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Third-generation nursery gets more plants off the bench with Empress® Intrinsic® brand fungicide

May 15, 2017

Weatherford Farms had been using the same fungicide for plant root and crown protection for decades. It worked well, so they didn’t see a reason to switch.

That changed after the wholesale nursery tried Empress Intrinsic brand fungicide from BASF on a crop of 100,000 poinsettia plants.

“We saw increased root branching and more volume on the root tissue, which also helped with overall plant health,” says Production Manager Kevin Jones. “We got 99 percent of plants off the bench and to market, as opposed to about 95 percent with our previous product.”

A 4 percent increase is significant for an operation the size of Weatherford Farms. The company, located in a Houston suburb, has a 600,000-square-foot facility and grows year-round blooming and foliage plants, holiday plants, spring blooming plants, and color baskets. Its primary customers are florists, grocery stores, nurseries and interior plantscape professionals.

“Getting more plants off the bench just adds to the bottom line,” says President Jack Weatherford, the third generation of his family to run the 89-year-old business. “It makes me a lot happier, let’s put it that way. It makes me sleep better.”

After applying Empress Intrinsic brand fungicide to Easter lilies and getting similar results, Weatherford Farms fully incorporated the product into its treatment program.

Empress Intrinsic brand fungicide, with the active ingredient pyraclostrobin, provides disease protection from four root and crown pathogens for greenhouse and nursery growers.

Weatherford Farms was willing to try Empress Intrinsic brand fungicide because of the success it had with other BASF products. The company has long achieved great results with Nemasys® beneficial nematodes to control fungus gnats and Sultan™ miticide.

“If growers aren’t using BASF technology, they are working too hard and are missing out,” Jones says.


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