February 16, 2010

Wholesale Nurseries Struggling

A recent Associated Press story highlighted the struggles of wholesale nurseries across the country with the economic downturn. Case in point: Oregon’s nursery industry has “plummeted” into a historic slump after reaching a record high of almost $1 billion in sales three years ago. The nurseries in Oregon are laying off employees, cutting costs and foregoing new buildings and equipment, according to the story, which quotes David Niklas of Clackamas Greenhouses. He had to file bankruptcy after losing almost half his sales when his primary retailer was bought out. “The family has poured money into it as we tried to restructure it and make new markets,” he says. “Commercial lenders aren’t talking to me because I’m coming out of bankruptcy. “They aren’t even talking to GM, so why would they talk to a little nursery?” The story cites factors across the country like a halt to housing construction, high transportation […]

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February 16, 2010

Double Harvest At Daytona

Mike Wallace, a driver on NASCAR’s Nationwide series, paid tribute Saturday to the Double Harvest Christian mission providing relief to Haiti by wearing the mission’s logo on his racing suit and posting the logo on the side and back of his racecar. The Van Wingerden family founded Double Harvest in 1981 and has been providing relief to Haiti since last month’s earthquake. According to Metrolina Greenhouses’ Abe Van Wingerden, Wallace donated the space on the racing suit and car–space that’s usually given to paid sponsors. Van Wingerden says Wallace plans to wear the racing suit with the Double Harvest logo again this weekend when the Nationwide series visits California. Wallace drove the No. 01 car at Daytona and finished 28th in the 41-car field. He got exposure for Double Harvest through interviews with ESPN, ESPN2, Fox News, Sirius Satellite Radio and SpeedChannel. “We had immediate hits on our Double Harvest […]

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January 28, 2010

New Trade Fair Poses Threat To Horti Fair

The International Floriculture Trade Fair (IFTF) of The Netherlands is launching a new trade exhibition dedicated entirely to the promotion of international floriculture. According to the IFTF, a large group of exhibitors that traditionally showcase product at Horti Fair requested that the 2010 Horti Fair be moved to the first week of November. Horti Fair is scheduled for October 12-15, and the Horti Fair organizing team says a change is not possible. Registration for 2010 Horti Fair began at last October’s Horti Fair and the dates of the 2010 show were known then, the organizing team says. Still, a decision was made to counteract Horti Fair and launch a new trade fair, IFTF, which will take place November 3-5 at Expo Haarlemmermeer in Vijfhuizen, The Netherlands. Expo Haarlemmermeer is located about 15 minutes from the Aalsmeer Flower Auction. The new trade fair will be held during the same dates as […]

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January 27, 2010

Five Questions With … Dave Doolittle

As part of our State Of The Industry Report, we asked industry leaders to answer questions about the state of all things greenhouse floriculture. Dave Doolittle, marketing director of Terra Nova Nurseries, shares his take on the state of the industry this week. How would you describe the state of the greenhouse floriculture industry today? Well, let’s face it: There is nothing but skepticism and negativity surrounding our economy in general, and that tends to harvest poor morale throughout all industries–not just horticulture. Fortunately for us, at some time in our lives we’ve all made the decision to choose a career path working with plants, and I honestly believe there is a bond felt among horticulturists that promotes positivity. We grow the plants that our communities incorporate into our landscapes that provide a feeling of “home.” I don’t have a degree in economics, nor do I claim to have any […]

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January 21, 2010

Four Questions With … Andy Ambrosio

As part of our State Of The Industry report, we asked industry leaders to answer questions about the state of all things greenhouse floriculture. Andy Ambrosio, marketing manager for Wenke Greenhouses, shares his take on the state of the industry this week. How would you describe the state of the greenhouse floriculture industry today? It’s all about the weather. The best-laid plans, along with great product quality and packaging, are laid to waste if it rains every weekend. The opposite is not true, but to the same degree: Great weather will make it somewhat easier to sell “C” grade product, but only after the “All-Stars” are done shipping. Has our industry entered a new era or paradigm shift? Please explain why or why not. Mass merchants are more aligned to specific vendors, resulting in the grower having more ownership on merchandising, product flow and other aspects of the retail experience. […]

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January 18, 2010

VGIC Names 2010 Officers

The Virginia Green Industry Council (VGIC) has elected 2010 Officers. They are: –President: Lorene Blackwood, retired from the State Fair of Virginia–Vice President: Cary Gouldin of the Virginia Flower Growers Association–Secretary: Gwen Hubbard of the Virginia State Fair Additionally, membership will be handled by Mary Williams of the Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association.

