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The Impact of COVID-19 on Horticulture: Critical Issues and Opportunities Derived from an Unexpected Occurrence
Article

Identifying Critical Issues in the Horticulture Industry: A Delphi Analysis during the COVID-19 Pandemic

1
Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
2
Department of Horticulture, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Andrea Ertani and Roberta Bulgari
Horticulturae 2021, 7(11), 416; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7110416
Received: 9 September 2021 / Revised: 13 October 2021 / Accepted: 15 October 2021 / Published: 20 October 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horticulture in the Time of COVID-19)
The horticulture industry provides significant contributions to society, including healthy foods, economic development, recreation and leisure activities, among others. However, there are critical issues facing the horticulture industry which should be illuminated to ensure ongoing vitality and relevance, particularly within the COVID-19 pandemic context. The present study used the Delphi Technique to identify the most critical issues facing the horticulture industry as perceived by a panel of industry experts. Data were collected from February to October 2020 and thus preceded the initial declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic through the lifting of stay-at-home orders in most states. The expert panel arrived at a consensus on 34 specific issues, five of which were specifically related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Using the Constant Comparative Method, the issues were thematically analyzed and grouped into five primary categories, including (alphabetically ordered): (1) disease and pest management, (2) education, research, and recruitment, (3) environmental conditions and natural resource availability, (4) labor challenges and considerations, and (5) production challenges and innovations. The results of the study provide a framework for both academic and practitioner audiences to identify critical focus areas for the industry within a COVID-19 context. View Full-Text
Keywords: horticulture; critical issues; labor shortage; environmental conditions; horticultural production; pest management horticulture; critical issues; labor shortage; environmental conditions; horticultural production; pest management
MDPI and ACS Style

Lamm, K.; Powell, A.; Lombardini, L. Identifying Critical Issues in the Horticulture Industry: A Delphi Analysis during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Horticulturae 2021, 7, 416. https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7110416

AMA Style

Lamm K, Powell A, Lombardini L. Identifying Critical Issues in the Horticulture Industry: A Delphi Analysis during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Horticulturae. 2021; 7(11):416. https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7110416

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lamm, Kevan, Alyssa Powell, and Leonardo Lombardini. 2021. "Identifying Critical Issues in the Horticulture Industry: A Delphi Analysis during the COVID-19 Pandemic" Horticulturae 7, no. 11: 416. https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7110416

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