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Beat the blight - Nursery Management

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A new comprehensive study ranked boxwood varieties for resistance to bacterial blight.

Boxwood is the main force you can always rely on: tough, adaptable, evergreen, deer-resistant and beautiful. Furry or hairy, in many sizes and forms, there is hardly any suitable boxwood garden. It is no wonder that the annual sales of American boxwood are approximately US$126 million, which is an important source of income for growers and nurseries.

But since boxwood wilt entered the United States in 2011, the fate of this plant has been questioned. The disease has now spread to 28 states and poses a major threat to established boxwood plantations in landscape and historical gardens and nurseries. Researchers and growers responded quickly to better understand the pathogen, determine the susceptibility of the various boxwood varieties already on the market, and develop more resistant varieties.

In June 2020, a new paper "Boxwood Varieties Resistance to Boxwood Fusarium Wilt—Comprehensive Analysis" was published.

. The paper documents a study conducted by researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, and Rutgers University, which collected data from previous studies as well as new data to create the most extensive and statistically consistent to date The ranking of boxwood wilt to boxwood wilt.

The researchers used 289 samples from the National Boxwood Collection of the National Botanical Garden, which is one of the most complete boxwood collections in the world, with 700 varieties.

"The National Botanic Garden is one of the main groups involved in resistance boxwood breeding. We have screened for resistance for several years," said Dr. Margaret Pooler, a supervising research geneticist at the National Botanic Garden and USDA Agricultural Research Service.

The researchers selected 65 of the most disease-resistant varieties from the initial 289 samples for further study, and statistically merged them with previous research data on boxwood resistance.

"We decided to publish our data with data from other studies, rather than publishing another disease resistance comparison, and put them together to create a larger study that aggregates all the data." We conducted this study because Several groups have completed studies to screen for resistance between varieties, but the results of these studies are inconsistent. Therefore, we adopted a statistical method to find out what caused this variability. We looked at all available studies with data, or we obtained unpublished data from other researchers for meta-analysis. We wanted to figure out why the results were different, and compiled the previous studies with our own methods, so all the data was put together in one place. "she says.

Chuanxue Hong (Chuan) Hong, a professor of plant pathology at Virginia Tech, summarized some unpublished data from the study. He said: “I think this is a very important paper because the information it provides can help growers and nurseries reduce Supply boxwood plants that are susceptible to customers. If we can reduce the risk of boxwood wilt by using more resistant cultivars and practicing good plant maintenance measures, everyone will have better success. Nursery industry There will be less returns, and everyone downstream will have greater success. This has a national impact on reducing boxwood blight. Boxwood is important to the American landscape and it is irreplaceable. Carrying forward the boxwood heritage is very important. important."

The report provides estimates of the sensitivity of 131 boxwood species. Although no variety showed complete resistance to boxwood wilt, some varieties are less susceptible to the disease than others. The ten least susceptible boxwoods listed in the study are:

The full text, including the ranking of 131 boxwood varieties, is available at http://bit.ly/boxwood-ranking.

"Our main finding is that there is great variability between the types of boxwood wilt, and there is no real resistance phenomenon, at least not among the plants we have in the United States. The degree of sensitivity of the plants we studied is also It's not all the same. So now, if you hit it hard enough with a pathogen, everything we know will wither." Pooler said.

Bennett Saunders, general manager of boxwood grower Saunders Genetics, said he is assessing boxwood varieties for fusarium wilt.

Varieties are very susceptible and we must stay away from these varieties. usually,

The strongest resistance to bacterial blight. "

In reviewing the new paper, he said: “The Sheridan series of boxwoods are scattered in the middle until the boxwood blight.” These were developed in the Sheridan nursery in Ontario in the 1950s and were the result of their hybridization.

variant

And include "green gem", "green velvet", "green mountain" and other varieties. The Sheridan variety is the fastest growing boxwood in the country, and the "green velvet" may be the fastest growing boxwood in the United States, with moderate susceptibility to bacterial blight. "

The study did not assess how the morphology or structure of plants affects susceptibility to bacterial blight. Sanders provided his field observations in this regard: "If the plant is more upright and open, it tends to be more resistant due to better airflow. In most cases, due to water splashing spores on the plant, The disease originates from the bottom of the plant, and then the disease must grow up in the plant.

The "Dee Runk" we have seen is a bit less harmful. The disease seems to have difficulty climbing the plant, but it will succumb under great pressure. "

Will it develop a real resistant boxwood? Sanders said this is unclear for a variety of reasons.

He said: "Some areas are full of susceptible species that carry this disease."

But there are also options to reduce adverse disease conditions.

"If we reduce the number of susceptible varieties in the garden, replant more resistant varieties and adopt the best management methods, we will minimize the chance of bacterial blight. If we follow the best management practices carefully, Some of these plants are very basic, such as mulching boxwood. Perhaps these plants do not have to be fully resistant. Chuanhong has determined that mulching can reduce the disease by as much as 96% of fusarium wilt," he said.

Saunders pointed out that more testing is necessary because “some plants in the study have only one test on them, and those plants may benefit by doing more tests.”

Hong said that green industries will benefit from other experiments.

