January 21, 2010

Poinsettia Survey: Complete Results

Late last year, we surveyed growers about their poinsettias. We asked them questions regarding production, sales, marketing and more. Now, we present the complete results from that survey. How many years has your operation been growing poinsettias? More than 30        37.1% 20 to 30               33.9% 10 to 20               14.5% 5 to 10                   9.7% Less than 5            4.8% Where are you located? Northeast         25.8% Southeast        13.7% Midwest           37.1% Southwest          2.4% West                12.9% Not In The U.S.    8.1% Who is your primary poinsettia customer? E-commerce sites                0.9% Farm markets                      0 Home improvement chains    4.3% Independent garden centers 26.5% Mass market retailers           8.5% Other growers                      1.7% Supermarket chains             7.7% Wholesale florists                9.4% Your own retail shop           39.3% From which of the four major poinsettia breeders do you buy cuttings? Check […]

Read More

January 21, 2010

In 2009, Poinsettias Persevered

Doubts about consumer spending during the holidays were understandable, but growers pulled through yet another poinsettia season in 2009 that can be described as good for many, great for some and better than most anticipated. As one Midwestern grower serving independent garden centers put it: “The 2009 poinsettia market was very busy. We saw excellent sell-through with wholesale clients and in our retail stores. Despite the economic worries, people were still purchasing poinsettias.” The majority of growers would agree with all or most of that sentiment. Of the 100-plus poinsettia growers we surveyed earlier this year, nearly half report sales increases over 2008. More than one-quarter report at least maintaining their 2008 sales in ’09, and less than one-quarter say they experienced sales decreases with poinsettias. What else did growers say about poinsettia season? We reveal highlights from our 2010 Poinsettia Survey and share production and sales data we gathered […]

Read More

January 21, 2010

Q&A With USDA’s Randy Monhemius

Randy Monhemius, business program specialist for the USDA Rural Development program, discusses grower interest in alternative energy grants and loans and shares his vision on where alternative energy is going. Can you gauge the level of interest growers are expressing in alternative energy grants and loans today compared to their level of interest one year ago? Two years ago? Five years ago? There is certainly a growing interest in the use of renewable energy to meet the heating needs of the greenhouses. Rural Development has available the Rural Energy for America Program that could be used to provide a grant and/or loan guarantee to help these growers offset the costs of installing these renewable energy systems. Fueling A Movement to learn about growers who’ve already implemented alternative energy systems into their greenhouse operations and explored USDA’s energy grants and loans. However, energy efficiency within the greenhouse could also be eligible […]

Read More

January 21, 2010

Impressions Of Poinsettia Season

We asked growers what their impression of the 2009 poinsettia market was. Here’s how some of them responded: “It was surprisingly good considering the economic climate.” – Jill West, Al’s Garden Center and Greenhouses “Heating costs are making it harder and harder to grow poinsettias. Poinsettias are sluggish and getting harder to sell. We need to keep broadening our customer base.” – Mark Tepper, Orchard Hill Greenhouses “Retail customers are willing to pay for better quality and size, but mass merchandisers are loathed to stock a higher price point poinsettia.” – Ann Detweiler “Great except for those big companies that sold poinsettias for $1 as a loss leader. I can’t buy a cutting under a dollar much less grow it for three months!” – Lee Mizell, Schilling Greenhouses “Our impression is a lot of garden centers have made the exceptionally bad decision to stop selling poinsettias.” – Jason Parks, Parks […]

Read More

January 20, 2010

Remembering Will Carlson

Greenhouse Grower’s Will Carlson, a friend to hundreds of growers across the country, died after battling a serious illness. A viewing will be held Sunday at Gorsline Runciman Funeral Home at 1730 East Grand River in East Lansing, Mich. Viewing hours are from 1 to 4 p.m. A reception will follow at the Plant and Soil Sciences Greenhouse Conservatory at Michigan State University (MSU) from 5 to 7 p.m. The funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, January 25 at University Lutheran Church, which is located at 1020 South Harrison Road in East Lansing. A graveside burial will follow at Evergreen Cemetery on the corner of Mount Hope and Aurelius roads. Will retired from MSU in 2002 and has been active in his retirement writing his column for Greenhouse Grower, “One to Grow On,” and consulting for growers. He launched Greenhouse Grower more than 25 years ago with […]