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January 18, 2010

Olson’s, Rancho Tissue Earn VeriFlora Certification

Olson’s Greenhouse in Utah is among the latest greenhouse operations to earn VeriFlora sustainability certification. Certification by VeriFlora means products grown by Olson’s Greenhouse are independently certified as being produced in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. It also identifies the company enlists quality, employee-friendly management practices that meet and exceed pre-determined standards of excellence. In order to obtain certification, a grower must meet or exceed environmental protection requirements covering issues in the areas of pest management, media fertility, production yields, energy efficiency, carbon footprint, waste management, water conservation and ecosystem care. “As we started working with VeriFlora, we could see many of the things we were doing as a company was already in-line with the VeriFlora certification program,” says Bart Olson, president of Olson’s. “With VeriFlora’s help, we were able to identify additional areas where improvement would be beneficial. The certification process has not only helped Olson’s Greenhouse in […]

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January 12, 2010

Five Questions With … Dominik Neisser

As part of our State Of The Industry report, we asked industry leaders to answer questions about the state of all things greenhouse floriculture. Dominik Neisser, the grower at EuroAmerican Propagators, shares his take on the state of the industry this week. How would you describe the state of the greenhouse floriculture industry today? I think we got a good share of the nationwide crisis. Because our product is a luxury product, people remove flowers from their shopping list when money gets low. The result of that will be a market that has more product than demand, which will push down prices. As a greenhouse operator you need to carefully watch the costs and eliminate any kind of waste of spending so your lower income will still be higher than the overall costs. Good quality and fair prices is not just a good sales argument anymore; it is essential to […]

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January 6, 2010

Western Trade Show Rebranded

The Western Nursery and Landscape Association has rebranded its annual conference, The Western, as the National Green Centre. The show will also now alternate between St. Louis and Kansas City. “This rebranding will build upon the historical success of the Western while expanding the event to serve the national nursery, lawn and garden retail, and landscape contractor markets,” says Sarah Woody Bibens, executive director. The 2010 event features an expanded educational program featuring five concurrent educational programs with an internationally acclaimed faculty of speakers. “As the horticulture markets continue to change, the need for a powerful, national event to help bring the industry together and provide deep and meaningful educational programming and networking opportunities has never been greater” says Jim Mason of Country Landscapes and 2010 association president. “By alternating between St Louis and Kansas City we’ll be delivering a conference in the center of the country and maximizing the […]

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January 5, 2010

OFA Names Michael Geary CEO

OFA has named Michael V. Geary, CAE, as the association’s new Chief Executive Officer. The selection comes after an extensive search process that began last spring. Geary will start at OFA on March 1. “We are very pleased to have Michael’s record of success in association management applied on OFA’s behalf as the industry and association plan for the future,” says OFA President Danny Takao. Geary has 18 years experience in association management and organizational development, which includes serving as executive director of the American Institute of Architecture Students, senior director for the National Association of Home Builders and senior staff positions with The Delta Chi Fraternity and the North American Interfraternity Conference. “I am very pleased to join the OFA team,” Geary says. “With the support of a visionary board and active membership and staff, OFA has become a leader in the horticulture industry. I look forward to continuing that […]

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January 4, 2010

Five Questions With … Chad Underwood

As part of our State Of The Industry report, we asked industry leaders to answer questions about the state of all things greenhouse floriculture. Chad Underwood, president and general manager of the Kalamazoo Flower Group, shares his take on the state of the industry this week. How would you describe the state of the greenhouse floriculture industry today? The state of the industry is good but could certainly be better. I think collectively we have an opportunity today to capitalize on the new attitude Americans have as a result of the economic downturn. Our products match the shift in values and priorities we’ve seen as a country. Has our industry entered a new era or paradigm shift? Please explain why or why not. With regard to retail, I think it has. We no longer simply ship as much as possible into a store and leave the retailer to worry about […]

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December 31, 2009

Top Stories, Conversations And Videos Of 2009

Top News Stories: #1 Hines Announces New Name & Management Team One of the year’s most-read stories was about Hines Horticulture, the company’s rebranding as Hines Nurseries back in April and the unveiling of its new management team. The story also generated a couple dozen comments from readers reacting to the story. #2 Disease Costs Bonnie Plants $1M In Recall The Late Blight epidemic that struck the Northeast this year was one of the most-talked-about stories of the summer. Bonnie Plants was at the center of the scandal, which led to a he-said, she-said debate between the company, university officials and growers.  #3 SUV Crashes Into Michigan Greenhouse This September 2009 story didn’t generate the reader reaction the Hines Nurseries and Late Blight stories did earlier in the year, but the unimaginable sight of an overturned SUV that crashed into a Michigan greenhouse still caught the attention of our eager readers.  #4 Anna Ball’s […]

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