"Industry insiders should promote further evaluation, not only to conduct new varieties since the last study, but also to evaluate the performance of the most resistant varieties in this article across the country." These additional data will further confirm the relevant Existing research on the sensitivity or resistance of breeds can help determine whether breeds behave differently in different environments. "

Pooler hopes that the assessment can continue.

"We will definitely evaluate the new varieties that have emerged since this study. We don't know what the really resistant boxwood is. This is what we call a negative control, and it will be an extreme of our research." She said. "We have a lot of plants that can be used on the susceptible end, but resistant varieties are the gold standard; this is still difficult to achieve. We are waiting for the results of research by American and European breeders to understand how they resist pathogens. Our priority The goal is to breed new plants, and we are actively looking for and obtaining new varieties."

Puller said that the National Botanic Garden has conducted hundreds of crosses, and there are thousands of plants in the compound.

"In terms of decorative properties, some look promising. This is a matter of letting them test in the laboratory and see how they work in the environment. We are conducting genetic research on drug resistance, if we can master the genetics Knowledge, this will open the door for anyone who wants to breed new varieties."

With funding from the Special Crops Research Program (SCRI) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a cooperative research project has also been established to combat boxwood wilt.

"The project is a collaboration between all major players in the government, business and academia. It includes pathologists, breeders and even economists, so it takes a multi-pronged approach."

"This is an exciting project," Pooler said. "We hope this will help us find some breakthroughs in finding resistant boxwood varieties."

Martha Swiss is a garden writer and designer based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The Saunders Brothers in Virginia have been planting boxwood for more than 70 years, supplying container and field-grown boxwood to hundreds of garden centers and gardeners every year. Bennett Saunders, one of the four brothers now running the company with his father Paul, recalled that Dr. Kelly Ivors of North Carolina State University first discovered boxwood wilt in the United States. "At the time, boxwood was once the iconic plant in our nursery, and we were very, very worried about whether we could survive this. We turned to Kelly because she danced well and we wanted to understand what happened." Bennett (Bennett) said.

After visiting Ivors, Bennett and some of his staff flew to London to meet with Beatrice Henricot, a pathologist from the Royal Horticultural Society, who identified the second boxwood blight.

Bennett recalled: “We entered the Belgian laboratory from there, where they did some work to identify susceptible species.” “They told us that the sensitivity to boxwood wilt was very different, and this was for us. It’s a light bulb moment. We realized that we have a lot of plants that we can test, and we can see which plants are the most resistant to diseases.”

At the Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Fair in January 2012, hundreds of growers joined forces with a number of state associations to provide funding to support Ivors' research on testing different varieties. Sanders Brothers is already researching the boxwood leaf picker and has set up boxwood liners for the job.

"It's almost doomed," Bennett said. "At the beginning of 2012, we took her to a lot of plants for disease assessment."

Since then, Sanders Brothers has provided plants to other researchers who study boxwood blight, and established Sanders Genetics Co., Ltd. to breed, purchase, test, evaluate and sell new boxwood varieties . Saunders Genetics has evaluated all aspects of boxwood cultivation, with the goal of finding plants that have what Bennett calls the "wow factor", resistant and resistant to bacterial blight, and plants that are friendly to growers.

He asserted: "We are first and foremost a nursery." "We want plants that perform well in nurseries and landscapes, and plants that require the least care and spraying."

Sanders Genetics has collaborated with many organizations and universities to evaluate the resistance of 157 boxwood varieties to bacterial blight. In 2015, Sanders Genetics began private testing of the most promising breeds, confirming the work of Côte d’Ivoire, and also discovered other breeds.

Bennett said: "The acid test we use is to grow promising varieties in a wilted environment." "We use plants that are 12 to 15 inches in size and can be purchased from the garden center. We plant them where there is wilt. Next to the diseased large four-foot boxwood and place it for one to three years."

Two of their most promising introductions are part of the newly established NewGen plant series and were announced on Cultivate'19. NewGen Independence has a round shape, a medium growth rate, and an appearance similar to "green beauty". NewGen Freedom is a fast-growing person with a rounding habit. The company plans to add more varieties to the NewGen series, which exhibit more forms and habits, and have good resistance to boxwood wilt and deciduous miners.

Others in the industry have also joined the pursuit of breeding for resistance to bacterial blight. Plant Development Services Inc. (PDSI) and Tree Town of the United States recently established a partnership to launch a series of better boxwood resistant to bacterial blight (Better Boxwood). The better boxwood series is the result of more than 20 years of breeding and testing in Europe under the cooperation of the Belgian grower Didier Hermans and the Flemish Institute of Agriculture and Fisheries.

The newly established partnership Boxwood Solutions Inc. will begin accepting liner orders in September 2021 and deliver them to grower partners across the United States in the spring of 2022.

Kip McConnell, PDSI Business Development Director, said: "Our expertise in licensing and marketing, coupled with Tree Town's production engine and national influence, will enable Better Boxwood to have immediate results in the market."

Boxwood is vital to the North American landscape, and these breeding efforts have allowed landscape professionals and growers to rely on this precious crop again.

