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  • Author or Editor: John J. Haydu x
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The control of postharvest Botrytis fruit rot was evaluated during 1995-96, 1996-97, and 1997-98. Weekly applications of captan and thiram were examined at two or three different rates, respectively. Iprodione applications were combined with the captan and thiram treatments and applied alone for two peak bloom periods. Strawberry fruit were harvested and graded twice weekly for marketable yield and preharvest incidence of Botrytis fruit rot. For postharvest evaluations, fruit from four harvests were selected and stored at 4 °C, and Botrytis fruit rot incidence was recorded over 14 days of storage. Fungicide treatments reduced the incidence of preharvest Botrytis fruit rot and increased marketable yield. Marketable yield data were then used to extrapolate production into net economic returns per hectare. In 1995-96, net returns per hectare ranged from a low of $16,008 in the control treatment to a high of $20,728 for captan. In 1996-97, net returns ranged from a low of $3,655 per hectare for the control to a high of $17,985 for captan + iprodione. In 1997-98, net returns varied from -$641 per hectare for iprodione to a high of $24,215 for captan. Over the experiment's 3-year period, net returns averaged a low of $4,172 for iprodione alone to $19,074 for captan. The study concluded that, at roughly $1,000 per season, fungicide treatments represent a minor proportion of total costs, yet have large impacts on strawberry production profits.

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Cut-flower production in Bolivia is a growing economic activity with sales increasing > 10-fold in the past 6 years. In spite of this growth, Bolivian producers face considerable financial difficulties. Two distinct patterns emerged from this study. Small and medium growers experienced lower costs than larger producers, but the prices they received were also lower. Large operators received twice the small producer price for their flowers, but this gain was offset by the higher costs they had incurred. In the long term, neither selling too low nor operating at costs too high is a sustainable practice.

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Compared with more traditional sectors of U.S. agriculture, little economic information is available on the turfgrass industry, of which golf courses are an integral part. As a result, over the past 30 years individual states have conducted over 60 individual studies that describe in detail the economic importance of their industry. To date, no such information exists at the national level primarily due to the high cost of collecting primary data. To ameliorate this situation, the authors used secondary data from various sources and developed a composite of the turfgrass industry for the entire United States. This report focuses on the golf course industry in particular. Golf represents a very high value amenity use of horticultural products and services, is a major form of development, and uses large amounts of land and water. Results indicate the golf sector is the largest component of the turfgrass industry, accounting for a 44% share. The nearly 16,000 golf courses generated $33.2 billion (B) in (gross) output impacts, contributed $20.6 B in value added or net income, and generated 483,649 jobs nationwide. Economic impacts were also examined for each state, with “top 10” states highlighted. States falling in the top 10 category varied somewhat depending on the variables being examined. The exception were the top four states—Florida, California, Texas, and Illinois—that remained in the top four irrespective of variable type. In general, the top 10 states accounted for 55% to 60% of economic impacts for the entire United States while the top four alone contributed 40% of the total.

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The objective of this project is to estimate establishment and operating costs for garden centers at two levels of sales and to specify the general set of financial, marketing and business principles that should be available to the owner/manager of a garden center.

After surveying 25 garden centers across the United States, two models were derived. A large garden center with annual sales of $1,000,000 is described. A smaller garden center with annual sales of $350,000 is described. Capital budgets, including investment and operations costs for each firm have been developed.

Each firm is evaluated based on standard business indicators. A merchandising program composed of layout, pricing, advertising, cost structure and diversification is outlined.

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The U.S. nursery and landscape industry generates 1.9 million jobs and had an annual payroll of greater than $3 billion in 2002, yet little is known about nursery and landscape workers. This lack of information is even more pressing considering that labor generally accounts for greater than 40% of production costs and 31% of gross sales. Labor shortages, immigration reform, and legal status of employees are widely reported as the industry's most critical issues. We hypothesized that relevant data regarding the nursery industry workforce may raise an appreciation of the industry's diversity, increase political power and public awareness, and help stakeholders evaluate policy decisions and plan corrective strategies in a more informed manner. A total of 4466 self-administered questionnaires were sent in 2006, attempting to reach 30 nurseries in each of nine states with 1561 returned (35% response rate). Hispanics constituted 70% of the average nursery workforce, including general laborers (76%), crew leaders (61%), and sales/managers (others) (21%). Across firms, labor retention was less than 51% after 5 years and only 22% of employees understood English, raising questions regarding availability and access to training. Sixty percent of nursery employees had not received work-related training, although 81% of men and 72% of women were interested, and an association between training and employee retention existed. The highest rated training topic of interest was English/Spanish (respective of Spanish/English primary language respondents). There was a positive correlation between developing fluency and worker turnover, making the laborer attrition rate even more unfavorable for employers who not only lost employees with acquired experience, but also with acquired English skills.

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