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Group Title: Circular - University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences ; 504
Title: Characteristics of the north Florida nursery industry
CITATION PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00067205/00001
 Material Information
Title: Characteristics of the north Florida nursery industry
Series Title: Circular Florida Cooperative Extension Service
Physical Description: 38 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Ingram, Dewayne L ( Dewayne Lebron ), 1952-
Gunter, Dan L ( Danny Lloyd )
Publisher: Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville
Publication Date: 1982?
 Subjects
Subject: Nurseries (Horticulture) -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: Dewayne L. Ingram and Dan L. Gunter.
General Note: Cover title.
Funding: Circular (Florida Cooperative Extension Service) ;
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00067205
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 08966224

Table of Contents
    Historic note
        Unnumbered ( 1 )
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Title Page
        Title Page
    Introduction
        Introduction
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents
    Main
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
Full Text





HISTORIC NOTE


The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source
(EDIS)

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.






Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Florida





Circ. 504

Characteristics
of the
North Florida Nursery Industry

Dewayne L. Ingram and Dan L. Gunter


Florida Cooperative Extension Service Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
University of Florida, Gainesville John T. Woeste, Dean for Extension






















CHARACTERISTICS OF THE NORTH FLORIDA
NURSERY INDUSTRY




Dewayne L. Ingram
Extension Specialist
Rural Development in Ornamental Horticulture


Dan L. Gunter
Formerly Extension Production Economist
Food and Resource Economics











Introduction


The ornamental plant industry forms a substantial proportion of
Florida agriculture. Estimated value of production of foliage,
flowers and woody landscape plants in Florida approached $300
million in 1977. The agriculture census gives general information
about the size of the nursery industry, but there is a lack of detailed
information about its characteristics.
There is tremendous variation in the industry, even within com-
modity groups and regions of the state. Woody ornamental produc-
tion comprises the majority of the nursery business in north
Florida, with some foliage production, but little flower production.
This commodity ranking varies greatly throughout the state. Cen-
tral Florida is the foliage plant production center of the United
States and coastal areas of south Florida support the majority of
Florida's floriculture industry.
North Florida has great potential for increased production of
temperate woody ornamentals in containers to be shipped to north-
ern markets. Advantages of nursery production of north Florida
over more northerly areas of the United States include land
availability, a substantial labor force, a long growing season and lit-
tle need for energy-consumptive heating.
The north Florida nursery industry is characterized by diversity
in types of plants, markets, nursery size, nursery age, manager
characteristics, the expansion rate of existing businesses and the
survival rate of beginning enterprises. Specific information on the
degree of diversity and areas of common concern has not been iden-
tified.
The purpose of this survey was to characterize the nursery in-
dustry in north Florida. Detailed information was compiled in pro-
duction, marketing, management and nursery employment prac-
tices. The major goal was to provide more information about
nurserymen that would allow Extension educational programs to be
targeted more effectively. However, this information is expected to
be useful to nursery operators, lenders, suppliers, brokers, retailers,
educators, governmental agencies and others.











TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page No.

INTRODUCTION


METHOD AND ANALYSIS

Sam pling ................................... 7

Data Classification............................. 7


RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Production ................................. 7

M marketing .................................. 12

Manager Characteristic ........................ 15

Employee Characteristics ...................... 21

Training Needs .............................. 25


SUMMARY.................................... 29















Figure 1. North Florida survey area


---


Survey Area [7







Method and Analysis


Sampling
Data for this study were obtained from nurseries in a 32 county
area of north Florida (Figure 1). The data collection instrument was
a mail survey of the 710 nurseries listed in the Division of Plant In-
dustry (DPI) inspection list as wholesale or wholesale/retail busi-
nesses. Those growing nursery plants for sale are required by state
law to be registered with and inspected by DPI. All 710 nurseries
listed were mailed a questionnaire (Appendix Exhibit 1) in April
1979. The first mailing resulted in 146 responses. Four weeks after
the initial mailing a second questionnaire was mailed which resulted
in 148 additional responses. A total of 259 completed questionnaires
was returned.
Tabular analysis was used to isolate general relationships among
particular nursery characteristics. Data in this publication repre-
sent only those nurseries responding to the mail survey and no sta-
tistical inferences can be made. However, the substantial number of
responses was sufficient to describe general relatioriships.

Data Classification
Survey respondents were classified as either:
Commercial-produced plants for sale
Hobby-small with only incidental sales
Beginning-started production in 1979 with no sales to date
Out-of-Business-business terminated
Commercial nurseries were the focus of the analysis presented in
this circular.


