Stoller Group might have 14 wholly owned subsidiaries operating in more than 50 countries around the world, but the 46-year-old plant health product manufacturer works to speak with one voice. Weaving the “We Are Stoller” tagline through a series of presentations, the company held its 24th annual Stoller International Associates Conference where researchers and others shared their experiences with the company’s products.
Even a tornado warning and flooding in the Houston-based company couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm for the event, which began with a reception at the newly constructed headquarters building.
“Our goal is to spread knowledge, to share our knowledge,” said Dr. Robert Shortell, Vice President of Global Marketing for Stoller Group. “Maybe something done in Guatemala is something that you can use in your country today.”
And if the number of questions asked after most of the presentations was any indication, there’s a pretty good chance researchers and growers around the world are facing some similar issues.
In all, there were nearly 50 presentations ranging from “The Row Crop Challenges in Brazil” to “Innovation on Nematode Control,” and “Advances on Physiological Management for the Maturation Stage.” Presenters traveled from five continents (the company operates in six).
Most of the presentations detailed research on Stoller products and how those solutions affected various crops. And it wasn’t always about the company’s newest products. Dr. Albert Liptay, Director of Research, who works out of the company’s Texas office, provided the first presentation. Liptay explained how even though it has been around for quite a while, new research on AquaCal Plus helped answer questions about how it helped plants improve their water and mineral uptake in soil.
“It is something that has been used a long time, but we found out how it needs to be used,” Liptay says. “It’s breaking the yield barrier.”
While most of the presenters were Stoller employees, a few were growers or worked with company in other capacities. Denny Wildman, owner of Advanced Agriculture East talked about his experience using Stoller products on potatoes. During his presentation, Wildman emphasized a common thread that permeates the company’s approach to research — answering the question, “What if….”
Dr. Richard Johnson and Dr. Deise Paula da Silva, who work with USDA/ARS, Sugarcane Research Unit, Houma, LA, did just that when they explored the effect of cobalt on sugar cane.
“Cobalt seems to help plant deal with stress,” Johnson says. “We never see this. I’ve been doing sugarcane research close to 20 years.”
Most of the presentations were the results of field trials using various Stoller products. The event served to help growers, distributors, and the sales team to learn more about the company’s products.