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Speaker Program - Wednesday

Wednesday, October 5th

Click here to view the program in a printable, easy-to-read chart format.

Canadian growers can leave their passports at home as the 2016 Canadian Greenhouse Conference is bringing expertise from around the world to Niagara Falls.




John Stanley, a world renowned retail consultant, speaker and author, started his career teaching perishable retail management at Merristwood College, UK.  His ability to create rapid stock turnover launched his global consultancy and made him highly sought after in all retail industries.  Today John sees high tech lifestyles changing customers focus and needs. His presentations and workshops teach retailers how create solutions for a new generation of customers and bring them the new experiences they crave. As a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), John is one of the world’s top 10% of speakers.  His retail ideas and charismatic presentations make him one of the most highly sought after horticultural retail speakers globally.

Stanley will speak in the Garden Centre session on Wednesday and lead workshops on Thursday morning and afternoon.


Dr. Silke Hemming holds a PhD in Horticultural Sciences from the University of Hanover. Since 1999 she has worked at Wageningen University and Research Centre at different institutes in a variety of positions, most recently as Head of the Greenhouse Technology scientific research team.  The Wageningen UR LightLab is a unique facility with the most modern measurement equipment for optical properties of greenhouse materials.

Hemming is a well known expert on the field of novel greenhouse design concepts and modern greenhouse coverings. She is leader of the ISHS (International Society of Horticultural Sciences) scientific working group “Light in Horticulture”. She conducts several international research projects on greenhouse systems in different climate zones world-wide.

 Hemming will speak in the Vegetable session(s) as well as deliver the keynote address.


ROOM 201/202



9:30 AM - 11:00 AM


Warren Copes
USDA Poplarville, MS

Treatment Options for Disinfesting Irrigation Water

Which water treatment option is best for your operation?  Copes provides an overview of water treatment options outlining the properties, regulations and management requirements for each.

Steve Vanderkooy
Ontario Plants Propagation Ltd.
St. Thomas, ON

Greenhouse Biosecurity: More than a clean sweep

Ontario Plants takes bio-security and greenhouse hygiene very seriously. With more than 14 years of experience specializing in vegetable plant propagation, Ontario Plants points to its company culture and systematic approach of risk assessment in order to maintain a high level of greenhouse hygiene.

Lloyd Traven
Peace Tree Farm
Kintnersville, PA

Maintaining a CLEAN Greenhouse:

We wash, we clean, we weed, we sanitize--yet issues return. Starting clean is great, but do we know what has been done to a plant BEFORE it gets to you? Are we really sure our biocontrols will establish, or do we know that something from overseas isn't already crawling with resistant organisms? See steps Peace Tree Farm has established to prevent the unforeseeable, stop the unforgivable, and keep it clean from day one. Peace Tree Farm does much of the forcing for major flower shows, QVC, trade shows, and most of the Botanical Gardens and institutions across the US, and failure is not an option!!!! Take a journey, and look at some practical real world answers in a place where there might be 1000 different genera, species, and cultivars, from full-size trees, to shrubs, perennials, annuals, tropicals, ephemerals, grasses, edibles, and succulents from all over the planet, all at the same time.

This session generously sponsored by: 

ROOM 204


9:30 AM


Mel Sawaya
Focus Greenhouse Management
Simcoe, ON


Producing Long-Lasting Bedding Plants

 10:30 AM

Warren Copes

USDA Poplarville, MS


Sanitation Practices for Plant Disease Control

One of the most challenging aspects of growing, sanitation is vital to avoid interruptions in production. General sanitation should be routine, but key sanitation practices should be determined to control pathogens that would most severely impact production. Find out how good record keeping can save time and money.

 This session generously sponsored by: 

ROOM 207/208

9:30 AM - 11:00 AM



Bridget Behe
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI

Boomers or Bust: Why we need a different approach to get Gen X and Gen Y to buy plants

A study funded by Flowers Canada Ontario sheds new light on what younger (and our future) customers are seeking from our industry, our retailers and our products. Come away with a better understanding and practical strategies to approach boomers, Gen Xers and Gen Y.

Bob Osborne
Cornhill Nursery Ltd.
Corn Hill, NB


In Search of Great Native Plants

Indigenous plants can withstand our tough Canadian climate. Bob shares his favourites from over 30 years of retail and cultivation.

Len Ferragine
Bradford Greenhouses
Bradford, ON


Marketing Pros & Cons

Ferragine draws on his experience to share the elements of marketing and how to find what will be effective for your business. Find out what has and has not worked at Bradford Greenhouses 

This session generously sponsored by 

*Approximately 30 minute presentations




9:30 AM  - 11:00 AM



Silke Hemming
Wageningen University &
Research Centre
The Netherlands

 Light Transmission & Distribution in Vegetable Greenhouses

Experimental research has shown improved production under diffuse light conditions. Learn the effect of diffuse light on different crop species and about innovative materials now under development. 



Xiuming Hao
Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada
Harrow, ON

Light Strategies using LEDs and HID

Dr. Hao reports his latest findings from his research on various lighting strategies and climate control to increase yield and quality and improve the response of greenhouse vegetables to long photoperiod of lighting in year-round production.

Todd Graham
Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers
Leamington, ON

Lighting in Commercial Greenhouse Vegetables: Grower Experience

Details of a study conducted at seven commercial greenhouses looking at various HPD/LED lighting configurations on different greenhouse vegetable crops.

*Approximately 30 minute presentations

This session sponsored by:     Illumitex logo



11:30 AM


Silke Hemming, Wageningen University and Research Centre, The Netherlands

 The Future of Greenhouse Industry - from energy consumer to energy supplier

The targets for energy saving in Dutch horticulture are high and Canadian growers are likely to find that energy costs and government regulations will soon be as stringent as those experienced by our European counterparts.

