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D.H. Picha

The use of heat shrinkable plastic film for wrapping individual sweetpotato roots was evaluated as a form of value-added packaging. Individual shrink wrapping of sweetpotatoes is a recently adopted but increasingly used retail marketing technique. The shrink wrapping process involves enclosing individual roots in shrink film which is cut and heat sealed followed by transfer through a heat tunnel to create a tightly sealed package. Film thickness ranges from 40 to 100 microns (gauge). Manual, semi-automatic, and automatic application methods are available. Fully automated commercial methods approach a speed of 1 wrapped root per second. Shrink wrapping adds value to fresh market sweetpotatoes by enhancing appearance, reducing weight loss, and allowing for individual root labeling. Various film types and thicknesses were tested under simulated retail conditions. Root weight loss from shrink wrapped roots was significantlyreduced during storage, ranging from a total of 0.5% in wrapped roots to 2.5% in unwrapped roots after 3 weeks of ambient storage. There was an inverse relationship between film thickness and root weight loss, with the thicker gauge films showing the least amount of weight loss. Film type and thickness did not influence overall root flavor and sweetness perception. In order to reduce the incidence of surface mold, the root must be completely dry before wrapping. This form of packaging offers significant potential for enhancing retail consumer demand.

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Susan S. Barton and Bridget K. Behe

’ tastes engendering desire for the product), informative (provides information to an imperfect market), or complementary (convinces consumers that products fit their preferences). In fact, a 2012 study based on data from the 2008 Trade Flows and Marketing

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Charles D. Safley, E. Barclay Poling, Michael K. Wohlgenant, Olga Sydorovych, and Ross F. Williams

The costs associated with growing, harvesting and marketing strawberries (Fragaria × ananassa) using the plasticulture production system were estimated to be $13,540/acre ($33,457/ha). Net revenue analysis showed that growers would have to charge at least $0.85 and $1.40/lb ($1.87 to $3.09/kg) for pick-your-own (PYO) and prepicked fruit, respectively, and sell 12,000 lb of berries per acre (13,449.9 kg·ha-1) to cover this expense. Break-even analysis indicated that growers would have to charge a PYO price of $0.65/lb ($1.43/kg) and $1.20/lb ($2.64/kg) for prepick berries and sell a minimum of 15,041 lb/acre (16,858.4 kg·ha-1) to cover the projected expenses. However, if a grower received $0.95 and $1.50/lb ($2.09 and $3.31/kg) for the PYO and prepicked fruit, respectively, he/she would only have to sell 10,622 lb of berries per acre (11,905.4 kg·ha-1) to break even. It was assumed that an average of 11.6 lb (5.26 kg) of fruit would be sold to PYO customers and an average of 7.1 lb (3.22 kg) would be sold to customers who visited the fruit stand. Under these assumptions, the breakeven yield of 14,724 lb/acre translates into a requirement to sell fruit to at least 1,539 customers per acre (3,802.8 customers/ha) at the lowest combination of prices while a yield of 10,398 lb/acre converts to a minimum of 1,087 customers per acre (2,685.9 customers/ha) at the higher prices. Customers were also surveyed at direct market operations in Spring 1999 to gain insight into consumer demographic characteristics, why customers select a specific PYO or prepick direct market strawberry outlet, average expenditures per customer, typical driving distances to direct market strawberry operations, and the effectiveness of advertising. Middle age, middle-income customers living within 10 miles (16.1 km) of the farm comprised the largest percentage of customers surveyed at the PYO operations, while middle age, high-income individuals who also live within 10 miles of the fruit stand were the largest group of respondents at the fruit stands. PYO customers spent an average of $10.30, and prepick consumers spent an average of $9.40 per visit. Less than 23% of all the respondents said that advertising influenced their shopping decision while >77% indicated that any type of advertisement did not influence their decision. Overall, convenient location was easily the major reason that customers decided to patronize a specific direct market outlet while personal referrals were second.

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J.J. Ferguson

The experience and resources of extension specialists can be used in academic teaching programs within a horticultural managers' seminar for advanced undergraduate students, drawing on production, marketing, sales, and distribution managers to discuss application of horticultural principles in work situations and other complex issues facing agricultural managers. Guest speakers present an overview of their background, work responsibilities, management philosophy, and management practices. Students interact with speakers in this informal seminar and complete written evaluations of speakers and topics for discussion in later classes. This horticultural managers' seminar exposes students to the medley of problems and opportunities facing agricultural managers, uses the resources of extension faculty in academic teaching programs, and reinforces ties between commodity departments and their respective industries.

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Kristin L. Getter and Bridget K. Behe

consumers to buy local is increasing for many reasons, one of which is to support local producers ( McIntyre and Rondeau, 2011 ). All 50 U.S. states currently have or have had in the recent past a state-sponsored agricultural marketing program designed to

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Diane M. Narem, Mary Hockenberry Meyer, Chengyan Yue, and Nicole Roth

) suggested incorporating marketing messages that highlight plants environmental benefits to “maintain the industry’s sense of value and relevance” and also appeal to consumers. POS displays are promotions located in the retail space to draw attention to

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Esendugue Greg Fonsah, Gerard Krewer, Kerry Harrison, and Danny Stanaland

Agriculture, Economic Research Service publications, and other published resources were consulted to obtain historical information on productivity, marketing, price, and overall outlook of blueberry ( Abbe and Messer, 2004 ; Pollack and Perez, 2003 ). The

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Gianna Short, Chengyan Yue, Neil Anderson, Carol Russell, and Nicholas Phelps

even fewer studies have investigated consumer perceptions and marketing potential for fish and produce grown with aquaponic production methods ( Savidov, 2004 ; Tamin et al., 2015 ; Zugravu et al., 2016 ). More studies exist on consumer perceptions of

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Amy Jo Chamberlain, Kathleen M. Kelley, and Jeffrey Hyde

foods ( Dettmann and Dimitri, 2010 ). Finally, those seeking produce that is locally grown, certified organic, or both did so to gain an authentic, high-quality, and unique food experience ( The Hartman Group, 2008 ). To improve marketing strategies of

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E. Day and M.P. Garber

As the ornamental nursery industry moves from being production-oriented to being market-driven, growers must rethink the way they do business. No longer can producers target only purchasers of plant materials; now they must also direct marketing activities to those who influence the purchase of plants and choice of producers. Because landscape architects play an influential role in plant specification and selection of production nurseries, growers should consider ways in which effective marketing communications can be developed to influence these influencers. A marketing perspective on the decisionmaking process and the determination of the role of the individual in the decision process is used to develop recommendations on ways for growers to communicate with landscape architects. The implications of these findings for university extension programming also are discussed.