January 6, 2012

The New Face of American Gardeners

GG. What are some of the biggest opportunities you see for greenhouse growers in 2012? Why? SL: I see the ‘typical’ American gardener changing—not disappearing—but changing. Younger American families seem to have less time to devote to traditional gardening activities such as creating landscape beds, planting, weeding, etc. Their busy schedules include family activities like sports and traveling but not sweating it out in the backyard together. Younger American’s also expect fast results. For them, today’s garden will be smaller, more concentrated and instantly productive, and it needs to be easy to care for. Older families and ’empty nesters’ may invest in something outdoors other than a traditional garden landscaping: think outdoor grills, pools, patios and extensive container-grown plants, including large, containerized trees and shrubs. The opportunities for growers are to meet the needs of the changing customer. That would include plants that bring instant gratification, such as combination containers, […]

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January 4, 2012

Details About The OFA-ANLA Joint Venture

Why are ANLA and OFA creating this joint venture? The industry is facing significant opportunities and challenges that require its national trade associations to respond as never before. In meeting those challenges, the national associations have a choice: to compete against each other or join together. OFA and ANLA have decided to join forces. Therefore, we are forming a joint venture that involves sharing resources, including appropriate staff, to expand the capacity of the organizations to better support our members and the industry. How does the joint venture benefit OFA and ANLA members? ANLA and OFA members will have access to the best of both of our organizations. OFA is the horticulture industry leader in technical and business development education, industry marketing and conducting a major trade show with international ties. ANLA is the industry leader in representing the industry before government, interpreting major industry trends and providing owner/senior management […]

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January 4, 2012

OFA, ANLA Merger A Distant Possibility

OFA has established itself as an industry leader in technical and business development education, industry marketing and conducting a major international trade show. The American Nursery & Landscape Association (ANLA), meanwhile, has become a leader representing the industry before government, interpreting industry trends and providing its own education for business owners and senior management. Now, the two associations are bringing their strengths together in a joint venture that both sides say could one day result in a merger between OFA and ANLA. “In several years, if both organizations see the joint venture as a value to our members and they can benefit from further collaboration to better serve them and the industry, both boards of directors already support the intention to form a new, single premier horticulture organization serving North America,” says Michael Geary, OFA’s CEO. According to Geary, OFA’s next step is to integrate ANLA into its educational programs, […]

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January 3, 2012

Seeley’s Run Of 26 Straight Conferences Halted

The Seeley Conference, held annually for 26 years at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., has been postponed this year to allow the conference’s board of directors a year to overhaul the event. Following the last conference in June 2011, the board met to assess the event and discuss its future. The board determined then that a possible venue change and format may be necessary to best serve those who attend the conference that promotes the discussion of issues that are critical to commercial floriculture’s future. “One of the trends we’ve noticed over the last 26 years in the floriculture industry is that there have been a lot of mergers,” says Neil Mattson, executive secretary of the Seeley board. “If you look at the total number of operations there were 26 years ago, the number of growers has been reduced by maybe 40 percent. “In line with that notion, attendance has […]

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December 29, 2011

Top Stories Of 2011

No. 8: Traven’s Poinsettia Forms Quite The CatchPeace Tree Farm’s Lloyd Traven caught the industry’s fancy last month when we showcased his one-of-a-kind poinsettia wreaths and poinsettia trees designed for tabletops and desktops. No. 7: What Does The Future Hold For Hines?Anything related to Hines Growers these last few years has grabbed the industry’s attention, and this March 2 story about Black Diamond Capital Management reportedly submitting the only bid to purchase Hines Nurseries in federal bankruptcy court garnered plenty of reader interest. No. 6: CSPMA: Peat Supply Down ConsiderablyWe first reported on a potential peat shortage in August when a peat sales rep called 2011 the “worst harvesting season in the history of the industry.” A few weeks after that remark, the Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association issued a news release that put the shortage into perspective. No. 5: Mixed Reactions Regarding MonroviaA number of growers and retailers were […]

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December 27, 2011

SAF Saves Annual Floriculture Report

Thanks to the Society of American Florists’ (SAF) efforts, the floriculture industry can still rely on the droves of data in a yearly Agriculture Department report that businesses use to make key decisions. USDA announced December 9 that it would reinstate the annual Floriculture Crops Summary, along with several others that had been slated for elimination because of budget cuts. The agency’s decision came after Congress directed the National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS) to reconsider ending the surveys in mid-November. The annual floriculture report is comprised of a survey featuring more than 10,000 commercial operations in 15 states. Growers consider the floriculture report a benchmark of industry health and an important tool, using it to help set prices, identify trends and decide what and how much to plant. Additionally, it covers the number of producers, peak hired workers and total production area for growers with $10,000 or more in sales. […]

