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Nitrogen Fertilization in the Vineyard The annual goal in the established vineyard is to have the vines fill their allotted trellis space, top out vegetative growth just above the top wire at veraison, and produce a crop that is in balance with the vegetative vigor. Regretfully high water availability and high nitrogen (N) content of Mid-Atlantic soils typically leads to excess vigor and extended vegetative growth.
Brand Voice—Make It Speak Loudly You’ve worked hard to have a timely and attractive website. You have a distinctive logo and promotional materials. Your social media marketing plan for the season is in place. Your products or services are top quality and will be available in sufficient supplies. You’re all ready for a great sales season. But do customers know your brand?
Ho, Ho, Ho—Handling Crabby Customers this Holiday Season Mastering Marketing - November 2018Unreasonable customers are always a pain, but they're especially prevalent and stressful during the holiday shopping rush. To help you cope with difficult shoppers this holiday season, consider these seven tips from customer-service experts.
Emerging Models for Direct-to-Consumer Marketing Mastering Marketing - June 2018“You never change things by fighting an existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.” – Buckminster Fuller
Making the Most of Your Time — Be Effective Mastering Marketing - May 2018In the opening session of a recent Annie’s Project Class I coordinated, we addressed the topic “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Farm Women.” It was a take-off modeled on Steven Covey’s (1992) book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” In his book, Covey highlights the seven habits of great managers.
Market Season-Ready, Set, Sell Mastering Marketing - April 2018Despite the colder temps and slow start to the growing season, farmers markets, roadside stands and on-farm markets, need to get ready for sunnier days and the first flush of customers looking for fresh local produce, fruits, and other locally produced foods.
Balanced Pruning I - A Critical Step in Maintaining and Adjusting Vine Balance  Timely Viticulture Update:  February 26, 2018A major theme of viticulture is that for a vine to consistently produce high quality fruit it must be “in balance.” That means that the amount of vegetative growth (shoots and leaves) is just right to properly ripen the reproductive growth (fruit load).
Assessing Grapevine Bud Damage  Timely Viticulture Updated: February 26, 2018
Understanding Grapevine Bud Damage  Timely Viticulture Update:  February 26, 2018
Maryland’s Expanding Value-added and Craft Movement Mastering Marketing - February 2018I attended this year’s “Maryland’s Best Expo” organized by the Maryland Department of Agriculture to highlight Maryland products to a wide variety of buyers. This year’s offerings featured value-added products from at least three - quarters of the attending exhibitors.
Matching Products to Customer Appetites in 2018 Mastering Marketing - January 2018Every December I enjoy reading food trend predictions for the coming year from a variety of sources such as the Specialty Foods Association, the American Restaurant Association, Packer magazine, and  a host of foodie blogs.
Is Diversification Your Ultimate Goal? Mastering Marketing - October 2017
Farm to Door─Should You Offer a Product Delivery Service? Photo Credit: Alden Jewell - Maier's Kew-Bee Bread Truck by Boyertown Body Works
How Much Should I Spend on Marketing Mastering Marketing - May 2017
Tissue Sampling Updated May 4, 2017 Some early varieties in many vineyards are just starting to bloom. This is a critical time for taking tissue/petiole samples to assess the nutritional status of your vines. The following are some timely considerations.
Selling On-line, a 24/7 Opportunity Mastering Marketing - February 2017
Marketing and Branding ─ Color it “SOLD” Mastering Marketing - November 2016
Get Ready for the Holiday Sales Season Now Mastering Marketing - September 2016 While the holiday season may seem a ways off, the line between when customers shop and when they take offense to holiday décor in stores is becoming a blurry one. The National Retail Federation reports that every year, about 40 percent of customers begin their holiday shopping before Halloween(1). 
Crop Management The goal of most grape growers is to produce high quality grapes for wine. For making the best wine, the highest quality grapes are often the most mature and uniform. In today’s quality driven marketplace, the best fruit will command the highest prices and the greatest demand.
Who’s the Boss Mastering Marketing - April 2016 A primary attribute often given for being self-employed is “I’m my own boss.” But, business guru Peter Drucker stated, “The purpose of a business is to have a satisfied customer”. So, whether you’re a farmer, producer, or other type of small business owner; who’s the boss in your business?  Is it you, your customers, or both?
Understanding Grapevine Frost/Freeze Damage   Timely Viticulture Updated: April 7, 2016
Marketing— The Root of All Profits Mastering Marketing - March 2016 I’ve written, taught, and executed marketing ideas and plans for some time now. But, after pages and pages of text and theories, I’ve found marketing really boils down to a couple key concepts executed over three similar categories.  And, marketing is truly the root of all profits in any business.

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