Results and Discussion

Production Information
The Division of Plant Industry listed 710 nurseries in 1979 in
this 32 county area. The total number of respondents to the survey
was 259 and of these 151 were commercial nurseries involved in
wholesale or wholesale/retail marketing. Hobby nurseries com-
prised 56 of the responses, 17 were nurseries in the beginning stages
and 32 of the nurseries responding had gone out of business.
Of the nurseries answering the survey 34 percent were not in
business in 1975 and 52 percent were not in business in 1974. This il-
lustrates the fluctuations in the north Florida nursery industry in
recent years. Undoubtedly, more nurseries have been started in
recent years than have gone out of business.








Table 1. Type and number of nurseries per county in north Florida, 1979


Nurseries Answering Survey-By Type


County
Alachua
Baker
Bay
Bradford
Calhoun
Clay
Columbia
Dixie
Duval
Escambia
Gadsen
Gilchbist
Gulf
Hamilton
Holmes
Jefferson
Lafayette
Leon
Levy
Liberty
Madison
Marion
Nassau
Okaloosa
Putnam
St. Johns
Santa Rosa
Suwannee
Taylor
Union
Walton
Washington
Total


Total
No. of
Nurseries
92
30
11
9
2
45
14
13
227
14
12
7
1
3
3
20
3
20
2
1
6
52
11
9
15
38
7
11
3
1
3
3
688


Commercial
Nursery
23
4
4
4
1
8
5
2
40
4
4
2
0
0
1
6
1
2
1
0
2
9
5
2
5
5
0
6
1
0
2
2
151


Hobby
7
0
0
1
1
3
1
1
32
0
1
0
0
0
0
1
1
1

0
1
2
0
0
0
3
0
0
0
0
0
0
56


Beginning Out of
Nursery Business


Total


The type and number of nurseries in each county are presented in
Table 1. Counties with higher population density had a larger
number of nurseries (Figure 2). Duval County had the most
registered nurseries while Alachua and Marion Counties were next.
Baker, Clay and St. Johns Counties had approximately 16 percent
of North Florida nurseries. Commercial nurseries were also concen-
trated in the Leon, Gadsden and Jefferson County area, the Bay
County area and in Escambia County.
Most nursery crops in north Florida are produced in containers.
Greater labor and land requirements limit the use of field produc-
tion. Field production is generally limited to large specimen shrubs,







Figure 2. Concentrations of nurseries illustrated by county.


Number of Nurseries
A-<10
B- 11-25
C- 26-50
D- 51-100
E- 101-200
F- > 200


o ..... ,"


trees and some plants not easily grown in containers. Twenty-eight
of the 151 commercial nurseries answering the survey produced
some plants in the field in 1975, while only 20 nurseries were in-
volved in field production in 1978.
Fifty-five percent of all nurseries answering the survey sold
fewer than 10,000 plants annually and had been in business less
than 5 years. Of nurseries marketing 10,000 to 25,000 plants an-
nually 80 percent had been in business 10 years or less (Table 2).
Nurseries in business fewer than 5 years comprised 63 percent of
nurseries answering the survey. Generally, the larger nurseries had
been in business for several years.
A majority of nurseries marketing fewer than 10,000 plants an-
nually grew less than 26 different plant species and cultivars (Table
3). Of nurseries selling 25,000 to 50,000 plants annually 75 percent
grew 26 to 75 different plants. All six nurseries marketing between
50,000 and 100,000 plants annually grew more than 25 different
plants. Six out of nine nurseries marketing 100,000 to 500,000
plants grew fewer than 25 different plants.








Thirty-two percent of the nursery managers answering the
survey did not indicate the portion of their income derived from the
nursery. Of the managers answering this question 32 percent said
they earned 10 percent or less of their income from the nursery
(Figure 3). Only 29 percent said they received all their income from
the nursery.
Eighty-eight percent of managers for nurseries marketing fewer
than 5,000 plants annually received less than 50 percent of their in-

Table 2. Percentage of north Florida nurseries in specific age and size categories
in 19791.

Nursery Size Nursery Business Age (Years)
(No. of Plants) Under 5 5-10 11-25 26-50 51-100

Under 10,000 66% 18% 11% 3% 2%
10,000 to 25,000 50% 30% 10% 10% 0
25,000 to 50,000 75% 0 0 25% 0
50,000 to 100,000 25% 50% 25% 0 0
100,000 to 500,000 45% 33% 11% 11% 0
More than 500,000 0 0 33% 33% 33%
All Nurseries 63% 19% 11% 5% 2%
0Of 151 commercial nursery respondents, the information represents 129 nur-
series, 22 respondents did not complete this question.

