View: A Positive Outlook On 2009

View: A Positive Outlook On 2009

Al Zylstra, a TrueLeaf Technologies national sales manager based in California, can see the light at the end of the tunnel. He believes the economy is on the upswing and that growers and garden center retailers should be prepared to pounce on the opportunities ahead.

And The Economic Reality Is?
 
Recession. Depression. Economic adjustment. Financial meltdown. Conflagration of Wall Street and financial industry greed. Housing market bubble bursting. Deleveraging. Or, whatever it is you want to call it! How much longer will it last? What can growers expect this spring?

I’m going to go out on a limb and hereby prognosticate that we will soon see that we’ve already hit the bottom of the trough, and that we have already been bumping along the bottom for a few weeks or so. After another month or so, we will begin the slow, initially jerky but none-the-less steady rise back to economic normalcy–whatever that actually is.
 
So, you heard it here, and if it proves true, remember that! If not, well, you should read the Wall Street Journal for that kind of information anyway.
 
How can I say that? Well, first, I spent a chunk of my previous life in the financial industry, learned a few things and endured a few significant economic cycles along the way. I believe history is the best predictor. I read a lot about the economy every day, and I pay close attention to developing economic trends. I’ve had a pretty good track record of anticipating what is going on.
 
So, if you care to know: First, the news media can only report what has already happened, and it thrives on reporting the most negative aspects of what has already happened. Hence, by carefully reading the economic opinions and recited data, it is revealed over the past couple weeks that a preponderance of the negative news is from a few weeks back (late-November). And much of that has been trending back toward the positive for a couple months already. 

The stock market and commodities markets began settling down from their wild gyrations a few weeks ago, and these markets generally reflect bets on future activity–not past results. The financial industry came to the brink of ruin, but it managed to survive by the good graces of the American public and some folks in Washington D.C. who were paying attention for a change. And while not completely behind us, the recovery is beginning.

The auto industry is in the throws of what appears to be a nearly identical process, and with some major adjustments to come, it is not going to be allowed to fail (at least in a wholesale fashion). 

The housing sector appears to be at or near the bottom and poised to stabilize as fresh capital and spring demand come into the market. The consumer retail industry is currently engaged in the post-holiday collapse that has been anticipated already by the stock market and will emerge much leaner and smaller in just a few short weeks (but it’s going to sound really bad for a while). 

A new executive administration is soon to enter office with all of the promise that it usually brings. Finally, the largesse of taxpayer funds is just beginning to pour into the market in historic portions to stimulate the living tweedle out of us. 
 
Add to all of that the inimitable American public’s refusal to stay down for long and our demonstrated ability to pull ourselves up when things look the bleakest, and you have the makings of a recovery.
 
The government has arrived to help. How can it go wrong?    

What’s it mean? We are back to the one basic reality we all know is the primary driver of the success of our business from one year to the next, something even more fickle than the economy: The weather in spring! 
 
There’s nothing that drives garden center sales like a pleasing weekend forecast and a sunny Saturday! And when people have already been enduring a long winter of bad weather and financial discontent, and they have decided they can’t or shouldn’t splurge on some big luxury ticket, they will probably be even more excited or incited to go pick up some plants to perk up the garden and the deck and get on with life.

Celebrate the news that the economy is improving and get a little more enjoyment out of the “staycation” they’re planning this summer and feeling better about anyway. 

Will you be ready to capitalize on it? Or, are you planning to contribute another self-fulfilling prophecy of doom? I think the growers that plan to capitalize on it will win in two ways:

1) They will get the business they usually get, and;
2) They will get the business of the growers and retailers that didn’t plan to capitalize on it.
 
Do you want to participate in the coming economic recovery?  It is coming to a garden center near you soon!

