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Speaker Program - Thursday

2019 Program Highlights

The 2019 Canadian Greenhouse Conference will bring expertise from around the world to Niagara Falls.



Kenneth Tran 


Kenneth Tran
Microsoft Research

AI for Greenhouses: Opportunities & Challenges


Suzanne Wainwright 


 Pest Management in Cannabis Production

Suzanne Wainwright headlines a panel of pest management experts.


Conference Preview in Greenhouse Canada Magazine


Find speaker biographies in the September issue of Greenhouse Canada. Click here

 Greenhouse Canada Cover



9:30 AM - 11:00 AM*


Ron Valentin
BioWorks Inc.


Using Pesticides & Bios Together...or not

When growers are considering biological control as an approach in their pest management program, two questions that often come up are: 1) How much is it going to cost? And 2) What can I still spray?

In this presentation and discussion, Valentin will address the question of “what can I still spray?” and then move on to the better question “how can I avoid getting to the point where I have to spray?”


Rose Labbe
Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, Harrow

A New Predatory Mite for Greenhouse Crop Protection

We have recently evaluated the function and predatory capacity of a new phytoseiid mite Transeius montdorensis for the first time in North America. Our main goals were to quantify thrips predation and egg laying capacity by this mite under both simulated summer and winter cropping conditions, as well as compare its performance relative to other phytoseiid species commonly used in Canada including Amblyseius swirskii, Amblydromalus limonicus and Neoseiulus cucumeris. Labbe reports on lab and greenhouse trials.

Graeme Murphy
bioLogical Control Solutions, Welland, ON

When Biocontrol Doesn’t Work

There are times when despite our best efforts, biological control programs run into problems. This presentation will examine some of the reasons for biocontrol failure and just as importantly, how we go about determining the cause of such problems. 

Suzanne Wainwright
Buglady Consulting


B-List Bios

There are many commercially available biocontrol agents but we often focus on the most commonly used ones.  These other "B-List Bios" can be an important part of a biological control program. In this talk you will learn about some of these beneficials and how you maybe able to use them in your program.

 *Approximately 30 minute presentations


9:30 AM - 11:00 AM*


Marshall Dirks
Proven Winners


Trends for 2019 and Beyond – How the Consumer Will Change our Industry

Magda Pawlowska
Willowbrook Nurseries, Fenwick, ON

Perennial Flower Power

During the core selling season of May, garden centers are filled with colourful annuals and tropical plants while perennial plants are at times perceived as the plants that can be purchased and planted “later”.  Let’s change that perception! Find inspiration for selling perennials all season long.  Excite customers by offering them the right plant at the right time. Celebrate amazing perennials! 

Alice d'Entremont
Ouest-Ville Perennials, West Pubnico, NS

 Find Your Niche and Grow With It!

If you can’t find it, make it. The world of gardening, either ornamental or edibles, is always changing, and has so many opportunities for us to grow (pun intended).  But what if you can’t find the material you need to create your clients garden of their dreams? Now we have the possibility of a new venture. Grow with it!

 *Approximately 30 minute presentations

 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM


This session generously sponsored by  u of g logoOAC logo

Each presentation is approximately 10 minutes in length.

Yun Kong
University of Guelph, ON

Which is More Effective to Promote Flowering: Red or blue light?

Brendon Yep
University of Guelph, ON

Impact of Nutrient Supply on Cannabis Yield & Quality

Michael Brownbridge
Vineland Research & Innovation Centre, ON

Made in Canada! New Biocontrol Agents to Take up the Challenge


Melissa Moher
University of Guelph, ON

Finding the Perfect Light Spectra & Intensity for Vegetative Cannabis Propagation

Lauren Vanderlingen
University of Guelph, ON

Native vs Non-Native:  Do pollinators care?