Figure 3. Percentage of manager's income derived from nursery, north Florida,
19791.
35 -

30 -

o 25 -
C.

20 -

3 15 -

E 10

5

o I I i i 1 I I i I I
10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Percent income from nursery
1Of 151 commercial respondents, the information represents 102 nurseries, 49
respondents did not complete this question.









Figure 4. Percentage of manager's income derived from the nursery in seven nursery size categories, north Florida, 19791.


Income Due From
Nursery
E -<10%
E3 10-29%
E 30-49%
-* 50-69%
M 70-89%
S-* 90-100%


c-
C
0
sr
o
0.
a.
0

0
0
0
1
C

o
10
C
0)
g
n-


25,000 to
50,000


.iF





50,000 to 100,000 to
100,000 500,000


Number of plants sold annually


0Of 151 commercial respondents, the information represents 102 nurseries, 49 respondents did not complete this question.


I:-4

17 .



Under 5,000 5,000 to 10,000 to
10,000 25,000


Ifri
















More than
500,000







Table 3. Number of north Florida nurseries in 1979 categorized by number of
plants sold annually and number of different plants grown1.

Number of Plants
Sold Annually Under 10 10-25 26-75 76-125 More than 125
Under 10,000 21 26 11 2 5
10,000 to 25,000 2 3 4 0 0
25,000 to 50,000 0 1 3 0 0
50,000 to 100,000 0 0 2 3 1
100,000 to 500,000 2 4 3 0 0
More than 500,000 0 0 2 1 1
'Of the 151 commercial nursery respondents, the information represents 96 nur-
series, 55 respondents did not complete this question.
come from the nursery (Figure 4). Of nurseries marketing 10,000 to
25,000 plants 60 percent received greater than 50 percent of their in-
come from the nursery. All managers of nurseries marketing more
than 500,000 plants annually received all their income from the
nursery.
Marketing Methods
Information was obtained from nurseries surveyed with regard
to their marketing procedures. Data on the importance of local,
area, regional and national markets were compiled. Local markets
included the closest cities or the county where the nursery is
located, while area markets were defined as those within the sur-
rounding counties. Regional markets refer to the southern states
and national markets include those locations outside of the southern
states.
The average small nursery, marketing fewer than 10,000 plants
annually, sold half its plants on the local market (Figure 5). One-
third of the plants were sold on an area basis while only four percent
were marketed nationally. Nurseries marketing 25,000 to 50,000
plants annually sold a majority of plants on an area basis. Larger
nurseries depend more on regional and national markets.
Methods of Marketing: Nurseries marketing primarily on a local or
area basis sell the majority of their plants at the nursery (Figure 6).
The next most common marketing method on a local or area basis
was from the nursery truck or by some method other than to buyers
visiting the nursery, through brokers, from a nursery truck route, at
roadside stands, through the telephone or at farmers' markets.
Farmers' markets were only used by a small percentage of nurseries
selling primarily on a local level. Sales to buyers visiting the nursery
were still an important method for nurseries to sell plants in the
southern states (Figure 6).









Figure 5. Market location for north Florida nurseries in different size categories,
19791.

S-Local
-3 -Area
|1 --Regional
S-National


4-
~0I










Under 10,000
S* <


y.^I '





Under 10,000


I




pk ,^
I

z I -m~








-t .s ^
r I r'? I







25,000 to 50,000 to
50,000 100,000
Number of plants sold annually


, ,
M








100,000 to
500,000


'Of 151 commercial respondents, the information represents 102 nurseries, 49 respondents did not complete this question.


60

55 -
50
45

40
35-
30-
25 -
20 -
15-
10 -
5
0 -


10,000 to
25,000


More than
500,000









Figure 6. Marketing methods for North Florida nurseries on a local, area, regional or national level, 19791.


"a
0
2
E
0



0)
E

E

M

0


CL
V
0
(D



2
CD
0.

C.,


- -Buyer Visits to Nursery
[:] -Through Broker

I -From Truck

S-At Roadside Stand

I -Through Telephone

S-At Farmers Market

- -Other


National


Market Categories


'Of 151 commercial respondents, the information represents 141 nurseries, 10 respondents did not complete this question.


