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Mother’s Day Monitoring

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Not surprisingly, U.S. consumers buy the most flowers every year on Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day. In 2017, consumers across the country spent a total of $1.9 Billion on Mother’s Day flowers, along with another $1.9 Billion on Roses for Valentine’s Day. The major kinds of cut flowers produced and sold are carnations, roses, gladioli, chrysanthemums, and pompons. Of the 23 States producing flowers commercially, California is the largest, with about 52 percent of the U.S. production, having a value of about $83.5 million a year.

Getting fresh flowers for your mother requires a mix of delivery speed and maintaining the proper storage temperature and humidity for each flower. Like all perishable products, florals require specific temperatures and humidity levels to maintain freshness. Without the proper care, flowers might bloom and fade before they can be enjoyed by the recipient.

In a journal publication from the U.S. Department of Agriculture: Science and Education Administration, it is suggested that “Cut flowers from the California flower producing areas can be transported successfully to Midwest and east coast markets by refrigerated highway trucks if proper transit temperatures are maintained. Initial temperatures of cut flowers may range between 35F (2C) and 59F (15C). If the flowers are properly packed in vented standard-sized boxes, forced-air precooled, and placed in a spaced load pattern in the truck, transit temperatures can be maintained between 32F (0C) and 37F (3C). Forced-air cooling of flowers before shipping removes enough heat from the product to enable the refrigeration system on the truck to maintain proper flower temperatures in transit.”

According to an article from Flora Life, “Flowers sold in retail outlets today are often 10 days old or older. At the extreme, flowers may be stored prior to processing by bouquet manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers for 14 – 21 days or in ocean liner shipping containers for 10 – 21 days. Consumers want flowers that will perform nicely and last 7 days or longer despite the challenges of shipping and storage stresses.”

Complicating this need for the ideal temperature, flowers often travel a long way from field to store. Eighty percent of all flowers sold in the US are shipped from Latin America, with 12% coming from domestic production and 8% arriving from other locations. Of these, most came from Colombia (142,252), followed by Ecuador (79,342), Guatemala (2,529), and Costa Rica (20). Shipping usually starts weeks before the holidays and the best flowers arrive early. At each step in the process, there is a risk that the flowers will be exposed to warmer temperatures, which will cause them to break dormancy ahead of their time.

Aside from maintaining a cool temperature for the flowers, the humidity to which they are exposed also has an impact. Leaves and flowers are made up of 70 – 95% water, and hydration during transportation is key. Water is an integral part of petal expansion, as well as flower opening, and humidity plays an important role in maintaining the water content.  A humidity count of 80-85% will help extend the life of the flower up to 6 to 8 days. However, anything above 85% can lead to the growth of a fungus called Botrytis, which forms a gray, powdery mold on flower leaves and petals.

Temperature and humidity monitoring is instrumental in preventing the loss of floral product and maintaining customer satisfaction. With a Dickson Display Logger, you won’t have to worry. Our fully redesigned, cloud-enabled logger incorporates features from our best selling devices into non-connected units. With the logger, it’s easy to collect temperature and humidity data from Dickson’s replaceable sensors so that you can rest assured knowing that your flowers arrive freshly, and stay beautiful for days to come!

 

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