Eager To Build

There is no voice in the sky, like the one delivering messages to Kevin Costner’s character in the movie “Field Of Dreams,” whispering about building greenhouses and the result being more customers. But what if the voice in the sky is, instead, your instinct telling you this is the year to build more greenhouses? Would you follow your instinct?

Few growers have followed their instincts to build, at least looking at the last couple years, and they cite poor weather or the economy as the factors that put their operation’s expansion plans off another year. There’s nothing wrong with citing those factors, of course: Good weather is a must and a strong economy is important, too, if you’re going to add greenhouses every year or two. But sticking to a big-picture growth plan–if growth is, in fact, part of the vision you have for your operation–should be a factor in your expansion plans, as well.

“Most companies look at 10-year growth as opposed to year-to-year,” says Jeff Warschauer, vice president of sales at Nexus Greenhouse Systems.

Yet, the economy frightened enough growers over the last two years that they put their operation’s growth plans in a drawer. Poor weather in certain regions last spring put a damper in the greenhouse structures market, as well, because plants that remain on retail benches ultimately don’t lead to greenhouse expansions.

Early Optimism

But this spring is different–at least March and the first half of April were–as retailers report early spring sales are up. Warschauer connects weekly with five retailers for a market report, and four of them indicate their March and early April sales are up 30 to 35 percent. Gordon Van Egmond, a U.S. sales representative for Westbrook Greenhouse Systems, also heard positive early-spring reports from his growers, and Reid Squires, director of sales for Stuppy Greenhouse Manufacturing, says the flowering potted plant growers with whom he’s corresponded had a good first half of spring.

Early-spring sales reports are a reason for optimism, but will the optimism translate to more building?

“We see a fare amount of optimism,” says Bill Vietas, Rough Brothers vice president of sales. “But it’s optimism with tentativeness because growers don’t know where the market is going entirely. They see last year went well and this year is too, but you just never know.”

For Warschauer, the first half of this year has been an unusual one because he’s seen non-stop activity, starting with expansions like Pleasant View Gardens’ and continuing into spring with extremely early commitments from growers.

“I don’t know if I’ve been this busy,” Warschauer says. “Normally this time of year we’re much slower. This is the time of year you’re doing the quotations and working on the design specifications and pricing. You go through that rendition on the proposal, but we’re at the point with several growers who’ve already committed. Normally, growers won’t do that until May is over because they’re hoping for a big month.”

Growers aren’t exactly building greenhouses at the rate they were 10, 15 or 20 years ago–the glory years for the structures companies are probably gone–but that doesn’t mean growers are done building. After all, the more greenhouses are built, the better the retail marketplace must be. And all signs are pointing toward a good spring. 

Leave a Reply

More From Greenhouses...

March 4, 2015

Nexus Corporation’s Cheryl Longtin Encourages Women To Seek Volunteer Leadership Opportunities

When Cheryl Longtin came to the horticulture business in 1994, she applied her experience in the automotive industry to promote the adoption of more technology in greenhouse production. Longtin says horticulture, with its rich family tradition, has long promoted women in the industry compared to other industries, but women in horticulture must continue to seek out opportunities to provide volunteer leadership in organizations that shape the future of the business.

Read More

March 4, 2015

Second Annual GreenhouseConnect Will Bring Growers and Suppliers Together in San Diego This October

Following a successful inaugural event in Tampa last fall, Greenhouse Grower has announced the dates of its second annual GreenhouseConnect: October 26-29, 2015. Representatives of an expected two dozen leading greenhouse operations from across the U.S. will join senior-level suppliers at Rancho Bernardo Inn in San Diego for several days of one-on-one strategic meetings, a growers-only roundtable, informational sessions and a variety of networking events.