-%r






Regional


Local







Nurseries marketing on a national basis still relied on sales to
buyers visiting the nurseries, but sales through brokers and sales
through telephone contacts were also important. Marketing
methods not covered by the survey were used by 22 percent of the
nurseries marketing primarily on a national basis.
Shipping Methods: The majority of plants sold in local and area
markets were moved by buyer owned trucks (Figure 7). Buyer owned
trucks moved fewer plants to regional and national markets. Con-
tract trucks (commercial freight carriers) and air freight transported
a larger portion of the plants marketed regionally and nationally
than plants sold on local and area markets. A small percentage of
nursery crops was shipped by bus and rail.
Advertising: Many nurseries (47 percent) marketing primarily on a
local basis did not advertise (Table 4). Advertisement through signs
or billboards was employed by 15 percent of the nurseries and 20
percent advertised through newspapers. The majority of nurseries
marketing primarily on an area basis did not advertise. A small
percentage of these nurseries utilized signs or billboards, news-
papers, nursery trade magazines or other media. One-half the sales
of these nurseries were to buyers who visited the nursery.
Most nurseries marketing on a regional basis did advertise (70
percent). The primary media were nursery trade magazines and
media not specified in the survey. Of nurseries marketing on a na-
tional basis 72 percent advertised through trade magazines.
Table 4. Percentage of nurseries marketing primarily on a local, area, regional or
national level that advertise through selected media, north Florida, 19791.
Markets
Media Local Area Regional National
No Advertising 47% 51% 30% 0%
Signs and Billboards 15 13 11 0
Newspaper 20 11 7 0
Nursery Trade
Magazines 5 10 22 72
Other Trade
Magazines 2 0 4 14
Radio 3 4 0 0
Other 8 11 26 14
'Of 151 commercial respondents, the information represents 151 nurseries.

Manager Characteristics
Nursery managers without a high school education comprised
only 3.3 percent of the managers answering the survey. High school
graduation was the highest formal education level of 27.8 percent of
the managers and 5.3 percent were vocational technical school






Figure 7. Shipping method for north Florida nurseries marketing on a local, area regional and national level, 19791.
65
-Buyer Trucks
60
-Contracted Trucks
55-
o8 F"1 --Air
1 50
S50 -Bus
4 5--1
45 i -Rail
S40





cc 25



15a) M- g -,i

O 1 m i .rn t i tio r es r 10 .tt t
5. --- .-- -







Local Area Regional National
Market Categories
0Of 151 commercial respondents, the information represents 141 nurseries, 10 respondents did not complete this question.







Figure 8. Percent of nurseries with part-time or full-time managers in north
Florida, 19791.
100--
95_ Full Tine
Part Tine





65-
60-

c 505




S30-I





S, ,
5_ i ijI m




respondents did not complete this question.
graduates. Managers with some college courses comprised 23 per-
cent of the respondents, while 40 percent had at least a bachelor's
degree.
Forty-four percent of the nursery managers surveyed were older
than 50 years of age. Eighteen percent of the managers were 41 to
50 years old and 18 percent were 31 to 40. Managers 20 to 30 years
of age comprised 15 percent of all responding managers and 5 per-
cent were less than 20.
The average age of the managers of nurseries answering the
survey that had been in business less than one year was 36. The
average age of the managers was 44, 53, 54 and 54 for nurseries that
were 2 to 5, 6 to 10, 11 to 20 and greater than 20 years old, respec-
tively.
The majority of nurseries selling more than 10,000 plants an-
nually had a full time manager (Figure 8). A manager who spends at
least 40 hours per week in this capacity was considered full-time.
When the manager's input is viewed in terms of acres in production,
the nurseries larger than one acre in size had a full-time manager
(Figure 9).









Figure 9. Acres (in production) and managers time in nurseries of north Florida,
19791.


Ej Full Time

I Part Time


j1 1




















2 3
Acres in Production
b ,,.-


, I
. ^...




















4 ..i5






4 >5


10f 151 commercial respondents, the
did not complete this question.


information represents 81 nurseries, 70 respondents


Information Source: Many nursery managers (47 percent) without a
high school education relied on books, magazines, experienced
nursery managers and the Florida Cooperative Extension Service as
information sources. Managers answering the survey who had a
high school education relied more on experienced nursery managers
and less on the Extension Service. Forty percent of this group also
used books and magazines as an information source and 19 percent


18








Figure 10. Sources of information utilized by nursery managers at various formal
education levels, north Florida, 19791.