Research follows two lines: total energy reduction and sustainability. Hemming will describe the Dutch research program’s newest results on energy saving; focussing on energy conservation by greenhouse design, new coverings and the use of sensors and decision support systems.

 Keynote presentation sponsored by:     svensson logo


ROOM 201/202


2:00 PM - 3:00 PM



Sarah Jandricic
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food
& Rural Affairs
Vineland, ON

Mealybugs: A Pest on the Rise?

 Mealybug outbreaks may be on the rise in Ontario. This talk will cover mealybug identification, susceptible host plants, management tactics and prevention.

Rose Buitenhuis
Vineland Research & Innovation Centre
Vineland, ON

 The Skinny on Dipping (Poinsettia Cuttings)

Cutting dips are an effective, safe and economic method to reduce whitefly infestation levels at the beginning of the production cycle so that biocontrol strategies are more effective thereafter. Come and learn why it makes sense to dip.

 This session generously sponsored by  vric logo


3: 15 PM - 4:15 PM


P. Allen Hammer
Dummen Orange 

Poinsettia Production as We Look Forward

Take look back at poinsettia production in the last 40 years and do a little dreaming about where poinsettia production may be headed in the future. 

Mel Sawaya
Focus Greenhouse Management
Simcoe, ON

New Varieties - 2016 Winners & Losers

Find out which new offerings lived up to expectations over the challenging Canadian summer.


ROOM 204


2:00 PM - 3:30 PM


Youbin Zheng
University of Guelph
Guelph, ON

LED vs HPS Lighting

Highlighting the similarities and differences in fixtures both within and between LED and HPS technologies, this talk provides information on current developments and will provide objective information to help you make informed decisions on lighting technologies for your operation. 

Abhay Thosar
Philips Lighting
Chicago, IL

LED Lighting - A Commercial Possibility: Myth or Reality?

Although most growers acknowledge that LED technology has an advantage over traditional lighting, there is hesitancy in regards to the initial investment cost and ROI. Find out how the industry is working with growers to understand supplemental lighting requirements, develop proper lighting layouts, and work on the economic feasibility of LEDs.

Erik Runkle
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI

The Use of LEDs to Manipulate Plant Growth Characteristics

 One advantage of using LEDs is that the light spectrum can be manipulated to elicit desirable plant growth responses. Dr. Runkle will discuss how different wavelengths of light interact to influence plant morphology of young plants.

 This session generously sponsored by    philips logo

ROOM 207/208

2:00 PM - 3:30 PM


John Stanley
John Stanley Associates
Nannup, West Australia

Passport to Excellence: 10 Tips from Garden Centres Around the World 

Practical ideas you can implement the your garden centre covering: the Millennial mindset, changing categories to grow business and merchandising that removes customer confusion.

Rodger Tschanz
University of Guelph
Guelph, ON

Great Bedding Plants for the Homeowner

Version 1        Version 2

Highlighting the best in outdoor performance of new annual and perennial plant cultivars from the 2016 trial garden season. Consumer preferences, pollinator preferences and season long performance in both ground beds and containers will be covered.

Ken Beattie

K. A. Beattie Horticultural Consultants
Winnipeg, MB

Fall Forward - The Final Act

Perennials are crucial to many Canadian pollinators, in particular in the autumn when a limited selection of perennials are not in bloom or offered for sale. Food sources for our many beneficial insects are required to ensure their sustained and healthy populations. Growers and retailer alike can maximize profits based on best practices and the many benefits that oururban habitat will garner

*approximately 30 minute sessions
 This session generously sponsored by 


2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

VEGETABLE PRODUCTION 2 - Organic Greenhouse Production


Norm Hansen

Erieview Acres
Kingsville, ON

Organic Certification: A Grower Perspective

“Just ‘meeting the rules’ is a wasteland where you are not able to successfully use hydroponic nor organic techniques”. Norm shares what he has learned and unlearned over the last decade as he navigated the waters of organic production and certification.

Lloyd Traven

Peace Tree Farm
Kintnersville, PA

 Organic Production of Herbs

Hugh Martin

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs (ret’d)

Organic Certification: Ins and Outs

What and where is the latest information that helps with certification.



2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

ALTERNATIVE CROPS - Working Undercover with Strawberries


Strawberries in substrate have been a successful and profitable crop for more than a decade in Europe; grown on table tops, simple tunnels or high tech greenhouses.  Canadian consumers are looking for locally grown, pesticide free produce.  Find out how growing strawberries undercover might be the ideal alternative crop and the "next big thing".  

A panel of international speakers will cover all aspects of production:  substrates, varieties, consultation & support, propagation, transitioning from soil to substrate and more.

Shalin Khosla
OMAFRA, Harrow
Strawberries in Ontario Greenhouses
Willem van Eldik
Recent European Trends
Tim Nourse
Nourse Farms Inc.
How to Profitably Innovate and Develop the Strawberry
Greenhouse Fruit Production Industry in North America
Laust Dam
Hothouse Consulting
Hothouse Consulting
Rick Bradt
Shawn Mallen
A.M.A. Plastics
Specialized Substrates for ContainerizedStrawberry Production
Marc van Gennip
Genson BV
Strawberry Propagation & Growing in the Netherlands
Bert Meulenbroek
Fresh Forward
Greenhouse Cultivation of Sonata Strawberries

 Sponsored by:   meteor logo


Looking for a presentation from our past conference?  Please note that not all speakers allow their work to be posted.

2015 Canadian Greenhouse Conference Presentations