Plant production system: testing and implementation©
Arnelia farms nursery produces close to 150 different taxa in various genera including Protea, Leucospermum, Leucadendron, Erica, Telopea, Chamelaucium, and Bougainvillea. Each taxon has its own nutritional and management requirements to achieve high quality outcomes. However, keeping track of these tasks as well as additional tasks of weeding, growth regulating, and spacing is a challenge in an ever expanding nursery. With most taxa pinching, pruning, or spacing must be completed by specific dates and if these are not met the planned outcome is not achieved. Historically, everything was managed with the use of Microsoft® Office Excel® (2010) spreadsheets and knowledge of personnel. But as the nursery grows the need develop for a more effective way to keep track of tasks including propagation, potting, plant maintenance, and stock. After unsuccessfully searching for appropriate industry software, we decided to approach DiPAR Systems (Bellville Park, Cape Town, 7530, South Africa) to help create a plant production management system. Most systems available are aimed at short term nursery crops where the cycle starts with propagation (vegetative or seed), transplanting of plugs or rooted cuttings after a specific number of weeks, and finally potting again to the final pot size. Plants are sales ready within a couple of weeks or months. This did not fit well with our nursery where plants are grown mostly from cuttings for 12 to 18 months. We have different ages of plants of the same taxon for different sales periods at the same time in the nursery and this should be managed.
Louw, E.-L. (2017). Plant production system: testing and implementation©. Acta Hortic. 1174, 3-4