Irrigation Show Keynote Speaker, Charlie Hall, Ph.D., professor of horticulture, Ellison Chair in international floriculture, Texas A&M University focused on economic factors and how they impact the irrigation industry.

He urged attendees to pay attention to the Leading Economic Index (LEI) as providing the best indication of the economy months in advance. He also indicated that the 2013 home improvement market is forecast to grow by 5 percent; gas prices are forecast to drop to an average of $3.43 per gallon in 2013 (down from $3.58 per gallon); and real personal consumption expenditures will be up. “People want things that enhance their quality of life,” said Hall. “Do people want the services we offer?”

Hall added that water quality, water quantity and water conservation must remain the focus. He applauded industry professionals for coming together for the Education Conference. Hall also urged attendees to continue down the road to being irrigation experts, but reminded everyone that, “Education has got to be not only educating ourselves, but educating our end users.”