Leave a Reply

34 comments on “View: A Positive Outlook On 2009

  1. I not only agree, but it is truly refreshing to hear positive talk about our industry and the economy as a whole. It’s understandable that a lot of people are discouraged, but we either push forward or “roll over and die”. So many people I talk to say they’re not ordering hardgoods, shutting down most production, and taking a wait and see approach, all while understanding they may have to close the doors on their business if they have a bad year. How does anyone expect to have a good year if they don’t keep taking the same risks they always have to build their business? Not to mention that plan B is to “see what happens” and possibly shut down… then what? Have thousands of dollars in land, greenhouses, supplies and years of hard work deteriorate while you collect unemployment and look for a new career in the worst job market we’ve had in a decade or two? I’m not saying take new, bold risks, but I feel we all need to refocus our energy away from negativity and find new ways to make money and exist. Find solutions, not excuses. I apologize if this is slightly abrasive, but it’s the truth and we can all get through this with a little help and motivation from eachother!

    I appreciate your great article and insight, Al, and hope that many of us can not only learn from it, but also take advantage of this opportunity!

  2. Hallelujah. Someone with a positive attitude!! If you keep telling me I am purple, after a while I will believe it; shame on the news people for pushing such negative thoughts to the public. I have always believed that positive thoughts overcome negative; it really takes some effort to be negative and I really do not want to take more pepcids!! I too am planning a GREAT spring, why, because I will make it happen!!

    Thanks for the article Al. That is one At A Boy for you.

  3. Way to go Al,

    I just returned from the MANTS show in Baltimore, MD with the same positive feelings as yours. As I ponder on the economic state of our green industry and what I should do during the upcoming seasons I feel as though to ease up on production would be foolish. The attitudes of the buyers I found to be positive, even for the ones ( many of them ) that had a drop in sales for 08′.

    Murphy

  4. Al’s optimism is as refreshing as a warm Spring rain. There certainly is some good news for our industry in lower energy costs, decreasing raw material costs for plastics and other materials, and maybe even a loosening of credit for long overdue capital expenditures. But it’s going to be more about seizing on opportunities created by the drastic economic events that still continue to rock the nation. The trillion or more dollars in economic stimulus the next President and Congress will pass out to the worthy and unworthy will ultimately cause further decay to the US dollar value worldwide. Unemployment rates will continue to rise and when they do finally level off or turn around it will likely be for lower paying jobs than were lost. These two factors should give US growers and manufacturers the opportunity to expand and export.

  5. 2008 Nobel Prize winner in economics, Paul Krugman, would disagree with your optimistic take. Your opinion is neither realistic, nor beneficial to growers.

    The housing market has not found a bottom. The lack of US demand for Chinese and Indian produced goods is taking down their economies.

    We remain tied to an oil driven economy which, when demand for oil returns, will continue to weaken the dollar through an imbalance of trade. Get real.

  6. I’m sorry Tom, I don’t want to start a debate by any means, but feel obligated to respond to your statement. With all due respect, Paul Krugman didn’t win a Nobel Prize in “fortune telling” or “positive outlook studies”. So who knows what we can accomplish this year and if all the economic experts are so great and have flawless predictions, why are we even in this predicament in the first place?? I don’t disagree with your facts and we’re all very aware of them, but writing something to further drive down the hope, faith, and positive thinking that our whole population NEEDS right now, in my opinion is disrespectful and this isn’t the right place to voice that opinion and basically insult the author!

    I just don’t understand, do you suggest we all sit on our hands and watch time go by until the world comes to an end?(figure of speech). Or should we rally together, look harder for opportunities, help eachother with suggestions, and push forward? I apologize to everybody for taking offense and making it personal in a public discussion, but it would be nice to hear some optimism and opinions of how we’re going to get through this current economy. Not negativity and criticism…anyone agree??

  7. You got it right Micheal

    I would feel safe to say that every person in our industry has at one time been stressed with our ever changing market.
    Tom, look at your product in relation to the consumer needs and make a couple of adjustments and you will have a more positive outlook. The housing decline has opened the door to the “curbside appeal” sales. Unless your selling pottery or other hard good products the Chinese and Indian market should not have much of an impact on your sales (if so, than find a higher quality hard good to offer). And the price of oil is down, just in time for the growing season. Change the way you think for a moment and you can find solutions.

    My sales and profits have both increased in 08′ and I am looking forward to an even better year in 09′. I will have to make some changes to achieve this, but “hey” if this business was easy than even a pessimist would make money.

