Want to keep up with the latest news in commercial horticulture? Check back every Thursday for a quick recap of recent happenings in the green industry.

Floralife “Flowers Don’t Require Tough Labor” Video Showcases Floralife Technology That Saves on Labor Costs and Time
Smithers-Oasis Company is introducing its new Floralife video, “Flowers Don’t Require Tough Labor” to showcase the savings on labor costs and time that can be achieved using the Floralife® Express Technology.  This video is the third in a series of videos that highlight the benefits of this revolutionary technology. The technology eliminates the need to recut stems, providing additional time for floral businesses and retailers to spend on other important business functions, like sales floor maintenance, orders and customer service, which improves efficiency and saves labor costs. Smithers-Oasis developed Floralife® Express Technology to provide a solution to better manage the challenges faced at all levels of the floral industry. It is appropriate for use with all flower types, and is available in a range of sizes and applications.

2017 Census of Agriculture Gets Underway
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) starts mailing the 2017 Census of Agriculture to the nation’s producers this week. Conducted once every five years, the census aims to get a complete and accurate picture of American agriculture. The resulting data are used by farmers, ranchers, trade associations, researchers, policymakers, and many others to help make decisions in community planning, farm assistance programs, technology development, farm advocacy, agribusiness setup, rural development, and more. The census will be mailed in several phases through December. Farm operations of all sizes which produced and sold, or normally would have sold, $1,000 or more of agricultural product in 2017 are included in the census. The census is the only source of uniform, comprehensive, and impartial agriculture data for every state and county in the nation. NASS revised the census forms in an attempt to document changes and emerging trends in the industry. Changes include a new question about military veteran status, expanded questions about food marketing practices, and questions about on-farm decision-making to help better capture the roles and contributions of beginning farmers, women farmers, and others involved in running a farm enterprise.

The Western is Raising Their Game with Innovative & Interactive Education
The Western will have a new Demonstration Center. Participants will continue to learn and network in the Learning Centers and Roundtable Discussions but now they will also have the opportunity to connect with suppliers in the Demo Center. These 15-30 minute demonstrations are designed to give participants the chance to see a product or plant “in action” and chat one-on-one with the company representatives. Details available here. In addition, four new companies will join the 2018 Western for the NEW Demonstration Center. About 19 percent of exhibitors will be new.