A Look At The Global Supply Chain

California Spring Trials are the place to see breeder consolidation in action. Jerry Montgomery presents a critical assessment of the green goods supply chain in light of recent consolidation:

According to the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, supply chain management encompasses the planning and management of all activities involved in sourcing, procurement, conversion and logistic management.  It also includes the crucial components of coordination and collaboration with channel partners which can be suppliers, intermediaries, third-party service providers and customers.  In essence, supply chain management integrates supply and demand management within and across companies.

Consolidation has arguably impacted the supply chain particularly in the supply of seed and vegetative inputs.  There are fewer companies in the seed supply chain because of consolidation and fewer companies dominating in the vegetative segment.  A prime example is Syngenta acquisitions of Goldsmith Seeds, Yoder Mums, and Fischer, Syngenta from a niche player to a position of dominance in both seed and vegetative.

Another example is the acquisition of Global Flowers and Sahin Seed by Takii, although far less impactful than the Syngenta acquisitions because al three companies are niche oriented and have not dominated in any major category.

Estimates Of Market Position
Genera #1 Seed #2 Seed #1 Vegetative #2 Vegetative
Begonia Benary Syngenta    
Impatiens Syngenta Ball    
Marigolds Syngenta Ball    
Petunia* Ball Syngenta    
Salvia Ball Syngenta    
Vinca Syngenta Ball    
Calibrachoa     Syngenta Selecta
Geraniums     Syngenta Dummen
New Guinea impatiens     Danziger Syngenta
Petunia     Dummen Syngenta
Verbena     Syngenta Ball
* includes spreading petunias        

 

 Although the estimates are subjectively garnered from market observations and talking to large growers, it is clear that consolidation has put more control of key categories into the hands of fewer breeder/producers.  This trend will continue as larger, well-funded companies absorb smaller ones along with those who will go out of business.

Breeding Companies That Impact The Market
Seed Owner Vegetative Owner
American Takii Takii Aris Aris
Benary Seed Benary Ball FloraPlant Ball
Global Flowers Takii Danziger Danziger
Goldsmith Seed Syngenta Dummen Dummen
Hem Genetics Hem Ecke Ranch Ecke
Kieft Seed Ball Fides H2 Equity
PanAmerican Seed Ball Fischer Syngenta
S&G Seed Syngenta Selecta Klemm Klemm
Sahin Seed Takii Suntory Suntory
Sakata Seed Takii Yoder Mums Syngenta
Does not include perennial breeding companies      

 

Companies that have consolidated face many challenges, which include integrating information systems to a single platform, dealing with the different internal cultures and driving costs out – that  is one of the drivers of consolidation. Economy of scale is an enticing motivation, but rarely does it come to fruition. Frequently, as companies that buy other companies get caught up in the business of integrating these new assets, they lose focus on the customer. That results in a decline in growth and opens the doors for their competitors.

 

Go to Market

A major issue that has been facing breeding companies for a number of years is their go-to-market strategy that is largely dependent on the distribution system of brokers.  Since more than 90 percent of annuals inputs are sold through the national network of brokers, their ability to garner distribution support is essential to their success. This of course gives companies that are vertically integrated with their own broker sellers a clear advantage, if they understand how to position their own products while at the same time making the best interest of their customers the paramount concern.

On the other hand, you can easily make the case in today’s world for brokers who have no affiliation with breeding comapnies and can concern themselves solely with selling products that are best for their customer’s.  There are too many companies at all levels of the supply chain that are so focused on the product transaction, they miss the most important part of selling – providing products that address the needs of the customer, not the sales goals of their companies.

Some breeders are so focused on the process of breeding, they don’t always consider what it takes to successfully go to market other than the merits of their new and improved variety. This mentality has been very costly as evidenced by the failure rate of many great new genetics. It is not enough to breed new and interesting varieties if the marketing, production and distribution are not in place to support them and ensure these news products actually go to market.  The breeding pipeline is far larger than the market’s ability to absorb these new products, so the winners will be those who understand how to successfully produce, market and distribute new products.

