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March 05, 2009
The big question I’ve been asked in the past couple of months: “Will 2009 bring a U.S. economic recovery?” My answer: Yes, assuming no more unpleasant surprises are lurking. Most economists, myself included, think the recovery will start in the...
March 05, 2009
If you tried to find Wolfgang Engelmann at January’s Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition (TPIE) in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., you had to be quick. The president and chief operating officer of Hermann Engelmann Greenhouses in Apopka, Fla., was a man in...
March 05, 2009
It’s March, and spring will officially arrive later this month, a cure for those winter blues. Hallelujah! Winter was a bitter pill for a lot of people to swallow this year, with huge amounts of snow and ice blanketing different regions. Many people...
January 21, 2009
Through the past several months of economic strife and as we plan and prepare for Spring 2009 and beyond, we have seen the term “conservative optimism” arise. At first, I thought it was a pretty good attitude to adopt. But the more I thought about...
January 21, 2009
Are fair-trade products really more environmentally friendly? People are always equating the two concepts, but they are not always related. How can you be confident that a fair-trade item is also green? The recent rise of the “ethical” consumer hasn...
January 21, 2009
The 2008 election is now history. The 111th Congress, featuring substantially expanded Democratic majorities in both houses, is now seated. And depending on when you receive this issue, President George W. Bush may already have stepped aside for...
January 21, 2009
Although long employed by many manufacturing and customer-service businesses, outsourcing is just now arriving on the scene in the horticultural industry. So what is it, how does it work and what are the potential benefits? Simply put, outsourcing...
January 21, 2009
During economic booms, consumers’ definitions sometimes become clouded. “I want” is quickly replaced by “I need.” Rolex replaces Timex, and Cadillac trumps Chevy, according to Peak Newsroom, a business news blog. A sinking economy, shrinking...
January 21, 2009
Has the economy put an end to brand loyalty? Prompted by the ever-rising costs of most consumer products, many Americans are changing their purchasing habits and abandoning name-brand products for the more frugal (lower priced) house and generic...
January 21, 2009
Download the PDF in the LearnMore! box for all charts and figures. During the 1980s, geranium growers began reporting problems with sudden pH decline (SPD) associated with micronutrient toxicities. SPD describes a situation where plants growing at...
January 21, 2009
It has never been more important to select the right employees for your key positions. For a large greenhouse, the head grower is like air, as is the top salesperson. The right general manager can be the difference between success and stress. Surely...
January 21, 2009
Many of you may be familiar with Bob’s Market & Greenhouses, one of the industry’s premier grower-retailers, based in Mason, W.Va. You may know that this business is owned and operated by the Barnitz family and is currently in its second...
January 21, 2009
As we enter the New Year, it’s always kind of fun to make predictions and see how they play out. Last January, I don’t think anyone could have predicted many of the things that happened in 2008. So I won’t make any predictions; instead, I have a few...
November 13, 2008
“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” This has never been truer than today. By the time you see this edition of Big Grower, we will have elected a new president. No matter how you voted, win or lose, a new leader will be guiding this...
November 13, 2008
Overall, how was business in 2008? What will your main focus be for 2009? “Our service area covers primarily the western 11 states, and in 2008, sales have been less than expected and down from the previous year. The big question, of course, is was...
November 13, 2008
As the crisis in the financial markets spreads early this fall, some retailers panicked and offered greater discounts than they did at the same time a year ago. The promotions, however, did little to convince wary consumers to open their wallets....
November 13, 2008
Many organizations are now recognizing that “going green” can save money, open up new avenues of revenue, and help keep employees, shareholders and customers happy. Often overlooked are increased tax benefits and governmental grants for...
November 13, 2008
The game has evolved. Growers today grapple with new challenges, demands and choices — and playing by yesterday’s rules no longer seems to cut it. In our first ever “Big 10 Innovators” feature, the GPN/Big Grower team decided to highlight those...
November 13, 2008
Last month, I read an article on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s website, www.ajc.com, about Marvin Ellison. If Home Depot is one of your customers, you may have heard his name. If Home Depot isn’t one of your customers, you may want to find out...
October 28, 2008
Even though it is only October, and fall mums, pansies and asters are still making their way off of the retail shelves, the holiday season is just around the corner. But by now, you have planted your poinsettias and other holiday varieties and are...