Information Source
tn Books
0 Maqazines
C Comnunity College
,O 95. V Vocational Technical
c ao -r Ext enson
85 Other Nurseres
S 80
75-







listed nursery organizations (Figure 10). Vocational technical school;-1
6O IH
) III














m managers received substantial informatinTehi one from the Extension Ser- Ore
vice. Managers with a formal education evel

degree 5 commercial ress pondents, the information represents 5 nurseries.ces. Voca-

l listed nursery organizations (igure 1n0. Vocational rechnical schoo












recognition as information sources.
perienced nursery managers (Figure 11). o toNursery managers less








than 30 years old were the only ones to use community colleges as
an information source. The percentage of managers utilizing
nursery organizations decreased as the managers' age increased
graduates relied very heavily on books and magazines followed
closely by experienced nursery operators and then the Extension
Service.
A large percentage of managers with some college training or a
college degree sought information from magazines, books and ex-
perienced nursery managers. Almost 40 percent of these nursery
managers received substantial information from the Extension Ser-
vice. Managers with a formal education level higher than a B.S.
degree depended less on these listed information sources. Voca-
tional technical schools and community colleges received limited
recognition as information sources.
The primary information sources were books, magazines and ex-
perienced nursery managers (Figure 11). Nursery managers less
than 30 years old were the only ones to use community colleges as
an information source. The percentage of managers utilizing
nursery organizations decreased as the managers' age increased
above 30.
A majority of managers of nurseries established one year or less
indicated they use books and magazines with 35 percent of these
nurseries receiving information from the Extension Service and 45
percent from experienced nursery managers (Figure 12). Managers
of nurseries two to five years old relied less on books, magazines and
the Extension Service and more heavily on experienced nursery








Figure 11. Information sources as influenced by nursery manager's age1.

-o-o Other Nurserymen
.... Magazines
Books
Extension Service
-..- Nursery Organization
*** Community College
70 oooo VocationallTechnical


I..


\v /



o
0/
\


20 21-30 31-40 41-50 50
Manager's Age (years)


0Of 151 commercial respondents, the information represents 151 nurseries.







Figure 12. Manager information source as influenced by nursery age, north
Florida, 19791.
Books
Magazines
fo Nursery Organization
r Community College
.5 75 Vocational Technical
0 O Extension Service
65 Other Nurseries
55 -
.1 ii i 'j i

L5 I 1 I H
15 j L i

-. <1 2-5 6-10 11-20 >20

Nursery age (years)



1Of 151 commercial respondents, the information represents 83 nurseries,
68 respondents did not complete this question.


managers. One-half the nurseries in business for six to ten years
sought information from experienced nursery operators, 42 percent
from books and 36 percent from the Extension Service. Managers of
nurseries 11 to 20 years of age relied most heavily on books while 47
percent of them obtained information from the Extension Service.
A slightly higher percentage of managers of older nurseries
relied on the Extension Service for information than the managers
of younger nurseries (Figure 12). Nurseries in the youngest and
oldest categories relied more heavily on nursery organizations for
information than nurseries 5 to 20 years old.
One-fourth or less of the nurseries marketing fewer than 50,000
plants annually relied on nursery organizations for information
(Figure 13). The majority of nurseries larger than these identify
nursery organizations as an information source.

Employee Characteristics
The majority of nurseries sold fewer than 50,000 plants annually
and had no full-time employees (Figure 14). Most nurseries
marketing 50,000 to 500,000 plants annually employed between one
and ten persons full-time. All responding nurseries that sold more
than 500,000 plants annually had between 50 and 99 full-time
employees.








Figure 13. Information source influenced by number of plants sold annually, north Florida, 19791.


E -Books
E3 -Magazines
l -Nursery Organization
~ -Community College
- -VocationallTechnical
IM Extension Service
Ei -Other Nurseries


100

90
85
80
75
70
65
60
55
50
45
40 -
35
30
25
20
15
10
5
0


77






F--
SI I






i




, : I I i
o. j L .Lk


5,000-50,000 50,000-100,000


-rj


i I


Number of plants sold annually


'Of 151 commercial respondents, the information represents 81 nurseries, 70 respondents did not complete this question.


I -
,i n


i 1 : : -





< 5,000 5,000-10,000 10,000 -25,000 2,


0

N)5

M .n


100,000-500,000


> 500,000







Figure 14. Number of full-time employees in each nursery size category, north
CIn;Arl 10701


95-

85

75

65-

55-

45-

35-

25-

15- .-

5

Under 10,000


1-10
-11-25
--26-49
] 5 -50-99




iI
; I I





-I -



10,000 to 25,000 to 50,000 to 100,000 to
25,000 50,000 100,000 500,000
Number of plants sold annually


7,500,000


'Of 151 commercial respondents, the information represents 105 nurseries, 46
respondents did not complete this question.

