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PROBLEMS INVOLVED DURING MOTHERS DAY - PART 1

In a recent article, I came across a site the problems invlved in the flower business, during Mothers day. Mother's Day will be important to California's $316 million cut flower business but the overall industry could be a little rosier.

“The late rains pushed back our crops,” said Don Garibaldi, owner of Año Nuevo Flower Farms in Pescadero. “But it's the foreign competition that is hurting growers, and it's here to stay.”.

For example, Ecuador has hurt California rose growers - three in Watsonville and two in Petaluma. South America exports 85 percent of its flowers to the United States.

Labor is so much cheaper and there are no rules about the use of insecticides. Those factors make it hard to cope, he said.

South America's growing season is different, and growers there are able to produce stunning 30- to 36-inch stemmed roses because of the altitude.

In retaliation, California growers also are producing flowers such as Dutch iris, daffodils and narcissus that like cool, coastal temperatures and don't thrive in the warmer climates of Mexico and South America.

Mother's Day - May 13 - is the second most important economic holiday for cut flower growers after Valentine's Day. Roses are No. 1 in popularity, followed by carnations and pompon chrysanthemums.

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