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Kenneth O. Doyle, Anne M. Hanchek, and Julia McGrew

Flowers communicate information and emotion. When people were asked what messages they associated with given floral arrangements, they reliably connected six meanings with particular arrangements. When similar people were asked which floral arrangements they would choose to convey given messages, they reliably associated three arrangements with particular messages. These findings are consistent with previous studies of the psychology of personality and color; with further elaboration, they should be useful in floral advertising and marketing, advertising, and marketing in other fields, and communications research.

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Jeff S. Kuehny and Margaret J. McMahon

This decision case concerns production and marketing problems that many ornamental growers incur. At the retail level, popular ornamental crops are often used as loss leaders to draw the public into stores to make other purchases. As a result, retail buyers are concerned not with quality but with price and volume. To meet the needs of price-conscious buyers, growers may attempt to reduce their production costs by reducing the level of production inputs, with some sacrifice in product quality. The owners of Two Sisters Greenhouses must decide whether they are going to produce lower-quality plants, change marketing strategies, or grow alternative crops to retain their current profit margins. This case study was intended for use in greenhouse management, nursery management, and floriculture courses where students assume the role of a decisionmaker in poinsettia production and marketing.

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Lon Johnson

Concurrent with the development of the U.S. market for certified organically-grown produce, there has been a growth in the production and marketing of organically-grown botanicals. This activity has been centered in the Pacific Northwest for the past 20 years. The current global market for biologically-grown botanicals has been stimulated by public interest in alternative and traditional plant-based medicines. Trout Lake Farm has organized efforts to stimulate the production and marketing of medicinal plants and spices. The efforts include R&D, growing methodologies, quality assurance, drying, and processing. Research of many ornamentals has revealed potential uses for them other than strictly ornamental. Cultivation is necessary to avoid extirpation of fragile and threatened wild medicinals. The use of organic growing practices is necessary, particularly for specialty crops which have no EPA level inclusions for pesticides. Increasing domestic production of temperate and subtropical herbs and spices helps reduce U.S. imports.

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B.K. Behe, L.V. Purvis, C.H. Gilliam, and J.O. Donald

Increased consumer demand for poultry products has created a poultry waste disposal problem. Previous research demonstrated that a growing medium containing 50% composted broiler litter sustained plant growth as well as commercially available alternatives with no objectionable odor. The objective of this research was to determine consumer perceptions to develop a marketing strategy for this product. One-hundred eighty consumers participated in an intercept-survey. Consumers rated fertility of the growing medium as the most important attribute (4.0 on 5.0 scale), followed by mix price (3.8), and color (3.4). “Organic gardening” was important to 82% while the addition of organic material to a growing medium was important to only 56% of the sample. Adding cow manure to a growing medium was desirable to more consumers (65%) than adding horse (39%) or poultry manure (40%). A marketing strategy should include “organic” terminology rather than a specific manure incorporated to deemphasize the negative perception of composted broiler litter.

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Lauren E. Howell and Michael N. Dana

A mail survey was conducted to determine attitudes held by garden center owners/managers about computers as customer-interactive marketing tools. The survey was sent to 220 garden centers in the 7-state North Central Region (IA, IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI), who were members of the Garden Centers of America. A response of 46% was received. Ownership of one or more computers was reported by 64% of respondents. Over 50% said they believe there is a place in garden centers for customer-interactive computer usage. Of those who did not agree that there is a place for point-of-sale computer usage in the garden center, the two most common objections were the impersonal nature of computers, and the cost. Survey results will contribute to development of perennial flower garden design software for use in point-of-sale marketing.

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C. Klobucher Welch and A.C. Cameron

Bare-root garden rose' (Rosa) cultivars Show Biz, Tropicana, Hotel Hershey, and Femme were packaged according to standard nursery practice with roots surrounded by peat. After 4 weeks of simulated marketing at 23C, the plants produced half as many breaks, half as many flowers, half as much seasonal cane growth, and had reduced survival when field-grown for 1 year, compared to plants held 4 weeks at 3C. Waxing of canes before treatment reduced water loss during simulated marketing and increased lateral breaks, total season cane growth, and, in some cases, flower production. Waxing also induced faster development of new lateral breaks, but, at 23C, induction occurred before planting and these breaks survived poorly in the field. The antitranspirant Cloud Cover did not affect moisture loss or improve field performance.

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Wayne A. Mackay, Steve W. George, Tim D. Davis, Michael A. Arnold, R. Daniel Lineberger, Jerry M. Parsons, Larry A. Stein, and Greg G. Grant

The Coordinated Educational and Marketing Assistance Program identifies outstanding landscape plants for Texas and provides support for the nursery industry, thereby making superior plants available to Texans. CEMAP funding comes directly from industry and from consumers through the sale of plant tags bearing the Texas Superstar logo. Additionally, the Texas Nursery and Landscape Association and Texas Department of Agriculture is conducting a Texas Superstar publicity campaign. An estimated $10 million in new plant sales have been generated during the first 10 years of this program. Because plants are chosen based on their performance under minimal input conditions, Texas SuperStars greatly reduce their impact on the urban environment.

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Carol A. Miles

New foods have been introduced to the North American populations from many world cultures in both planned and unplanned situations. Success of such crops will depend on the acceptance of the consumers. Growers and retailers must educate customers about these new crops in order to ensure that the customer comes back for more. The different strategies that can be used successfully in the process of education, marketing, and promotion, including developing recipe cards, brochures, newspaper and magazine press releases, and talks and presentations to local and regional groups, will be discussed.

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David Picha* and Roger Hinson

Opportunities for marketing United States (U.S.) sweetpotatoes in the United Kingdom (U.K.) are expanding, particularly within the retail sector. The U.K. import volume has steadily increased in recent years. Trade statistics indicate the U.K. imported nearly 12 thousand metric tons of sweetpotatoes in 2002, with the U.S. providing slightly over half of the total import volume. Considerable competition exists among suppliers and countries of origin in their attempts to penetrate the U.K. market. Currently, over a dozen countries supply sweetpotatoes to the U.K., and additional countries are planning on sending product in the near future. An economic assessment of production and transport costs was made among the principal supplying nations to estimate their comparative market advantages. Price histories for sweetpotatoes in various U.K. market destinations were compiled to determine seasonality patterns. Comparisons of net profit (or loss) between U.S. and U.K. market destinations were made to determine appropriate marketing strategies for U.S. sweetpotato growers/shippers. Results indicated the U.K. to be a profitable and increasingly important potential market for U.S. sweetpotatoes.

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G. Smith-Kayode, George Akbigbe, J.A. Kolade, and C.A. Amih

The commercial production and handling systems in Benue State was undertaken under a World Bank assisted project to identify and seek solution to constraints facing citrus farming in some rural parts of Nigeria. Selected areas noted for intensive fruit cultivation like Gbako,Yandev,Katsina-ala, and Aliade was covered in a survey by citrus agronomists and postharvest specialists. The study looked into processes and activities at farmers plots, agriculture department extension plots and nurseries, local markets and processing plants. Key production constraints identified include pest management and weed problems,bush burning, and high labor costs for farm operations. Lack of organized marketing outlets, high transport costs, and fruit decay at collection centers were the main bottlenecks facing the postharvest operations. Local processors face the problems of poor-quality raw material supply and the unstable price regimes every season. Investigation revealed that improved extension linkages that emphasize appropriate orchard management skills, integrated pest management, and careful handling should be introduced.