These days, who in the industry isn’t worried about rising energy costs? Whether you are a retail or wholesale grower, combating the rising costs of energy is sure to be on your mind. The 2008 New England Greenhouse Conference & Expo, taking place Nov. 5 to 7 at the DCU Center in Worcester, Mass., will feature two days of in-depth programs on energy-related issues.
On Thursday, Nov. 6, Erik Runkle of Michigan State University (MSU) will discuss energy efficient crop production strategies. Robin Brumfield of Rutgers University will address the economics of increased energy costs.
On Friday, Vern Grubinger of University of Vermont, will give a presentation on using alternative fuel sources. For growers considering installing a biomass burner for wood or corn, or converting to biodiesel, this is a don’t-miss presentation. Grubinger will discuss the pros and cons of each alternative fuel source and answer questions to help you decide which option best fits your needs.
Gerry Palano, renewable energy coordinator for the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resource, will discuss how to identify sources of state and federal funding for energy improvements in your operation. John Bartok, Extension Professor Emeritus with the University of Connecticut, will give an overview on energy savings — from simple improvements to more elaborate options — based upon his extensive experience working with growers.
The conference will also tackle labor costs, currently an even bigger cause for concern for some growers. Lloyd Traven from Peace Tree Farm will speak on labor- saving technologies for the small grower.
The New England Greenhouse Conference & Expo is the largest nationally recognized floriculture industry show in New England.