  8. While I agree that we cannot afford to sit around worrying about what is going to happen this spring, I also would say that we cannot get over excited about the great possibilities for this year. As is the case most of the time, it is important to keep a close eye on inventory and keep that merchandise turning. I don’t think this would be the year to try expanding operations or take a big risk on something new. There are better times to try that than now, when so much of the economy is not doing well.
    Sorry Michael but I don’t see the evidence that the housing market has hit bottom nor that the financial markets are completely settled down. And no, that doesn’t mean I’m rude, or that I am driving other people into despair. It means that I am looking at everything I can to make sure I make the right decisions for this season and keep risk to a minimum for now.
    As the saying goes, ‘Slow and steady wins the race.’

  9. Chris, I apologize if I confused anyone, but I agree with you and Tom both. I think you make great points and we’re all aware of the downsides and risks. I was just glad to hear some optimism and people talking about opportunities, rather than getting discouraged. That’s what the article was about, and I hate to see anyone get off the subject and tell Al that his “opinion is neither realistic, nor beneficial to growers”.

  10. The interesting thing about this discussion is that everyone is right. Our attitude is a choice and like Al, I am more positive than negative. Having lived thru a few of these “downturns” gives you prosceptive. Part of what no one wants to say is that this was a needed adjustment (part of the free market process). When things get wild (or too wild), the market contracts, slows down and adjusts. My good retailers are making good decisions. A few have closed (my client base is over 600 retailers and 2 have closed) their doors but since when is that a bad sign or even abnormal in any market? Going into business (retail or otherwise), or staying in business requires a certain fortitude that not everyone has. Things are difficult right now, but that is always when we get the most done. Spring will come, just like always, and people will buy plants. Maybe not as much as before…maybe more. But there is still good money to be made and that is the real point.

  11. I Agree that the economy is not at the bottom. I have talked to several people in
    excavating and construction. The one constant thing that I hear is that we still have some work but nothing new is coming in. A comment from a realtor “I feel like I am unemployed”. I am however optimistic about the greenhouse industry. I still believe that bad economy cant trump good weather, and good economy cant overcome bad weather. Give us nice weekends in april and we should do fine.

  12. When I was growing up, 40-50 years ago, an old German grower who survived WWII and the economic turmoil of the times, said that when there are bad times, three industeries didn’t collapse, but stayed flat or even increased a bit…liquor, pets and plants. All three are relatively low ticket commodities and make people feel good. I have never seen a spring season that totally tanked. Some springs are more adversely affected by weather and some areas are harder hit, but, overall, spring is spring. My opinion is that with a new administration, new optimism in the buying public, spring will be at worst, slightly down, but not in the crapper.

  13. Thanks for erasing my previous post. I guess that this is the change we were hoping to see. More censorship, less freedom of speech. Good luck out there “journalists” and small business men and women. Welcome to the USSA!
    Btw, Optimism is always good. Realism is also good. Just “hoping” things will get better isn’t enough. Given the current rapid trend towards socialism, business owners and entrepreneurs had better start working politically for this country or they will be sitting on the sideline “hoping” for a govt. bailout!

  14. While not everyone need agree with Al’s opinion that the economy is set to rebound, several facts still remain: The green goods industry is always more driven by weather than economic factors. Just ask the growers in the Southeast. Last year, the economy was on fire. However, drought conditions in the Southeast caused many greenhouses to close, forced the sale of at least one large retailer and certainly hurt the profits and futures of many in our industry.

    Secondly, those choosing to participate in a recession, that is, cutting production drastically with no chance of making it up, will certainly suffer that exact fate. Al is correct in that some growers will profit from this coming spring. Those growers that have chosen to continue to produce product will have no trouble selling out with margins intact. From the doom and gloom we hear, many growers have cut back. This will undoubtedly lead to a shortage of plants. Growers with stock will be the beneficiaries of this supply vs. demand situation.

    Bottom line: if it is sunny and you have plants, it should be a good year!

