By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
STILLWATER, OK – On Thursday, August 3, Oklahoma State University will host a workshop titled, “The Current Challenges in Floriculture.” Floriculture, or flower farming, is a segment of horticulture that deals with the cultivation of flowers or flowering ornamental plants for gardens and for the floral industry.
During the workshop participants can learn more about the world of floriculture from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Wes Watkins Center on the Oklahoma State University campus, at the corner of N Washington Street and W Hall of Fame Avenue. The workshop will be the third Shackelford Lecture Series.
Floriculture crops include bedding plants, flowering plants, foliage plants or houseplants, cut cultivated greens, and cut flowers.
Mike Schnelle, OSU Cooperative Extension floriculture specialist, said this lecture series was designed to honor Charles and Linda Shackelford, former owners of TLC Garden Center in Oklahoma City, and their many contributions over the years to the Oklahoma greenhouse industry.
“This conference has been designed for the green industry professional, as well as the advanced hobbyist/gardening enthusiast,” Schnelle said. “Everyone who attends will go home with many new ideas regarding greenhouse gardening and plant materials. We’ve got several Extension and industry specialists who will be on hand to share their expertise in a variety of topics.”
One of the fastest-growing agricultural enterprises in the state, in 2005, floriculture ranked number 9 of all Oklahoma ag commodities according to the Oklahoma State University website.
Genhau Niu, a professor with Texas A&M AgriLife Research, will address water quality and quantity issues. Other topics to be discussed include using banker plants for aphid control, cutting-edge pest control, greenhouse structures and materials, challenges and opportunities in floriculture and more.
“One of our sessions will deal specifically with the importance of pollinators to green industry workers, and ultimately their clientele,” he said. “We’ve got something for everyone.”
The $30 registration fee includes lunch and materials and is due by July 21. No late or walk-in registrations will be accepted. The registration form is available online at https://secure.touchnet.com/C20271_ustores/web/index.jsp. Select Horticulture/Landscape and then click on Conference Registration.
Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry CEUs (continuing education credit) have been requested for categories 3 and 10.
“This lecture series is chock-full of tips, strategies and general information that is beneficial to greenhouse and garden center professionals, as well as the home gardener,” Schnelle said. “Not only will we be offering the latest research-based information, the workshop is a great opportunity for green industry personnel to network with one another. We’re looking forward to a great turnout for this Shackelford Lecture Series workshop.”
For more information, contact Stephanie Larimer at 405-744-5404.