Greenhouse Grower Top 100 Behind the Scenes: How (and Why) We Do It

2016 Top 100 Growers ListEvery year, the Greenhouse Grower Top 100 Growers Survey is a bit of a struggle to compile. While we usually have great responses from the majority of our Top 100 Growers, no matter how early (or late) we send the survey out, we always have a few stragglers sending late answers. And then, once it’s published (here’s a link to this year’s report), we’ll inevitably have a handful of people from around the industry tell us that our list isn’t accurate because we missed someone, or because it doesn’t include some of the really big nursery growers out there.

Then we go through the whole process of explaining that this is a voluntary ranking of the largest greenhouse growers in the country, not of all of the nurseries in the country, since we are, in fact, called Greenhouse Grower, and we don’t currently cover nursery production. All data is self-reported by the growers themselves. We do not do web searches to gather information on square footage, and then place a grower on the list without warning. Or at least, that has never been our practice in the past. And sure, it would likely be more compelling to rank growers based on sales or profit, rather than on their sheer size. But of the growers who took our survey this year, only about half shared that information with us. We ask for both hard numbers and a sales range, so in case these growers aren’t comfortable listing their actual annual sales, then they can tell us approximately where they fall. Yet some of them aren’t even comfortable with that!

It’s in this debate with our critics (who we love and admire, by the way, because they keep us honest and striving to do our best) that we begin to question whether we should change the way our Top 100 Growers Survey and ranking is done. After all, it’s true that there has been a bit of blurring of the lines between greenhouse and nursery producers in the last several years, as retailers ask growers to be one-stop shops so they can reduce the number of suppliers they have to deal with, and as growers continue to move crops outdoors to reduce production costs and harden off plants, including annuals. So if they’re growing outdoors, does that negate our ranking by environmentally controlled square footage? We don’t think so, because we do, by the way, also list production in acres of shade greenhouses and field production in our annual ranking, next to environmentally controlled square footage.

So why continue to rank the Top 100 Growers? We’ve contemplated that, honestly. (Probably every year while we’re in the thick of it.) But ultimately, it comes down to this: The information is just too good. We use the data and the anecdotal answers from our Top 100 Growers Survey to track floriculture trends and get an overview of where the industry is headed, led by the nation’s largest growers. With guidance from the results of the Top 100 survey, the State of the Industry Survey, and other surveys we do, we set our priorities and business direction each year, and we’re able to provide insights to the rest of the industry, as well, through our survey analysis, whitepapers, webinars, and market trend analysis.

Plus, this survey with the Top 100 Growers also has established a deep, valuable, and trusted connection with these extraordinarily innovative growers, which we wouldn’t give up even if we had to do 100 surveys!

For the first time this year, we didn’t have up-to-date information from USDA’s National Agriculture Statistics Service Floriculture Crops Summary to compare our Top 100 Growers data against. Why? Because USDA decided to stop compiling it due to budgetary restrictions. It’s not likely that we’ll get it back, either, unless we all write to our respective members of Congress, and even then. This means it’s now more important than ever that we continue our surveys, to provide good, reliable data that will allow us to accurately measure the size and scope of our industry. But our survey results are only as good as you make them, so next time you get a survey notice from us, please make sure you take it.

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

More From Management...
Berger-Equipment

November 17, 2017

How You Can Help Berger in Donating to Hurricane Harvey Victims (While Learning More About Plant Production)

Between Nov. 23-27, Berger will donate $1 for every download of its free technical plant production guides to hurricane relief efforts.

Read More
Damarys-Mora-Crawford-Costa-Farms

November 16, 2017

Costa Farms’ New Marketing Director Eager to Tap Into Changing Consumer Needs

In her new position, Damarys Mora Crawford will lead Costa Farms’ marketing team and create and execute strategic marketing initiatives to support continued sales growth for the company’s retail customers.

Read More
Cordyline Candy Cane (Excelsa Gardens, Inc.)

November 14, 2017

Garden-Retailers Pick Their Favorite Products From The Landscape Show

Grower-retailers have once again named their favorite new products, this time as part of the Cool Product Awards at The Landscape Show 2017 in Orlando, FL. Awards were presented to 12 companies, representing 14 products.

Read More
Latest Stories
Berger-Equipment

November 17, 2017

How You Can Help Berger in Donating to Hurricane Harvey…

Between Nov. 23-27, Berger will donate $1 for every download of its free technical plant production guides to hurricane relief efforts.

Read More
Damarys-Mora-Crawford-Costa-Farms

November 16, 2017

Costa Farms’ New Marketing Director Eager to Tap Into C…

In her new position, Damarys Mora Crawford will lead Costa Farms’ marketing team and create and execute strategic marketing initiatives to support continued sales growth for the company’s retail customers.