  15. You all make many good points. I have read this with great interest, here’s my take. We are at a pinnacle for change in this industry. I think many trends we have been seeing in our area for more pre-potted & high end items are going away. I think the higher end items are going to be replaced with basic seed items and vegetable flats.
    For many years people had other places to go spend money, now people are no longer satisfied spending money without something to show for it. People were also pressed for time, or thought they were, so they weren’t spending much time in their yards.
    So doesn’t it make sense that people will be more apt to garden this spring? The feel good of plants, the curb-appeal of their yards, the spare time?
    Let’s also not forget that with so many people unemployed the silver lining is that a bad week-end won’t keep people out of the garden centers. This is something no one has mentioned, but it is in the back of my mind, a nice sunny Wednesday may see a garden center swarmed if the weekend before was bad?
    Maybe things will get worse, but they will also eventually get better and this spring we need to get consumers excited about our product again, so that when they have less time and more money again in the future, we aren’t left behind, wondering what happened.

  16. hello all,

    I currently have a great job, with a company not really being affected by the economy. I work for a cable company and it seems people are at home more and watching more tv, so no real loss on this end. My question is this, I have an oppertunity to go to work for a greenhouse working as the managing grower. they wanted some one with no prior knowledge to train as they see fit. the pay would be about the same as i make now, with benefits. I am just scared of the economy and what will happen to them. they have gone from a million dollar company to 5-8 million over the last 2 years. they sell to one of the big box stores here in the south and have done really good with them. any ideas on if this is good idea to change to this field during this economy or stay were i am at and wade it out? this would be a great oppertunity for me to get in with this mom and pop company that has been around for 16 years, but i’m scared to leave my current job. thanks in advance for any comments, scrutiny or what ever you have for me.

  17. I not only agree, but it is truly refreshing to hear positive talk about our industry and the economy as a whole. It’s understandable that a lot of people are discouraged, but we either push forward or “roll over and die”. So many people I talk to say they’re not ordering hardgoods, shutting down most production, and taking a wait and see approach, all while understanding they may have to close the doors on their business if they have a bad year. How does anyone expect to have a good year if they don’t keep taking the same risks they always have to build their business? Not to mention that plan B is to “see what happens” and possibly shut down… then what? Have thousands of dollars in land, greenhouses, supplies and years of hard work deteriorate while you collect unemployment and look for a new career in the worst job market we’ve had in a decade or two? I’m not saying take new, bold risks, but I feel we all need to refocus our energy away from negativity and find new ways to make money and exist. Find solutions, not excuses. I apologize if this is slightly abrasive, but it’s the truth and we can all get through this with a little help and motivation from eachother!

    I appreciate your great article and insight, Al, and hope that many of us can not only learn from it, but also take advantage of this opportunity!

  18. Hallelujah. Someone with a positive attitude!! If you keep telling me I am purple, after a while I will believe it; shame on the news people for pushing such negative thoughts to the public. I have always believed that positive thoughts overcome negative; it really takes some effort to be negative and I really do not want to take more pepcids!! I too am planning a GREAT spring, why, because I will make it happen!!

    Thanks for the article Al. That is one At A Boy for you.

  19. Way to go Al,

    I just returned from the MANTS show in Baltimore, MD with the same positive feelings as yours. As I ponder on the economic state of our green industry and what I should do during the upcoming seasons I feel as though to ease up on production would be foolish. The attitudes of the buyers I found to be positive, even for the ones ( many of them ) that had a drop in sales for 08′.

    Murphy

  20. Al’s optimism is as refreshing as a warm Spring rain. There certainly is some good news for our industry in lower energy costs, decreasing raw material costs for plastics and other materials, and maybe even a loosening of credit for long overdue capital expenditures. But it’s going to be more about seizing on opportunities created by the drastic economic events that still continue to rock the nation. The trillion or more dollars in economic stimulus the next President and Congress will pass out to the worthy and unworthy will ultimately cause further decay to the US dollar value worldwide. Unemployment rates will continue to rise and when they do finally level off or turn around it will likely be for lower paying jobs than were lost. These two factors should give US growers and manufacturers the opportunity to expand and export.

