|By VICKI JOHNSON
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Farmers interested in expanding their crop production into horticulture might be interested in attending a presentation by Dr. Allan Armitage at the 77th annual Ohio State University Nursery Short Course and the Central Environmental Nursery Trade Show (CENTS) Jan. 22-25 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.
Armitage, a nationally known writer, speaker and researcher, will kickoff the event with a free Sunday-evening program. He is a professor in the Department of Horticulture at the University of Georgia and has written 10 books and published more than 350 articles and papers in horticulture journals.
“He’s a very big name in horticulture,” said event co-chair Dr. Hannah Mathers, associate professor at Ohio State University.
His presentations on New, Unusual and Under-Used Herbaceous Plants will be the cutting-edge ideas in the industry, Mathers added.
“He will show you how to make the biggest gain in the biggest products in the industry,” she said. “They would be your, sort of, sure-fire way to reap the benefits.”
At a time when there has been a 7 percent per year decrease in farm commodities such as corn and soybeans, Mathers said there has been a 7 percent annual increase in the ornamental plant industry.
Sunday sessions will be 7-7:50 p.m. and 8:10-8:55 p.m. Beginning at 6 p.m. Sunday, Armitage will sign his books and CDs, including Armitage’s Herbaceous Garden Perennials, the 2nd Edition and Treatise of Identification, Culture and Garden Attributes.
“It’s the first time we’ve done this sort of thing,” Mathers said. “It’s a kickoff, networking type of session before the main event starts at 8 o’clock Monday morning.”
In addition to Armitage, the event will feature more than 90 educational sessions. A few of the topics will be spray technology, Ohio native plants, emerald ash borer, weed control, fungicide use, irrigation, insect and disease management, invasive plants, building employee relations, liability issues, use of mulches, working with Spanish-speaking employees, sales strategies, using digital cameras to diagnose diseases, controlling moles and principles of good pruning.
The conference will provide certification testing for landscape professionals, as well as certification credit for arborists, pesticide applicators and landscape designers.
The event is sponsored by OSU’s Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, Ohio Nursery and Landscape Assoc., and OSU Extension Nursery, Landscape and Turf Team. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday.
Sponsors for the Sunday evening program are North Creek Nurseries Inc., Landenburg, Pa.; Corso’s Flower and Garden Center, Sandusky, Ohio; Jilito Perennial Seeds, Louisville, Ky.; Harrell’s, Hold, Mich.; Klyn Nursery Inc., Perry, Ohio; Mulch Manufacturing Inc., Reynoldburg, Ohio; Valent Professional Products, Landing, Mich.; and Dow AgroScience of Ohio.
For more information or to register, log on to www.onla.org
Published in the January 18, 2006 issue of Farm World.