I do a lot of rambling on in this space every month, and I thought it was time to turn the tables. Don’t get me wrong – I’m still going to blather at you. But I’m also offering an opportunity for you, the readers, to talk back. We’ve put together a brief survey, which you’ll find here: http://bit.ly/1o8vulZ. We’d love it if you could spare a few minutes from your busy day and answer a few questions.

We want to get to know you a little better, and we also want to know what we’re doing right and where we can improve. This magazine exists to serve you and provide you with the information you need to be successful, from ways to deal with tricky pests to promising new varieties to details on the latest regulations. So go ahead, take the survey and let us know how we can better serve you. Go on, I’ll wait right here.

Great, thanks for taking the time to do that! Your input is valuable and appreciated. The survey is a way to learn about your needs so we can create the best product for you. Growers themselves have a lot of learning to do too. You need to know all about your customers and their preferences. You need to stay on top of pesticide applicator certifications and new legislation. And don’t forget about variety selection, technology, innovative growing methods – the list goes on!

Our lead story this month talks about continuing education for growers. Education doesn’t end when you leave school, not by a long shot. You can avoid learning new things if you want, but that’s a good way to go nowhere fast. Thanks to the advent of the Internet, it’s easier than ever to find educational opportunities – and even engage in distance learning.

There are many facets of a growing endeavor that you need to stay up-to-date on, and pollinators are among them. For a significant proportion of crops, they’re as essential as sunlight, water and rich soil. In this issue, you’ll find a story addressing various considerations related to keeping pollinators healthy so they can do what they do best.

It’s also important to stay current on the latest disease information. This month’s disease control column focuses on citrus greening. It’s a devastating disease, but researchers are hard at work figuring out ways to combat it.

Growing produce is not a simple, easy business. There’s a lot of information and research out there, and we try to bring it right to you to help you improve your operation. Don’t forget to take the survey and let us know how we can help you even more.

Stephanie Peake