Agronomist Ilan Bar recently traveled to Guatemala to work with producers associated with the Commission of Ornamental Plants, Flowers and Foliage (AGEXPORT) on ways to strengthen the nutrition, fertilization and irrigation of their crops. Ilan Bar was truly impressed by the level of expertise of the owners of the large greenhouse operations he visited. AGEXPORT works with over 150 producers and exporter groups across Guatemala. Many are educated agronomists and highly trained technicians doing a lot of great work.
These dedicated producers and Ilan were determined to make the most of their time together and spent as many as 14 hours a day running through all of the production operations and outlining areas of improvement. They achieved this by conducting extensive hands on assessments and discussing various methodologies to ultimately improve quality and production of their ornamental plants and flowers. Reoccurring recommendations centered around plant nutrition and fertilization, specifically ways to lower fertilizer usage, ideal quantities, and types of fertilizers that might be more beneficial. Conversations also focused around irrigation systems, water and leachate analysis, salinity, pH and EC levels, nutrient level field tests, as well as soil moisture sensors.
During all of these sessions, extensive notes were taken and Ilan concluded his journey by generously condensing the specific recommendations for each farm into 8-13 solid recommendations. He is confident that a good number of these recommendations will be implemented.