  21. 2008 Nobel Prize winner in economics, Paul Krugman, would disagree with your optimistic take. Your opinion is neither realistic, nor beneficial to growers.

    The housing market has not found a bottom. The lack of US demand for Chinese and Indian produced goods is taking down their economies.

    We remain tied to an oil driven economy which, when demand for oil returns, will continue to weaken the dollar through an imbalance of trade. Get real.

  22. I’m sorry Tom, I don’t want to start a debate by any means, but feel obligated to respond to your statement. With all due respect, Paul Krugman didn’t win a Nobel Prize in “fortune telling” or “positive outlook studies”. So who knows what we can accomplish this year and if all the economic experts are so great and have flawless predictions, why are we even in this predicament in the first place?? I don’t disagree with your facts and we’re all very aware of them, but writing something to further drive down the hope, faith, and positive thinking that our whole population NEEDS right now, in my opinion is disrespectful and this isn’t the right place to voice that opinion and basically insult the author!

    I just don’t understand, do you suggest we all sit on our hands and watch time go by until the world comes to an end?(figure of speech). Or should we rally together, look harder for opportunities, help eachother with suggestions, and push forward? I apologize to everybody for taking offense and making it personal in a public discussion, but it would be nice to hear some optimism and opinions of how we’re going to get through this current economy. Not negativity and criticism…anyone agree??

  23. You got it right Micheal

    I would feel safe to say that every person in our industry has at one time been stressed with our ever changing market.
    Tom, look at your product in relation to the consumer needs and make a couple of adjustments and you will have a more positive outlook. The housing decline has opened the door to the “curbside appeal” sales. Unless your selling pottery or other hard good products the Chinese and Indian market should not have much of an impact on your sales (if so, than find a higher quality hard good to offer). And the price of oil is down, just in time for the growing season. Change the way you think for a moment and you can find solutions.

    My sales and profits have both increased in 08′ and I am looking forward to an even better year in 09′. I will have to make some changes to achieve this, but “hey” if this business was easy than even a pessimist would make money.

  24. While I agree that we cannot afford to sit around worrying about what is going to happen this spring, I also would say that we cannot get over excited about the great possibilities for this year. As is the case most of the time, it is important to keep a close eye on inventory and keep that merchandise turning. I don’t think this would be the year to try expanding operations or take a big risk on something new. There are better times to try that than now, when so much of the economy is not doing well.
    Sorry Michael but I don’t see the evidence that the housing market has hit bottom nor that the financial markets are completely settled down. And no, that doesn’t mean I’m rude, or that I am driving other people into despair. It means that I am looking at everything I can to make sure I make the right decisions for this season and keep risk to a minimum for now.
    As the saying goes, ‘Slow and steady wins the race.’

  25. Chris, I apologize if I confused anyone, but I agree with you and Tom both. I think you make great points and we’re all aware of the downsides and risks. I was just glad to hear some optimism and people talking about opportunities, rather than getting discouraged. That’s what the article was about, and I hate to see anyone get off the subject and tell Al that his “opinion is neither realistic, nor beneficial to growers”.

  26. The interesting thing about this discussion is that everyone is right. Our attitude is a choice and like Al, I am more positive than negative. Having lived thru a few of these “downturns” gives you prosceptive. Part of what no one wants to say is that this was a needed adjustment (part of the free market process). When things get wild (or too wild), the market contracts, slows down and adjusts. My good retailers are making good decisions. A few have closed (my client base is over 600 retailers and 2 have closed) their doors but since when is that a bad sign or even abnormal in any market? Going into business (retail or otherwise), or staying in business requires a certain fortitude that not everyone has. Things are difficult right now, but that is always when we get the most done. Spring will come, just like always, and people will buy plants. Maybe not as much as before…maybe more. But there is still good money to be made and that is the real point.

  27. I Agree that the economy is not at the bottom. I have talked to several people in
    excavating and construction. The one constant thing that I hear is that we still have some work but nothing new is coming in. A comment from a realtor “I feel like I am unemployed”. I am however optimistic about the greenhouse industry. I still believe that bad economy cant trump good weather, and good economy cant overcome bad weather. Give us nice weekends in april and we should do fine.

