I figured it might be nice to relay information to the grower community from my trips out to the field to visit nurseries. Since it is hard to leave the production area and get out and about, I thought it might helpful to bring the nursery to your door.
Here are some interesting things that I found visiting with Cliff Richardson the production manager at Royal Crest Nursery located in Polk City.
One of the things they are utilizing for ease of movement of plant transport are plant racks that minimize the number of contact points of handling plants. They have eliminated a few times they pick up and set down plants. The racks are placed on the trailers, then the plants are loaded directly into the racks. When the racks are driven to the loading dock they are forked with a loader. The loader then drives right into the semi where the plants are unloaded and stacked for shipment. Each rack holds about 54 three gallon plants. They also have modified racks with high sides to accommodate trees.
Another labor savings device they are using is the hair mat for weed control. This is a weed barrier that suppresses the germination of seeds from the soil surface. Cliff said they can send one person to weed 25,000 three gallon pots in less than an hours time and eliminate and weeds before they go to seed. Thereby saving labor costs.