OFA Bulletin March/April 2011 : Page 1

March/April 2011 • Number 926 A New Twist on Problem Crops by Rick Schoellhorn The Age Old Problem Ever since I began working in the horticulture industry about 35 years ago, there has been a problem getting new crops into the market and moving through our industry’s systems in order to get them to the consumer. Let’s face it, learning how to adjust what we do (from breeder through production to retail) in order to make a new crop successful is a challenge. Here are four reasons why. 1. It begins with the plant breeder who has to accomplish something extraordinary in order to set the bar above the other Petunia, Pelargonium, and Calibrachoa already out there on the market. That can take as few as four years or a lifetime; it really depends on how much breeding experience, germplasm collection, and technology the breeder can get together to create the next “new” crop. 2. Then it takes time to learn how to grow an innovation in plant breeding. It is rare that something new comes along in a crop that doesn’t require a few changes in the production systems. The wilder the innovation the greater the differences in growing requirements; the greater the changes in growing, the harder it is to get a crop adopted by growers at all phases of the process. Continued on page 9 More Money for Me by Bill McCurry & Gary Hudson “Sustainability in this industry is bringing in more cash than you’re sending out,” said Lloyd Traven (Peace Tree Farms, Kintnersville, PA) when opening a session at 2008 OFA Short Course. The elephant in the room is lack of cash and economic return. We need the financial support to sustain the innovation and excitement that keeps our industry vibrant. Making more money is everyone’s responsibility. You owe it to the industry (not to mention your family and the government) to do everything possible to increase your revenue. So let’s look at how to “Make More Money for Me.” The Government is Here to Help – Really Energy costs aren’t going away. Nathan and Lisa Campbell (Danville Gardens, Danville, IL) installed heat/shade curtains. Lisa reported to us, “Nathan and Rob just finished hanging the fabric and we can instantly see a huge difference in the way the boiler cycles Continued on page 11 Inside this Edition ... A New Twist on Problem Crops More Money for Me Growing Tips for Snow Princess ® Lobularia Caring for Plants in Green Buildings Biology of Waterborne Pathogens 1 1 2 7 14 Causes & Solutions for Geranium Leaf Yellowing Using Personas to Create Personalized Customer Experiences 17 18 OFA Award of Excellence Nominees for the 2011-12 OFA Officers & Board of Directors OFA News 26 27 29 Do Customers Value the Use of Floral Preservatives? 21 Pine Tree Substrate, Nitrogen Rate, Particle Size, and Peat Amendment Affects Poinsettia Growth 24

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