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D.A. Devitt, R.L. Morris, D. Kopec, and M. Henry

Golf course superintendents in the southwestern United States (Tucson, Ariz.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Orange County, Calif.) were surveyed to assess attitudes toward using reuse water for irrigation. Eighty-nine golf course personnel returned the survey, with 28% indicating that they irrigate with municipal water, 36% with well water, and 27% with reuse water. The reason for switching to reuse water varied by state, with 40% of respondents switching in Arizona because of mandates, 47% switching in Nevada because of cost incentives, and 47% switching in California because it was considered a more reliable source of water. Less than 20% of the respondents rated the use of reuse water on golf courses and parks to have a negative impact on cost, the environment and health. However, respondents indicated that using reuse water does have a negative impact on the operations of the golf course, with pond maintenance and irrigation maintenance having the highest negative impact (∼80%). Multiple regression analysis revealed that among those who indicated that using reuse water would have a negative impact on golf course management, a higher percentage were individuals who had a greater number of years of experience irrigating with reuse water (P = 0.01) and individuals who have taken classes on how to use reuse water (P = 0.05). Respondents who currently irrigate with reuse water indicated they had changed a wide range of landscape and turfgrass management practices as a result of using reuse water. Based on the results of this survey, it was concluded that golf course personnel in the southwestern U.S. do not oppose the transition to reuse water for irrigation. However, it was also clear they recognize using such water negatively impacts their golf courses' operations.

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Jill Shore Auburn

The Internet has experienced tremendous growth recently. The number of users, the amount and diversity of information available, and exposure in the mass media have all grown rapidly. Several authors recently have asserted that the media reports are overblown and that Internet is not as useful as most reports portray. Agricultural professionals need to assess whether or not the cost of using the Internet (in learning time as well as money) will benefit them in terms of increased knowledge and productivity. This paper describes current use of the Internet to answer practical questions from research and education, using a survey and practical examples from sustainable agriculture.

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Tanya J. Hall, Jennifer H. Dennis, Roberto G. Lopez, and Maria I. Marshall

( Krug et al., 2008 ). Examples of sustainable practices include recycling irrigation water and plastic, implementing biological controls, and using alternative energy sources ( Lopez et al., 2008 ). According to an informal survey conducted by

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Wojciech J. Florkowski and Orville M. Lindstrom

Leyland cypress (×Cupressocyparis Leylandii) is becoming increasingly important as a live-cut Christmas tree yet it differs from trees currently familiar to most customers. Results of a consumer survey provide an opportunity for growers to adjust planting and marketing decisions. Questionnaires were completed while respondents displayed the tree at their residences. Opinions about the tree referred to tree features and compared them with features of other types of Christmas trees and inquired about the care given to the tree and its disposal. In general, respondents were consistent in their favorable assessment of Leyland cypress as a live Christmas tree with respect to several characteristics including tree shape twig density, and maintenance of fresh appearance over time. Recycling was the primary form of tree disposal.

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Michele R. Warmund and Denny Schrock

Master Gardener training was delivered via interactive television (IT) or face to face (FTF) in Missouri in 1997. IT and FTF participants were surveyed on their acceptance of the Master Gardener training method and their perceptions of program quality and technology to evaluate the newly developed multiple site IT training. Demographic characteristics were also recorded to determine if IT format attracted a different clientele than that of FTF training. Those who participated in IT training generally had more years of education than those in the FTF training and lived in suburban rather than rural areas. IT participants missed fewer training sessions than FTF participants. However, IT participants rated the slide quality, sound, and overall training lower than the FTF group. Some problems associated with IT training identified by the participants are correctable, which should improve future acceptance of this technology.

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Susan Barton, Tom Ilvento, and Jo Mercer

Keeping up with cultural issues, recruiting new employees, motivating employees, and weed control were the issues most frequently cited as “very serious” or “somewhat serious” by surveyed members of the nursery and landscape industry. The focus of important issues changed somewhat based on the type of business. Retailers were more concerned with marketing and less concerned with plant maintenance. Pesticide regulation was more important to firms that provide some form of plant maintenance for consumers. Small firms were less concerned with employee issues, and large firms were more concerned with regulation. The most desirable method of receiving information was still printed materials, but firms with equipment (i.e., facsimile machines, computers) were more likely (30%) to use these forms of communication. E-mail was a very popular form of communication with firms that had e-mail access. Technology-oriented communication will probably increase in popularity as more firms gain access to technology.

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Thomas L. Prince, Harry K. Tayama, and John R. Grabner Jr.

A survey analysis of retail florists in the Midwestern United States and floral mass marketers, nationally, profiled the level of service provided by their primary floral suppliers on 10 service characteristics. There is substantial variability in service levels provided to retail florists and mass marketers by suppliers. The greatest variability in service levels was for services relative to maintenance of product quality, product availability, communications/order information, product discounts, and product labeling. Retail florists perceived higher levels of service relative to delivery speed and order/delivery reliability than mass marketers. Mass marketers perceived higher levels of service from suppliers relative to communications/order information and product labeling, compared to retail florists. The service profiles provide floral suppliers management information for the development of service programs targeted for specific customer segments.

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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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Mary Lamberts, Teresa Olczyk, Stephen K. O'Hair, Juan Carranza, Herbert H. Bryan, Edward Hanlon, and George Hochmuth

A baseline survey was conducted to determine grower fertilizer management practices for five vegetable crops: beans, malanga, potatoes, sweet corn, and squash. This was done in conjunction with a 3-year replicated fertility trial with four vegetable crops (1993–94 through 1995–96) in the Homestead area. Questions included: fertilizer rates and timing, source(s) of fertilizer recommendations, soil and tissue testing, irrigation, changes in practices, summer cover crops, rock plowing, spacing, and type of fertilizer used. Survey results will be presented.

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Rebecca H. Wehry, Kathleen M. Kelley, Robert D. Berghage, and James C. Sellmer

A consumer-research study was conducted in two locations in Pennsylvania utilizing two survey methods: intercept and telephone. This study was designed to assess: 1) what national brand name plant material participants purchased in the past; 2) the consumer's awareness of the Pennsylvania Gardener Selects (PGS) program; and 3) the gardening habits and demographics of Pennsylvania gardeners. The first survey was an intercept survey of 390 self-selected participants who attended Ag Progress Days (APD), a 3-day outdoor educational event and farm implement show from 20-22 Aug. 2002. The second survey was a telephone survey of 500 randomly selected households in the metro-Philadelphia area and was conducted from 20 Aug. through 17 Sept. 2002. Only responses from Pennsylvania gardeners were used in the analysis of the results. A comparison of survey results indicated that metro-Philadelphia-area participants spent more on plant material annually than APD participants, who primarily resided in rural locations. The results showed that metro-Philadelphia-area gardeners tend to live in single-adult households and have one or more children, whereas APD gardeners tend to live in a household with two or more adults and have no children. Eighty-one percent of APD participants and 62% of metro-Philadelphia participants reported that they would be willing to purchase plant material that has been evaluated and chosen as being outstanding for use in all areas of Pennsylvania, a premise for the PGS program.