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May 24, 2010- Visit with Charlie Hall, Agricultural Economist
The Greenhouse Production Research Group hosted Dr. Charlie Hall, Professor and Ellison Chair in International Floriculture from Texas A&M University. Dr. Hall received both his B.S. in Agricultural Economics and M.S. in Ornamental Horticulture and Landscape Design from the University of Tennessee. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Mississippi and is nationally recognized for his expertise in strategic management and financial analysis in floriculture markets. During his two day visit, Dr. Hall met with USDA-ARS and University of Toledo researchers to address ways researchers can frame project objectives to benefit the green industry and make the largest economic impact. Dr. Hall's seminar, titled "State of the Green Industry", demonstrated that small changes made in production inputs, such as labor, energy, and water usage, can increase profit margins by a substantial percentage. Relating this to current research practices, he emphasized that much research to date has allowed growers to maximize their efficiency in production technologies to the point that continued improvements in production efficiencies will be difficult. However, impact can be substantial if there is a shift to focus research on reducing costs in water consumption and energy. Dr. Hall received tours of research areas at the University of Toledo's main campus and Toledo Botanical Gardens. He observed trials relating to silicon uptake for plant growth and disease resistance and trials experimenting with substrate amendments, and he met with many USDA-ARS collaborators. He was very enthusiastic about the on-going research and brainstormed ways in which the GPRG can incorporate an economical component in future projects. We look forward to the possibility of future collaborations with Dr. Hall. For more information on Dr. Hall and his blog, "Making Cents", please visitellisonchair.tamu.edu.