What Does the Customer Expect?

Just as important, and maybe even more so in the eyes of the customer, is the reliability of the supplier who is the ultimate provider of the goods.  Whether a breeder produces their own goods or licenses the production to others, the only way a variety will be successful is the reliability of supply. Many fail to understand and measure the element of supply because they get too focused on how great their varieties are, and this leads to failure.

Growers have told us all what they expect in the areas of service, but how many of us have listened? They want:

• Sellers they trust and can rely on for advice
• Ease of ordering
• Suggestions on how to use new products (product positioning)
• On-time delivery
• Correct quantities and varieties
• Immediate notification of any order changes
• Offered alternatives when the original order cannot be filled
• Immediate resolution of problems
• Access to technical information, especially with unfamiliar new products

If a customer receives what they perceive as quality products and all the service initiatives are fulfilled by the supplier, then price is not in the No. 1 position in the buying process. Good products combined with reliability of supply can help a breeder gain more share than price alone.  Combine this with brokers who are trusted by their customers and you have a winning marketing solution.
 

Cutting Producers & Plug Producers

These two groups play an important role in the supply chain. Cutting producers are those producers that are normally off-shore and produce cuttings that are either open varieties or licensed from breeders and sell these cutting through the broker system.  Examples of this segment are Oro Farms, FlorExpo, and GroLink.  Cutting producers are normally very efficient, have contributed a lot to keeping prices from inflating and have been leaders in quality and reliability.

Plug producers play a major role in the supply chain, as more growers have opted for outsourcing their seed inputs in an effort to improve space efficiency and capacity utilization. The majority of the resale plug production has fallen into the hands of a small number of producers – Green Circle Growers, Tagawa Greenhouses, Speedling, Plug Connection, C. Raker & Sons, Van de Wetering Greenhouses, Bob’s Market & Greenhouses and Floral Plant Growers.  Some plug producers add value by using high levels of supplemental lighting, returnable trays, sorting trays for uniformity and efficient low-cost distribution.
 

Intermediaries

Intermediaries are playing an increasing role in the marketing of green goods. Examples include brands like Proven Winners, Viva and Southern Living. These are companies who don’t produce or breed but are marketers of their brand. In some cases they avoid the grower sector of the supply chain and go directly to the retailer, pushing their brand through to the consumer. Good for them but not so good for the big box vendor when the dictates come down to put these brands in their stores.

In most cases, the large growers have to buy expensive inputs, pay marketing fees and are faced with higher packaging costs. In some cases, if the product does not sell at a particular retailer, growers are not allowed to sell it elsewhere. One reason this has become so widespread is the lack of new innovative products and programs offered by the grower community. Retailers want a constant flow of new products, and if they can’t get them form one channel partner, they will find another one. 
 

Brokers

Brokers play a key role in the supply chain as they are very influential in the selection of vendors and the genetics that end up being produced by the grower.  The role of the broker is to recommend and sell the right products for the grower from their selected vendors and to manage accounts receivable incurred from their sales.  Their role has changed over time. In the past, the broker also provided marketing for their vendors, but in today’s world, the smart vendors know they have to control their own marketing.

As the retailers consolidated and assumed more bargaining power pricing pressure was felt at the grower level, who then applied that pressure to the brokers.  Broker margins declined and receivables skyrocketed as the grower segment began shrinking at an increased rate.  Large growers pitted one broker against another and most brokers responded by lowering prices to get the big orders.  Although their margins shrank, many did not reduce their costs commensurately and were willing to live with higher sales volumes and lower net income. 

Brokers fulfill an important role in the supply chain and some breeders who try to go direct find it very costly resulting in a high failure rate. The major issue with brokers is many are trying to be all things to all customers – a highly inefficient strategy that is not working for any broker.  The most successful brokers have two things in common: one is a focus on a core group of targeted customers that have some commonality of need; and two, have driven non-value-added costs out of their operations, allowing them to compete and profit with single digit margins.


