The Year That Was — And the Year That Will Be By Tim Hodson

As the holidays approach and 2009 draws to a close, now is probably as good a time as ever to look at the lessons learned from this year and see whether those lessons can be applied to 2010.

From the economy to the weather, I think everyone in this industry learned something (good or bad) from what happened in 2009. How those lessons are applied in the new year could make the difference between a good year and a great year.

Questions, Questions, Questions

But what will 2010 bring? I wish I had a crystal ball that I could turn to for the answer to that question. Unfortunately, I don't. But many different things that happened this year will have an impact on the industry in 2010.

Last month, the stock market continued to climb but so did the unemployment figures. HmmmÉthese types of contradictions just create a bunch of questions for an editor, so I started to make a list of some of those questions.

Here are just some of the things that have me wondering what may or may not happen in the new year:

  • What is going to happen to consumer confidence?
  • Will the housing market see a marked recovery? Will it bring consumers out to the garden center to consume your products?
  • What will the unemployment picture look like 12 months from now? Worse, better or the same?
  • How tight will commercial lending be?
  • What will a business have to do to get a loan?
  • How will the later dates (April 10 to 17) impact California Spring Trials?
  • What new or innovative varieties do the breeders plan to introduce in 2010?
  • What is going to happen to the industry-wide marketing initiative that was proposed at OFA Short Course? (GPN, October 2009, page 6)

The weather is always the wild card for our industry, but I want to know what the weather will be like this spring. I hope Mother Nature is kind to everyone — growers, retailers and consumers — so everyone can benefit from the products you grow.

These are just some of my questions. Do you have a list of questions for 2010? If you do, I'd love to see it. Drop me a line a and we can compare lists.

Have a Happy One!

I hope that by now you have either sold and shipped all of your poinsettias to your wholesale customers or you have them displayed in your own retail operation. If that's the case, I hope they are flying off of the shelves and you are preparing to enjoy the holidays.

The entire staff at GPN would like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season.

See you in 2010!

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