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December 27, 2011

Take The Guesswork Out Of Plants

Take a stroll through Crate & Barrel, Williams-Sonoma or even ABC Carpet in New York City, and observe what’s around you. What are you looking for? The answer is a story. It’s that story, told in colors, textures, marketing and promotions material and through customer service, that sells the products in those stores. And, it’s where growers can really take a page from the home furnishings industry. Growers can use stories to convey the message that plants really aren’t as difficult as they seem. They can also learn how to satisfy a picky retail customer and the key to separating quality from price. Judy George, a longtime home furnishings retailer who now has her own line of products (Judy George International), excelled at changing the way customers viewed purchases of big-ticket items like furniture. In fact, as CEO of home furnishings retailer Domain, she traveled the country to ask women […]

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December 22, 2011

State Of The Industry 2012: An Overview

Greenhouse Grower surveyed more than 100 readers online late last year, asking growers about their annual sales, their sales expectations for this year and how they’re coping with labor costs. The typical grower who took our survey, as you’ll see in this whitepaper, is the Midwestern grower/retailer with less than 50,000 square feet of greenhouse space. But we generated feedback from growers throughout the United States and of all sizes and kinds (e.g., grower/retailer, wholesale grower, young plant grower). Data in this whitepaper is, however, presented in three forms, reflecting: 1. Growers of all sizes 2. Growers with more than 500,000 square feet of greenhouse space 3. Growers with less than 500,000 square feet of greenhouse space For example, growers with more than 500,000 square feet and those with less than 500,000 differ on the factor that will be most important to their success in 2012. The majority (69.2 percent) […]

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December 6, 2011

A Look Back On 2011 Sales

More than 100 GreenhouseGrower.com readers took a recent survey with questions about their 2011 sales and their sales expectations for next year. Looking back on 2011, the majority of those surveyed (61 percent) say their sales were up this year compared to 2010. Nearly 20 percent of those surveyed say sales were only up less than 5 percent; nearly 19 percent say their 2011 sales were up between 5 and 10 percent over 2010; 7 percent even say their sales were up more than 20 percent over the previous year. Still, a number of growers experienced poor spring weather and, consequentially, poorer sales than 2010. More than 13 percent of those surveyed say their sales were down at least 10 percent compared to 2010. “Record rainfall in 2011 killed spring traffic,” says a Midwest grower/retailer with less than 50,000 square feet of greenhouse space. “Hopefully 2012 will be a little […]

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December 6, 2011

Your 2012 Sales Expectations

Setting a lofty goal to boost sales by more than 10 percent next year? You’d be in the minority judging from results of a recent Greenhouse Grower survey, in which 29 percent of growers indicate they expect sales to be up 10 percent or more. The largest percentage of growers surveyed (34 percent) expects sales increases to range between 5 and 10 percent next year; about 16 percent expect sales to be up less than 5 percent while 12 percent expect flat sales. Only a handful of growers are forecasting sales declines in 2012. Greenhouse Grower also recently asked growers about the factor that’s most critical to their 2012 success. In recent years this question has been a point of contention for growers. Some argue the weather is the most critical factor – and always is – while others say the economy has had a huge impact on the greenhouse […]

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November 9, 2011

Vegetable Gardening Gaining Momentum Behind Burpee

Burpee and "I Can Grow" have created more than a dozen community and school gardens across the U.S. Burpee Home Gardens is now accepting applications for the 2012 “I Can Grow” Youth Garden Award. Now in its third year, the program continues to support urban school and community gardens in cities across the United States and build awareness of the Burpee Home Gardens brand. Success stories from last year’s program include the Waterford School District near Detroit, whose garden yielded nearly 1,000 pounds of vegetables donated to a nearby hunger relief organization. Plants were made available to Waterford through Bogie Lake Greenhouses in Michigan. To date, the Burpee Home Gardens “I Can Grow” program has provided more than 8,000 vegetable and herb plants and created 16 community and school gardens nationwide. “We’ve seen interest in school vegetable gardens gaining momentum from coast to coast. Burpee Home Gardens recognizes the importance […]

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August 29, 2011

Growers: Hurricane Could Have Been Worse

Anthony Van Hoven was driving to pick up his brother in Washington, D.C., when the 5.8-magnitude earthquake shook the area around Battlefield Farms in Rapidan, Va. Van Hoven, Battlefield’s president, didn’t feel the earthquake while he was driving. His operation felt it, though, along with the impact of Hurricane Irene last weekend. Fortunately, the earthquake caused minimal damage and the hurricane really didn’t affect Battlefield at all. “The earthquake just freaked everybody out, breaking some water mains and pipes attached to the buildings,” Van Hoven says. “Besides that it didn’t do too much–just cosmetic damage. It was more scary than detrimental.” A number of other growers along the East Coast feel as fortunate as Van Hoven after Hurricane Irene came through. Peace Tree Farm experienced wind gusts as high as 50 miles per hour in Kintnersville, Pa., but because owner Lloyd Traven and his team thoroughly prepared, the operation avoided […]

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