"This is a game changer," McConnell said. These plants come from intensive research and experimentation in Europe. Through the Genome Project, they discovered all kinds of boxwood in the world. They start from the first square and go to the controlled cross. Those selected from those crosses were inoculated with fusarium wilt and tested. "

The better boxwood series will include four types-dwarf, spread dwarf, standard hedge type and taller, faster-growing hedge type.

The Pinelands Nursery has opened up a small area for the ecological restoration project to grow native plants.

Pinelands Nursery and Supply Office is another kind of nursery that meets different needs. This New Jersey company was founded in 1983 by Don and Suzanne Knezick.

The couple decided to make their business wholesale instead of retail, which is why Susanna said it was very selfish.

She smiled and said, "I don't want to do retail because I don't want to work on Saturdays and Sundays for the rest of my life." "I was 25 at the time, and weekends meant even more then."

Initially, Don and Susanna (Don) and Susan (Suzanne) sold container-planted fruit trees to garden centers. This is a good business, but they want to expand and start growing wild flowers. However, a few years later, Tang became interested in the reproduction of native species. At that time, laws such as the Loose Ground Protection Law and the Clean Water Law began to be transformed into natural resource restoration projects in the late 1980s.

Suzanne said: "Don acknowledged the new regulations and requested vegetation remediation in detention or retention basins." "He saw the rain and wastewater regulations coming and knew there was an opportunity."

The focus of this business is on local plant production to meet the demand for plants needed for environmental restoration projects. This is a profitable business, and the city and state environmental protection departments are committed to eliminating decades of pollution and ecological nightmares. Pinelands works with the government, non-profit organizations and general contractors, and New Jersey nurseries have become the preferred source of DEP-approved native plants for their work.

Fran Chismar has been serving Pinelands for 13 years, and his title also includes "Sales Sultan". He has never worked anywhere. Like the founder, he likes native plants, and he thinks they are pioneers who can solve market problems for environmental restoration projects before they actually exist.

He said: "When Susanna and Tang talked about this, I found it interesting that there is no business model for this." "They have to find their own driveway. Today, if there is a theme, such as wetlands or local plants, you One million conferences (at least before COVID) can be found to attend to learn about them or books. But it doesn’t exist. They have to really listen to the needs of their customers.”

Today, 95% to 98% of Pinelands' business is restoration projects. This brings several challenges that typical ornamental nurseries do not have to face. First, there is almost no renewable energy business. It is driven by work, many of which come from government programs, whether it is a city, state, federal government or non-profit organization.

Fran said: "For our business to flourish, there must be natural disasters or man-made disasters." "Like a hurricane. Or, when they widened New Jersey's toll roads, the widening affected the wetlands, and they had to create new wetlands. To alleviate this situation. This is how our business develops."

Although Pinelands began working on environmental restoration projects more than 20 years ago, it is still a viable business model. Fran said that since he joined the company, the number of competitors in this field has almost tripled. Continuous efforts to improve our environment through regulations are continuing, most recently the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase 2 Rainwater Regulations.

Although she wants to believe that the world will repair itself, Susanna believes that Pinelands will still have a niche market that will provide plants to clean up the ecological chaos that has existed for many years.

She said: "​​2019 is our best year ever." "We look forward to expanding this, and then the COVID-19 epidemic. Our industry has not fully reaped the benefits of the decoration industry. Our sales this year It has declined, but by taking steps, we can still maintain profitability."

Of course, 2020 is a strange year, and any project that requires government funding is considered problematic at best. Tom Knezick, a production analyst at Pinelands, one of Susanna's and Don's sons, explained how swift action at the beginning of the pandemic helped the company keep alive when the project was dried.

Tom said: "The development trend in February and March, we think we will continue to maintain the trend of the previous year." "But in about a week, we realized that the coronavirus is real, it will be a big problem."

The uncertainty of the pandemic means that any government-funded ecological restoration project will be transferred to another aspect. To prepare for the fact that many jobs will be postponed or cancelled altogether, the Pinelands team must make some difficult decisions. The company's biggest expense is labor, so they decided to cut expenses. Usually, the seasonal crew in Pinelands is about 25 people. Long before the Small Business Administration (Small Business Administration) began to provide payroll protection program loans and passed the Coronavirus Assistance, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in late March, Pinelands decided that in 2020 Do not re-employ seasonal workers.

"We think,'We have to keep the business, because if there is no business, then everyone will be unemployed,'" Tom said.

However, the lack of labor does not mean that production stops. Everyone in the office comes in so that the plant material can be prepared when work restarts.

Tom said: "All of us want to change jobs on the filling line and help unload trucks because we do not introduce seasonal labor." "If you look at our income, compared to last year, we suffered 25- A 30% blow. But in terms of profitability, our profitability is lower than last year, but we still make money. I know that many people who go directly to gardeners cannot say this year."

Another challenge for the ecological restoration business is how to develop. Because there is no renewable business, it is difficult to know what and how much you need each year.

Fran said: "You can use the sales volume in recent years as a benchmark, but you can have a factory with a requirement of 30,000 in one year and zero in the second year."

Fortunately, the recovery size is small, making the grower flexible.

