SNA eNews
Feb. 13, 2014

Get your free copy of Best Management Practices: Guide for Producing Nursery Crops
If you're an SNA member and grower, be on the lookout for your complimentary copy of The Best Management Practices: Guide for Producing Nursery Crops Version 3.0 being mailed this week. Thanks to funding by the USDA's Risk Management Association (RMA) in cooperation with the North Central IPM Center at the University of Illinois, the only cost for the printed manuals will be a small fee of $15 (waived for SNA gower members) to cover shipping and handling. You can order your copy today by contacting the SNA office at 678.809.9992 or More

SNA career network
Looking for a job in horticulture? Check out the listings on the SNA Career Network. Current listings include manufacturers rep, independent sales representative/distributors and business development representative.More

Our deepest sympathy goes out to the Alexander family and Simpson Nurseries
The late-January winter storm that hit the Southeast unleashed drenching rain, debilitating ice and snow, stranded motorists and shut down some parts of the area for days. But even worse, there were at least a dozen deaths been blamed on the storm including Donald Alexander of Bainbridge, Ga., a 49-yr-old truck driver for Simpson Nurseries of Monticello, Fla. Donald was on his way to Mobile, Ala. to deliver the Simpson Nurseries booth at the Gulf States Horticultural Expo traveling on I-10 where a multi-vehicle accident occurred on the Blackwater River Bridge in Milton and caused him to loose control of his 18-wheeler and crash into the river. Simpson Nurseries has created a memorial fund in honor of Alexander and to assist his wife and children he leaves behind.More

Yew Dell Gardens growing with new horticulture center
The Courier-Journal
If it weren't for the new horticulture center at Yew Dell Botanical Gardens, longtime gardener Ruth Wukasch wouldn't have been able to plant seedlings on a snowy February morning. "Where else can you come during winter and put your hands in dirt?" said Wukasch, a retired nursing professor from Prospect. "I feel blessed to be able to do that." About a year and a half after construction began on the Preston T. Ormsby Horticulture Center, Wukasch and about a dozen other volunteers prepared flats for Yew Dell’s annual plant sale inside a geothermally heated greenhouse, one of the components of the new facility. The center will open to the public soon, probably at the end of next month. More

Obama signs farm bill
USA Today
President Barack Obama signed the bipartisan farm bill, saying it will promote agriculture, provide more money for research into the environment and energy and feed hungry Americans through the food stamp program. Comparing the massive new law to a "Swiss Army Knife," Obama told supporters at Michigan State University that the farm bill "multitasks. It's creating more good jobs, gives more Americans a shot at opportunity." The five-year bill — approved by Congress after years of fierce debate — expands federal crop insurance. It also changes the food stamp program, cutting it by $800 million per year — about 1 percent — and raising the automatic eligibility requirement. More

Nursery insight: Outlook for 2014 — an industry perspective
American Nurseryman
Hindsight is always 20/20. That's one of those sayings we all know is true, but it doesn't make going through tough times any easier. "It's like one of my dad's idioms: 'You'll feel better when you get over it.' True, but I still wanted to know just how long the painful situation was going to last," writes Danny Summers. Looking back at our industry's experience since 2008, we see huge challenges and changes. In the grower and landscape segments, a number of industry members are no longer in business, and those that are still here are most likely operating very differently today than in 2008 or prior. While retail has remained more stable, the cost of doing business has certainly increased. We, as an industry, have changed a lot during this time. If we look at the chart below with respect to the grower and landscape segments, we see just how much change we've been through. The data are from 1978 through 2012.More

Sanitation through disinfecting still a front-line defense
Greenhouse Product News
Despite advances in plant genetics, fungicides (including biologicals), mechanization and our understanding of how diseases occur, sanitation remains critical in horticulture today. Even old diseases like crown gall, which have been minor for years, sometimes resurface, often due to a change in horticultural practices. One of the main elements of a disease outbreak is lack of adequate sanitation methods. They are easily forgotten when disease is low or undetected. Although new disinfectant products have been brought into the horticultural trade in the past 15 years our understanding of how to use them to our best advantage is sometimes limited. More

How the new farm bill affects the industry
Nursery Management
President Barack Obama signed a new farm bill into law on Feb. 7. The legislation's long road to the president's desk included a two-year standstill in Congress. The bill authorizes $1 trillion in spending on subsidies and other agriculture programs. What does the bill mean for the horticulture industry?More

Listening to gardeners on Pinterest
Greenhouse Grower
Photography and social media go hand in hand these days. Not only are photo-based sites like Pinterest and Instagram the fastest growing, but the traditional social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are increasing their focus on photographs. Thankfully, photography and floriculture also go hand in hand. But marketers aren't the only ones using the beauty of floriculture to color their social media accounts. More

Get advice on pricing annuals more profitably
Today's Garden Center
Garden centers do not often track annuals individually and they are losing gross margin dollars and sales as a result. "That's how Mom and Dad did it, and it is easy for cashiers and customers so why change?" is the common thought. Some garden centers, however, are breaking the old habit and have started tracking individual annuals in their stores. They have overcome some of the stumbling blocks and challenges that mom and dad were afraid of — with positive results.More

Flowers improve emotional health
Greenhouse Management
Valentine's Day is one of the busiest days of the year for most florists, if not the most busy. More than 233 million roses are produced for the holiday. But as consumers debate between flowers and chocolates, we'd like to remind you of a 2005 study conducted by Rutgers University. The research found that flowers have an immediate impact on someone's happiness. More

Creating value for horticulture ... where it matters most
Lawn & Garden Retailer
We remain in business if we continue to stay different. This may be accomplished by replacing our own products and services with an improved version or replacing them with something entirely different, whether offered to our same base of customers or to a completely different clientele. More

Wisdom without the weather
Lawn & Landscape
A snow storm that slammed some parts of the country didn't stop landscape contractors from attending Marty Grunder's GROW! 2014 in Atlanta. Matt Caruso, owner of Decrascapes in Sterling Heights Mich., was part of the first day's activities with a talk that focused on avoiding the "danger zone," which is an area where your expenses exceed your revenue.More