday, February 20

7 – 8 a.m.

Continental Breakfast & Tabletop Showcase

8 – 8:05 a.m.


8:05 – 8:45 a.m.

Neonics & the Current Public Relations Relationship to Pollinators and Growers at the Retail Level

Gary Mangum, Bell Nursery USA

Mangum describes the results of Bell Nursery’s experiment to produce without neonics, revealing internal production details, and shares why he believes the industry can benefit from the current public dialogue.

8:45 – 9:30 a.m.

Neonicotinoid Impact On Pollinators

Richard S. Cowles, Ph.D., Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station

Uses of neonicotinoids are threatened by consumer demands for “neonic-free” ornamental products. Cowles examines the scientific evidence on the risk to pollinators. Learn how to minimize risks and understand why neonic use usually does not jeopardize pollinators. The least toxic choices, relative to pollinator health, will also be discussed.

9:30 – 10:00 a.m.

Pollinator Stewardship Initiative

Joe Bischoff, Ph.D., AmericanHort

Lin Schmale, Society of American Florists

Horticulture is the original green industry and, in that spirit, we are taking steps to be part of the solution in the ongoing pollinator health concerns. SAF, AmericanHort, the American Floral Endowment and the Horticultural Research Institute have joined together in the Pollinator Stewardship Initiative. Learn about this effort, and what you can do to participate.

10 – 10:30 a.m.

Refreshment Break & Tabletop Showcase

10:30 – 11:15 a.m.

Preventing Bacterial Outbreaks Across Multi-Crop Greenhouse Systems

David J. Norman, Ph.D., University of Florida

Research redefining host/pathogen interactions might challenge established greenhouse management practices. Norman discusses a case study of xanthomonas of poinsettia and geranium, and examines questions including: Are distinct species of xanthomonads limited in host range when infecting ornamentals? What effect does the greenhouse environment play in altering disease virulence and host susceptibility? Norman also gives a research update on new strains of bacterial wilt. 

11:15 a.m. – Noon

Update on Impatiens Downy Mildew (IDM): Managing the Disease and Avoiding Resistance

Nancy A. Rechcigl, Syngenta

Jane C. Trolinger, Ph.D., Syngenta

IDM continues to be an issue for
Impatiens walleriana, but wise use of plant protection products is effective. Rechcigl and Trolinger deliver an update on IDM incidences in 2014, discuss the biology and factors influencing infection of this pathogen that are being researched, and present strategies for protection.  

Noon – 1 p.m.


Sponsored by the American Floral Endowment

Terril Nell, Ph.D., AAF, American Floral Endowment

Hear about the latest AFE research projects and grants, and the priorities for future industry funding. 

Education Tracks

Choose one educational track or switch tracks for the presentations you want to hear. 



1 – 1:45 p.m.

Expanding Your Fertilizer Tool Kit for Healthier Plants

Neil Mattson, Ph.D., Cornell University

Your fertilizer impacts plant quality, shelf life and marketability. Mattson points out new tools for correcting and preventing nutrient disorders, strategies to optimize root-zone pH, and techniques to extend plant shelf life. 

1:45 – 2:30 p.m.

Using PGRs for Early Control of Plant Growth and Development

Joyce Latimer, Ph.D., Virginia Tech

With a focus on herbaceous perennials, Latimer shows how to use branching agents to improve plant architecture and gives tips on tank mixes with growth retardants and using early PGR liner dips to provide growth regulation and maximize plant quality.


1 – 1:45 p.m.

Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV) and Related Tobamoviruses

Scott Adkins, Ph.D., USDA-ARS

Learn about TMV symptoms, transmission and management, as well as the results of sanitation trials with TMV and related tobamoviruses. Adkins also will highlight several emerging viruses.

1:45 – 2:30 p.m.

How Do We Beat Rose Rosette?

Mark Windham, Ph.D., University of Tennessee

Rose rosette has killed thousands of cultivated roses in the eastern United States in production facilities, commercial plantings and private gardens. The range of rosette continues to increase in the Midwest, Northeast and Deep South. Windham explains what to do if you suspect rose rosette.


1 – 1:45 p.m.

Banker Plants for Pests

Lance Osborne, Ph.D., University of Florida, Mid-Florida Research and Education Center

Cindy L. McKenzie, Ph.D., USDA-ARS

There have been a number of positive programs and some total failures in the development of Banker Plant Systems. New initiatives are aimed at preventing failures. We’ll also revisit potential systems for mealybugs.

1:45 – 2:30 p.m.

European Pepper Moth

Stanton Gill, Ph.D., University of Maryland

The European pepper moth is one of the latest of the sneaky pests that have slipped into the United States and Canada from Europe and is busy spreading itself into production facilities. Learn how to detect this pest rapidly and efficiently, and find out what the best control strategies are.


1 – 1:45 p.m.

Top 10 Ways to Improve Weed Control Inside Your Greenhouse

Christopher Marble, Ph.D., University of Florida Mid-Florida Research and Education Center

Greenhouses are a breeding ground for many weed species. To make matters worse, there are few herbicides labeled for use inside enclosed structures. Learn how to improve your greenhouse weed control program using new and improved chemical and non-chemical methods that are sure to save you time, money and headaches.