Summary

Clearly, this writing does not go into the detail of the entire supply chain but touches on the many aspects of how seed and vegetative annuals go to market and the issues connected with the performance of the suppliers.

Some of the other issues we see hear from the market about the supply chain are:

• The lack of accountability for order fulfillment at all levels
• The lack of measurement at all levels
• Forecasting based on gut feel, not metrics
• Information systems that are not equipped to measure performance
• Lack of new products that actually show up on the shelves of retailers
• Lack of measuring discards by variety by week
• Inability to capture information relative to unfilled demand

The future performance of the supply chain will be largely driven by information systems that can provide fast, accurate and understandable analysis of every transaction and making that information available to all who need to know in real-time.  From sales forecasting to product life cycles, information systems will provide some companies with a strategic advantage.

Overall the supply chain has showed some improvement in recent years but how will consolidation impact future performance?  No matter how consolidation or other market dynamics affect the market, there is one clear and indisputable trait that must be adopted by all members of the supply…  RELIABILITY

About the author: Jerry Montgomery is a 40-year veteran of the floriculture industry and has worked for distributor companies, breeders and large growers specializing with a focus on sales and marketing. As an industry consultant, he works for large growers, distributors and breeder/producers. His focus is to understand the market dynamics from breeder to consumer through intense retail travel, visiting almost 1,500 stores since January 2008.

Leave a Reply

2 comments on “A Look At The Global Supply Chain

  1. For us retail growers who specialize in unique plants the consolidation has certainly not helped. Our plug orders are cut or not delivered as usual or we find out about it on the packing slip. In the past we had more sources to get plants from so if one grower messed up or did not get his cuttings others did so we could at least get the plants.

    ow the customers many times do not get the best preforming plant for our climate and soil. conditions. Customers are lost and they go spend their disposable income on something else.

    The penetration of homeowners using flowers in the garden has declined for many years even though hundreds of new stores sell plants. Marvin from Ball has reported on this many times. Don’t get me wrong we are selling flowers to more home owners but the rate of increse in home ownership is greater than our increase in usage. I ask why? In general there is signifant differences in flower and growth power between the plant varieties. How come when I go into the big boxes do I find varieties for our area and soil types that are just plain bad for the customer.

  2. For us retail growers who specialize in unique plants the consolidation has certainly not helped. Our plug orders are cut or not delivered as usual or we find out about it on the packing slip. In the past we had more sources to get plants from so if one grower messed up or did not get his cuttings others did so we could at least get the plants.

    ow the customers many times do not get the best preforming plant for our climate and soil. conditions. Customers are lost and they go spend their disposable income on something else.

    The penetration of homeowners using flowers in the garden has declined for many years even though hundreds of new stores sell plants. Marvin from Ball has reported on this many times. Don’t get me wrong we are selling flowers to more home owners but the rate of increse in home ownership is greater than our increase in usage. I ask why? In general there is signifant differences in flower and growth power between the plant varieties. How come when I go into the big boxes do I find varieties for our area and soil types that are just plain bad for the customer.

More From State of the Industry...
Mike McGroarty, owner of Mike’s Backyard Nursery

July 29, 2015

Backyard Success: Mike McGroarty Educates Aspiring Growers

Mike’s Backyard Nursery sits on a long, narrow, 5-acre property located in Perry, Ohio. There, customers can find a variety of flowering shrubs available, all in 2-quart pots, and all for sale for $5.97 each. Owner Mike McGroarty, a lifelong resident of Perry, says the town has a lot of plant nurseries, including 100 wholesale growers within a 10-mile radius of his house. That doesn’t discourage McGroarty, because he knows that while there are a lot of nurseries in his area, no one else is doing what he is doing. McGroarty has learned about plants — and marketing them to his audience — through decades of experience. He has never hesitated to pass along his knowledge to other growers looking to start their own backyard operations, and has created an entire program to educate aspiring growers. McGroarty Likes To Practice What He Preaches McGroarty’s operation serves as the laboratory for […]

