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Benjamin L. Campbell and Charles R. Hall

their business practices and determining if there are ways to increase sales and profitability. Increased sales may often come as a result of subtle changes in pricing behavior and vice versa. For instance, an operator that uses last year's prices as an

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Bridget K. Behe, Kristin L. Getter and Chengyan Yue

sunlight affect retail product sales ( Murray et al., 2010 ; Starr-McCluer, 2000 ). Weather fluctuations can cause a shift in consumer demand for certain products ( Niemira, 2005 ). For example, unusually dry weather may delay demand for umbrellas or

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Moriah Bellenger, Deacue Fields, Kenneth Tilt and Diane Hite

Alabama's horticulture industry is both the largest and fastest growing crop sector, comprising almost 40% of total state crop sales [ U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), 2005 ]. Despite recent economic insecurity and the increased competitive

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Benedict Posadas

mechanization on annual gross sales; annual employment; and workers’ earnings, safety, and retention. In this article, there are more southern states included in the study (eight vs. three states), covered a longer period (2003 to 2007 vs. 2003 to 2009), and

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D.T. Lindgren

Thirteen farmers' markets have been established in west-central Nebraska with varying degrees of success. Sales and seller participation in the active markets have varied from year to year. Farmers' markets in small communities, as well as in larger metropolitan areas, can be successful.

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Kyle P. Lewis* and Jack W. Buxton

Maintaining adequate water for container plants in outdoor sales areas is difficult during the late spring and summer. In mass marketing areas employees are uninformed about the water requirements of plants under various environmental conditions. Plants often are severely stressed and over all quality reduced. A system was developed to automatically irrigate container plants in an outdoor sales area. The system is a modification of the Controlled Water Table (CWT) irrigation system developed at the Univ. of Kentucky (U.K.). The sales area consisted of 2 shelves each 2.44 m long and 0.28 m wide. A trough was constructed from a 5-cm diameter pipe with a 1/4 slot; it was attached to the back side of the shelf. One side of a capillary mat, placed on the shelves, was suspended in the trough containing water. Two systems were used to maintain the level of water in the trough. One was a small float valve installed in a 10-cm PVC pipe which was attached to the 5-cm PVC pipe. The float was adjusted to maintain the water in the trough 2 cm below the top of the shelf. The water reservoir consisted of a 20-cm diameter PVC pipe, 1.22 m long that held 70 L of water. A second system maintained a constant water level in the trough using Torricellian tube principle. The water reservoir was the same as above except it was tightly sealed so no air could leak from the system. The water table was maintained 2 cm below the bench surface by rotating a hole in small cap. A variety of plants in containers, ranging from 10 cm to 5 L pots were maintained without water stress, in a greenhouse environment as well in an outdoor environment for several weeks.

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Alan W. Hodges, Charles R. Hall and Marco A. Palma

during the period 2001–07, then dropped sharply in 2008–09, as shown in Fig. 1 . Industry firms that experienced remarkable growth in sales and profits for most of this decade now face stagnant demand for product, abundant supply in the marketplace, and

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Donald J. Merhaut and Dennis Pittenger

A survey of wholesale nurseries in the United States was conducted in 1999, with 169 of the 806 nurseries surveyed responding from the state of California. The survey, consisting of 29 questions related to production practices, products, sales, and marketing, was sent to a random group of nurseries. Based on these results, over 50% of the new nursery businesses in California have been established within the last two decades. While most of the nurseries have computerized business practices, only 21% have implemented the use of computers or other automation in their production practices. Horticulturally, containerized plant production (80% of the industry) is still the primary method of growing and shipping plants in California, and most (90%) of these products are sold within the state. Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, and Texas are the primary destinations for plant material that is exported out of state. The factors that nursery owners feel influence sales the most include market demand, weather unpredictability, and water supply, while governmental and environmental regulations are perceived to have the least impact. The factors that influence product price include cost of production, market demand, and product uniqueness.

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R. A. Criley and S. Lekawatana

More than three dozen species of Heliconia have entered the cut flower trade since the expanded interest in bold tropical cut flowers began in the early 1980s. Most were wild-collected originally with little information on their habitats or season of bloom. A natural flowering season for some species can be found in the taxonomic literature, but it may be influenced locally by rainfall and drought periods as well as by photoperiod and therefore not reliable in indicating production periods in Hawaii. Sales records from 1984 through 1990 or several heliconia growers on Oahu reflected not only the quantities produced but also the time and duration of the blooming season. Such information is helpful in coordinating with the flower markets. Heliconia species of commercial interest with strong seasonal flowering periods are noted: angusta, bihai, caribaea, caribaea X bihai, collinsiana, farinosa, lingulata, rostrata, sampaioana, stricta, subulata, wagneriana.

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Alan W. Hodges, Charles R. Hall, Marco A. Palma and Hayk Khachatryan

collectively had a total of 155,900 business establishments, with 1,173,894 direct employees, and $37.55 B in wages paid in 2013 ( Table 1 ). In addition, retail sectors that have significant sales of horticultural merchandise were included in the study. Table