1:45 – 2:30 p.m.

Invasives: When Plants Go Bad!

Christopher Marble, Ph.D., University of Florida Mid-Florida Research and Education Center

The ornamentals industry is often – fairly or unfairly — targeted as being a major source of “invasive plants”— plants originally sold for consumer use but which then escape and become invasives … weeds!  How can you help be part of the solution?


Test your knowledge and practice your diagnostic and scouting skills using live samples and real-world tools during in-depth hands-on workshops. Each of these 45-minute small-group sessions repeats three times so you can participate in all three!

3-3:45 p.m. | 3:50-4:35 p.m. | 4:40-5:25 p.m.

Pesticide Product Labels: What the Label States… And Doesn’t State 

Every U.S. EPA registered product used for crop protection has a label – written by research scientists – with specific instructions on its environmentally safe use, how to protect the workers who handle it, rates for effective control of target pests, application specifics and more. Learn about the information you should find on a label, how various companies present it and the different types of labels in the marketplace.

3-3:45 p.m. | 3:50-4:35 p.m. | 4:40-5:25 p.m.

Pest Identification

Get hands-on practice and help with your pest detection skills along with tips on how to deal with a problem once you’ve identified it.

3-3:45 p.m. | 3:50-4:35 p.m. | 4:40-5:25 p.m.

Disease Identification 

Learn how to recognize some of the most common diseases and get practice using test kits to diagnose them.

Saturday, February 21

7 – 8:10 a.m.

Continental Breakfast & Tabletop Showcase

8:10 – 8:15 a.m.


8:15 – 8:45 a.m.

Precision Irrigation: Technology and Production Impacts

Marc W. van Iersel, Ph.D., University of Georgia

Precision irrigation in greenhouses has many benefits that go well beyond reducing water use. Learn how it can be used to reduce disease, manipulate plant growth, cut fertilizer use, and increase profits. And van Iersel discusses the latest technology to improve greenhouse irrigation practices.

8:45 – 9:15 a.m.

Sprayer Calibration

Kurt Becker, Dramm Corporation

Are you applying chemicals correctly to avoid drift, prevent waste and still get the results you want? Get tips on when to use what, how to review patterns of droplet deposition on leaves, and discuss when it’s best to use a sprayer, drenches, or foggers.

9:15 – 10 a.m.


Liz Felter, Ph.D., University of Florida, IFAS Extension

Juanita Popenoe, Ph.D., University of Florida, IFAS Extension

A good scouting program is one of the most important components of a successful — and profitable — growing operation.  But the success of your scouting program will depend on the experience, skill, and enthusiasm of your employees — both the designated scouts and other production personnel.  Learn how you can improve (or begin) a scouting program that will improve your business, and your bottom line.

10 – 10:30 a.m.

Refreshment Break & Tabletop Showcase

10:30 – 11:15 a.m.

Biocontrol of Thrips

Michael Brownbridge, Ph.D., Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, Canada

Learn about biocontrol tools used in Canadian floriculture greenhouses to manage thrips, often without the need of chemical sprays. A case study will be presented on a successful management program integrating several biocontrol agents at different stages of crop development. Hear about research findings that can help improve overall efficacy and impact of the natural enemies selected and on key considerations when developing and implementing a biocontrol regime for your greenhouse.

11:15 a.m. – Noon

Whitefly Control Update

Lance Osborne, Ph.D., University of Florida, Mid-Florida Research and Education Center

Cindy L. McKenzie, Ph.D., USDA-ARS

McKenzie and Osborne discuss a recently published rotation project and plans for additional research to better manage resistance. This research is critical in light of the demands on the industry to reduce the use of certain classes of pesticides.

Noon – 1 p.m.


1- 1:30 p.m.

IR-4: Back to the Future for Pest, Disease & Weed Management

Cristi Palmer, Ph.D., IR-4 Project

Find out about pest, pathogen and weed management needs over the last 10 years as identified in the IR-4 Ornamental Horticulture Program Grower & Extension Survey. Palmer also discusses new tools, and IR-4 successes and future directions.

1:30- 2:00 p.m.

IDM Disease Management

Aaron J. Palmateer, Ph.D., University of Florida

Palmateer provides an overview of impatiens downy mildew in Florida, shares results from recent fungicide efficacy studies, and offers disease management recommendations for commercial growers and landscape professionals. 

2 – 2:30 p.m.

Dodging Downy Mildew

Margery Daughtrey, Cornell University

Learn about two relatively new downy mildew diseases on coleus and basil and the essentials of their biology important for cultural management. Daughtrey discusses good cultivar choices for coleus. She also discusses research on the likely ability of oospores to allow IDM to overwinter in the northern United States. 

2:30 – 3:15 p.m.

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug in Greenhouse Annuals and Perennials

Stanton Gill, Ph.D., University of Maryland

The brown marmorated stink bug is a plant pest spreading across the United States at an alarming rate. Gill presents research findings conducted cooperatively between University of Maryland and Delaware State University Extension on potential damage on herbaceous annuals and perennials caused by the insect.

3:15 p.m.

Closing Comments


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