Figure 15. Number of part-time employees in each nursery size category, north
Florida 19791.
85 None
75- 1-5
S75_ 6-10
S 1_ 1-- 11-90
S65 -
0o
S 55



35

Sj25 I i I '

s '

5


Under 10,000 10,000 to .25,000 to 50,000 to
25,000 50,000 100,000


100,000 to
500,000


More than
500,000


Number of plants sold annually

'Of 151 commercial respondents, the information represents 143 nurseries, 8
respondents did not complete this question.


IS .







Figure 16. Hiring practices of vocational technical school graduates compared
with nursery size, north Florida 19791.


95
I-
85

75

S65
Q.

55
(D
" 45
o
35


25


15

5

Under 5,000 5,000 to
10,000


-Hired V. T.
_ -Never Hired V. T.


10,000 to


25,000 to 50,000 to 100,000 to


25,000 50,000 100,000 500,000


Number of plants sold annually

'Of 151 commercial respondents, the information represents 151 nurseries.

The nurseries selling fewer than 10,000 plants annually gen-
erally had no part-time employees (Figure 15). The majority of
nurseries selling between 10,000 and 25,000 plants annually had one
to five part-time employees but no full time employees. The number
of part time employees dramatically increased as nursery size in-
creased above 50,000 plants sold annually.
The majority of nurseries surveyed in north Florida had never
hired a graduate of a vocational technical (votech) school or a college
(Figure 16 & 17). Generally, larger nurseries hired more votech
graduates than smaller nurseries. Nurseries selling 25,000 to
100,000 plants per year had hired more college graduates than
nurseries smaller or larger.
Most nurseries which had employed college graduates rated
their performance satisfactory (56 percent) and 38 percent rated
their work as excellent (Figure 18). Sixty-eight percent of the
nurseries rated their employees with vocational technical school
training as satisfactory and 26 percent rated them as excellent.


More than
500,000







Figure 17. Hiring of college graduates compared with nursery size, north Florida
19791.
95 --Hired College Graduates [
o E -Never Hired College Graduates
-= 85 -
c0
o 75
U 65-
(D
45 -

o 35 -
25 I
I, 15


5,000 5,000- 10,000- 25,000- 50,000- 100,000- More than
10,000 25,000 50,000 100,000 500,000 500,000
Number of plants sold annually
'Of 151 commercial respondents, the information represents 151 nurseries.
Training needs
Basic training for employees was rated very important by 47
percent of the managers while 31 percent thought it was not needed
(Figure 19). Many managers surveyed (47 percent) indicated ad-
vanced training for employees was not needed. The majority of
nurseries surveyed rated basic and advanced training for nursery
managers as very important.
Subjects requested most in training programs for managers in-
clude fertilization, insects, diseases, pesticide use and safety, propa-
gation, container media and bookkeeping and records (Table 5).
Topics of less importance included weeds, marketing principles, ir-
rigation systems, labor management and analysis of records of tax
purposes. Mechanization training was deemed not needed by 47 per-
cent of managers surveyed.
Topics most important in training for employees were fertiliza-
tion, propagation, pesticide use and safety, disease and insects
(Table 6). Topics deemed less important were container media,
weeds and irrigation systems. Topics stated as not needed for
employee training included marketing principles, labor relations,
bookkeeping, analysis of records for tax purposes and nursery
mechanization.
Nursery managers surveyed preferred that educational pro-
grams for managers and for employees be offered during the eve-
ning in the spring (Figures 20 & 21). The next best times were eve-
nings in the summer or fall and during the day in the winter.







Figure 18. Performance rating of college and votech graduates as nursery em.
ployees, north Florida 19791.


VocationallTechnical


-Unsatisfactory
S--Satisfactory
--Excellent


College


'Of 151 commercial respondents, the information represents 35 nurseries, ques-
tion did not apply to 116 respondents.


Figure 19. Rating for basic and advanced training for manager or operator and
employee, north Florida 19791.


[H--Very Important
M--Important
E--Not Needed


1









I __


Rating For Basic
Training


I


Rating For Advanced Rating For Basic Rating For
Training Training Advanced Training


Manager


Employee


'Of 151 commercial respondents, the information represents 148 nurseries, 3
respondents did not complete this question.








Figure 20. Best training season for nursery manager or operator, north Florida,
19791.

85
H --Winter
75 -Spring
o -Summer
S 65 fI a --Fall


Evening


Daytime


'Of 151 commercial respondents, the information represents 137 nurseries, 14
respondents did not complete this question.



