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Kris-Ann E. Kaiser and Patrick N. Williams

Ferry-Morse Seed Company is trying to market worm castings to their customers. Murray State University was asked to compare different percentages of worm castings for use with both bedding plants/vegetables and houseplants. Recommended application rates for worm castings was not to exceed 30%. Two plants were chosen to represent the plant categories deemed important to the consumer: tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum `Rutgers') and spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum). Treatment percentages for worm castings were 0% for a control and 10%, 20%, and 30% were incorporated into a soilless media substrate. Treatment 1 consisted of worm castings/soilless media alone and Treatment 2 consisted of worm castings/soilless media with the addition of Peters Professional All-Purpose 20–20–20 fertilizer at 100 ppm nitrogen. Tomatoes were grown from seed and the spider plant propagules were harvested from greenhouse stock plants and sized into small, medium, and large depending on weight. Tomatoes were harvested at 6 weeks and spider plants at 10 weeks. All tomatoes in Treatment 1 had poor visual consumer quality. Visual quality for Treatment 2 tomatoes was best in 20% and 30%. No significant differences were found in Treatment 1 regarding shoot and root weights. Treatment 2 showed significant differences in dry and fresh weight between the control and 20% and 30%. There were visual quality differences with spider plants in Treatment 2 and also significant differences in shoot and root weights between control and all percentages of worm castings in Treatment 2. Based on plant performances, a recommendation to Ferry-Morse Seed Company was to market worm castings in conjunction with a regular fertilizer schedule for maximum plant quality.

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Proceedings of the Workshop Gaining a Marketing Perspective in the University and Private Sectors

held at the 88th ASHS Annual Meeting The Pennsylvania State University, University Park 22 July 1991

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C.G. Embree, B.W. MacLean, and R.J. O'Regan

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Alan Stevens and Houchang Khatamian

Correctly anticipating consumer preferences for goods and services can have a large impact on profitability. Surveying patrons at individual retail outlets does insure the sampling is taken from a customer base, but such surveys are time and labor intensive. A survey sample, taken from attendees at Flower, Lawn and Garden Shows, offers the possibility of large sample sizes, of potential purchasers of horticultural goods and services, with reduced time and labor requirements. A survey to measure the influence of plant size, packaging and price on consumer purchasing habits was conducted at garden shows and garden centers. On the criteria of price and quality of nursery plant materials responses from the two samples were similar. Plant size and packaging appeared to be more influential criteria to the garden show sample.

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Filippo Sgroi, Enrica Donia, Mário Franco, and Angelo Marcello Mineo

The agri-food sector has changed significantly over the years, moving from a simple production system to a more and more industrialized one. For agents/operators involved in this sector, ensuring product quality and environmental externalities has become the key point to gaining a competitive advantage. In this context, corporate social responsibility (CSR) fits perfectly. This study analyzes the influence of CSR practices on the economic performance of a random sample of 130 agri-food companies in Italy. The results of an analysis of multiple linear regression models show that the economic performance (measured through value added and income) of agri-food enterprises seems to be influenced statistically by workplace CSR practices. Analysis of another model, during which we studied the relationship between income and the CSR practices (independent variables), highlights that operating results (economic performance) can be improved by CSR practices regarding the workplace, environment, and local community. Thus, empirical evidence shows that some CSR practices have positive effects on economic performance, with several implications for theory and practice.

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Alan W. Hodges and John J. Haydu

each industry sector. Information was collected on sales in 2005, employment, types of goods or services offered, regional trade, types of customers or market outlets, marketing practices used, threats to the industry along with crop losses, structural

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J.E. Epperson, M.C. Chien, and W.O. Mizelle Jr.

An analysis was conducted using time-series data to identify possible structural change in the farm-gate demand for South Atlantic fresh peaches [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch.]. Structural change was not found in the price-quantity relationship. However, a failing per capita consumption of South Atlantic fresh peaches was found to be associated with an increase in the per capita consumption of fresh fruits in general. Thus, measures such as promotion and advertising, uniform quality control, and cultivar development may increase the demand for South Atlantic fresh peaches.