This is a very exciting time for Greenhouse Grower magazine. This issue marks our 20th Top 100 Growers list, a time for us to look back to see where the industry has come from, as well as ahead to its future. There are some interesting predictions as to what the future holds from our survey respondents this year.
It’s also an exciting year for our Medal Of Excellence Awards, which are handed out at Pack Trials to visionary breeding companies and also celebrates 20 years in 2007. This year we debut our Reader’s Choice Award. You, our readers, will select the winner of the award based on new introductions at Pack Trials. Beginning on May 21, voting will open online on our Web site, www.greenhousegrower.com. There you’ll find photos and details on the nominees, as selected by our industry review committee that attends California Pack Trials.
If you vote, you might be a winner, too. All voters will have the opportunity to be entered into a drawing for a free OFA Short Course registration and a special invitation to our Medal Of Excellence ceremony held at Short Course, where the winners will be revealed. This is an exciting new opportunity for us to hear your picks for which single new variety merits an award for excellence in breeding. Be sure to visit www.greenhousegrower.com on May 21 to make your selections.
Top 100 Theories
This issue also marks the first for our new Growing Green series on trends in sustainability – biodegradable pots, organic plants, media mixes and the growers who use them. Our Top 100 Growers told us how they feel about the organics trend. Of 53 respondents, 46 said they do not grow organic products, and a few questioned the consumer benefit of such products, the extended turn time for these crops and the added expense to grow them. Even if our new series doesn’t make you rush out and convert your entire operation to a green one, at least you’ll get a snapshot of what new products are available and the debate will rage on!
Back to our Top 100 Growers coverage for a moment. I see several very interesting statistics from our Top 100 this year. First off, we asked the question, "What is the number one challenge that has arisen in the last 20 years?" It was a multiple choice question, and of 57 respondents, only two chose "Lessening demand for plants." I was sure "Decreased margins" and "Decreased competition at retail" would garner many votes, but with all the talk about the young, non-gardening generation, fewer growers and overproduction of live goods, I thought lessening demand would be a more popular answer. I guess that’s some good news for our industry. People are still gardening! What do you think?
For even more statistics from our Top 100 Growers survey, visit www.greenhousegrower.com and look for the Top 100 Growers logo.