The University of Tennessee developed a flowering dogwood tree (Cornus florida) that is resistant to powdery mildew (Microspaera pulchra). A simulated cooperative game was created to estimate a university fee and predict the behavior of nursery growers and nursery product retailers. The simulation suggests a university fee of $3.51, leading to an average retail price premium for the resistant tree of $10.41. At this price level the simulation predicts that 62 percent of all retail dogwood trees sold would be powdery mildew resistant. Based on 1998 sales of 1.475 million dogwood trees nationwide, 914,500 were predicted to be the powdery mildew resistant varieties, resulting in $3.2 million in revenue for the university. Given this level of sales and markup pricing, the cost of the trees will rise in subsequent stages of the distribution channel, and revenues will increase as well. The simulation suggests nursery revenue will increase by nearly $4 million and costs by $3.2 million, resulting in a net nursery gain of $0.8 million. Similar computations for the retail level are $9.5 million in revenue and a net increase of $5.5 million.
Justin G. Gardner, David B. Eastwood, Charles R. Hall, and John R. Brooker
William E. Klingeman, David B. Eastwood, John R. Brooker, Charles R. Hall, Bridget K. Behe, and Patricia R. Knight
A survey was administered to assess plant characteristics that consumers consider important when selecting landscape plants for purchase. Visitors to home and garden shows in Knoxville and Nashville, Tenn.; Detroit, Mich.; and Jackson, Miss., completed 610 questionnaires. Respondents also indicated their familiarity with integrated pest management (IPM) concepts, pest control philosophy, recognition of flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) pests and diseases, including dogwood powdery mildew (Microsphaera pulchra), and willingness-to-pay a price differential for a powdery-mildew-resistant flowering dogwood. Fewer than half of the respondents in any city indicated familiarity with IPM, although they were familiar with organic farming and pest scouting components of an IPM program. Willingness-to-pay was relatively consistent across all four locations. The uniformity of average tree premiums, which ranged from $11.87 in Jackson to $16.38 in Detroit, supports the proposition that customers are willing to pay a substantially higher price for a landscape tree that will maintain a healthier appearance without the use of chemical sprays. Factors affecting consumer demand for landscape nursery products and services can be paired with consumer awareness of IPM terminology and practices to create an effective market strategy for newly developed powdery-mildew-resistant dogwood cultivars.