BPOA Spring Conference 2019-speakers programme

Spring Conference Speakers programme.

‘Optimising your own cutting and seedling propagation.’

This year the BPOA (British Protected Ornamentals Association) has sought out a stellar selection of acknowledged experts in their various study areas related to propagation. Many growers are working with their own young plant production for a range of seed raised subjects and there is increasing interest in producing cutting raised plants as well. With the 2019 Spring Conference, the organising group of the Technical Committee has produced an agenda with highly- experienced  speakers bringing you the latest facts on the propagation techniques and the science behind them. This is a unique opportunity to hear up to date information on this important subject area and join in discussion on the techniques and technology being employed. This conference will give BPOA members and other UK growers great encouragement to review their own practices and develop their their staff awareness of the theory and practice in this area.

Read the full programme here.


You can book your place here via this website or, if you prefer, using the Eventbrite ticketing and payment system.




Will Healy, Ball

Will Healy, Senior Technical and Research Manager, Ball Horticultural Company


As senior manager of technical services, Will is responsible for developing production programs and operational efficiencies that produce consistent high quality young plants (plugs and liners). Will works with Ball companies, suppliers and customers throughout the world training their staff in cutting edge production practices. Over the last 30 years, Will has developed innovative operational approaches and scheduling programs that reduce shrink, improve operational efficiencies with reduced crop times.


Erik Runkle, Horticulture, Michigan State University

Erik Runkle, Horticulture, Michigan State University. Since he joined the Michigan State faculty in 2001. Erik and his graduate research team have performed numerous practical experiments in controlled environments to determine the effects of light, temperature, and other environmental factors on growth and development of floriculture crops and high-value leafy greens, including during propagation and finishing phases of production.






Uwe Druege, Leibniz University, Hannover

Uwe Drüge, Leibniz University, Hannover Uwe has worked on the physiology of development and growth of horticultural, mainly ornamental crops including adventitious root formation, leaf senescence, vegetative growth. His main focus: role of endogenous plant hormones and primary metabolism (C, N) and interactions of both. He is currently university lecturer in Woody Plant and Propagation Physiology, Institute of Horticultural Production Systems at Leibniz Universität Hannover.





Neil Bragg

Neil Bragg – Well known for his work on responsible sourcing of growing media and and previously chair of the AHDB horticulture board, Neil will speak on plant nutrition in plug propagation and chemical water quality.














Raymond van den Berg

Raymond van den Berg-International Sales & Product Manager of ISO Group.
ISO Group is an innovative supplier of greenhouse automation for the protected horticulture. ISO Group combines Vision, Robotics and high-end software technology to help growers automating labor intensive tasks in a greenhouse.
ISO Groups automates grading, planting, sampling, sticking, grafting and cutting of (young) plants.



Chris Need- Need Consulting

Chris Need- Need Consulting Chris is a consultant, formerly manager then Production Director of Roundstone Nurseries during a period of rapid expansion and automation and latterly diversification into propagation and hardy plants following the acquisition of New Forest Plants and New Place Nurseries. In 2015 following the sale of Roundstone to Newey Group undertook some interim management and then set up Need Consulting in 2016 delivering technical and business consultancy to a wide variety of nurseries and organisations. Currently Technical Secretary to the BPOA Technical Committee.


Ant Surrage- Technical Development Specialist

Ant Surrage- Technical Development Specialist, Fargro Ltd.  Ant worked on his family’s Ornamental Nursery during his teens doing basic jobs (potting on, cleaning, spacing etc…) and then attended the University of Worcester studying Biology and specialising in his final year in plant genetics and cellular regulation. Ant now works as a technical development specialist for Fargro Ltd, on the development of the range of national exclusive products which includes an array of biopesticides, conventional chemistry and smart sensing technology.













Jon Swain- Senior consultant FEC- Energy

Jon Swain- Senior consultant FEC- Energy Jon has been part of the FEC Energy team since 2005 and since then has been working on horticultural energy projects including the use of thermal screens, temperature integration and next generation growing. Jon has been responsible for the GrowSave programme (AHDB Funded KE project) for the last 4 years which aims to ensure growers have the latest information in respect of energy and climate management matters suitable for their business.


Home Grown, Great plants, great growers

Home Grown, Great plants, great growers

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