Bill Meyer wrote:
> Does the market take care of moving the best plants into the hands
> of the people? I don't think so. As the person behind the First Look
> Seedling and Sport Competition, I have to say that the main reason for
> staging it is to get the good new plants together in one place and compare
> them and choose the best. The market does nothing of the kind.
Bill Meyers, as the person behind the First Look Seedling and Sport Competition,
you have no shame. As much as I am looking foreward to it, First Look is not
going to have the slightest effect on the market.
> The market is
> about profit, by definition. If it is more profitable (even in the long run)
> to sell junk, then junk will be sold.
What are you, some kind of Communist? The market is, by definition, about
supply and demand. I'm not sure which hostas qualify as junk, but which ever
hostas your are talking about, they will only be sold if that's what the buyers
want. There is no shortage of suppliers and competition, no shortage of
information, and no shortage of choices. "Bad" hostas will occasionally be
sold, just like bad cars, bad pork chops, or anything else, but what possible
reason would any nurseryman have to intentionally sell bad hostas? Why would
anyone buy them?
> Not all nurserymen would, but enough
> would to load up everyone's gardens with inferior plants.
What inferior plants are we talking about? And how does a nurseryman go about
loading up gardens with inferior plants. I may be prejudiced, but I suspect
that most nurserymen offer their customers a wide range of plants and if the
gardens wind up being loaded with "inferior plants", it might have something to
do with price. The hosta market in the main is not that much different from any
other. We sell what the customers want to buy, limited of course by our ability
to produce. We offer a wide range of choices at virtually any price. What junk
is sold? Undulatas? I sell tons of undulata because that's what customers
want. They want it because it's cheap. The same way many people buy Ford
Escorts when they would really rather have a Towncar. I don't have to buy
undulatas, but if I did, I could get them by the thousands for around 50 cents
each from the Dutch. I sell them here for less than I pay for most of the new
varieties when they come out of the tc lab. If I could get the new varieties
for 50 cents, then I could sell them for the same price as undulatas and I could
load up everyone's gardens with the newest and the best.
> Then there is the
> issue of lookalikes. We all know that some producers are taking identical
> sports, or nearly identical ones, and putting a new name on them to have a
> "new" cultivar to sell. In the market today, we have three of this plant
> under different names, and four of that one, and so on. That is what letting
> the market control things does.
Where is this a big problem? If it is a big problem, I don't see where it's
caused by producers. It happens because of the rules of the AHS. There are
obviously identical or nearly identical plants being sold under different names,
but that's what the AHS dictates. If two people find a green centered form of
Piedmont Gold on the same day, there are three possibilities: 1. one of the two
effectively throws the plant away; 2. they both name it and introduce it; and 3.
the first one to register it gets to name it and the other sells it under that
name. Number 1 is not going to happen. There is no reason for it to happen and
it is not to the buyers advantage for it to happen. The registrar has tried
both 2 and 3 and has decided 2 is better. I don't see how the fact that
Satisfaction and Tyler's Treasure are both on the market has caused any great
distress, but if it does, the registrar can solve the problem by going back to
policy number 3. What you can't do is expect anyone to be kind enough to
destroy a plant so someone else can have exclusive rights to it. The only way I
can see to do that is through patenting, and while I'm not against patenting, I
don't see that it brings any great benefit to the buyer. I didn't patent
Satisfaction, but if there had been some rule prohibiting anyone else from
bringing out a similar plant, you can bet I would have kept the price a lot
higher for a lot longer.
> First Look will offer an alternative to this. The nurseries can come
> to the Competition and find plenty of new material to offer their customers.
> The originators can make arrangements with them there. Everyone else can
> vote to decide which plants are the most interesting, and tell that to the
> nursery owners, and in the long run decide which plants are offered for sale
> in the future.
You should be ashamed of yourself. First Look is a great idea and I support it
100%, I'll be there and hope everyone else will too, but it is going to do
nothing of the kind. Nurseries have absolutely no difficulty in finding great
plants to produce right now. The primary force determining which plants get to
market today is tissue culture. And how many good plants can we think of that
have managed to elude the labs so far. If they can be cultured and there is
demand, they are probably already in the lab, and if they can't be cultured
they'll be too expensive to go very far. If First Look brings exposure to a
deserving plant, so much the better, but it is not going to have any effect on
We producers will decide which hostas you can have, and there's nothing you can
do to stop us. And if you try, we will destroy you.
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