Craig Hyslip, chief operating officer of Griffin Greenhouse Supplies, shares his thoughts on live goods and the spring season, what he expects this fall and where growers should go from here.
What kind of feedback are you hearing about the market?
“Overall, we are hearing very good things. Going into spring, we had a lot of growers who had cut back on production 15 to 20 percent. I haven’t heard differently since then.
“The vast majority of feedback is very, very positive from the commercial side to the retailer. The weather for the most part has been good. We’ve seen one good day each week or a pair of good days, and that’s been very conducive for sales.
“I’m hearing a little bit that growers are wishing they had done a little bit more. Mother Nature really dictates the season.”
What adjustments do you expect growers to make for the fall based on spring’s outcome?
“Orders for the fall season appear to be pulled back in the same way. This was going to be the year orders were reduced based on past experiences. I haven’t heard any different lately, where people say they need to increase mum or soil orders. I think they’ll continue the same path they’ve been on this year.
“If it turns out to be a good spring for them and they’re not having much waste, I think the whole industry is better.”
What’s been this year’s biggest spring development?
“The biggest thing for the growers has been the vegetables. The herb market was the same way. Both saw tremendous growth this year. We think sales will continue down that path for two reasons:
1. Consumers are interested in doing it; and
2. The economy isn’t turning around fast enough.
“If vegetable sales grew 25 percent, you’ll maintain 40 percent of that going forward. You’ll have a particular consumer who, when the money comes back, won’t want to work that hard in the garden.”
Do you have any horror stories to share from the spring season?
“We definitely had a few businesses file bankruptcy up and down the coast, but more companies are going to weather the storm this year than last year. Our collections reflect that. I don’t know of any tremendously large growers who are going down in our region.
“I’m hearing in the Texas market the weather was not as good.”