Figure 21. Rating for training season for employees, north Florida, 19791.

75- E -Winter
C5 --Spring
S 65- -- -Summer
S--Fall
0. 55-

A? 45

C 35

25-


I 5- \ : \
15 II I




Evening Daytime

1Of 151 commercial respondents, the information represents 88 nurseries, 63
respondents did not complete this question.








Table 5. Rating of subjects reported needed in training programs for nursery
managers or operators by north Florida nursery managers, 19791.
Number of Responses
Very Not
Subjects Important Important Needed
Container Media 62 21 7
Fertilization 76 13 5
Insects 67 21 3
Diseases 74 14 3
Irrigation System 45 27 13
Propagation 72 14 5
Weeds 46 32 10
Pesticide Use and Safety 78 10 4
Labor Management
Nursery Mechanization 47 25 11
Marketing Principles 55 23 10
Bookkeeping and Records 56 24 8
Analysis of Records
for tax purposes 47 25 16
'Represents 151 commercial respondents, however not all respondents com-
pleted each part of the question.





Table 6. Rating of subjects needed in training programs for nursery employees,
by north Florida nursery managers, 19791.
Number of Responses
Very Not
Subjects Important Important Needed
Container 44 25 19
Fertilization 55 32 7
Insects 54 31 9
Disease 55 29 9
Irrigation Systems 26 38 18
Propagation 51 35 6
Weeds 35 33 19
Pesticides Use and Safety 71 15 7
Labor Relations 12 13 51
Nursery Mechanization 20 37 25
Marketing Principles 18 20 44
Bookkeeping and Records 16 16 49
Analysis of Records
for tax purposes 16 7 55
1Represents 151 commercial respondents, however not all respondents com-
pleted each part of this question.






Summary
One-half of nurseries answering the survey were categorized as
commercial nurseries. Others responding represented hobby
nurseries, beginning nurseries or those that were out of business.
Nurseries less than 5 years old comprised 63 percent of the commer-
cial respondents.
It was estimated that 90 percent of the nursery plants produced
in north Florida are grown by 10 to 12 percent of the nurseries. This
means there are a few large nurseries and hundreds of small pro-
ducers.
More than 30 percent of nursery operators reported that only 10
percent of their total income was received from their nursery
businesses. More than 50 percent said the nursery accounted for
less than 30 percent of their income. This means that ornamental
plant production provided supplemental income for many people in
north Florida.
The majority of nurseries selling fewer than 10,000 plants did
not have a full-time manager. On the other hand the majority of
nurseries selling more than 10,000 plants had a full-time manager.
Small nurseries which marketed primarily on a local basis pro-
duced around 25 popular plant species and/or cultivars to meet the
demands of that market. Medium sized nurseries grew a much wider
selection of plants which was necessary to satisfy the larger area
market. Larger nurseries depended more on regional and national
markets and grew a moderate diversity of plant materials.
The majority of nursery managers were at least 40 years old.
Managers of nurseries less than one year old averaged 36 years of
age. Only 3 percent of managers answering the survey did not have
a high school education. However, there is a possibility that many
managers with less formal education did not respond to the survey.
Forty percent of managers answering the survey had at least an
undergraduate college degree.
Managers of young nurseries utilized books and magazines as
primary information sources. Management personnel in less than
one-fourth of the small and medium sized nurseries indicated that
they used nursery organizations as an information source, while the
majority of managers of larger nurseries used them.
The best season and time for nursery manager and employee
training sessions seemed to be in the evenings of spring. Next best
times were evenings in fall and during the day in winter.
Based on the statements above future extension programs must
make an asserted effort to reach nurseries on a local level with pub-
lications and training programs. Magazines and other nursery pub-
lications appear to be an excellent means of getting information to
the industry. Current indepth area training courses in evenings ap-
pear to be on target.





























APPENDIX













INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND
AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


FLORIDA
COOPERATIVE
EXTENSION SERVICE


NURSERY INDUSTRY SURVEY


Nursery Characteristics


1. What is the size of your nursery?


1975


1978


Acres in container production

Acres in field production

Total number of plants

2. If you have greenhouses, how large are the structuress?
(square feet front outside dimensions)



3. What percentage of your overall sales in 1978 were wholesale?



4. How nany plant species and sizes do you produce?

species

sizes

5. Please provide the following information on the most important
plant species produced in your nursery.


Size of Plants
Sold


Azalea (example)


1-gallon


Number of Plants
Sold in 1978


2000


6. How old is your nursery? years
What was its size after the first year of production? ccres
Food ,lid Aqricultural Science is an Equlal Employment Opptortu lty AfIlml V ActIion Elmo player autho-1 ed to pOV trn l ',l(
ducllonal Info ll RIanOon and other sertvces only to indiVldUals anrd instlu tiUln that f citlion without regald to race, color seX, or rational lr q,
COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMICS, STATE OF FLORIDA, IFAS, UNIVERSITY OF
FLORIDA, U S DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE. AND BOARDS OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS COOPERATING


I FAS

.^J


S;-ecies














Manager Characteristics


7. Are you a full-time (40 or more hours per week) or

part-time operator?

