Bulrush has for many years offered full technical support both with the selection and use of the substrates they produce. These services include:
1) Water analysis from sources to establish pH ranges needed in substrates, or the need for water treatment,
2) Full analysis of the mixes as manufactured and during the use, especially for long term crops such as poinsettia. There has been a poinsettia monitoring scheme open to all growers since 1997 and there is a massive data base available on leaf tissue, substrate and feed results to use as a reference bank,
3) Advisory visits and recommendations on the use of fertilizers, both solid and water soluble.
4) Calibration services for injector equipment such as ‘Dosatrons’,
5) Sampling of growing crops and interpretation of the analysis results,
6) Arrangement with other experts to look at disease and pest problems,
7) ‘Grower Notes’ on crops which help to maximise the results on nurseries for the crops,
8) Trials of new and existing products, both at centres like STC, Greenmount and with Growers and bodies such as AHDB-Horticulture.
Full analysis at manufacturing stage
As part of the Pindstrup Group the Bulrush team work closely with colleagues world-wide to investigate new and novel materials and their potential for use in the mixes which are being developed for the future.
The team at Bulrush is heavily involved with both Defra, RHS and AHDB- Horticulture in the development of responsibly sourced substrate mixes for the future, and support both PhD and Post-Doctorial positions working on the development of substrates and related issues.
The team are also building international academic contacts especially in North America where joint work packages are being undertaken.
These Services are provided by Neil Bragg and Ann McCann, both are fully qualified FACTs advisers.
Neil has both degrees in Agricultural Chemistry and Soil Science, plus being a FQA and Examiner for FACTs. Neil has worked in the industry for over 40 years and has an international reputation for his work on the measurement of Air-Filled Porosity and also the work he has undertaken on the control of growth by the use of restricted Phosphate fertilizer inputs. He was awarded the Pearson memorial medal from the HTA in 2014, and the Gold Veitch Memorial medal from the RHS in 2015 for his contribution to applied horticultural research.
Ann has a degree from Queens in Belfast in Biological sciences and has worked with Bulrush since graduating. Ann has been the Assistant Product Development Manager for 18 years and has worked closely with Neil to develop both the Poinsettia monitoring scheme and the development of a data base of analytical results for water, feeds, substrates and tissue samples. Ann has developed a formidable skill set in the use of the analytical data and this helps and supports the Area manager team in their need for recipes for specific crops.