Amilah Rasool
University of Guelph, ON

 Optimizing Kalanchoe Root & Shoot Development Under LED Lighting

Mitchell Eicher-Sodo
University of Guelph, ON

Thresholds for Hydrogen Peroxide Use Within Irrigation Systems


Rose Buitenhuis
Vineland Research & Innovation Centre, ON

You Are What You Eat: Lean and Mean Plants in IPM

Jeanine West
Flowers Canada/PhytoServe


9:30 AM - 11:00 AM*


This session is generously sponsored by:  Meteor Systems logo

Phil Johnson
The Grodan Group


Root Zone Management

Root Zone Management is an important tool for supporting and maintaining healthy and balanced plant growth. This presentation will talk about the definitions of vegetative and generative growth and the different parameters we have for control, especially those we can control in the root zone.  We will look to how we can use our irrigation and fertigation strategies to steer plant balance for maximum production. 

Melanie Yelton

Smart Lighting in Greenhouse Cannabis Production to Increase Quality & Quantity

Lighting is one of the most expensive aspects of growing cannabis. Increasingly, LEDs are the lighting choice for indoor and greenhouse cultivation to effectively save energy and manage production. Smart LEDs offer growers the ability to define photoperiod, daily light integral and spectrum to create control over crop growth and drive production. Choosing LEDs requires a decision on what spectrum is best for different growing environments. Advantages of defined spectrum versus broad spectrum LEDs will be discussed. Results demonstrating that longer photoperiod, at lower intensity can reduce the vegetative cycle and how different wavelengths of light at specific times during the day can produce a more compact plant and may control THC levels.   Data will be presented on the effectiveness of using of a smart light sensor to optimize electricity usage while maximizing crop performance.

Vicki Hilborn
OMAFRA, Guelph

 Options to Control Light & Odour from Cannabis Production

This session will focus on the technologies and approaches available to cannabis producers to control light and odour from their operations.  Several options from operating facilities will be highlighted along with the comparative differences.

*Presentations are approximately 30 minutes

9:30 AM - 11:00 AM*


Kenneth Tran
Microsoft Research, Redmond, WA

 AI for Greenhouses; Opportunities & Challenges

Tran discusses promising applications of AI in the greenhouse and subsequent challenges.  Also – results of the inaugural Autonomous Greenhouses Challenge

Quade Digweed
Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, Harrow

 Preparing for AI: Data Collection & Management

Data collection practices vary among farms, and even among data sources. From pen & clipboards in the hands of scouts, climate computers and historical yield data, to computer vision systems on packing lines, data is generated everywhere, on farms of all sizes and levels of technology. There are many factors affecting the efficient and meaningful management of this continually growing pool of information. Before it can be put to use, it must first be prepared for meaningful and accurate interpretation, whether that interpretation is carried out by a computer or the grower.

Brian Hendel
Splice Digital,
Windsor, ON

Navigating Data Contracts

Sharing your organizations data with the many cloud-based software products can have enormous benefit to your business. We will discuss the opportunities and risks of sharing your data with a third party software provider, as well as what to watch out for in data contracts to make sure that your data doesn’t find it’s way into the hands of your competitors.

 *Approximately 30 minute presentations


 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM*


 This session generously sponsored by  Hoogendoorn logo

Marco de Groot
Kairos Flori Consult, NL

 Basics and Uniformity of Greenhouse Climate

Uniformity in greenhouse climate is one of the key aspects of New Generation Growing. By using and implementing different aspects and assumptions of this new approach, a more uniform climate can be achieved. This has multiple advantages in terms of production, quality and pest control.

Albert Grimm
Jeffery's Greenhouses,
St. Catharines, ON

 Plant-Centred Greenhouse Climate

Don’t heat your greenhouses to maintain a given temperature; heat your greenhouse with the aim to supply sufficient energy to the plant. Lack of plant-available energy reduces the quality of our crops, and it can even lead plants to experience the floral equivalent of a heart attack.  Managing the supply of energy to plants is not as simple as adjusting a thermostat. Instead, it requires a plant centered perspective of greenhouse climate. This presentation offers pointers to some of the key elements, which allow growers to improve the health of crops and manage the development of greenhouse plants.