  28. When I was growing up, 40-50 years ago, an old German grower who survived WWII and the economic turmoil of the times, said that when there are bad times, three industeries didn’t collapse, but stayed flat or even increased a bit…liquor, pets and plants. All three are relatively low ticket commodities and make people feel good. I have never seen a spring season that totally tanked. Some springs are more adversely affected by weather and some areas are harder hit, but, overall, spring is spring. My opinion is that with a new administration, new optimism in the buying public, spring will be at worst, slightly down, but not in the crapper.

  29. Thanks for erasing my previous post. I guess that this is the change we were hoping to see. More censorship, less freedom of speech. Good luck out there “journalists” and small business men and women. Welcome to the USSA!
    Btw, Optimism is always good. Realism is also good. Just “hoping” things will get better isn’t enough. Given the current rapid trend towards socialism, business owners and entrepreneurs had better start working politically for this country or they will be sitting on the sideline “hoping” for a govt. bailout!

  30. While not everyone need agree with Al’s opinion that the economy is set to rebound, several facts still remain: The green goods industry is always more driven by weather than economic factors. Just ask the growers in the Southeast. Last year, the economy was on fire. However, drought conditions in the Southeast caused many greenhouses to close, forced the sale of at least one large retailer and certainly hurt the profits and futures of many in our industry.

    Secondly, those choosing to participate in a recession, that is, cutting production drastically with no chance of making it up, will certainly suffer that exact fate. Al is correct in that some growers will profit from this coming spring. Those growers that have chosen to continue to produce product will have no trouble selling out with margins intact. From the doom and gloom we hear, many growers have cut back. This will undoubtedly lead to a shortage of plants. Growers with stock will be the beneficiaries of this supply vs. demand situation.

    Bottom line: if it is sunny and you have plants, it should be a good year!

  31. You all make many good points. I have read this with great interest, here’s my take. We are at a pinnacle for change in this industry. I think many trends we have been seeing in our area for more pre-potted & high end items are going away. I think the higher end items are going to be replaced with basic seed items and vegetable flats.
    For many years people had other places to go spend money, now people are no longer satisfied spending money without something to show for it. People were also pressed for time, or thought they were, so they weren’t spending much time in their yards.
    So doesn’t it make sense that people will be more apt to garden this spring? The feel good of plants, the curb-appeal of their yards, the spare time?
    Let’s also not forget that with so many people unemployed the silver lining is that a bad week-end won’t keep people out of the garden centers. This is something no one has mentioned, but it is in the back of my mind, a nice sunny Wednesday may see a garden center swarmed if the weekend before was bad?
    Maybe things will get worse, but they will also eventually get better and this spring we need to get consumers excited about our product again, so that when they have less time and more money again in the future, we aren’t left behind, wondering what happened.

  32. hello all,

    I currently have a great job, with a company not really being affected by the economy. I work for a cable company and it seems people are at home more and watching more tv, so no real loss on this end. My question is this, I have an oppertunity to go to work for a greenhouse working as the managing grower. they wanted some one with no prior knowledge to train as they see fit. the pay would be about the same as i make now, with benefits. I am just scared of the economy and what will happen to them. they have gone from a million dollar company to 5-8 million over the last 2 years. they sell to one of the big box stores here in the south and have done really good with them. any ideas on if this is good idea to change to this field during this economy or stay were i am at and wade it out? this would be a great oppertunity for me to get in with this mom and pop company that has been around for 16 years, but i’m scared to leave my current job. thanks in advance for any comments, scrutiny or what ever you have for me.