The reproduction of Pinelands is also different from a typical ornamental nursery because 95% of their growth comes from seeds collected by themselves, whether locally or in the wild. Although other nurseries may purchase liners or grafts, due to the limitations of ecological restoration market planting, Pinelands growers must collect seeds and have a place to store them. And because the state is unwilling to profit from the proceeds from its land, Pinelands collects its own property or the property of a private entity, which will enable them to collect seeds on their property.

One of Pinelands' biggest sellers is smooth turf grass. The nursery must collect seeds from multiple locations along the coast of New Jersey, because some restoration work will require plants to be grown from seeds within 50 miles of the work site, which adds to the difficulty.

Since Pinelands specializes in wetland and salt marsh plant materials, even the storage method of seeds is different from a typical seed bank. Some seeds are even stored in salt water.

Certain plants may be distributed throughout the country, but they may have different characteristics in different parts of the country. By collecting seeds in New Jersey, Virginia and New York, Pinelands was able to reproduce plants genetically adapted to local conditions. In the late 1980s, the nursery began to provide coconut shell logs and mats for riverbank stabilization and bioengineering projects. The company now also provides a full range of anti-corrosion blankets, water coverings, geotextiles and silt fences, so it was renamed Pinelands Nursery & Supply. In 2006, Pinelands launched its own custom hybrid seed mix for use in stormwater management basins and construction sites.

After serving as president of Pinelands for 35 years, Tang retired. On January 1, 2019, Susanna took over as President. Their sons Tom (as a production analyst) and Steve (as a seed production manager) are both involved in the nursery. Suzanne has been there since the beginning and has been dealing with books, so she knows the company very well. However, with Don's departure, her employees need to adapt to the new management style.

"I allocated more belts to managers to manage their areas," Suzanne said. "They have all been here for a long time."

This is real. Facilities manager Paul Montrey recently celebrated 27 with Pinelands, where Pinelands nursery manager Susan Noval has been there for a while.

Tom said: "When I came to the nursery, my father was like a safety net." "When he and my mother started working, he did all the work there: he was a salesman, he was a delivery driver, He is a propagandist. When he started recruiting people who could have done better than him, he still knew how to do it, and he still had a lot of say in how to do it. When we experienced the transfer of power, My mother said: "You know this job better than I do, so I will let you do it. "I saw many managers say: "I have five years of thinking, but I know your father would not do this. But I want to try now. So they will go to my mother for approval, and she will say: "You know this job better than I do, and I trust your instincts."

Suzanne also appreciates the next generation's efforts to improve their business, such as the "Native Plants, Healthy Planet" podcast (see sidebar).

She said: "Tom and my other son Steve are the future of this nursery, and I understand that bringing young people into your business is very important," she said. "You are used to doing things in a certain way. Well, times are changing, and you have to change with it. When you bring in young people with new ideas and they know how people of their age want to do things, it’s important to keep your business It’s really important to keep evolving and keep pace with the times."

How podcasts complement Pinelands Nursery's business

When Don and Suzanne started to get involved in the ecological restoration world, they didn't have much advertising funds. Therefore, they came up with the idea of ​​"Native Plant Workshop", which is a free conference covering the entire industry. Don persuaded the experts to speak at the event. The participants learned a lot and everyone had some exchanges.

When entities such as universities and associations considered the idea for themselves, Pinelands cancelled their event and changed it to a customer appreciation dinner. Tom has been trying to find a way to rekindle this connection in today's world. Then it clicked: a podcast. He likes to listen to podcasts, and Fran has live broadcast experience. But for a wholesale nursery where social media followers are mainly homeowners, how will it work? Then they found the key.

Fran said: "We don't deal with these people, but our customers will deal with them."

Non-profit organizations such as The Nature Conservancy and Audubon International can serve as podcast guests and share some details of the work they are doing.

Tom said: "The selfish aspect of podcasting is an opportunity for some of our clients to get free publicity, to build this good feeling with them, and to connect them with people who might or might donate money." Maybe some of the money is flowing back to us because of the connections we are making."

In February, their first episode was uploaded to the Internet. Since then, their audience has tripled, and the "Natural Plants" and "Healthy Planet" podcasts have also become Apple's top 25 podcasts in the "Science/Nature" field. Fran and Tom produced 28 episodes, usually between 45 minutes and an hour, and invited famous writers such as Dr. Doug Tallamy and Claudia West.

You can find "Native Plants", "Healthy Planet" on social media, on their own websites or on the listening network of your choice: iTunes, Spotify, TuneIn, Podbean or YouTube.

The green industry has found a way to prosper in 2020 and is determined to maintain this growth momentum in 2021.

Of course, the green industry has become accustomed to the roller coaster era. But 2020 is an unparalleled year. When growers are supposed to concentrate during the busiest transit hours, no one can be sure whether there will be a peak sales season.

As states began to treat growers, gardeners, and retailers as essential businesses, the industry came back to life, despite the industry’s new set of regulations. Despite constant changes in regulations, many green companies will still enjoy their best sales performance in years by 2020. How will these same companies maintain the momentum gained during the pandemic? After the restrictions are lifted, will consumers insist on gardening? How should the industry deal with sales and marketing in the new year? The following are the views from the four members of the green industry.

