Dr. Charlie Hall is back again this week to talk with Bridget about human health and well-being benefits of plants. Students learn and retain more when they can see flowers and plants. People are more compassionate when they can be around plants and trees. Obesity among children and their families is reduced when schools have gardens where children can connect with plants. Our industry needs to promote these fact-based messages to help improve each person’s health and well-being.
We all know that trees produce oxygen while taking carbon dioxide out of the air. We need trees and other plants to produce oxygen we need to live. This week, Bridget has Charlie Hall return to discuss the environmental benefits of plants. From erosion and runoff mitigation, to improved rainwater percolation, to sight and sound barriers, plants give us many environmental benefits we need to be sharing with customers and community members. Here is a link to the Hall and Dickson Green Industry Benefits article.
This week, Dr. Behe’s guest is Dr. Alicia Rihn from the University of Florida. They talk about another recent study about pollinators and locally-produced plants. How do consumers view the pollinator properties of landscape plants and fruit trees? Having a sign saying the plants were “pollinator friendly” improved their likelihood of purchasing the plant and many who looked at the sign for a few seconds were willing to pay up to a 12% premium. If plants have a food source for pollinators, that is helpful information which may persuade some consumers to buy. The local marketing campaign “Fresh From Florida” didn’t get as much visual attention, but still had consumers willing to pay a premium for those plants, even if that was slightly less than what they were willing to pay for pollinator friendly plants.
In this week’s podcast, Bridget has returning guest Melinda Knuth of Texas A&M University. Bridget and Mel talk about their third paper in the water conservation series about how individuals who are active water conservationists are also the same individuals who get a lot of enjoyment (and buy more) plants. Both active and inactive water conservationists are involved in plant purchases, but the active ones more so that the inactive ones.
This week, Bridget continues her discussion with Melinda Knuth, doctoral student at Texas A&M University, about consumer perceptions of the water source for growing plants as well as landscape water use. Bridget and Mel share their findings about what a national sample of U.S. consumers thinks about water, plants, and the landscape. Water source and use were more important in this study than price. Listen to understand more about consumer perceptions of this increasingly important topic: water.
Drought can be devastating for plants. The impact can also be felt by plant producers and retailers. This week, Bridget’s guest is Melinda Knuth, a doctoral student at Texas A&M University, who has worked with Bridget and and some other researchers on a USDA Specialty Crop Research Grant for the past two years. In this first podcast reporting research results, Melinda and Bridget talk about the consumers who were in drought and did (or didn’t) notice it. Mel and Bridget discuss their perceptions of plants and water use.
This week, Bridget continues to discuss bee-friendly insect management strategies but combines them with consumer perceptions of other eco-friendly practices. These include containers made from recycled materials, sustainably-sourced potting mixes or media, and recapturing/recycling irrigation water. Results from a 2015 study showed that the insect management strategies were slightly more important than other eco-practices. Yet, these finding should encourage businesses to be more transparent about the environmentally-friendly practices in which they are engaging.
Part of our industry’s connection to the environment is the food sources we provide for pollinators. With pollinator populations in decline, some colleagues and I wanted to understand what consumers were thinking about the use of neonicotonids. This week, I’ll discuss some findings from a recent consumer study where we investigated their knowledge of pest control terminology. The results show some accurate, and inaccurate, consumer perceptions about the industry’s use of neonicotonids.
Download a transcript of this week’s podcast here: transcript
Pollinator friendly insect management practices are a “hot topic” in the horticulture industry today. How do consumers feel about the promotion of pollinator friendly plants and do they pay any attention to the signs and displays? My guest this week is colleague and friend Dr. Hayk Khachatryan from the University of Florida. Hayk and I will talk about our recent article on consumer perceptions of pollinator friendly plants published in the journal Sustainability (link to article). Are some consumers willing to pay more for pollinator friendly plants? Listen and find out!
Plants have many benefits, but we rarely talk about them or communicate them in our marketing efforts. Why? Most marketers don’t realize that people buy benefits (what the product does for them) not features (what the product is or how it can be described). Charlie and Bridget discuss Charlie’s article in the Journal of Environmental Horticulture outlining the environmental, economic, and ecosystem services benefits of plants.