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Alan W. Hodges, Charles R. Hall, Bridget K. Behe, and Jennifer H. Dennis

Statistica software (StatSoft, Tulsa, OK); statistically significant differences ( P < 0.05) are indicated by different letters for nonhomogeneous regional groups. Fig. 1. U.S. regions for analysis of the nursery industry. Note: Pacific region

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Thomas H. Yeager* and Kenneth A. Kuhl

Nursery operations have strategically positioned themselves close to markets and many are now an agricultural entity surrounded by urban encroachment. The environmental pressures of society have mounted at unprecedented rates, resulting in additional regulations for nurseries. Development and implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs) for the nursery industry allows nurseries to be proactive and not wait for regulations that might harm the industry. Univ. extension personnel with BMP subject matter expertise can play a pivotal role in assisting the industry with development and implementation of proactive BMPs. Important steps that have served as a model for BMP development and implementation include the following. Establish need—the industry leadership must explain to nursery personnel the reasons why BMPs are needed and elicit assistance with BMP development from university personnel. Committee guidance—the industry leadership establishes a steering committee of nursery personnel representing various interests of the industry to work with university and regulatory personnel to conceptualize BMPs and develop objectives. Consensus development—steering committee communicates their objectives to the nursery industry, explains the impacts, and provides a mechanism for feedback to achieve broad-based stakeholder participation. BMPs drafted - steering committee writes a draft BMP manual that is available for industry review. Industry-wide input—steering committee aggressively seeks input from the industry, implements as many suggestions as possible, and informs industry of BMP manual revisions. Educational programs—university extension personnel conduct training for nursery operators implementing BMPs and track the impact of BMPs on nurseries.

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Michael A. Schnelle, Sharon L. von Broembsen, and Michael D. Smolen

A comprehensive educational program focusing on water quality protection was developed for the Oklahoma nursery industry. The program focused on best management practices to limit pesticides and nutrients in irrigation runoff and on capture and recycle technology as a pollution prevention strategy. Key professionals from the departments of entomology and plant pathology, biosystems and agricultural engineering, and horticulture formed a multidisciplinary team within the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service (OCES). During 1998, water quality workshops were conducted on-site throughout Oklahoma at leading nursery operations. These workshops were designed to highlight best management practices (BMPs) that were already in place as a foundation on which to implement additional BMPs with the assistance of the OCES team. Training workshops were augmented by written publications, by web-based information, and by videotape instruction. These provided for ongoing education beyond the formal grant period. The written materials included a water quality handbook for nurseries and a fact sheet on capturing and recycling irrigation runoff. The water quality handbook was also made available on the web and a website on disease management for nurseries using recycling irrigation was provided. The water quality video, highlighting successful growers, was designed to show aspects of both best management practices and capture and recycle technology. Results of these 3-year extension efforts will be discussed.

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C.D. Safley and T.E. Bilderback

Many universities face tough decisions on how to allocate limited resources to serve a demanding clientele. Industry officials frequently perceive university researchers and extension specialists as losing touch with reality and working on irrelevant problems. In many situations, this perception is a result of the lack of communication among the parties involved. Research and Extension Commodity Overviews conducted by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State Univ. have proved to be an excellent way of improving communications between university personnel and the industries they support. This paper outlines the overview process and shows how this approach benefited the state's nursery industry and the university.

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William G. Hudson, Melvin P. Garber, Ronald D. Oetting, Russell F. Mizell, Ann R. Chase, and Kane Bondari

A national survey of the greenhouse and nursery industry provided data on insecticide/miticide use in 1993. Respondents reported using 46 different compounds, and the industry used an estimated 2.8 million pounds of active ingredients to control insect and mite pests. The most frequently used material was acephate: 52% of the respondents reporting use in 1993. The most heavily used material was a miticide, dienochlor, with an estimated 643,281 lb (292,400 kg) applied, or 28% of the total. Only three other compounds represented more than 5% of the total use—carbaryl (498,073 lb or 22%) (226,397 kg), diazinon (326,131 lb or 14%) (148,242 kg), and propargite (143,888 lb or 6%) (65,404 kg). Of the top four products, two (dienochlor and propargite) are miticides. Together these represented 34% of the total estimated insecticide/miticide use, demonstrating the importance of mites as pests in the industry.

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Melvin P. Garber, William G. Hudson, Jeffrey G. Norcini, Ronald K. Jones, Ann R. Chase, and Kane Bondari

A national survey of the greenhouse and nursery industries was conducted to determine the current status of pest management practices. This study covers the trends in chemical and nonchemical pest control measures and factors that affect adoption of nonchemical control measures. For the 5-year period 1988-93, there appeared to be a decrease in chemical use for disease and insect control and for plant growth regulators. During the same period there was an increase in chemical weed control. The adoption of nonchemical pest control measures was concentrated in the area of insect control. The primary factors limiting use of nonchemical pest control measures were 1) availability of effective materials/biological agents, 2)availability of information, and 3) management complexity. The primary information sources on nonchemical pest control used by growers varied by size of firm and region of the country. For all respondents the primary sources were 1) industry trade journals, 2) other growers in the industry, 3) cooperative extension service, and 4) industry-sponsored seminars.

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Tamela D. Michaels and John D. Lea-Cox

Electronic information systems that take advantage of new technological developments on the Web are a key towards fulfilling the mission of the extension educator; i.e., to help individuals, families and communities put research-based knowledge to work in improving their lives. Webpages are one key to achieving this goal, but vertical searches using search engines are tedious and inefficient. There is a need for a) rapid and easy access to verifiable information databases and b) the coordination of good information resources that are already available on the Web in an horizontal format. NurseryWeb was developed as an open information resource within a frames environment that enables users to gather information about a variety of nursery-related material; e.g., cultural information, diagnostic criteria for disease and pest identification, data on integrated pest management and marketing data. In addition, a password-protected communication resource within the page provides nurserymen with conferencing and direct email connections to nursery extension specialists through WebChat, as well as providing time-sensitive data, alerts, and links to professional organizations. A number of critical issues remain unresolved—e.g., the integrity of information links, data and picture copyright issues, and software support. Nonetheless, the ease of use, availability of information in remote areas at relatively low cost, and 24-hr access assures that this type of information provision will become dominant in the future.

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T.M. Waliczek, P.D. O'Rourke, and J.C. Bradley

Horticulture crops are a multimillion dollar industry in Illinois, providing employment opportunities as well as strengthening many local economies. In February 1998, about 300 surveys were mailed to members of the Illinois Nurserymen's Association, including owners and operation managers of retail and wholesale nurseries, greenhouses and garden centers. Questions included the pool of available labor, the total number of persons employed, including full and part-time workers, starting and average salaries for employees, retention rates and training procedures. Questions were also asked regarding employees' education and experience level, average compensation for various levels of employment and demographics of the employee pool. A 48% response rate was achieved with 147 surveys returned and analyzed. Respondents reported an average of 70 employees including sales staff, office staff and seasonal employees. Those businesses responding employed an average of 2.5 managers with an approximate annual salary of $48,000, and an average of 15 laborers with an approximate annual salary of $21,000. Correlations provided insight into which areas of the industry hired persons with horticulture degrees and the types of experience most valued by the respondents.