We are a full-service boutique garden center, which I like to describe as a small company engaged in large-scale events. We are well-known for the many one-of-a-kind or extraordinary products we have sold. We are located on 3 acres of land, only 10 minutes from downtown Chicago. When I started this business, I wanted to create an experience.

I have high expectations for suppliers, and I encourage all grower partners to visit us to see why we have such high expectations. We sold 15 gallons of Variegated Monstera for $1,500, and we couldn't keep the stock of the large pink princess philodendron that sold for $500.

We admire the vast high-end scenery from the residential area of ​​Chicago’s North Shore, as well as the people who have balconies and small terraces in the city, and the suburban gardens are important customers to them.

No matter what the customer is, my mantra is to create a pleasant experience. We value everyone who walks through that door, and building relationships is extremely important to my employees. We even have a customer who drove from Michigan.

The creative experience comes from my time as the chief executive officer of a national non-profit organization. I have been engaged in this work, and when I am on the road, I often go to the garden. It was not until later that I decided to open a garden center that I realized that the garden was my home.

We also have a landscaping business that serves many municipal and HOA contracts as well as Midway and O'Hare Airport.

So when it closed in March, I remember it well. I was in Florida at the time and I wanted to know what we were going to do and how to plan such a thing.

When I found out that we could not open for shopping, I called Home Depot, which is not far from us. I asked to speak to the garden center, and I asked if they were open. When they said: "Of course. We are open because we sell paint, wood and other supplies. That really bothers me. At that moment, I chose not to put down Home Depot, but I did not.

I met with the mayor’s right-hand man and asked me how frustrated I was. He asked me a lot of questions related to my business. Soon after, we were deemed essential and allowed to open up. Our top priority is to ensure the safety of our employees and customers. We reduced working hours, reduced the number of employees on the floor, made masks for all employees, and disinfected them all day.

We provide curbside pickup, delivery and FaceTime shopping, which is a big success. We still provide it now because we try to accommodate everyone to meet their needs.

We have acquired a large number of new customers. Part of the reason is because we are one of the few open garden centers. Customers first came to us because in a climate where people want plants and beautiful things. We are very open to do this in a way that makes people feel safe.

This is our best retail year ever.

We see more and more families with children entering the store. After talking to many new and old customers, even after COVID-19, there will be more family time and more time to spend at home. People find value in how they spend their time, and plants and gardening are an important part of it. I think there will be a "new normal" in our world.

In 2021, I am worried about the supply chain. We are ingesting as many non-perishable products as possible. We have seen some factory orders have been cut. Some growers have to invest in 2021 stocks, so we may not have some larger size products that we are used to selling. But I have been in contact with our growers, and all our spring and summer plants have been pre-booked for retail and landscape business.

In late March, I feel that I am getting more information that will help us figure out what is happening and whether major changes are needed. I care about the health of the company and the safety of employees.

We talked with suppliers and they provided some flexibility. Our biggest question is whether we are fully able to ship the goods. We are in the middle of the B&B shipping season, and indeed some customers have cancelled their orders. Some of these cancellations are very important, which aroused my attention. Those companies are thinking about the same things as me: we will do everything we can to protect our companies and make sure we have cash available.

Our sales team immediately set out where to move the product. We organized some of these events, and some were relocated in spring and summer.

Once Kansas believes that we are important, we will want to know where the rest of the products will be shipped. However, we don't have to doubt it for a long time, because things have become crazy, and the customers in our garden center have become very busy.

During the quarantine period, some garden centers did excellent work, such as obtaining online orders and picking up goods on the roadside.

Our success as a grower depends on the success of the garden center, landscape contractor and reseller. We feel very lucky that people have turned to gardening during the pandemic. We must have real creativity to serve the growth of sales, because we are set to carry out a certain amount of transportation every day or every week. Our terminal is so busy that we have to open another area of ​​the nursery to assist transportation. People who have never been involved in transportation must step up to help and understand this part of the business.

In 2020, as in previous years, there will usually not only be a small challenge in spring. This is a challenge, such as historical requirements, employee safety and transportation restrictions. In order to stay operational, you must consider many things and take different actions. Whether it is an actual rule issued by the government, or to ensure that our employees feel comfortable, or to ensure that our customers know that we are doing necessary and safe things, there are many things that need to be resolved.

Many products that were supposed to be sold in 2021 were transferred in 2020, resulting in shortages of certain products. Customer communication is always important to us, but since we are unable to participate in trade shows and customer visits, we rely on Zoom to call and ask more questions, and order earlier than usual.

Our customers are planning to become an important year again in 2021, so we have made some strategic decisions and decided to launch more products this year. We are in two stages of perennial production; we are becoming flexible and making more real-time decisions.

Consumers’ buying habits have changed and may stay along the road, such as curbside pickup, online orders and delivery. Now, their habits are deeply ingrained, just like shopping in a grocery store. I think we should be able to request a good price for this product in retail, but timely access to materials is currently the most important detail.

In order for the industry to maintain the consumers we have acquired in 2020, we need to look at two things. First, if people are unsuccessful, gardening will quickly lose its appeal, so we must ensure that healthy plants are sold to garden centers so that they can sell healthy plants to consumers. Moreover, we must provide maintenance and maintenance skills to ensure that people succeed.

