Editor Ball Publishing
Chris Beytes is editor of GrowerTalks and Green Profit magazines and author of the widely read weekly e-newsletter Acres Online, which reaches more than 23,000 horticulture industry folks in 66 countries.
Chris is a graduate of the University of Florida, with a degree in journalism and a minor in ornamental horticulture. A former Florida greenhouse owner with his wife, Laurie, Chris has been with Ball Publishing since 1993. In that position, Chris travels the U.S. and the world to stay current on the latest horticultural production, marketing and retailing technologies and trends. Highlights of his career (thus far) including interviewing King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands, and emceeing (five times) the International Grower of the Year awards in Germany.
Your complete information source for the horticultural industry.
Commercial greenhouse growers and garden center retailers enjoy how GrowerTalks|Green Profit combines the best in growing, retailing, and consumer insights into one premium monthly publication. Our magazines, newsletters, online resources, videos and webinars provide the horticulture industry with the best, most up-to-date information on the latest crops, culture and innovations.
Ball Publishing got its start early in the history of Ball Horticultural Co. (which was founded in 1905). Ball’s founder, George. J. Ball, was a seedsman and flower grower of the highest order. But he was also a prolific writer, and a big proponent of the sharing of knowledge. Two of his company’s earliest book projects were “Seed Sowing” and “Gravel Culture.” But his best-known work and legacy is the “Ball RedBook.” First published in 1932, the RedBook is considered to be the “bible” for the greenhouse industry. It’s loaded with detailed production information for annuals, perennials, cut flowers and other floriculture crops; plus in-depth chapters on greenhouses and growing technology. Now in its 17th edition and over 1,000 pages long, the Ball RedBook has sold hundreds of thousand of copies around the world. Visit a greenhouse on any continent and chances are you can find a well-worn copy of the RedBook.
Just as famous as the RedBook is GrowerTalks magazine. It, too, was founded by George J. Ball. George decided to publish his own magazine because the editor of the floral trade magazine in which he wanted to publish his crop production articles wouldn’t print them in a timely fashion. He knew growers needed the information now! So he launched his own magazine, GrowerTalks, writing at home after work on a legal pad balanced on his knee.
That was May 1937, and the convenient pocket-sized publication became the commercial flower grower’s best friend. It’s widely accepted that GrowerTalks truly got growers communicating with one another. George wrote about his own experiences and travels, and he tapped into his sons Vic, Carl and George K. (Sonny), as well as the Geo. J. Ball sales force, to provide culture and market information from around the world. Turn to a copy from the early ’40s and you can read about the difficulties facing the industry during World War II, when women began working the greenhouse and seed from the renowned German and Japanese breeding houses was unavailable.
Today, more than 82 years later, GrowerTalks may be the best-known greenhouse trade publication in the world. While it’s published in America’s Midwest, just outside of Chicago, its reach and influence is global, with its editors historically on the road and in the air to find the stories, trends and news. From the days of George and his sons traveling across the country by train or abroad by boat, to today’s editors visiting trade shows and greenhouses on nearly every continent, GrowerTalks is there, in the greenhouse and garden center, bringing you the latest growing and retailing information.
Speaking of garden centers, in 1997 we decided to launch a publication just for retailers. There were two major information gaps in the market that we felt prepared to fill: crop information and consumer trend information. No other publication was bringing timely, accurate flower and plant information to retailers. Yet we’d been doing it for growers for years. And no one was focusing on the end consumer and what she wants and needs. We launched Green Profit to serve those two niches, and it has done that admirably for more than 17 years.
In the mid 2000s, we noticed that the industry was changing, and our current design reflects that. Launched in July 2008, it’s only the second major redesign GrowerTalks has ever had. The first was in 1982, when Ball Publishing was launched as a full-fledged division of Geo. J. Ball, and the magazine went from pocket-sized to full-sized and began accepting advertising from Ball’s competitors.
Our latest change brings the worlds of growing and retailing closer together—just as they are in reality—by putting GrowerTalks and Green Profit back to back, joined “in spirit and in spine,” we like to say. This gives everyone in the industry one convenient publication filled with the best of both worlds. So it's truly the only trade magazine growers and retailers "flip" over.
Put Ball Seed WebTrack To Work For You
Ball Seed WebTrack has the most complete online offering of commercial greenhouse supplies with more than 250,000 products available 24/7 at your fingertips. Download the mobile WebTrack To Go app for access anywhere, anytime. Live inventory is easy to search and ready to ship to keep up with your busy schedule. Track shipments, manage deliveries, and print reports and invoices online. It's all backed by our knowledgeable Ball Seed sales force, customer service and world-class supply chain. Put Ball Seed WebTrack to work for you!
