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SAF Pest & Production Management Conference to Feature 25 Educational Sessions, 24 Expert Speakers

CONTACT: Jenny Scala

SAF Pest & Production Management Conference
to Feature 25 Educational Sessions, 24 Expert Speakers

ALEXANDRIA, VA — December 19, 2014 — Neonicotinoids top the agenda at the Society of American Florists (SAF) Pest and Production Management Conference (P&PMC), Feb. 19-21, in Orlando, Fla. “This issue is the issue of our time,” said Lin Schmale, SAF’s senior director of government relations and lobbyist on agriculture and other grower-related issues. “We are working hard to maintain these important tools for our industry. Help us be part of the solution.”

Of P&PMC’s 25 educational sessions, the first three take a close look at neonics:

  • Gary Mangum, CEO of Bell Nursery USA, describes the results of Bell Nursery’s experiment to produce without neonics, revealing internal production details, and shares why he believes the industry can benefit from the current public dialogue.
  • Richard S. Cowles, Ph.D., from the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, examines the scientific evidence on the risk of neonicotinoids to pollinators. Learn how to minimize risks and understand why neonic use usually does not jeopardize pollinators. The least toxic choices, relative to pollinator health, will also be discussed.
  • Joe Bischoff, Ph.D., from AmericanHort, and Lin Schmale, with SAF, explain the Pollinator Stewardship Initiative, which is the industry’s response to the pollinator health concerns, and what you can do to participate.

Other hot-button topics include: impatiens downy mildew, brown marmorated stink bugs, thrips, whiteflies, precision irrigation and sprayer calibration. Four educational tracks with two presentations each focus on specific issues dealing with pests, production, pathogens and weeds. Three hands-on workshops allow participants to practice their diagnostic and scouting skills using live samples and real-world tools.

The schedule also includes a tabletop exhibit of IPM products and services and an optional pre-conference growing operations tour to see local production and pest management practices.

Individuals who register by Jan. 20 qualify for a $50 “early-bird” registration discount. Additional discounts are available when more than one person from an organization attends the conference.

For P&PMC details and to register, visit or contact SAF’s Laura Weaver at 800-336-4743, ext. 221;

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The Society of American Florists is the leading organization representing all segments of the floral industry. SAF is proud to provide marketing, business and government services to its members, including growers, wholesalers, retailers, suppliers, importers, educators, designers and allied organizations. The association was chartered by an act of Congress in 1884.

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