Secondly, we are considered vital, so we need to ensure that we maintain the necessary position in the eyes of consumers. To this end, we ensure the safety and health of our employees and customers, and appropriately market the health and health benefits of our products.

In March, the industry was in a state of panic, and no one knew what would happen. We were planning for the worst at the time, but we ran into problems that employees were worried about.

For safety reasons, we sent two trucks instead of one truck to the work site. Our staff wiped everything off during the day, and we have a sanitation worker to disinfect everything every night.

Once people began to take refuge in their homes, the demand for design/build projects increased dramatically, and we lashed out at this. We offer special promotions on elevated garden boxes and containers for customers who want to grow their own vegetables. We must find creative ways to make people get what they want. We did a lot of hardscapes and created outdoor rooms. Our sales staff is focused on keeping in touch with all the new customers we have acquired and involving them in maintenance projects. Some people have made a very large investment, and they need to protect this investment.

I think the demand won’t drop until at least July, because I won’t see people return to the office until at least summer. People still want to enjoy outdoor leisure activities and have a place to build an outdoor office.

Due to the shortage of certain products, 2021 will be a challenge, but our design team stated that they will be creative. We will also face a labor shortage in 2021, which will have an impact on our business.

I have never been proud of this industry. We stand up and discuss where people are, which fully illustrates our future development direction and the potential in 2021. Faced with uncertainty, it was difficult at the beginning, but we moved forward quickly with the help of logic, reason and creativity. The challenges of 2020 have pushed us out of this well-known box. We can grasp the strategies that we may finally try, but we must grasp the current strategies, such as online trading and virtual meetings.

We can definitely maintain the momentum created in 2020. Our customer base is interested in being at home and improving their life experience at home. They are interested in strengthening the relationship with the family and the family environment. We take the interior to the outside and really make use of the outside space.

In 2020, our customers learned that they love plants and they don't want to stop this relationship. Therefore, we must continue to innovate and use creativity in marketing messages. The brand story of 2021 is not necessarily a logo story, but a human story. As long as both customers and customers can establish contact with your employees, we can still maintain these relationships even in times of social distancing.

When the pandemic started, we encouraged IGC customers to make FaceTime shopping, which was a huge success. This is not the time for our industry to say "No, we can't do that." We must try, be creative, and use the technology available to us.

We need to ensure that education becomes our primary message in 2021.

Our products can arouse people's emotions, affect their space and improve the environment, and enjoying outdoor spaces is a glimmer of hope for a pandemic. People are now interested in their comfort and nurturing, and our industry can provide products and spaces that bring comfort. You must tell your marketing message for 2020 in your mind. Use our hope information.

Growers, your information should also be aimed at consumers, not just your customers. Your story is one of the most important parts of supply chain information. Telling your character story can provide people with another perspective on life, that people desire in struggle rather than in a pandemic.

This year provides us with a wonderful opportunity. This is an exciting time for our industry. We must market our products and services in a way that is relevant to consumers and convey useful information in a pleasant way.

Liner growers shed light on how events in 2020 will affect sales this year and beyond.

In december

The staff asked liner growers to discuss market shortages, various trends, and increased demand for plants in 2020 that may affect sales in 2021. Liner growers are usually the first stop in the supply chain, so they usually have a place in the market before other industries.

The topic of our conversation is: order as soon as possible, maintain flexibility, and expect that factory demand will rise again in 2021.

The start of quarantine work in 2020 has caused some anxiety in the green industry, but when most states consider garden centers to be vital, allowing them to remain open and consumers are keen to grow plants, this behavior is quickly taken into account. Replaced. At home 24/7, we encourage experienced gardeners and new gardeners to buy plants for their houses, beautify their outdoor spaces and grow their own food. This resulted in double-digit sales growth for growers nationwide.

"Our total revenue in 2020 increased by 22%, and our bookings in 2021 increased by a similar percentage over 2020," said Brian Decker, president of Decker's Nursery in Groveport, Ohio. "We don't yet know if this is an earlier order or sales growth, but it may be both."

Mark Krautmann, co-owner of Heritage Seedings in Salem, Oregon, also experienced a record year in 2020, with sales increasing by approximately 25%.

"Last spring, we didn't know if there would be any sales. It turned out to be the best ever." Krautman said.

Most growers expect that demand will continue to grow in 2021.

Alec Charais, marketing and communications manager of Bailey Nursery in St. Paul, Minnesota, said: "Currently, there is a lot of bookings in the '21s, and I think the demand we saw in the '20s will continue into 2021." "Now for plants. The demand is increasing across the board, whether it is indoor plants or external plants, shrubs and trees, perennials and annuals. Because people stay at home, they focus on beautification. The home environment has become a central hub."

Rich Bailey, sales manager of J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co. in Boring, Oregon, said that by 2020, more and more growers will "buy immediately."

People have a very good short-sale rate in their stores, so they buy inventory more frequently than usual. Their demand has increased their trends and increased purchases with us, which are all positive. "Bailey said.

Vans Pines Nursery, in West Olive, Michigan, has seen amazing sales growth from online garden retailers.