Read More

July 29, 2015

2015 Spring Crops Report: Rain Soaks Spring Sales

Rain, rain and more rain. That was the story this spring for the large majority of growers across the U.S. And where it wasn’t too wet, it was too dry. Drought conditions cut sales in the West and Southwest. But it wasn’t all bad. Eighty-nine percent of respondents to Greenhouse Grower’s 2015 Spring Crops Survey declared the season a success, despite its challenges. They said beautiful weather in April and excited consumers who were ready to spend got the season going early, but then cool temps and rainy weekends throughout May and June caused confusion over when and how much to plant. Of the 189 respondents to Greenhouse Grower’s 2015 Spring Recap Survey, 53 percent identified themselves as grower-retailers, 34 percent were wholesale growers and 13 percent said they were young plant growers. Most responses came from the Midwest (27 percent), Northeast (18 percent) and Southeast (16 percent), but also […]

Read More

July 29, 2015

Dümmen Orange Continues To Strengthen Standards With MPS Certification

MPS recognized Dümmen Orange during an unofficial ceremony at Cultivate’15 for its continued dedication to ensuring sustainability in the floriculture industry. Through its deep understanding of environmental impact and the importance of sustainable operations, Dümmen Orange has implemented production best practices within its facilities to meet or exceed MPS standards on environmental and agricultural practices, as well as social responsibility. “Nowadays, consumers are not only interested in the visible and tangible characteristics of the products they buy, they also are concerned with how products are made,” says Carl Kroon, General Manager of the Dümmen Orange farm Las Mercedes in El Salvador. “Dümmen Orange is deeply rooted in our commitment to our people, our values and our planet. The MPS certification helps us to make it visible to our customers that our production methods respect our workers and the environment.” Setting A High Standard Dümmen Orange has taken a wide range […]

Read More
Latest Stories

July 29, 2015

2015 Spring Crops Report: Rain Soaks Spring Sales

Rain, rain and more rain. That was the story this spring for the large majority of growers across the U.S. And where it wasn’t too wet, it was too dry. Drought conditions cut sales in the West and Southwest. But it wasn’t all bad. Eighty-nine percent of respondents to Greenhouse Grower’s 2015 Spring Crops Survey declared the season a success, despite its challenges. They said beautiful weather in April and excited consumers who were ready to spend got the season going early, but then cool temps and rainy weekends throughout May and June caused confusion over when and how much to plant. Of the 189 respondents to Greenhouse Grower’s 2015 Spring Recap Survey, 53 percent identified themselves as grower-retailers, 34 percent were wholesale growers and 13 percent said they were young plant growers. Most responses came from the Midwest (27 percent), Northeast (18 percent) and Southeast (16 percent), but also […]

Read More

July 17, 2015

Young Plant Survey: Do You Grow Plugs And Liners?

If your operation produces plugs or liners for wholesale growers, please take a few minutes to participate in Greenhouse Grower’s 2015 Young Plant Grower Survey. We know you are very busy and we value your time and input. This survey should only take a few minutes. Greenhouse Grower’s Young Plant Grower Survey has played a key role in building our Top 20 Young Plant Growers list over the years. The information helps us zero in on trends taking shape and the challenges you’re facing as young plant growers. If you have any questions about this survey or you are not the right contact for this at your operation, please email me at ldrotleff@meistermedia.com, or please forward the survey link to the appropriate person. We would like to wrap up this survey by July 24, so please take it soon! Thank you in advance for your participation. We value your opinion! » […]

Read More

July 15, 2015

Cultivate’15 Town Hall Meeting: Not Your Grandma&…

Young and innovative industry minds threw down ideas about future of gardening in the new millennium at the Cultivate’15 Town Hall Meeting. Traditionally one of the most innovative, captivating, controversial, edge-of-your-seat, interesting discussions at the whole show, this year’s Town Hall Meeting was no exception. The set up for this discussion addressed the radical change within the world of horticulture over the past decade, due to economics, demographics, technology, retail competition and the redefinition of gardening. The premise: Change cannot be ignored, and our old strategies won’t win us the game anymore. This session acted as a “callback” to the drawing board to determine what gardening actually means to consumers, how the horticulture industry needs to respond to meet the demands of the new millennium and the consequences that may result if we don’t. The esteemed panel included some of the brightest young and innovative minds in horticulture: Brienne Arthur of […]

