In Memoriam: Dave “Dr. K” Koranski

Chris Beytes

I was saddened to hear about the passing on October 1 of an industry icon, David “Dr. K” Koranski, former horticulture professor and long-time industry consultant best known for two things: his pioneering research work on bedding plant plugs and his work on the Benlate lawsuits in the 1990s. Dave, who was living in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, was 79.

Dave was a horticulture professor at Iowa State University from 1984 to 1995 and taught numerous undergraduate and graduate students, and mentored hundreds of growers over the course of his long career. He was the founder of the very successful International Plug Conference that Ball Publishing ran for many years and he was co-author (with Dr. Roger Styer) of “Plug and Transplant Production: A Grower’s Guide,” also from Ball Publishing. Through his independent consultancy, ETA. Inc., he worked with numerous growers over the years.

I had the pleasure of working with Dr. K for many years on the projects he did for Ball Publishing. At the Plug Conferences, he was a rock star, helping draw 700 or 800 growers from all around the world to learn the latest plug technology. Even as he stepped back from that and Roger Styer took the lead, we urged Dave to stay on the speaker list because we knew he was a draw. GT