www.ofa.org bulletin JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2013 NUMBER 937 Paul McCartney once wrote “ Take a sad song and make it better. ” Who knew he was writing about sharing ideas in the garden center industry? We all read articles and attend conferences like the OFA Short Course to get information and ideas. Indeed, some of the most vigorous note-taking comes when garden centers start sharing some of the things they’ve tried. There’s even a feature about it in one of the industry trade magazines, Today’s Garden Center , called “Steal this Idea.” It is as if we are all searching for that one great idea that will help launch us into greater profitability by driving more customers to us, having them spend more, and returning over and over again. Industry consultant, Sid Raisch, of Horticultural Advantage, wrote a great article for that same magazine on the best ways to choose ideas to steal, and how to improve them, which brings me back to Sir Paul and his song, “Hey Jude.” “ The minute you let it under your skin, then you begin to make it better. ” Take that great idea, absorb it into your company psyche, and then give it your own special touch. Because tHe Best IDeas I neveR HaD By Tina Bemis MORE ON PAGE 4 inside this edition The Best Ideas I NEVER Had Impatiens Downy Mildew: Have You Caught Wind of It? 1 1 2 11 12 What’s Next for Us? OFA’s Wendy McAtee Retires There’s an App for That Biology, Behavior, and Management of Ambrosia Beetles Attracking Ornamental Nursery Stock ImpatIens Downy mIlDew: Have you CaugHt wInD of It? By Colleen Y. Warfield As a result of the widespread outbreaks of impatiens downy mildew this past season, growers and retailers have been asking themselves if sales of this popular, shade-loving bedding plant will be negatively impacted in the coming season. Whether you are a young plant producer or finish grower, you are no doubt wrestling with the question of how many impatiens to produce or grow for the 2013 season. While there is no clear answer to this unmistakably complicated question, a conversation between you and your customer is in order (if such a conversation has not already occurred). A conversation most likely influenced by both the geographic region that you supply and your customer base. The number of impatiens to grow should be a shared decision with shared risk between you and your buyers. This is also a good time to think about and communicate your policy on claims, returns, or replacements. MORE ON PAGE 8 Seasons, Space & Shrinkage Affect Production Costs 14 20 Manipulating Day and Night Temperatures to Control Flowering and Reduce Heating Costs of Bedding Plants 24 Member Spotlight -Four Seasons Greenhouse & Nursery Member Spotlight -Wingard’s Nursery and Garden Center OFA News 28 29 30 This is a member benefit of OFA – The Association of Horticulture Professionals.