Read More
Cordyline Candy Cane (Excelsa Gardens, Inc.)

November 14, 2017

Garden-Retailers Pick Their Favorite Products From The …

Grower-retailers have once again named their favorite new products, this time as part of the Cool Product Awards at The Landscape Show 2017 in Orlando, FL. Awards were presented to 12 companies, representing 14 products.

Read More
Seed-Your-Future-feature

November 9, 2017

Dümmen Orange Throws Support Behind Seed Your Future In…

Dümmen Orange has announced it will pledge $450,000 over the next three years to Seed Your Future, the non-profit organization whose mission is to promote horticulture in the U.S. and inspire people to pursue careers working with plants.

Read More
Speedling-Environmental-Award

November 9, 2017

Speedling Wins Environmental Leadership Award From Flor…

Speedling has eight nurseries throughout the country and two in Florida, where moisture levels are carefully analyzed to improve performance and consistency of transplant operations.

Read More
Arden-Bull-Feature

November 8, 2017

Veteran Ornamental Crop Protection Leader Arden Bull Re…

Arden’s career spanned 47 years in specialty crop protection, including leading ornamental sales at Nufarm Americas for the past 12 years.

Read More
Cannabis at Solstice feature

November 5, 2017

The Intricate Journey of Cannabis From Black Market to …

As cannabis moves out of the shadows and into the limelight, an industry replete with untapped potential also faces the burden of new complications.

Read More
Monarch School of New England

November 3, 2017

National Garden Bureau, Sakata Seed America Award Grant…

The three winners were selected after a two-week online voting process, and will receive grants totaling $5,000.

Read More
Biocontrols in a Greenhouse

November 3, 2017

Take Greenhouse Grower’s 2018 State of the Indust…

Growers and others associated with the greenhouse business often ask the Greenhouse Grower editorial staff where we get ideas for stories. The Answer: You! That's why we're asking you to please take some time to answer our annual State of the Industry survey.

Read More
Chinook Sunrise Rose at Vineland

November 2, 2017

Vineland Research Centre Highlights Latest Greenhouse R…

The Vineland Research and Innovation Centre in Ontario, Canada, is a hotbed of new research in greenhouse production. Recently, the Centre released its latest Innovations Report, an annual publication that highlights some of the major projects taking place at the Centre.

Read More

November 1, 2017

Technology Is Changing the Game for Growers

Technology is sexy. There’s a fervor associated with buying the latest go-go-gadget — and a fear of missing out if we don’t. We all want that latest, most advanced smartphone, home assistant, or wearable tech, no matter the cost. And jobs associated with technology? Google, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter — offer some of the most competitive and coveted positions on the planet. Just look at the stir Amazon made when it announced it would build a $50 billion second headquarters, with cities from all over North America clamoring to be the one chosen, considering the significant economic potential. Technology and tech jobs are it — and it’s no wonder growers don’t feel jobs in horticulture can compete. But what if they can? If tech jobs are the future and the future of horticulture depends on technology, then we have a real opportunity to seize. Millennials who have grown up […]

Read More
Smith Gardens Tornado Damage

October 31, 2017

Smith Gardens Suffers Tornado Damage, Still Plans to Sh…

While most of the damage was structural and only 2% of the crops were lost from the October 12 twister, the company says there is still plenty of cleanup planned.

Read More
Ernest Wertheim

October 31, 2017

Here’s Your Chance to Hear From Industry Legend Ernest …

During Cultivate’17, AmericanHort recorded a video interview with Ernest Wertheim, a passionate horticulture industry advocate and business owner for more than 75 years.

Read More
Living Umbrellas

October 25, 2017

Why Living Umbrellas May Have a Bright Future

Sometimes innovation strikes by chance. Such was the case with David Tilley, developer of the “Living Umbrella.”

Read More
cuttings-facility

October 23, 2017

New Pilot Project for Offshore Unrooted Plant Cutting C…

Four breeders — Ball Horticultural Co., Dümmen Orange, Proven Winners, and Syngenta Flowers — will participate in the initial pilot, which will include greenhouse growing operations in six Latin American countries.

Read More
Capitol Hill_ feature

October 19, 2017

AmericanHort’s Main Priorities After Impact Washi…

Now that Impact Washington is over, AmericanHort, with industry support, is looking to continue its focus on tax reform, labor reform, and research and innovation.

Read More
Petal It Forward 2017

October 17, 2017

Petal It Forward Event a Hit for Both Industry Members …

Check out how this year’s Petal It Forward event brought smiling faces to people across the country, including one personal story.

Read More
Karen Reardon, RISE

October 15, 2017

Karen Reardon of RISE Honored by CropLife America

CropLife America presented Reardon with its highest staff award for her successful effort to defend against the ban of pesticide use on private property in Maryland.

Read More