Find Innovative Solutions to the Biggest Problems on Your Farm

Tradeshow crowd at Growing Innovations 2018

Specialty crop growers mixed with representatives from ag tech companies on the trade show floor during the inaugural Growing Innovations event in 2018. The second year is gearing up to be bigger and better.
Photo by David Eddy

As a citrus, fruit, or vegetable grower in 2019, the challenges you’re facing feel more pressing than ever. Perhaps you’re struggling to find an adequate supply of high-quality, affordable labor. Or managing through the requirements of a tough, but critically important food safety program. Or dealing with new and familiar trade issues. Whatever the problem, you need real, innovative, actionable solutions. That’s what Growing Innovations is all about.

Back for a second year in Las Vegas, Nov. 13-14, 2019, Growing Innovations is an event where every element of the conference program and every company and product on the expo floor has been vetted to make sure it offers real, grower-tested solutions to the real challenges you deal with every day. You can read more about our agenda and expert roster of speakers at


Here are just a few of the sessions that will inspire you to consider new approaches and help you run your operation more efficiently and effectively next season.

How Molecular Diagnostics Can Help You Make Better Pest Management Decisions | Frank Martin, USDA-ARS

Your ability to rapidly and accurately determine which pathogens are present in the field is important for making timely management decisions. Advances in molecular techniques and DNA sequencing technologies have made it easier to develop effective assays, and Frank Martin from USDA-ARS will tell you about new techniques that can literally eliminate weeks of diagnostic time. From a highly sensitive lab-based approach to one that can be done directly in the field in as little as 15 minutes, you’ll see how these innovations may help you make near-real-time decisions to produce the highest-quality crop.

New Uses for Drone Technology in Specialty Crops | Max Jehle, MAX Agricultural Consultants and Matt Koball, Oobus Orchards

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, or drones, have been one of the most visible symbols of precision technology, first in row crops, and now in specialty crops. But applications aren’t limited to field flyovers and sensing imagery. From the labor-saving application of biological control agents to timely pollen delivery during bloom, growers are using drone technology to solve some of their biggest production problems in previously unimagined ways.

Growing Citrus Under Cover | Ed Pines, EIP Citrus

Florida’s citrus industry has been devastated over the past decade by citrus greening, a disease that weakens trees, reduces yields, and leaves fruit unmarketable. With no cure in sight, the Dundee Citrus Growers Association is implementing a truly innovative solution – excluding the vector of citrus greening, the Asian citrus psyllid, by growing citrus in more than 100 acres of protective screen houses. In this session, you’ll get a grower’s take on how sometimes the completely outside-the-box idea can change your business and your market.

State of the Art in the Packinghouse | Ross Williams, Titan Farms

Innovation isn’t only happening in the field. The tools, design, and operation of today’s packinghouse are another critical area for finding efficiencies that help the grower and the supply chain make better use of data, improve recordkeeping and traceability, and enhance margins. In this session you’ll hear from a progressive grower/packer operation on how they’re incorporating the latest technology to enhance the future – and the present – for their business.

An Innovative Approach to Food Safety | George Nikolich, Gerawan Farming

Food safety is one of the most critical issues facing the produce industry. Contamination at any point from the field to the consumer’s plate can lead to dire outcomes for everyone involved. Making changes requires technological advances, but also a willingness among everyone in the supply chain to develop a culture and a commitment to the process. Gerawan Farming’s George Nikolich will share how his company translates food safety science to production realities. You’ll learn how you can, and should, be having a similar discussion in your own operation.