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Re: Dutch Treat

I'm afraid I have to withdraw my offer to pay part of Ben's dues.  From my
reading of Jim's analysis of the situation, it now appears that Ben (or
maybe the Dutch government, I'm not sure) owes me a considerable amount of

I think I've finally found a way to make some real money in the hosta
business! And Ran, don't go thinking you're going to get some of this, it
was my idea.


Jim Hawes wrote:

> Robins,
> There has been so much overblown discussion about Dutch spending on
> hosta research that one is tempted to suggest that we make a comparative
> analysis of the costs and benefits of current research and development
> efforts in hosta promotion. Since the Hosta sub-sector has become big
> business in the horticultural world, we could look at R and D
> expenditures and investment as a whole to compare who is spending how
> much on what to promote hostas.This look at the situation is a type of
> research itself....i.e.agricultual economic research  on the impact of
> investment on economic growth and development of hostas in horticulture.
> Do we have a spare Agricultural Economist among us to make such a study?
> I doubt it. But we are capable of thinking about the subject and
> developing a "feel" or certain instincts or intuition about the
> magnitude of current R and D investments in improving hostas' position
> in ornamental horticulture.
> Think of all of the investments in money, time, people and effort made
> in the importation of improved plant material, seed production  and
> distribution,hybridization and sport selection, testing, observation and
> propagation  by literally hundreds of professionals and hobbyists in the
> US and elsewhere. Consider the thousands of trials, demonstrations  and
> observations, the record keeping and written descriptions of the  world
> of plant materials under study.as well as the management practices,
> studies involving fertilizers, pest control materials and practices
> conducted by all of the nurseries, tc labs and gardens. Think how well
> the results of these research efforts can be transplanted to other
> countries of the world to improve the hosta industry. Then compare all
> of these R and D efforts and investments to the insignificant 100.000
> dollars mentioned as Dutch spending most likely to provide 100 percent
> of a plant geneticist's salary and prorated costs for his share of space
> and related materials in a laboratory at Leiden U.to do ( or not do)
> research in "pure" science as he wishes.
> Then go back again and compare this to the sizeable funding which
> corresponds to the hundreds of other Rand D efforts made in the US.  I
> suspect that we have made much ado about a rather insignificant Dutch
> investment effort in hosta research now being threatened with
> cancellation.
> I know personally scores  of individual private Americans who are
> working full time, using their own funds and other resources , effort
> and time , performing  R and D  activities without pay or with only
> minor reimbursement on their research investment efforts. Among many of
> these acquaintances, I have first hand knowledge that their efforts are
> producing significant returns in developing improved plant materials ,
> improved management practices and better knowledge of hosta scientific
> technology. We don't think much of their activities as being hosta
> research but that is what they are. And they are continuing without
> hoopla or complaining..
> So let's not get carried away  with the glamor and importance of claimed
> scientific research conducted somewhere in a scientific laboratory  to
> the tune of  a mere 100.000 dollars. Will we survive with the threat of
> these Dutch funds disappearing ?  You decide!
> Jim Hawes
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