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John J. Haydu and John L. Cisar

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John J. Haydu and Alan W. Meerow

A major objective of trade-show organizers and exhibitors is to increase the number of prospective buyers attending the shows. To better understand the attendee profile, to seek their opinions on the show, and to gain insight into ways of improving the exhibitions, a survey was mailed to the majority of registered attendees at the 1991 Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition (TPIE) trade show in Florida. Results indicate that the primary reason people attended the show was not to make purchases, but to obtain information about new materials and to make business contacts. Of those who did purchase items at the show, sales were skewed towards large businesses. Representing only one-quarter of the sample, the very largest firms (>$1 million) constituted 48% of all sales at TPIE. When asked how the show could be improved, the most common response (38%) was that more educational programs were needed.

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Alan W. Hodges and John J. Haydu

Total Florida environmental horticulture industry sales in 2005 were $15.24 billion (B), whereas total industry output amounted to $10.39 B with $3.01 B for wholesale nurseries, $5.25 B for landscape services, and $2.13 B for horticultural retailers, which reflects the average gross margin on retail sales. Direct employment in the industry was 190,000 full-time jobs plus nearly 104,000 temporary, part-time, or seasonal jobs. Total employment impacts were 319,000 full-time and part-time/seasonal jobs, including 24,000 jobs created in other sectors of the economy. Total value-added or income impacts of $8.65 B included $5.19 B in labor income for employee wages, salaries, and business owner (proprietor) income. Fiscal impacts included $549 million (M) in indirect business taxes paid to local and state governments. Results for 2005 compared with previous studies performed for 1997 and 2000 indicate that growth in the industry has been dramatic over this time period. Industry sales increased from $8.35 B in 1997 to $15.24 B in 2005, representing a 7.8% average annual compound growth rate, whereas employment impacts grew at a 9.2% annual rate, and value-added impacts grew by 4.7%. The study also evaluated the impacts to the industry from eight hurricanes that struck Florida during 2004 and 2005. Nearly 80% of surveyed firms were adversely impacted by at least one hurricane. Total damages and losses resulting from hurricanes were estimated at $2.12 B, including product (crop) losses of $1.05 B, structural damages of $465 M, and cleanup costs of $605 M. Product losses of at least $100,000 were sustained by 22% of firms, whereas structural damages and cleanup costs of this level were suffered by 12% and 8% of firms, respectively. Nearly half (48%) of the firms had their business interrupted for 3 weeks or more. Despite these large losses, the industry continues to thrive.

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John J. Haydu and Daniel E. Legard

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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Charles R. Hall, Alan W. Hodges and John J. Haydu

The United States environmental horticulture industry, also known as the Green Industry, is comprised of wholesale nursery and sod growers; landscape architects, designers/builders, contractors, and maintenance firms; retail garden centers, home centers, and mass merchandisers with lawn and garden departments; and marketing intermediaries such as brokers and horticultural distribution centers (re-wholesalers). Environmental horticulture is one of the fastest growing segments of the nation's agricultural economy. In spite of the magnitude and recent growth in the Green Industry, there is surprisingly little information regarding its economic impact. Thus, the objective of this study was to estimate the economic impacts of the Green Industry at the national level. Economic impacts for the U.S. Green Industry in 2002 were estimated at $147.8 billion in output, 1,964,339 jobs, $95.1 billion in value added, $64.3 billion in labor income, and $6.9 billion in indirect business taxes, with these values expressed in 2004 dollars. In addition, this study evaluated the value and role of urban forest trees (woody ornamental trees); the total output of tree production and care services was valued at $14.55 billion, which translated into $21.02 billion in total output impacts, 259,224 jobs, and $14.12 billion in value added.

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John J. Haydu, Alan. W. Hodges and Charles R. Hall

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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John J. Haydu, Alan W. Hodges and Diego Montenegro

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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Susan S. Barton, John J. Haydu, Roger Hinson, Robert McNiel, Travis Phillips, Russell Powell and Forrest Stegelin

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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Hannah M. Mathers, Alejandra A. Acuña, Donna R. Long, Bridget K. Behe, Alan W. Hodges, John J. Haydu, Ursula K. Schuch, Susan S. Barton, Jennifer H. Dennis, Brian K. Maynard, Charles R. Hall, Robert McNeil and Thomas Archer

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.