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July 26, 2016

AFE Releases New Videos Highlighting Industry Successes

The American Floral Endowment (AFE) recently released five new videos, created to highlight floriculture successes through industry collaboration, support, and participation. “Each video shares real stories from industry members on career development through scholarships and internships, and true examples of research solutions that have shaped how the industry operates today,” says Laura Shinall, President of Syndicate Sales, Inc., and AFE Public Relations and Development Chair. “We’re excited to be able to share some great success stories in an effort to increase industry participation.” The introductory video “Heard of the American Floral Endowment?” helps educate those who aren’t currently aware of AFE’s programs, while other segmented videos (retail, wholesale, grower) share how Endowment programs complement each group and why it’s so important that everyone in the industry participates: Retail Florists Share Why They Turn to AFE New Resources for Floral Wholesalers and Suppliers AFE Helping Growers Profit Ready for a Career in Floriculture or Horticulture? […]

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July 19, 2016

Do You Grow Young Plants? Only 4 Days Left To Take Our …

If your operation produces plugs or liners for wholesale growers, please take a few minutes to participate in Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 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 [email protected], or please forward the survey link to the appropriate person. We would like to wrap up this survey by July 25, so please take it soon! Thank you in advance for your participation. We value your opinion! » […]

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State of the industry 2016

February 23, 2016

Download Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 State Of The Industry…

A year of growth in 2015 also had its share of challenges, and as a result, growers and suppliers were a bit more guarded going into 2016. After a few years of extreme weather and drought, a massive ongoing labor shortage, a shaky economy, and increased government regulation, Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 State Of The Industry Survey shows growers and retailers are moving forward with cautious optimism. Despite their many concerns, growers are ready to tackle another spring season in 2016, and many have reported that investments they have made within the past year are helping to drive their operations into the future. Further, rising consumer confidence indicates good things for 2016, growers said. Greenhouse Grower‘s 2016 State Of The Industry Whitepaper includes all the results of the survey, including comparisons of 2015 sales to past years, details on how 2016 production volume and prices will compare to 2015, crops that […]

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February 18, 2016

Poinsettia Survey Shows Strong Sales For Greenhouse Gro…

The year 2015 might have been one that many were glad to see in the rear view mirror, but for poinsettia growers, it was a good sales year — perhaps the strongest in quite a while. Compared to 2014, which was also widely deemed a success among growers for its seasonal cold at just the right time, good weather for shipping, and a good holiday spirit, the 2015 season was solid for a number of reasons. The weather, a rebounding economy, and increased demand all contributed to what growers said was a “very strong” sales season. “It was a strong year beginning to end due to great weather and quality product as the market demanded,” said Dan Chaney of Ivy Acres, in Greenhouse Grower’s 2015 Poinsettia Survey.     “Sales were strong. Demand was better than the previous two years,” said Larry Windham of Windham Greenhouses Inc. “Very good. The […]

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Pot Mum Combos (Syngenta Flowers)

February 8, 2016

Syngenta Has A New Buyer, Will Not Divest Flower Seeds …

Syngenta has announced that it will likely approve an offer from ChemChina to acquire the company, which means it no longer plans to divest its flower seed business.

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State of the industry 2016

January 21, 2016

Green Industry Is Set For Continued Growth In 2016

Economist Charlie Hall says the outlook for the green industry is promising despite the havoc wreaked on plant sales by the downturn in housing.

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How will growers' production in 2016 compare to 2015

January 18, 2016

2016 State Of The Greenhouse Industry Numbers At A Glan…

Greenhouse Grower‘s 2016 State Of The Industry Survey shows some promising trends for the new year. Here’s a look at the greenhouse market for 2016, in graphics.     For a more in-depth analysis of where the industry stands, read Greenhouse Grower‘s 2016 State Of The Industry article, “Growers And Suppliers Move Forward With Cautious Optimism In 2016.”

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Top Concerns sidebar

January 18, 2016

Growers And Suppliers Move Forward With Cautious Optimi…

A year of growth in 2015 also had its share of challenges, and as a result, growers and suppliers are a bit more guarded going into 2016. After a few years of extreme weather and drought, a massive ongoing labor shortage, a shaky economy, and increased government regulation, Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 State Of The Industry Survey shows growers and retailers are moving forward with cautious optimism. Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 State Of The Industry Survey included separate questions for growers and for suppliers. Of our 358 respondents, 103 were suppliers, 111 were grower-retailers, 109 were wholesale growers, and 35 were young plant growers. Among growers, 57% indicated their operations were small (less than 100,000 square feet), 21% were medium-sized (100,000 to 399,999 square feet), and 22% said they were large growers (400,000 square feet or larger). Sixty-eight percent of the grower respondents said their sales grew in 2015 over 2014, down […]

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State of the industry 2016

January 14, 2016

Craig Regelbrugge Says 2016 Will Be A Year Of Waiting F…

The 2016 presidential election will make for slow progress on critical regulatory issues like health care, pollinator health, and immigration reform.