Read More
BeeSmart logo

July 7, 2015

Grow Wise, Bee Smart Website Launches As Industry Resou…

The new Grow Wise, Bee Smart website, growwise.org,  was recently launched as a key component of the horticulture industry’s Bee and Pollinator Stewardship Initiative, which was created to provide leadership and guidance to the industry on pollinator health. The site serves as the communications hub for the latest research and developments related to the role horticulture plays in supporting pollinator health. Grow Wise, Bee Smart currently features information on the importance of bees and pollinators, threats to their health and steps everyone can take to improve habitat and forage. Links to the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge and Pollinator Partnership further guide retail and landscape firms and their customers on how to plant and register new gardens and habitats for pollinators. As the Grow Wise, Bee Smart stewardship program for plant production is launched, and as funded and directed research yields results and guidance, the site will feature timely new information and insights. Progress […]

Read More

June 30, 2015

Opportunities Abound For Women In Horticulture, Says Do…

My love for horticulture goes back to my grandparents who were farmers in upstate New York. My family’s involvement in agriculture left a lasting impression that has spanned decades, and still drives my passion for our industry today. I started my career in horticulture when I owned a greenhouse, nursery and garden center in Sayville, Long Island, N.Y. We specialized in ground cover production, later branching out to producing perennials and bedding plants.     I then went onto wholesale hard goods distribution. In the 1980s, I was the first woman salesperson on Long Island. What an eye opener that was! New York is a very special place, different from anywhere else in the country. You cannot imagine how difficult it was walking into greenhouses and nurseries as a woman, in a man’s world. Luckily, I grew up in New York City in an Italian family, who taught me great […]

Read More

June 10, 2015

Women In Horticulture Should Celebrate Their Difference…

Maria Costa-Smith, executive vice president at Costa Farms in Miami, Fla., says she believes in equal treatment for equal work. She encourages women in horticulture to work hard, be team players, perform beyond expectations and add value to their organizations. Fulfilling Her Dreams Maria Costa-Smith grew up in the horticulture industry, and never doubted that she wanted a career in ornamental horticulture. Part of a family with a history steeped in agriculture, her grandfather, Jose Costa, was a farmer in Cuba, who sent her father, Tony Costa, to the University of Florida just before the Cuban Revolution to study agriculture. When the family uprooted in 1961 and fled to the U.S., they began growing tomatoes and citrus on a 30-acre plot of land in Miami, and soon after expanded into ornamentals. Thus, Costa Farms was established. Working on the farm with her father and grandfather, Costa-Smith says she was always […]

Read More
Pollinator-Conference-NC State

June 10, 2015

Experts Convene to Discuss How to Protect Bees, Other P…

A new conference organized by North Carolina State University (NC State) and Michigan State University (MSU) will focus on the need for bee-friendly ornamental landscapes and practical solutions for protecting bees and other pollinators. This autumn, researchers, educators and industry experts from around the country will descend on a small town in rural North Carolina to discuss a question with repercussions for both the economy and the environment: what can be done to protect bees and other pollinators? The conference is focused specifically on what can be done to not only conserve but also bolster pollinator populations in so-called ornamental landscapes, such as urban areas and manicured gardens. It is the brain child of two entomologists – Steve Frank of NC State and David Smitley of MSU. With pollinator declines in the news, public demand for bee-friendly ornamental plants is high, but much of the available research has addressed pesticides and […]

