Coping with the National Living Wage - Ornamentals

Coping with the National Living Wage - Ornamentals

The new regulations introduced on 1 April 2016 are likely to increase your labour costs and potentially affect your profitability, so what can you do about it?


Have you critically evaluated every crop, system and site that you grow at and are concentrating your efforts on those most likely to give both the greatest return and the best margin? Your staff should be more efficient if you do all that you can to make their work easier.


Effectively manage input costs as covered in:


- PE/PO 011a – GrowSave: energy and resource efficiency knowledge transfer for the protected crops sector


- HNS 136a – Management tools for optimising nursery space and production forecasting and HNS 136b - A survey of the approaches taken to calculate the cost of production (ProCost)


Explore the potential to automate processes and investigate new methods of production as reported in:


- HNS/PO 194 – GROWBOT: a grower-reprogrammable robot for ornamental plant production tasks


- PO 020 - The development of an experimental deep pool hydroponics system to investigate its potential for cut flowers


Grow good quality plants and cut flowers with no pest, disease or weed problems to minimise wastage or downgrading and optimise the order collation / harvesting process to maximise the return on your investment as detailed in several recent projects:


- BOF 76a – Understanding physiological disorders in daffodils


- CP 124 – Managing ornamentals plants sustainably


- CP 104 – Novel approaches for the management of leaf and bud nematodes in hardy nursery stock


- HNS 196 – Identification of inoculum sources and potential control strategies for the newly emerged Peronospora causing downy mildew on aquilegia


- HNS 192a – Herbicide screening for ornamental plant production


- HNS 191 – The epidemiology and control of heuchera rust


- HNS/PO 190 – Treatments for the control of black root rot in bedding plants and hardy nursery stock


- PO 011b – Monitoring metalaxyl-M sensitivity of downy mildew infection of impatiens


Ensure the growth of plants is optimised and kept under control to maximise yield as highlighted in:


- HNS 193 – Nutrient management in hardy nursery stock


- HNS 178a – Evaluating the potential of plant growth regulators to limit plant growth on tree and hedging species


Evaluate new plant species/varieties to develop new market niches as explored in:


- PO 021 – Genetic and environmental interactions in poinsettia production and shelf life


- BOF/PO 002a – The National Cut Flower Trials Centre Programme for 2013-2017


A range of factsheets, guides, posters and DVDs/downloads are also available summarising the work from many of these and other relevant projects.  A full list of relevant publications for the hardy nursery stock, protected ornamentals and bulb and outdoor cut flower sectors is available on the Knowledge Hub area of the AHDB Horticulture website. If you would like to order further hard copies of any publications please email hort.info@ahdb.org.uk.