My Garden Center
Oct. 2, 2014

What retailers need to know about the Clean Water Act
Today's Garden Center
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have proposed a rule to expand the definition of “waters of the U.S.” in the Clean Water Act. The proposed expansion of the Clean Water Act would remove the term “navigable” as the defining term for waters subject to Clean Water Act regulation. This greatly expanded scope would impact both public and private property applications of fertilizers and pesticides by homeowners and professionals.More

USDA to start program to support local and organic farming
The New York Times
The United States Department of Agriculture plans to announce that it will spend $52 million to support local and regional food systems like farmers’ markets and food hubs and to spur research on organic farming. The local food movement has been one of the fastest growing segments of the business, as consumers seek to know more about where, how and by whom their food is grown.More

October weather outlook
AGWEB
Those who have been waiting for El Niño will have to wait a little longer. That’s according to the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center, which just released its monthly outlook for October. Recent atmospheric and oceanic conditions continue to indicate ENSO neutral conditions.More

A growing culture
Grower Talks
The ColorMax Viola series is one of the most favorably reviewed introductions since Sakata debuted the new series at Spring Trials in April 2014. ColorMax Violas complement and complete a long-standing tradition of excellent viola breeding programs from Sakata. True to form, the ColorMax varieties exhibit many of the most outstanding attributes a viola series needs in order to compete in today’s markets.More

Top cuttings producers reveal offshore production is expanding
Greenhouse Grower
For the first time in a few years, we have seen minimal consolidation at the breeder level. Perhaps for this reason, with more stability among breeders and the improving economy, cuttings producers, both in the U.S. and offshore around the world, have increased the number of cuttings produced over 2013. They also seem to be ramping up supply for 2015 after last spring’s annuals shortage due to disease pressure from tobacco mosaic virus that was found at Dümmen’s El Salvador facility.More

Calendar enables Easter lily growers to catch a break
Greenhouse Management
When it comes to greenhouse forcing, middle dates are best and Easter 2015 is such a date. Easter Sunday always falls between March 22 and April 25, and next year’s date is April 5. This will enable growers to complete all steps in the 23-week forcing program without having to cut corners, as is sometimes the case with early Easter schedules. More

Harvest automation introduces robot rental program
Greenhouse Grower
Harvest Automation has unveiled a new introductory robot rental program as a way for customers to get started with HV-100 robots. The robot rental program allows new customers access to four robots for three months for $15,000. The rental terms will be offered for a limited time. If growers choose to purchase rental robots, Harvest Automation will credit 100 percent of the rental fee to the price of purchase.More

4 communication trends your business needs to know and use
By Emma Fitzpatrick
From Google Glass to virtual reality headsets, the way we communicate as a society is ever-evolving. But never before have the changes been so drastic or rapid. As communication habits change, businesses need to follow suit in order to stay current and continually resonate with customers. Plus, being at the forefront of these trends allows you to better attract young, new consumers to your business. Read on to learn the top four ways communication is changing — and how your business can use these progressions to modernize the way you do business.More

How to stop the time suck of customer relationships
Fox Business
They’re the clients you love to work with because they pay on time, compliment your work and amplify the creative energy. There’s just one problem: They also take a ton of your time, turning what should be a quick phone call into an epic discussion, sending multiple emails when one would suffice or requiring multiple explanations every time something new arises.More

3 reasons websites are vital for small businesses
Forbes
Running your own business is no easy task, and your to-do list is guaranteed to never end. This said, you shouldn’t use this as an excuse to take short cuts when it comes to having online visibility. Beginning with your website, it’s vital to position yourself online with a strong, professional destination that gives customers the impression you mean business and the motivation to want to engage more with your business.More

Strategies: Set marketing budget to fit business goals
USA Today
How much should I spend on marketing? Is 10 percent of my total revenue too little? Is 20 percent too much? Unfortunately, the rules are not hard and fast. As a result, most small business owners just do seat-of-their-pants marketing.More