Crop Shrinkage — The Silent Assassin

This was a cute title for a session about a serious problem. Peter Konjoian of Konjoian’s Floriculture Education Services brought up the serious numerical fact that for every plant you throw away, you throw away the profit from 2.5 plants sold at full price. Out of every 1,000 plants, how many do you think fall in the shrinkage category? Konjoian says between those that are knocked off the bench, improperly watered, unsaleable, damaged during handling, dumped or given away, it’s easy to get to 40 throwaway plants, which equals 4 percent shrink. That’s just within the acceptable range.

Co-presenter Rick Yates of Griffin Greenhouse and Nursery Supplies shared some numbers on how using a more expensive product that prevents more pests and diseases can cost less than a cheaper product that doesn’t protect against as much.

Yates says a big key to preventing shrink is scouting. If you turn up aphids in 200 flats out of 1,000, think of good scouting as rescuing all 1,000 flats, not just the 200 you saved from the infestation.

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