Marco de Groot
Kairos Flori Consult, NL

 Experiences with New Technology & Basics of Humidity Control

Application of the assumptions of NGG allows growers to have a higher humidity in the greenhouse. Still however, some crops require lower humidity in fall and winter. New technology in dehumidification like Nivolation or DryGear allow growers to conserve energy and more easily control flower quality and funguses.

 *Approximately 30 minute presentations

2:00 PM - 3:30 PM


This session generously sponsored by     Farm Credit Canada Logo

Allan M. Armitage
Athens, GA

This Thing We Call Horticulture, through one man’s eyes    (30 minutes)

Dr A has been working with the grower, retailer and landscapers in the industry as well as master gardeners and neighbors who talk about our plants to their friends. He will share his thoughts about what he sees out there concerning how we all got here, who succeeds and who doesn’t, his thoughts on story-telling to get people excited and what he hears everyone talking about. – all in Dr A’s unique style.  

Tom Shay
Profits Plus Solutions,
St. Petersburg, FL

 Advanced Professional Selling Skills       (60 minutes)

This session is for those who want to have a staff with the sales skills that are second to none. Explaining the nuances of the true professional with emphasis of the fine points such as word selection, questions to ask, how to ask questions, and even the stance a person takes that can cause substantial sales increases.


2:00 PM - 3:30 PM*


This session generously sponsored by:  Fafard logo

Lloyd Traven
Peace Tree Farms,
Kintnersville, PA

 Non-Chemical Control of Downy Mildew on Basil

Norm Hansen
Erieview Acres, Inc., Kingsville, ON

 Canadian Greenhouse Organics – Why the regulations?

Why do I need so much soil? Why can’t I use inputs approved in the EU or the US?  We have an equivalency agreement!  Why can’t I grow hydroponically, like they do in the US?  Why can’t I grow to the US rules, if I just export to the US and do not sell in Canada? Why do the rules change so much?  How do we change the rules? 

Why, why, why?  Well, Norm’s going to tell us.

Mike Short
Eco Habitat Agri Services, Grimsby, ON

Creating Sustainable Pest Control in Organic Crops

Sustainable pest management in organic greenhouse crops present various challenges.  This presentation will touch on some of the most common challenges and how to combat them with the tools available.  Tips and tricks that enhance your biocontrol program will be covered and some of the latest pest management breakthroughs will be discussed.

*Approximately 30 minute presentations

2:00 PM - 3:30 PM  


 This session generously sponsored by:  koppert  logo         plant products logo

Suzanne Wainwright
Buglady Consulting


Judy Colley
Plant Products


Kevin Cullum
Koppert Inc.


A panel of industry experts discuss the latest approaches to IPM in cannabis production. 


2:00 pm - 3:30 PM*


Christopher Weisener
University of Windsor, ON

 Investigating Nutrient & Trace Element Dynamics in Greenhouse Water Retention Ponds

This presentation will discuss a cooperative research program between the Ontario greenhouse vegetable grower (OGVG) and the University of Windsor. The goal of this program is to characterize the parameters that control pond dynamics as a source or a sink for phosphorus and nutrients and metals. The results of this study will be used to inform and develop sustainable management practice for water retention ponds in this sector. 

Russel Hurst
CropLife Canada, Ottawa, ON

Industry Pesticide Stewardship Standard

The multi-stakeholder industry led protected agriculture stewardship initiative is developing auditable protocols to assist operators in the identification and mitigation of risks associated with pesticide application with a goal of long term continuous environmental, health and safety improvement.

Vicki Gagnon,
Mima Micic & 
Elyas Ahmed
Independent Electricity System Operators

Ontario's Growing Indoor Agriculture Sector & Impacts on the Electricity Grid

Electricity demand in Ontario's covered agriculture sector is expected to expand quickly and significantly over the next five years.  Gagnon will share results of provincial modeling, future growth scenarios and provide information on energy resource opportunities and funding opportunities for innovative conservation projects. 

*Approximately 30 minute presentations


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

2019 Canadian Greenhouse Conference Presentations

2018 Canadian Greenhouse Conference Presentations

2017 Canadian Greenhouse Conference Presentations