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August 28, 2009
New GMA Corn Not for the Food Chain Since their inception, genetically modified crops were targeted toward farmers producing the world’s food supply. Soybeans that can be sprayed with herbicides, corn that resists insects and fungi, and grains that...
August 28, 2009
Targeting Consumers at the Point of Purchase Everyone agrees that, in a tough economy, getting potential customers to step into a store is half the battle. Once they’re in the door, nudging them to complete a purchase, particularly of the products...
August 28, 2009
This might seem preposterous, but some economists say it’s highly possible that the recession  — which began in December 2007 — ended months ago. The “end” of a recession typically refers to the month when declines in economic growth...
August 28, 2009
Experience continues to confirm the energy-saving benefits of cold growing. Syngenta Flowers’ research reveals more specific results and how this technique could be viable for your operation. In recent years, growing poinsettias at cooler...
August 28, 2009
We are now a year into the credit crisis. Many lending institutions that were good partners in the past are now more focused on preserving and building their capital. Maintaining and building capital is what banks are all about. They loan liquidity...
August 28, 2009
In today’s economy, growers of all shapes and sizes are constantly looking for ways to improve all of their operational efficiencies and get the most out of their business. For big growers, that can be quite a challenge. But at Sawyer Nursery in...
August 28, 2009
Last year, as the economy began to head south, the industry buzz about sustainability quieted down considerably. Many growers turned their attention to nothing but dollars and cents and kind of back-burnered their sustainability initiatives. It’s...
May 28, 2009
There is a saying that “all politics is local”: in essence, that national affairs may be interesting, somewhat influential and worthy of being monitored, but ultimately, success for elected officials is about what gets done close to home. As spring...
May 28, 2009
Use Packaging to Increase Unit and Dollar Sales If you subscribe to the Costco theory of packaging, having a larger unit package size (and larger unit price) should result in greater sales in both units and dollars. But some recent information now...
May 28, 2009
At this time a year ago, we were heading into the summer months with record-high gasoline prices inching toward $4/gallon, electrical costs spiraling upward and the promise of record-high costs for natural gas and fuel oil in the fall and winter....
May 28, 2009
I borrowed the title of this month’s column from Capital One. If you’ve seen their commercials, the tagline conveys to potential customers that Capital One’s credit card services offer greater security and fraud protection than competing products in...
May 28, 2009
In the past several months, I’ve been inundated with calls about my outlook on 2009. There are varying degrees of optimism, pessimism and panic. Without a doubt, the economy’s short-term ups and downs will have a significant impact on consumer...
May 28, 2009
Growers of all sizes face a myriad of challenges in today’s economy, but big growers are facing some really big challenges. That’s why we created the Big Grower Executive Summit: to help big growers overcome those challenges and be more successful....
May 28, 2009
As the largest single-site greenhouse in the United States, the story of Metrolina Greenhouses is often summed up in staggering numbers: $125 million in sales, 500 acres of land, 136 acres of heated greenhouses (14 more acres in construction), 3.5...
May 28, 2009
In late April, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its annual floriculture crops survey. According to the “Floriculture Crops 2008 Summary,” the wholesale value of floriculture crops dropped 2 percent compared to 2007 sales....
March 05, 2009
I’m not sure about you, but I’m ready to get spring 2009 under way. Enough of the bad news; enough of the guessing about what will happen. At the beginning of each spring season, I’m refreshed, rejuvenated and excited to see the racks loaded, carts...
March 05, 2009
Energy-Producing Crop Seed Sales Begin The first seed sales of non-food, low-carbon crops developed specifically as raw material for biofuels and biopower have been launched. Ceres, Inc. recently started taking orders for switchgrass and high-...
March 05, 2009
Grocery chains Stop & Shop and Giant Food, owned by Royal Ahold NV, are launching new product labeling systems designed to help customers identify their stores’ healthiest offerings. The “Healthy Ideas” system will distinguish more than 3,000...
March 05, 2009
Hurricane Ike, the third most damaging hurricane ever to make landfall in the United States, really took its toll on the Southern U.S. in early September 2008. According to an article by Forbes.com’s Mike Schaffner, conversation at holiday parties...
March 05, 2009
As the economy worsens, retailers tap statistical models relying more on targeted ads and promotions than a shotgun approach to the general consumer. It’s an adage of business marketing: Persuading a satisfied consumer to return and purchase is...