Read More
Terri McEnaney Bailey Nurseries headshot_featured

June 3, 2015

Bailey Nurseries’ Terri McEnaney Recognized By Mi…

Bailey Nurseries President Terri McEnaney was recently honored by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal in their Women in Business 2015 special issue. Those honored were chosen for the impact they have had on the business community in Minnesotoa, as well as their dedication to serving their community. McEnaney was honored for her leadership in growing the company significantly in terms of revenue, staff, global reach and brand development, as well as her strategic acumen and industry insight. Other honorees included executives from U.S. Bancorp, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Gilette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, the American Cancer Society, Cargill, 3M and Wells Fargo. “I am humbled to receive this honor from the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal,” McEnaney says. “To be among this group of esteemed women is exciting. Seeing successful female leaders in other male-driven industries pushes me to continue working and encouraging women in horticulture to grow their passion into a long-term, fruitful career.” […]

Read More

June 3, 2015

Take Greenhouse Grower’s 2015 Spring Recap Survey

Please take a few minutes to answer Greenhouse Grower’s 2015 Spring Recap Survey. Your input will help us get a firmer grasp on how spring played out for growers and what we can expect in Spring 2015.

Read More
Bee on a Sedum

June 3, 2015

The Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Launches With U…

The National Pollinator Garden Network (NPGN) launched the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge on June 3, just in time for National Pollinator Week, held June 21-25. The Million Pollinator Garden Challenge is a strategic effort to promote and protect the needs of pollinators in North America. Representatives of the recently formed Network joined First Lady Michelle Obama on June 3 for an event that’s part of her “Let’s Move” Initiative at the White House, to formally launch the Challenge. The launch of the Challenge is an unprecedented collaboration by dozens of conservation and gardening organizations, including green industry associations like AmericanHort, America in Bloom, Society of American Florists, American Floral Endowment, the National Garden Bureau and the American Horticultural Society. The organizations joined together to form the National Pollinator Garden Network and launch the new nationwide campaign – the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge. Designed to accelerate growing efforts across America, the Network is launching the […]

Read More
Status of Marijuana US Map May 2015

May 29, 2015

Marijuana Legalization Updates

As of April 2015, 23 states and the District of Columbia (D.C.) currently have laws legalizing marijuana in some capacity. At the federal level, several bills are currently awaiting action. Here is an update on current state and federal marijuana legislation across the U.S.

Read More
cannabis, marijuana plant

May 29, 2015

Making The Decision To Produce Medical Marijuana

Should horticultural growers consider cultivating medical marijuana? That’s up to the individual grower, of course, and certainly a number of growers already have jumped in. We at Meister Media Worldwide, publishers of Greenhouse Grower and American Vegetable Grower, do not necessarily endorse nor oppose the production of medical marijuana. But we do feel it is an option worth exploring. We intend our “Medical Marijuana” series of articles to give you information you need to make your own call. We hope you find it useful, and we do welcome your comments, thoughts and ideas as we continue to cover what we’re fairly certain is only going to be an increasingly viable and growing market for this emerging crop.

Read More
water

May 27, 2015

California Growers To Voluntarily Cut Back Water Use

Farmers in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta have agreed to reduce their water use by 25 percent in exchange for assurance that they will not face further curtailment during the June-September growing season. The proposal was approved by the State Water Resources Control Board on Friday, May 22. “This proposal helps Delta growers manage the risk of potentially deeper curtailment, while ensuring significant water conservation efforts in this fourth year of drought,” State Water Board Chair Felicia Marcus says. “It allows participating growers to share in the sacrifice that people throughout the state are facing because of the severe drought, while protecting their economic well-being by giving them some certainty regarding exercise of the State Water Board’s enforcement discretion at the beginning of the planting season.” Growers who participate in the program could opt to either reduce water diversions under their riparian rights by 25 percent, or fallow 25 percent of their land. In both cases, the […]