8. What percentage of your annual income is from the nursery?

%

9. What is your age? ___ years

10. What type of training have you had?

Major Field of Study

High School

Vo-Tech School

Some college courses

College graduate

11. Had you had experience in the nursery industry before starting
your own? __ yes If yes, how many years?

no

Nursery Employee Characteristics


12. Number of full-time employees in 1978.

13. Number of part-time employees in 1978.

14. A. Have you ever hired Vocational-Technical School graduates?

yes no

B. If so, how many and what were their responsibilities?



C. How would you rate their performance?

Unsatisfactory Satisfactory __ _

15. If available, would you hire a Vo-Tech graduate for an open
position in your nursery? yes no

16. A. Have you ever hired college graduates? yes no










-3-


B. If so, how many and what were their responsibilities?



C. How would you rate their performance?

Unsatisfactory Satisfactory Excellent

17. If available would you hire a college graduate for an open
position in your nursery? ____es no

Marketing System


18. What percentage of your plants are sold in each marketing
area?

Local (within the community)

Area (within county and adjoining counties)

Regional (southern states)

National

19. What percentage of your plants are sold through the following
outlets?

At nursery

Through Broker

From your truck

At Roadside Stand

Telephone orders

Farmers Market

Other, identify

20. What form of advertising do you use?

Media Annual Expense

None

Signs and Billboards

Newspaper

Nursery trade magazines















Media

Other trade magazines

Radio

Other (list)


Annual Expense


21. What percent of sales are FOB nursery? %

22. How are plants shipped?

Percent of sales

Nursery trucks

Contracted: Truck

Bus

Rail

Air

Buyer trucks

23. How do you determine what plants to grow or market?



24. What is your source of production and/or marketing information?

Books Vo-Tech School

Magazines Extension Service

Nursery Organization Experienced Nurserymen

Community College


Training Needs


25. How would you rate your need for training?

A. Basic training for employees

Very Important Important Not needed

B. Advanced training for employees

Very Important Important Not needed















C. Basic training for nursery manager or operator

Very Important Important Not needed

D. Advanced training for nursery manager or operator

Very Important Important Not needed

26. What subjects do you feel are needed in training programs
for managers and employees. Rate the need for each subject
as either: 1.) Very important 2.) Important 3.) Not needed

For Employees For Manager

Fertilization

Container Media

Weeds

Insects

Disease

Propagation

Nursery Mechanization

Irrigation systems

Pesticide Use & Safety

Marketing principles

Labor management

Bookkeeping and Records

Analysis of Records for
Tax Purposes

Other (list)



27. When would be the best time for training session?

For Manager or Operator

Evening Winter

___Spring

Day time Summer

Fall















For Employees

Evening Winter

Spring

Day time Summer

Fall

28. How far would you be willing to travel for this training?

For Manager or Operator

For Employees


Thank you for your cooperation.

Sincerely,



Dewayne L. Ingram
Extension Specialist
Ornamental Horticulture and
Rural Development


Dan Gunter
Production Economist
























































This publication was promulgated at a cost of $2,353.00, or
47 cents per copy, to inform interested persons about the
characteristics of the north Florida nursery industry. 4-5M-82


COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE, UNIVERSITY OF FLORI-
DA, INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES, K. R.
Tefertlller, director, In cooperation with the United States Department IALS
of Agriculture, publishes this information to further the purpose of the
May 8 and June 30, 1914 Acts of Congress; and Is authorized to pro-
vide research, educational Information and other services only to indi-
viduals and Institutions that function without regard to race, color, sex or national ori-
gin. Single copies of Extension publications (excluding 4-H and Youth publications) are
available free to Florida residents from County Extension Offices. Information on bulk
rates or copies for out-of-state purchasers Is available from C. M. Hinton, Publications
Distribution Center, IFAS Building 664, University of Florida, Galnesville, Florida
32611. Before publicizing this publication, editors should contact this address to deter-
mine availability.




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