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

The U.S. Green industry, including nursery and greenhouse producers, landscape services firms, and wholesale and retail distributors, has grown dramatically during the past 2 decades, becoming an increasingly important sector of American

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James A. Gagliardi and Mark H. Brand

landscape plants. The U.S. nursery and greenhouse industry is an important part of the national economy, producing $15.7 billion in wholesale receipts during 2004 (U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2005). Ornamental plant sales are driven by consumer demand

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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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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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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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John C. Majsztrik and John D. Lea-Cox

by different segments of the industry and which have very different nutrient and irrigation application practices. Majsztrik (2011) reported average yearly application rates ranging from 62 to 800 kg N/ha and 17 to 251 kg P/ha in container-nursery

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Susan Barton, Tom Ilvento, and Jo Mercer

Keeping up with cultural issues, recruiting new employees, motivating employees, and weed control were the issues most frequently cited as “very serious” or “somewhat serious” by surveyed members of the nursery and landscape industry. The focus of important issues changed somewhat based on the type of business. Retailers were more concerned with marketing and less concerned with plant maintenance. Pesticide regulation was more important to firms that provide some form of plant maintenance for consumers. Small firms were less concerned with employee issues, and large firms were more concerned with regulation. The most desirable method of receiving information was still printed materials, but firms with equipment (i.e., facsimile machines, computers) were more likely (30%) to use these forms of communication. E-mail was a very popular form of communication with firms that had e-mail access. Technology-oriented communication will probably increase in popularity as more firms gain access to technology.

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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.

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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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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.