Jun 1, 2021
AFE Launches Grow Pro Webinar Series

American Floral Endowment has announced it is hosting new monthly webinars on production topics that directly impact growers.

AFE-funded research has provided our industry with solutions to tough challenges for 60 years now. To further communicate new results from university studies and other advancements on a broader scale, these monthly webinars are being offered free of charge, thanks to industry sponsorships.

These nationally recognized researchers, hosts and speakers will offer ‘how-to’ advice based on AFE-funded and other research projects to help the industry navigate through these ever-changing growing challenges. The webinar topics are current and offer long-term opportunities for growers to focus on increased profit, greater sustainability, and improved labor efficiency.

Each session will also feature a live Q&A discussion where you can “Ask a Researcher.” This will allow the audience to get personalized advice and input from our academic experts. This opportunity opens the door for our network to directly access the brilliant minds behind the results.

All webinars are held on a Tuesday and are open to anyone in the industry. The first four webinars include:

May 18th, 2021 at 1PM EST
The Current Status of Growing Media
Speaker: Brian Jackson, NC State University
See the Recording Here

Description: Growing media seems to change constantly as growers seek a medium to grow plants successfully at the least costs. There have been major changes in growing media in the last 10 to 15 years.


June 22nd & 29th, 2021 at 1PM EST
Optimizing LED Lighting for Flower Crops
Speakers: Jim Faust, Clemson University (Part 1) & Erik Runkle, Michigan State University (Part 2)
Register Here 

Part 1 – June 22nd
Growers seek to optimize plant growth while maintaining production costs. Interest in LED lighting has surged in recent years due to the potential energy savings. Growers continue to wonder if supplemental lighting with LEDs is needed for their greenhouse operations. Jim will explain how to determine if your location and crops justify adding supplemental lighting.
Part 2 – June 29th
Questions abound when considering use of LED lighting. Choices of fixtures and light quality can be very confusing. Erik Runkle has been evaluating LED lighting since they were first available to the greenhouse industry. He will simplify the selection and use of LEDs, both indoors and in greenhouses.

July 27th, 2021 at 1PM EST
Making Sense of Artificial Intelligence in Floriculture
Speaker: Dean Kopsell, University of Florida
Register Here

Description: Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being mentioned in all aspects of agriculture. The idea of AI in floriculture and other segments of agriculture seems like scientists are bringing ‘Star Wars’ concepts to your businesses. Once you hear about the opportunities with AI, the future will seem much brighter as AI will be supporting your decisions for many aspects of your business. AFE has supported projects on the use of handheld monitors for monitoring plant nutrition and to provide early detection of western flower thrips. There are so many more opportunities. Take this opportunity to understand AI in just 30 minutes.


September 14th, 2021 at 1PM EST
Managing Impatiens Downy Mildew with Variety Selection and Production Practices
Speaker: Margery Daughtrey, Cornell University
Register Here

Description: Impatiens was once one of the most popular bedding plants until Impatiens Downy Mildew (IDM) devastated landscape plantings around the world. Plants often looked good in production but died once planted in the landscape. After a decade of breeding and technology, impatiens are back with two new series offering a high degree of resistance to IDM. Margery Daughtrey, plant pathologist at Cornell University, will discuss the attributes of Beacon (PanAmerican Seed) and Imara XDR (Syngenta Flowers) series and share practical tips to optimize the performance of these plants from propagation to planting in the landscape. You will learn that using protectant fungicides during production is a good idea, even when impatiens are highly resistant to downy mildew.

For a complete schedule of webinars, registration information, or sponsorship opportunities, visit www.endowment.org/GrowPro.