Workshop set for greenhouse growers: Listen to your plants, improve production

Red ripe tomatoes

WOOSTER, Ohio—Drones. Automation. Artificial intelligence. They’re some of the new, cutting-edge ways to monitor greenhouse plants. They’re also some of the subjects to be covered by an upcoming workshop for greenhouse growers.

With a theme of “Improving Production Via Listening to Plants,” The Ohio State University’s 2021 Greenhouse Management Workshop takes place online from Jan. 27–29.

“Growing ornamental and food crops in a controlled environment requires careful monitoring of plants’ physical and physiological aspects,” said workshop co-organizer Chieri Kubota, professor of controlled environment agriculture with Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

3 focus areas, 12 sessions

Kubota, who is involved in the development of CFAES’ new Controlled Environment Food Production Research Complex, will speak on greenhouse plants’ physiological aspects in the workshop’s opening session.

CFAES researcher Peter Ling, the workshop’s other co-organizer, will then discuss the physical aspects of greenhouse plants in the second session. Later, he’ll also discuss just-in-time irrigation. Ling is an associate professor working in the areas of controlled environment plant production and greenhouse engineering.

In all, the workshop will have 12 sessions in three focus areas: Plant Monitoring Tools, Fundamentals of Crop Production in Controlled Environments, and Commercial Tools and Research Updates.

Industry, university experts

Other speakers and sessions will include:

  • Luis Canas, CFAES associate professor of entomology, “Scouting Pests in Greenhouse Crops”
  • Francesca Hand, CFAES associate professor of plant pathology, “Scouting Disease in Greenhouse Crops”
  • Marc van Iersel, University of Georgia, “Chlorophyll Fluorescence Based Lighting Control”
  • Royal Heins, Michigan State University, “Graphical Tracking and DIF”
  • Julie Iferd, Catoctin Mountain Growers, “Graphical Tracking and DIF: A Grower’s Perspective”
  • Theodore Huggins, iUNU, “Humans, Crops, and AI: Can All Three Coexist?”
  • Martin Jensen, Hoogendoorn America, “Smart Intelligent Climate Control Solutions”
  • Ton van Dijk,, “Data Driven Growing”
  • Jan Westra, Priva, “Plant Based Environmental Control: Climate and Irrigation as a Means to an End”

CFAES research showcase

Also scheduled is a CFAES research showcase featuring updates by Canas, Kubota, Ling, Michelle Jones, and Uttara Samarakoon. 

Jones is a professor of floriculture postharvest physiology, molecular regulation of senescence, and floriculture molecular biology. 

Samarakoon is an assistant professor of greenhouse and nursery management at the Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute, which is part of CFAES Wooster.

How to register

The workshop runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on all three days of the event. Full program details are available in the flyer at

Registration for the workshop is $60, which includes access to all the sessions and to recordings of the sessions until March 15.

Participants can register online at (credit cards only) or can mail in the registration form from the flyer and include a check for payment. Participants will receive Zoom links for the workshop on Jan. 25.

Continuing education credits have been requested for the workshop’s participants in the following areas: Ohio pesticide credit recertification, Michigan pesticide certification, Indiana state chemist certification, and Pennsylvania pesticide recertification.

For more information on the workshop, contact Mary Wicks at or 330-202-3533.

CFAES News Team
For more information, contact: 

Chieri Kubota

Mary Wicks