The first day of spring officially arrived Tuesday, but growers across the country have been taking advantage of spring-like weather the last couple weeks with higher-volume shipments. Now, growers are keeping their fingers crossed that the 60-, 70- and 80-degree days persist.
“Spring broke early and we’re shipping like crazy,” says Tom Van Vugt, the vice president of sales at Plainview Growers in Pompton Plains, N.J. “We’re shipping pansies, bowls and baskets. We always end up starting to ship in March, but we’re shipping a lot more than normal. Hopefully, the weather stays like this.”
Plantpeddler is also experiencing increased demand for cool-season annuals in Cresco, Iowa.
“The weather has helped us,” says Joan Leuenberger, Plantpeddler’s CFO. “Right now it’s crazy. Anything that had a flower opened on it today (March 19) is going to get shipped. We are shipping pansies in just about any format; strawberry baskets; and some combination baskets that normally wouldn’t get shipped this early.”
The weather has been a blessing for North Carolina growers like Rockwell Farms, as well.
“It’s been gorgeous,” says Jason Roseman, Rockwell’s director of sales. “It’s definitely an early warm spring so far. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for nice weather on the weekends. You have to prepare for every season like it’s going to be your best, but also have contingency plans in case you get thrown a curveball with the weather.”
Mother Nature has slung a few curveballs to growers in recent years, but one reason for optimism this spring is that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is reporting that no area of the country is at risk for “major to record” spring flooding this year.
“We’re not forecasting a repeat of recent historic and prolonged flooding in the central and northern U.S., and that is a relief,” Laura Furgione, deputy director of NOAA’s National Weather Service, says at NOAANews.noaa.gov. “The severity of any flooding this year will be driven by rainfall more so than the melting of the current snowpack.”
NOAA expects above-average spring temperatures this spring for several regions of the United States, including the Southwest, central and southern Great Plains, the Great Lakes and the Eastern U.S. The Northwest is expected to be cooler than average.
How has the unusually warm spring weather impacted your sales thus far? Tell us in the comments section below or eMail Managing Editor Kevin Yanik at [email protected].