Jim Stepp is the head grower at Van Wingerden International (VWI) in Mills River, North Carolina. VWI is a medium-sized wholesale greenhouse operation that mostly sells its output to big-box stores. According to Stepp, they’ve been in the horticulture business since the ‘70s, specializing in “lots of annuals and potted floral crops, as well as garden mums and poinsettias.”
Stepp appreciates the flexibility he’s found with OHP-brand fungicides.
“We mainly use Segway O and Astun,” he explains. “Astun has really good control on botrytis, and it’s broad spectrum, so we can pretty much spray it on anything, and it’s really good in the spring.”
VWI’s use of Segway is more specialized, according to Stepp.
“We’ll use Segway in the spring on things like vinca vines, and since it has really good activity on pythium, we’ll use it on some things like our poinsettia program in the fall,” he adds.
Both products, as well as the other OHP solutions that VWI uses in its greenhouses, help the company ship healthy, beautiful-looking plants to their retail partners.
“The main way those products help us increase our profits every year is to have clean crops that are shippable and that hold up [well] going to the stores, and that results in good sell-throughs at retail,” Stepp says. “We lose less plants, and the ones that make it look better at shipping.”
Stepp notes that both products are fairly easy to mix and handle, and low re-entry intervals mean his workers can return to the greenhouse sooner after applications and get back to working the plants.
Production at VWI would certainly be tougher without the two OHP solutions.
“Anytime we have less chemicals that we can put into the rotation in production, yes, I would agree that it would definitely be tougher for us to hit our production marks,” Stepp says.
Peace of mind is another ancillary benefit that Stepp and the VWI management team attribute to their relationship with OHP.
“We are confident with these products, that if we put them into the rotation, that they actually work and we won’t have resistance issues, and they will do what the people at OHP say they will do,” he says.
OHP has impressed Stepp’s team with their level of engagement with the operation, as well as the customer service they continue to provide even after the product is delivered and paid for. It’s not just dropping off some pallets at the farm gate.
“Anytime I have a question or something comes up, I know I can call them,” Stepp explains. “As a matter of fact, I was on the phone with them yesterday. I’d say they are really good at getting right back to me really quick with technical information and they’re always quick to tell me what works and what doesn’t. It’s pretty nice to have that confidence [in the products], and also that technical support in the background for when you need it.”