All the Best and Nothing Else.
Ball Horticultural Company is a leader in all facets of horticulture. Our global family of breeders, research and development teams, suppliers, and distribution companies has a strong presence on six continents in 20 countries. We live by our founder’s motto: “All the Best and Nothing Else.”
Flowers to Fit Lifestyles --- Our plants and products are making history in the world of gardening. Among these are award-winning flowers, vegetables, perennials, roses and shrubs recognized worldwide for their performance and consumer appeal. The latest products to fit the needs of today’s gardening lifestyle include flowers to fit small or indoor spaces, top-rated vegetables and herbs, low-maintenance succulents, and other plants with a purpose.
Who owns Ball Horticultural Company?
Ball Horticultural Company was founded in 1905 by George J. Ball. The company remains family owned and has a global presence on six continents in 17 countries. The current President and CEO is Anna Caroline Ball, third-generation leader of Ball Horticultural Company.
I'm a home gardener. Can I order seeds and plants from Ball?
Ball is a wholesale seed and plant distributor to the commercial horticulture industry. Unfortunately we do not sell directly to home gardeners. However, you can find our fabulous flowers, vegetables and shrubs at your local garden center. Visit our home gardening websites to locate a store near you:
I'm having trouble with my plants. Can you offer advice?
Greenhouse growers can explore plant culture, Grower Facts documents, trial research and more through a plant search atBallSeed.com, or through any of the marketing websites of our breeding companies. For a specific problem affecting your greenhouse production, please contact your Ball Seed sales representative or regional technical product rep. Please request a call from our experts at our Contact Us page.
For advice on home gardening, please visit our consumer websites:
How do I locate a sales representative in my area?
North American growers of all sizes are serviced by an expert and dedicated sales force through Ball Seed and Ball ColorLink. Please call our Ball Seed customer service department for assistance locating a sales rep in your area: 800 879-BALL.
Visit our Contact Us page and select your global region for sales service outside of North America.
How do I request a catalog?
Visit our Media Room to browse or download the latest North American catalogs and brochures. Information and literature can also be found at our companies' websites. You can also contact our customer service department to request a printed copy: 800 879-BALL.
Can I have access to the images in your photolibrary?
The Ball Horticultural Company image library is readily available for promotional use. Photos may not be licensed or resold. The correct variety name and series name must be listed with any reproduction.
Visit the Press & Photos page to search and download available photography. To request specific images of Ball products, contact the Image Archive Library at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I order or print Point Of Purchase signage?
Ball offers extensive marketing support for its products. From bench cards to cart banners and fence signs. Point Of Purchase (POP) signage can be ordered through our graphics partners or requested through your grower and sales rep. Browse availability, or create and download custom signs through the Retail section of BallSeed.com.
What employment opportunities are available at Ball?
Current job opportunities are posted at the Careers at Ball page of our website. Please mail your resume to:
Ball Horticultural Company
622 Town Road
West Chicago, IL 60185
Human Resources Dept.
Attn: Mike Williams
Fax your resume to 630 231-3592, or email your resume to email@example.com. Resumes are kept on file for six months.
Do you accept applications for internships?
Ball Horticultural Company encourages the next generation to explore the world of horticulture. Each year, internship opportunities are available in North America in our many business divisions: product development, marketing, research, sales, garden design, and more. Contact our Human Resources department.
Can I visit The Gardens at Ball?
Our Gardens in West Chicago, Illinois have been the evaluation and testing grounds for the world’s wealth of horticulture since 1933. Visits to The Gardens at Ball are encouraged for customers of Ball Seed and industry partners. Please call the Ball switchboard at 630 231-3600 to set up an arrival date and time.
Garden Clubs and Master Gardner groups can arrange a visit through our Education and Trials Manager Susan Schmitz (ext. 3289). Garden writers or members of the press should contact Public Relations Manager Katie Rotella (ext. 3296). Open days for the general public are reserved for Saturdays in August each summer.
Where can I find Ball products outside North America?
Ball has a strong presence of breeding and distribution partners on six continents, and we encourage you to contact your regional distribution company for availability of plant products from Ball Horticultural Company. You can locate your nearest distributor from the list at Our Companies page, or by selecting your specific region on the Contact Us page.
What are your newest plant introductions?
You can browse and download our latest catalogs in the Press & Photos section of this website. Each of our breeding companies' websites also showcase the newest plant introductions. Find access to all of our breeding companies in the Our Companiessection.