Natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes and snowstorms can be devastating because of the element of surprise and volatility. It can be difficult to predict whether or not this event will be “the big one” and cause vast damages, or if it will pass your business by, barely leaving a scratch.

Hurricane Matthew struck the southeastern United States in late September and into early October in 2016 as a Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph winds, according to The Weather Channel. Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas were hit particularly hard by this hurricane. Savannah, Ga., where Oelschig’s Nursery, a wholesale grower specializing in bedding plants, is located, received nearly 17.5 inches of rain during the hurricane. Owner Kurt Oelschig is on the cover this month.

In this issue, we take a closer look at the impact that Hurricane Matthew has had on greenhouse growers in the South. Greenhouse roofs were ripped off, offices were flooded and crops were damaged or destroyed, but growers like Oelschig are ready to move on and rebuild. Click here to read more.

John Bartok shares his take on light diffusion in different kinds of greenhouse coverings in this month’s edition of Tech Solutions, while Christopher Currey looks at how to use substrate drenches to apply plant growth regulators in Production Pointers. For more information on prevalent plant diseases like root rot and TSWV, as well as disease detection technology that’s being researched, check out our Focus on Disease Control here.

If you’re looking for a way to enhance your greenhouse through automation, don’t miss our interview with Vineland Research and Innovation Centre’s David Gholami, who weighs in on the state of automation in horticulture and a smart irrigation system in development here.

For tips on how keep your business staffed and running smoothly, click here for Leslie Halleck’s hiring best practices in Hort Truths. Jean Seawright examines the potential liabilities and questions associated with marijuana use and its impact on employee safety and productivity in The Human Resource.

Lastly, this month we’re proud to open the nomination period for the 2017 Horticultural Industries Leadership Awards (HILA). HILA will be awarded to six outstanding greenhouse and nursery professionals who are making a difference in their industry. Head to greenhousemag.com/hila for more information and to nominate an inspiring mentor, a great grower, an excellent professor or extension agent, or another green industry peer who stands out from the crowd.

Karen E. Varga, Editor

kvarga@gie.net

216-393-0290 | Twitter: @Karen_GIE