Read More
Farwest2015

May 20, 2015

2015 Farwest Show Announces Second Annual Equipment Inn…

The second annual Equipment Innovation Day will be Tuesday, Aug. 25, prior to the 2015 Farwest show, which will be August 27-29 in Portland, Ore. Equipment Innovation Day, which was enthusiastically received in 2014, offers a real-time opportunity to see new heavy and automated nursery equipment in action. The demonstrations take place in manufacturing and nursery settings, adding value to the showcase. Attendees will be able to talk with participating manufacturers and learn first-hand from innovative growers who use the equipment in daily operations. The day-long event will be held at the main manufacturing plant of GK Machines, Inc., Donald, Ore. Further demonstrations of field equipment will take place at the nearby nursery of A&R Spada Farms, LLC. Bus travel to and from the event is planned, starting at and returning to the Oregon Convention Center. Attendees are welcome to provide their own travel to and from the site. Preregistration is required. The cost […]

Read More
CCGGA-Scholarship-Winners

May 20, 2015

Central Coast Greenhouse Growers Association Awards 201…

The Central Coast Greenhouse Growers Association (CCGGA) is awarding 20 scholarships this year to high school and college students. CCGGA-member nurseries raised money for the scholarship fund and each donated a portion of the fundraising sales to the fund, which is open to students currently enrolled in college for the following year. The scholarship program is also available to students of employees who work at CCGGA-member nurseries One of the organization’s goals is to continue encouraging future generations to enter the horticulture field and to promote higher education within the families that work in the local nursery business. The 2015 CCGGA scholarship recipients are: Aloysia Shea – Nipomo High School Andrew McHaney – CSalinas High School Angel Flores – Righetti High School Beatriz Barajas – San Jose State University Carolanne Garibay – Monterey Peninsula College Cladia Lavina – Salinas High School Erica Marquez-Ibarra – San Jose State University Jorge Zarate […]

Read More

May 18, 2015

Download Greenhouse Grower’s 2015 Top 100 Growers…

Greenhouse Grower‘s Top 100 Growers Survey revealed that our projections in the 2015 State Of The Industry report were correct: Growers, at least the large ones, are expanding. Greenhouse Grower’s annual Top 100 List ranks the largest U.S. growers by total square feet of environmentally controlled greenhouse space, although this year, we have also listed shade and field acreage, to give perspective on how large these operations are beyond the greenhouse. In total, the 2015 list represents 228,906,001 environmentally controlled square feet of U.S. production, a 5 percent increase over 2014. All told, 26 growers reported that their operation grew between 2014 and 2015. Several growers reduced their production over the past year, as well, and while some operations’ downsized numbers were significant, most were slight and probably typical of the give-and-take in the horticulture industry. Greenhouse Grower‘s 2015 Top 100 Growers Whitepaper includes all the results of the survey, […]

Read More
USDA Logo

May 13, 2015

New Report Shows College Graduates With Agriculture Deg…

A new report from the USDA shows high demand for recent college graduates with agriculture degrees, with an estimated 57,900  high-skilled job openings annually in the food, agriculture, renewable natural resources and environment fields in the U.S. According to an employment outlook report released by the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and Purdue University, there is an average of 35,400 new U.S. graduates with a bachelor’s degree or higher in agriculture related fields, 22,500 short of the jobs available annually. “There is incredible opportunity for highly-skilled jobs in agriculture,” says Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Those receiving degrees in agricultural fields can expect to have ample career opportunities. Not only will those who study agriculture be likely to get well-paying jobs upon graduation, they will also have the satisfaction of working in a field that addresses some of the world’s most pressing challenges. These jobs will only become more […]

Read More
USDA Logo

May 6, 2015

USDA Awards $10 Million In Grants To Universities To Ad…

More than $10 million has been awarded to U.S. universities to address critical water problems, such as water quality and availability, in rural and agricultural watersheds across the country. The awards were made through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Water for Agriculture challenge area and the National Integrated Water Quality Program (NIWQP). “Water is our most precious resource, one that is essential for both human survival and well-being and for our ability to grow our crops and livestock,” says Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA director. “By funding research, Extension and education for citizens and the agriculture community, we are able to proactively create solutions to water-related issues like drought and its impact on food security.” The AFRI Water for Agriculture challenge area was first introduced in fiscal year (FY) 2014, and these grants represent the first year of funding for the program. Funded […]

Read More