Read More

January 20, 2010

A Tribute To Will

Dick Meister, who launched Greenhouse Grower magazine with Will Carlson more than 25 years ago, remembers Will as a friend and colleague who inspired countless growers over the years: Shortly before he died, I had a talk with Will in which he said: “My work is done.” What a “work” that was! Will was one of the foremost floriculturists of our time. He was a leader whose enquiring mind, energy and drive changed the face of floriculture and brought untold millions of dollars of wealth to the industry and to thousands of growers. He was the person with a new idea every day, and the nerve and audacity to change the status quo and the uncanny ability to sense trends before they happened. Will was tough. He ruffled the feathers of those in the path of change. He had no patience for bureaucracy and red tape and was impatient for […]

Read More

January 19, 2010

McGuiness Receives Todd Bachman Award

Patrick McGuiness, founder of the Zlimen & McGuiness law firm serving the green industry, is the recipient of the Todd Bachman Award for Innovation in Horticultural Business. The award is presented jointly by the University of Minnesota, the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association (MNLA) and the MNLA Foundation. The award annually recognizes an individual whose innovation in private enterprise has positively influenced one or more green industry businesses in the region. McGuiness began his career in the green industry in 1995 as a laborer for a small St. Paul landscaping company. His love of the industry continued as he founded his first company, which he called McGuiness Landscaping. The profits from this company helped McGuiness put himself through college and law school. Following graduation from the William Mitchell College of Law, he and a friend founded One Call Property Care. While founding this business, McGuiness noticed an opportunity to help […]

Read More

January 16, 2010

Designing With Poinsettias Catching On

Ecke Ranch hosted its annual poinsettia trial and open house, but it wasn’t the cultivars that generated the attention. A record number of attendees wanted to see design trends. “It’s like someone flipped a switch. Our guests really got these concepts, and the notion that working together we can help the channel be more successful,” says Snow Maestas, marketing manager at Ecke Ranch. Everyone was looking for ideas, trends and concepts that add value and define products at retail. Simple, fresh and elegant were some common themes seen during the event that lasted for two weeks. Ecke’s Design Center created over 10 unique vignettes featuring design and decorating trends for poinsettias, including a Couture Collection Plant Fashion Runway Show that showcased poinsettias in different fashion categories: Black Tie, Cool Season-Hot Colors, Office Attire, Sportswear and Ready-to-Wear. “I am really pleased to see value being designed into the poinsettia,” says Paul […]

Read More

January 10, 2010

Jerry Montgomery’s 2009 Retail Report Recap

In 2009, Jerry Montgomery tracked retail prices and trends. How will garden retail fare in 2010? Compare this year to last year and take a look back on our interactive map. Click on the tabs on the map for a link to that region or city’s retail report. Click on the plus and minus signs to zoom in and out on the map.  View Jerry Montgomery’s 2009 Retail Reports in a larger map

Read More

January 4, 2010

Walmart Aims To Cut Global Supply Chain Costs

Walmart is launching a drive this year to cut billions of dollars of costs from its supply chain by combining its store purchasing across national frontiers in a new stage in the globalization of its business. The effort is part of plans by the world’s largest retailer to increase the proportion of goods that it buys directly from manufacturers, rather than through third-party procurement companies or suppliers. Eduardo Castro-Wright, the head of Walmart’s US stores, has said that the retailer sees the opportunity to consolidate global sourcing as “a major source of leverage for the company in years to come.” To read more about Walmart’s efforts, click here.

Read More

December 29, 2009

Become A Business Driver

Finishing up 2009 and heading in to 2010, it feels like we’ve entered a new era in the greenhouse floriculture industry, like we’ve come out the other end of a long and somewhat painful transition. For the last 10 years, we’ve been collectively bracing ourselves for a lot of what has happened: more growing operations of all sizes leaving the industry and a mature market where overall sales are flat. As some businesses leave, others are gaining market share. While some of this is normal and generational with growers retiring without successors, for others it’s an inability to compete and turn a profit. This is especially true when owners don’t reinvest in their business over time and have dilapidated structures and use inefficient methods. If you’re running the business the same as you did 20 years ago, chances are, you have fallen behind. Those who made it through 2009 on […]

Read More