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May 21, 2007
Senate Blocks Trifecta Bill In early August, the Senate blocked legislation — known as the trifecta bill — that included an estate tax cut, a set of tax breaks and a minimum wage increase. The proposed legislation spreads the wage increase over...
May 21, 2007
  To Upscale Or Not Upscale? The high price of fuel coupled with the slowdown in housing is affecting consumers’ desire for upscale and luxury products. The prosperity of the last 10 years to upscale purchases has increased the appeal of Whole...
May 21, 2007
Greenhouse owners/managers always ask if there is anybody in the industry who is making money. The answer is “Yes!” Growers have maneuvered through pay by scan, vendor managed inventories, rebates, merchandising fees, sell-through numbers, ad...
May 21, 2007
Border-Fence Laws Signed In a move against illegal immigration, President Bush signed two laws in October authorizing the payment and construction of a 700-mile fence along the U.S.-Mexico border. The first law will pay for the fence, and the second...
May 21, 2007
One Size Doesn’t Fit All In place of its cookie-cutter stores stocked largely with the same products, Wal-Mart is customizing its merchandise mix to reflect one of six demographic groups: African-Americans, affluent citizens, empty-nesters, Latino-...
May 18, 2007
Every year, the New York-based Color Association of America predicts or, maybe more correctly, establishes what colors will be important in fashion, home décor and even manufacturing two years from now. For all practical applications, color...
May 18, 2007
I don’t know about you, but I am hearing a lot about sustainability lately. While I think everyone defines it differently, I recently found a definition, see sidebar, below, in an airline magazine that made me stop and think about growers and the...
February 26, 2007
“You may not make any money on poin-settias, but you sure can lose a lot,” was my comment to a grower recently as we were discussing measures he was taking to cut costs. In the current big box market, a grower cannot afford to put a lot of extra...
February 26, 2007
When 2006 ended, Frank Blake was the vice chairman of The Home Depot’s board of directors and an executive vice president at the company. When 2007 started, he was the company’s chairman and chief executive officer. This all happened when The Home...
February 26, 2007
From shortages to costs to employee verification processes, many aspects of labor hinge upon the outcome of the national immigration debate, especially for the green industry. In his State of the Union address, President Bush expressed his...
February 26, 2007
The large home improvement retailers Home Depot, Lowe’s and Menards are critical outlets for a major portion of the green industry’s products. Growers are becoming more involved in these garden centers’ retail activities and have a greater need to...
February 26, 2007
“It takes money to make money,” is an adage that over the years Rob DeLeon, president of DeLeon’s Bromeliads, and his brother, Don, vice president, have taken to heart. The pair recently built a turnkey greenhouse filled with new automation, they...
February 26, 2007
Wal-Mart has always been a trailblazer when it comes to finding ways to save money so the company can increase profits. So radio frequency identification (RFID) technology seems like it would be the perfect solution to help the retail giant reduce...
November 15, 2006
Many people in the industry still associate the Costa name with foliage. But in the past 10 years, what was a sleepy, south-Florida company has grown into a national powerhouse in both foliage and bedding. The Costa family immigrated to the United...
November 15, 2006
The trend toward increasing competition for revenue and consolidation and the resulting need for new operating models and relationships is not unique to business. Horticulture academia is also going through similar challenges. As we have progressed...
November 15, 2006
As a plant hormone, ab-scisic acid (S-ABA) plays an important role in several plant processes, such as seed dormancy, winter bud dormancy, and leaf and fruit abscission. But research has shown that S-ABA has potential for greenhouse crops because...
November 15, 2006
Vendor managed inventory (VMI) systems allow growers to have more control of their destinies on the sales floor of pay by scan stores. The vendor is responsible for how much product is in the garden center and how it looks. VMI programs help ensure...
November 15, 2006
Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda? Diane Pirocanac Vice President/ Group Publisher (847) 391-1046 dpirocanac@sgcmail.com An advertisement tacked to my office wall reads: “Cease to say shoulda, coulda, woulda.” These words are my daily reminder to be...
November 15, 2006
The use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is becoming more prevalent as many different industries — from pharmaceutical to airline companies — adopt the technology and experiment with its uses, but can it be used to improve your greenhouse...
September 14, 2006
Media-active plant growth regulators (PGRs) are very important in the production of many greenhouse crops. Unfortunately, all of them have potential residue issues that can cause problems later in production. Residue problems arise when PGRs are...