Evan Van Slooten, president of Vans Pines, said: "Many people tell us,'Turn on the tap and let the water flow to us' because they can't hang on anything." "Many people expect demand to continue until 2021."

Sales growth in 2020 has led growers into 2021 inventory, which has led to market shortages.

"Shrub linings are in great demand. Ron Amos, president of Evergreen Nursery Co., of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, said that many growers are doing additional potted plants to make up for this demand." They pour a lot, and then enter the stock sale next year. They will need to supplement the liner to re-establish the quantity. Strong demand has indeed driven more liners for evergreen and deciduous crops. Many growers have to push something out of the door, which needs to be supplemented. Good for everyone. "

At J. Frank Schmidt & Son, their refined oak and special varieties are very short, which is not necessarily uncommon. Van Slooten said that in Vans Pines, exotic firs, such as Nordman, Trojan horse, Canaan, Turkey and South Korea, are limited in number and even sold out. He has also sold out Canadian hemlock with 2022 orders.

He said: "This has the greatest impact on our planting schedule." "We continue to increase the harvest of this crop, and we sell out very early every year. Coupled with the fact that we cannot find the seeds, I think [Canadian Iron Shan] will become the number one short-term product in the entire industry."

Van Slooten said that in addition to increasing demand, climate change has also affected the supply of seeds and how the seed gardens operate. He believes that the availability of seeds "will be the biggest driving force actually available in the market."

Charais said that the flexibility of production will help some growers overcome shortages.

He said: "We see all sales are happening at a high level, so growers may need to produce their products in a different way."

He added that using bare-root materials or increased production plants may be options that help ensure growers' products enter the spring.

Charais said: "I think this is a huge learning opportunity, and from the grower's point of view, it may bring some positive results and make the grower successful."

When shortages are imminent, it is important to order as early as possible.

"I think that by mid-January, the industry will lack a lot of things, so much so that we have to collect people's wish lists and confirm half of them," Krautman said. "If growers and retailers wait (to order too long), I think they will be very disappointed. Around August, we start to encourage customers to simply follow what we call regular orders or contracts, because this helps them ensure Supply and help us... Therefore, we will not speculate within the comfort zone of sales."

Vans Pines Nursery has accepted orders for sales in 2022.

Van Slooten said: "Next year, my instinct tells me that our demand for our products is still high." "The next year, it will gradually decrease.

Bailey of J. Frank Schmidt warns against cutting liner orders and continues to increase supply for your customers to ensure they have trees to sell in the future.

Due to limited supply and strong demand, some higher prices are expected to be paid (and subsequently charged) by 2021.

Decker said: "Because costs have not stagnated and supply is limited, it is possible to increase prices."

Amos expects prices to increase.

He said: "We are fortunate to have seen some price increases in the past few years, and I hope this situation will continue." "For many years, we have had to keep prices unchanged."

Charais said the prices of other consumer products are also rising, and the prices of factories may not be different.

He said: "The price of liner ships will be higher, but as demand increases, I think we can ask for higher retail prices."

In 2020, the entire supply chain responded quickly and made adjustments.

Decker recalled: "We started in the spring and prepared to buy cribs for managers to sleep at work. This is a step for them to survive." "We ended the year with record profitability, and we are spending money to buy. U.S.-made equipment and products to expand."

People's buying habits have changed in 2020, and green industries including J. Frank Schmidt & Son have been developed.

"This has been a challenging year for our industry," Bailey said. "I think all of us are doing very well, companies have learned to do things differently, and I think many of these things will stick to."

Charais does not expect the industry to return to all its pre-pandemic ways.

"How do we provide services to customers (whether at the B2B level or at the consumers themselves), the way we provide services to customers will be fully developed", this is due to the introduction of tools in 2020, including online sales, roadside services and increasing Service. He said.

Will new customers in 2020 continue to prioritize factories in 2021? This is a well-known million-dollar problem.

"We need to see if the new generation of gardeners who are not at home will accept their new hobby as the epidemic subsides. This is the peak of consumption we have always hoped. Let's see if it sticks," Decker said.

Krautmann does not expect the market to slow down.

"I don't see any signs of slowing down. I don't know. I think we all want to make some reasonable policies at the federal and state levels. He said things may develop more peacefully." 2021 is an opportunity, right ? Opportunities are everywhere. "

Editor's note: Matt McClellan, Sierra Allen and Julianne Mobilian contributed to this report.

A consortium of scientists has mapped the genomes of six problematic weeds. This discovery will lead to better control measures.

A group of scientists have been working on gene mapping projects to help answer many common questions in weed science: What is a weed? What is the genetic basis of herbicide resistance? Can we develop more targeted weed treatments or change weeds to make them easier to control?

According to data from the Weed Science Association of the United States (WSSA), so far, scientists have mapped the genomes of six weeds that are known to cause significant crop losses, including horsegrass (

Also known as

), Palm dishes (

), waterhemp (

), smooth quinoa (A

), red rice/wild rice (

) And Kochia (

). Part of the draft genome can be used for at least 35 other weed species.

Scientists say that mapping the weed genome is particularly complicated because of the high level of repetition in the DNA of weeds.

