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  • Author or Editor: Andrew H. Jeffers x
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The US landscape industry consists of 632,000 businesses with >1 million persons employed in 2022. The most common service that landscape service providers (LSPs) perform is pest management. Over the past 25 years, LSPs have been challenged to adopt more holistic approaches to pest management via the use of nonchemical and less toxic chemical controls. Integrated pest management (IPM), specifically scouting, may be a useful approach for LSPs to manage pests more sustainably and market new services, such as biological control releases. Scant literature is available on LSP scouting practices or consumer acceptance of scouting services. The goal of this study was to determine if IPM-aware consumers were more likely to purchase a scouting program offered by an LSP. An online survey was distributed across the United States through a third-party panel service. The final sample included 928 usable responses. Data were analyzed using a binary logistic regression model. Fifty-seven percent of respondents reported having some knowledge or were very knowledgeable of IPM. Respondents 65 years of age and older were 13.1% points less likely to purchase a scouting service. Education level did not influence purchase likelihood. Consumer knowledge of IPM had a positive influence on the purchase likelihood, respondents with “some knowledge” (5.6%) and “very knowledgeable” (8.6%) were more likely to buy IPM services. Further, if the consumer was open to purchasing the scouting program, it is plausible that they might be more willing to allow an LSP to use a combination of chemical and nonchemical methods to manage pests.

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Ornamental plant growers must be able to accurately assess production costs associated with woody liner stock to gain profit potential in a highly competitive industry. Fixed and variable cost inputs may not be intuitive or readily apparent to growers and may even differ between common types of production in the trade. To help liner producers identify profit-based price points for their woody ornamental liner stock, we modeled costs associated with producing familiar species and cultivars of a representative deciduous shade tree, a broadleaf evergreen, and a needle leaf evergreen liner. Production costs are projected down to individual plant units for each of the three most common liner production systems, including a field ground bed system, a polyhouse-covered (plant protection structure sheathed with one layer of 6-mil polyethylene film) ground bed system, and a polyhouse-covered container system. Production costs for individual plants varied due to the actual growing space available within each system. The field ground bed system offered greatest flexibility in crop planting density, with cost potentially distributed among the largest number of salable units. In addition to modeled costs, advantages and disadvantages of each liner cropping system are discussed.

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