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December 29, 2015

The Home Depot Says No To Neonics

The Home Depot plans to phase out neonicotinoids by 2018, according to a recent statement on the company’s website. The large home improvement retailer stated that its live goods suppliers have reduced the number of plants that they treat with neonicotinoids, and now more than 80% of all flowering plants sold at The Home Depot are not treated with neonicotinoids. The retailer said it will continue this decrease unless: Treatment is required by state or federal regulation, or Undisputed science proves that the use of neonicotinoids on live goods does not have a lethal or sub-lethal effect on pollinators Aside from these exceptions, the retailer has implemented a complete phase-out of neonicotinoid use on live goods by the end of 2018. Meanwhile, The Home Depot has required all of its live goods suppliers to label plants that have been treated with neonicotinoids. “The Home Depot is deeply engaged in understanding the […]

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Pollinator-Conference-NC State

December 9, 2015

Pollinator Gardens Are On The Rise, Provide Opportuniti…

Thanks to the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, enacted in June 2015 by the National Pollinator Garden Network, scores of new pollinator gardens to be planted over the next year and beyond will provide growers with ample opportunities to produce, promote and sell plants that are ideal for pollinator forage and health. And with research underway within the industry, we’ll soon have more knowledge about which plants are the most beneficial and attractive to pollinators. At Bayer’s Bee Care Center, the level of consumer engagement and interest in planting pollinator gardens is very high, Bayer’s Sarah Myers says. Bayer now has 73 local and industry partners and counting in its “Feed A Bee Campaign,” launched in March. Educating consumers about what they can plant to attract bees, and the impact they can have with even the smallest amount of space, is highly important, Myers says. It’s worth explaining to them that […]

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foodscaping at epcot - Foodscaping Goes Big At Disney

December 9, 2015

Foodscaping Challenges Conventional Ideas About Landsca…

Conventional ideas about what a landscape should look like are being challenged left and right, from young homeowners like Sarah Baker of Baker’s Acres, who are standing up for their right not to mow their lawns, to Brie Arthur’s passion to start a movement to incorporate food with flowers throughout suburban and urban landscapes nationwide. As younger generations step up as consumers and industry leaders, these changes are likely to continue, and the horticulture industry, which has the most to gain, would be remiss not to embrace and influence them. Well known for her personal foodscape, which she has promoted across social media, and her annual tomato-tasting fundraising event benefiting the nearby J.C. Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh, N.C., Brie Arthur has also been working with schools and her local Homeowner Association (HOA) to challenge the traditional idea of the landscape to one that incorporates the growing of food with mainstream, […]

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November 20, 2015

Lessons Learned From The California Drought

For those of us who live in the areas of the country that experienced harsh winters and significant rain over the past three seasons, water has become a nuisance in some cases, rather than a blessing. I can’t count the number of times I have wished to be able to send the snow or the rain to the West Coast, tied up with a big red bow. But think about how we’d feel if we didn’t have the snow and the rain, and we were experiencing the same dry conditions that the residents of California, Oregon and Washington have. With fresh water supplies dwindling in regions of the world, and the resistance of residents in states like Michigan to share water from the Great Lakes, it’s likely that the next civil or world war could be fought over our most precious resource. California’s epic drought should cause everyone to look […]

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Kate Santos Operations Director Dummen Orange

November 18, 2015

Kate Santos Presents New Opportunities For The Horticul…

Dr. Kate Santos is a scientist, an artist, an advocate, a traveler, a dreamer, a visionary and a go-getter. Well-known for her work managing Dümmen Orange as Operations Director, Santos has taken on a new role as co-founder of Luxflora, an organization for women in horticulture.

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