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Tech On Demand Team Profile: Josh Henry

Bill Calkins
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More often than not, achieving high-quality crops that wow shoppers and fly off the shelves starts in the early stages of production and hinges on optimal plant health. Carefully managing crop nutrition and greenhouse environment is paramount from day one to maximize sales and minimize losses.

This is where Ball Seed Technical Services Specialist Dr. Josh Henry’s focus on precision and his ability to effectively communicate solutions takes center stage as he diagnoses problems and works with growers to solve them quickly. But it doesn’t stop there, because once he understands the problem and shares solutions, a relationship begins.

 Article ImagePictured: Josh takes a hands-on, collaborative approach when helping Ball Seed customers and suppliers produce the highest quality crops.

“Any expert can diagnose,” Josh said. “But developing relationships in a specific team or operation leads to recommendations that work for them. Every grower has passion for their own operation and when I help them solve problems, I can feel how much they appreciate it.”

Because every operation is unique, he enjoys working with growers to analyze past experiences (good and bad) and using data to make solutions fit.

A background and education in horticulture with an emphasis on plant nutrition means Josh knows the science behind optimal plant growth, and experience in fertilizers and chemicals used for precision agriculture gives him a unique perspective when working with greenhouse professionals. He pairs these skills, as well as deep knowledge in plant disease diagnostics—especially abiotic issues—to solve a wide range of issues in young plant and finished plant production. This comes in handy when consulting with Ball Seed’s top young plant suppliers, and although Josh has been with the company for a short period of time, he’s quickly gained their trust.

Article ImageCollaboration is critical

While many production problems are solved one-on-one and in case-by-case scenarios, Josh takes time to work with the Ball Tech On Demand team to create and share information for a wider audience through technical documents, videos and podcasts.  

“One of my long-term goals on the team is to help provide resources and tools that are more readily available and useable,” Josh explained. “Part of this is helping develop and share ways to use data to help growers increase efficiency.”

Pictured: Josh uses an infrared camera to identify temperature variations in the greenhouse.

Working so closely with crop culture and the factors impacting plant growth keeps Josh focused on the latest research and how it can be applied in real-world greenhouse settings. Earning his Ph.D. from the prestigious horticulture powerhouse North Carolina State University allowed him to work side-by-side with leading academics in our industry, and through these experiences, he developed many relationships. He hopes in the near future he’ll play a key role in strengthening collaboration between academia and allied companies in the industry.

Fun Fact: Josh and his wife met in a plant propagation class and were lab partners. In fact, they still have the ficus plant they propagated together 12 years ago!

Josh’s Spring Nutrition Tips

In this Tech On Demand video, Dr. Josh Henry takes you through a range of topics related to crop nutrition with the goal of setting you and your team up for success with spring production. In this discussion, he covers an early-season checklist that includes water testing, injector calibration and the importance of having an in-house testing toolbox handy. Then he digs deeper into options for fertilizer—macronutrients and micronutrients—and tips for adjusting pH up or down. GT

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