Eric Patterson, a weed geneticist at Michigan State University, said: “It’s like trying to work on a puzzle that is largely composed of exactly the same pieces, but each puzzle occupies the overall picture. In a unique location." "How do you determine which one has gone?"

Organizing duplicate content can be time-consuming and expensive, and requires the right expertise and tools. However, new technologies are reducing the cost of genome assembly and helping weed scientists draw more complete and accurate gene sequence maps.

In addition, efforts are being made to promote the development of weed genomics through cooperation. One example is the International Weed Genomics Consortium, which is led by Todd Gaines of Colorado State University and supported by colleagues in weed science around the world. Members of the consortium are working together to determine priorities, share tools and resources, and establish a reference genome for the world’s most troublesome weed species.

Gaines said: "By deepening our understanding of weeds, we hope to find ways to delay the development of resistance and open the door to new and more sustainable weed management methods."

So far, scientists at the University of Illinois have used their understanding of Palmer mar vegetable genetics to develop a test that can quickly screen seed mixtures to detect whether they contain this troublesome weed seed. The team of scientists at Rothamsted Research conducted a successful laboratory experiment using their knowledge of the black grass genome. They can silence specific genes and make herbicide-resistant black grass weeds easy to treat.

WSSA reports that the gene mapping project can identify new and more targeted weed management strategies; how we can change weed populations to reduce their competitiveness and make them easier to control; understand how to improve crops to more effectively combat weeds Weeds; and discover patterns related to when and where invasive weeds are introduced, and use this information to develop strategies that may limit new introductions.

The purpose of genome mapping is to understand the arrangement of the various components (nucleotides) of the genome. For a draft genome, there may be thousands of small, assembled fragments, but how to put them together is still unknown. This fragmentation limits the usefulness of the mapping. In the reference genome, the sequence has been determined. There are uninterrupted DNA fragments with almost no gaps or errors. A draft genome with a partial assembly may be sufficient to understand population biology or evolutionary relationships between weed species. They may also be sufficient to develop molecular-level tools for identifying specific weed species. However, reference genomes are needed to solve more complex problems, such as the biological basis of weed traits and how complex factors interact to produce herbicide resistance.

Scientists have discovered many new insights from the genome sequencing project. For example, when farmers in the central and western regions discovered that the seed mixture used in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) planting area contained Palmer a, the alarm sounded. Weeds are extremely aggressive and difficult to treat. Seed growers need a way to ensure that their mixture does not contain Palmer mar cabbage. Researchers at the University of Illinois were able to use their understanding of genetics to develop a rapid screening test that can detect the presence of Palmer mar vegetable DNA in seed mixtures, thereby helping to prevent the introduction of this problematic weed across the country CRP plantation. In another example, glyphosate-resistant horsegrass caused a yield loss of 83% for soybeans and 46% for cotton. Researchers have used genomics to understand how certain horsegrass populations in Canada develop high levels of glyphosate resistance. They used this information to record the first batch of horsegrass populations with the same high drug resistance in the United States. It is hoped that this early discovery will lead to comprehensive control to prevent the spread of herbicide-resistant horsegrass.

Before gene sequencing, it was difficult for scientists to dissolve the evolutionary mechanism of herbicide resistance. They now know that there is no single genetic "cause." On the contrary, there are many ways to evolve resistance traits, which makes the genetic analysis of weeds particularly important. Researchers have identified five "superfamilies" of genes that may be involved. They are diverse and diverse, and they are part of the basic way weeds resist the stresses encountered in the environment.

Genetic differences between male and female weeds affect the spread of herbicide resistance. Researchers at the University of Illinois have successfully sequenced the DNA of male and female Palmer mar and waterhemp plants to identify the genetic basis of sex determination. This reproductive difference promotes outcrossing and genetic diversity, which can promote the evolution and spread of herbicide-resistant populations. Using data sets collected from sex-specific and sex-biased genome sequences, researchers were able to distinguish between male and female plants from multiple geographically different populations of Palmer mar and waterhemp with 95% or higher accuracy. What does this mean for the future of weed control? Both Palmer mar and waterhemp are resistant to many herbicides. It is conceivable how to modify genes to ensure that all offspring of Palmer mar and waterhemp plants that grow in a given location have the same sex, leading to the collapse of the population.

Researchers studying the seagrass genome have determined that repeated use of glyphosate has led to multiple mutations that lead to increased expression of transporters and glutathione S-transferase and glycosyltransferase. Understanding the genetic basis of resistance may pave the way for the use of CRISPR/Cas technology to insert new gene sequences that will replace those traits of herbicide resistance.

Foie gras(

) Is one of the most common and destructive agricultural weeds in the world. It is extremely resilient and can withstand extreme drought, high temperature and low mowing. It has also developed resistance to at least seven types of herbicides. An international team of researchers mapped the genome of weeds, which is an important first step in understanding why kiwifruit is so successful and able to adapt so quickly. They were able to identify multiple gooseweed genes related to herbicide resistance. The team discovered genetic markers related to disease resistance, drought resistance and other kiwi fruit traits. Understanding these important pathways may provide new molecular targets for the development of herbicides and other novel weed management strategies.

Source: American Weed Science Society

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