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Reflecting on 2019: Incredible Economics to Devastating Disease, USU Research Corner

As we walk across the farm, through the frost-kissed (errr killed) plants, we find ourselves embracing the end of the season. This helps us step back and reflect on 2019. Two events jump out right away. The first is the success of the peony study. Gee, that feels good to say when much was uphill. We’re working with ‘Coral Charm’, an early variety that blooms around Memorial Day. Our goal is to force bloom for Mother’s Day and we successfully pushed bloom four weeks early this year. As we’re gaining a handle on optimizing production, we met with Dr. Ruby Ward, a USU economist, to learn about enterprise budgets. These track expenses, income, and areas where we are less efficient. First, we had to get everything we ever put into the peonies on paper, such as: how many hours did it take to plant, maintain, and harvest the peonies each year? How much fertilizer, water, and floral preservative do we use? How many hours and miles did it take to sell? The list goes on.

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