Read More
cultivate'15 logo

March 4, 2015

Cultivate’15: AmericanHort Announces What’s New

In an industry that has seen major changes occurring at a fast pace, many industry professionals leave Cultivate with their heads spinning and no clear idea of how to regroup and strategize. Cultivate’15 is “Changing the Game.” As this year’s focus, Changing the Game will call your attention to the ways in which our industry has changed and your opportunities to compete successfully.

Read More
Latest Stories
Rough Brothers aeroponic greenhouse project

February 24, 2015

Rough Brothers Takes A Hands-On Approach To Several Pro…

Two projects Rough Brothers worked on for Altman plants in Giddings, Texas, and Scissortail Farms in Tulsa County, Okla., show that pre-planning on the grower's part opens the way for a smooth-running expansion project.

Read More
Stuppy Greenhouse Manufacturing's Rainbow Super Structure

February 23, 2015

Stuppy Greenhouse Manufacturing Says Every Customer’s G…

Well-suited greenhouses that function efficiently for customers arise from involving them in the design process from start to finish. Stuppy Greenhouse Manufacturing put this philosophy on a greenhouse design for a wholesale grower looking to expand his annuals operation. The grower's needs were simple, yet daunting: design a greenhouse that delivers the perfect growing environment, but keep maintenance and operating costs low.

Read More
National Greenhouse Manufacturers Association

January 27, 2015

Stricter Energy Codes May Impact Your Ability To Expand

Are you aware stricter energy codes may be on the horizon that will certainly impact your business in a big way? Here's a Q & A from the National Greenhouse Manufacturers Association that helps explain the dangers of the coming energy codes and what we as an industry can do to prevent them.

Read More

January 27, 2015

10 Questions To Ask Before Purchasing A Greenhouse Cove…

Whether you’re replacing an existing greenhouse covering or building a new greenhouse, it’s a significant investment, so you need to make sure you have the right type of covering to suit your needs and budget. What’s more, with production costs on the rise, you can’t afford to have anything less than a durable, high-quality covering that is energy efficient. To make a smart purchase, do your homework before you buy. A good place to start is by answering the following questions, which will help you separate the good products from the mediocre ones.

Read More

January 26, 2015

Greenhouse Growers Look To Build And Retrofit In 2015

You’re likely to see more construction work going on in the greenhouse industry in 2015, according to Greenhouse Grower’s 2015 State of the Industry survey. Responses show growers have high hopes for the future, which may be one reason why more of them are looking to spruce up their facilities.

Read More
Griffin Logo

November 10, 2014

Griffin Announces Dates For 2015 Grower And Retailer Ex…

Griffin Grower and Retailer Expo 2015 dates set for Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.

Read More

September 30, 2014

Emerald Coast Growers Adds Greenhouse Space To Increase…

Emerald Coast Growers has expanded with the addition of 25,344 square feet at their Milton, Fla., facility. The construction is in response to increased demand for their products, and will primarily be used for ornamental grass production.

Read More

June 6, 2014

High Tunnels: Reduce Heating Costs While Improving Bedd…

This is the first article in a two-part series featuring research from Purdue University that focuses on energy-efficient production of cold-tolerant bedding plants.

Read More

May 27, 2014

4 Ways To Finance Your Greenhouse Upgrade

If you’re ready to invest in greenhouse energy-efficient upgrades but aren’t sure how to finance them, there are a number of resources that can help.

Read More

May 22, 2014

Structures Issue: Growers Evolve With New Growth And Ma…

Is our industry really improving or does it just look that way? With growth in the past two years among Greenhouse Grower’s Top 100 Growers and the housing market on the upswing, the economy certainly is showing signs of life.

Read More

May 21, 2014

Lucas Greenhouses Gets A Jump On Spring Crops With Its …

A retractable roof greenhouse enables Lucas Greenhouses to start and finish part of its spring crop earlier and provides a superior production environment into the fall.

Read More

May 2, 2014

High Tunnels Help To Expand Markets, Crops

Growers are taking advantage of the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative to extend the production season for a variety of crops.

Read More

April 24, 2014

9 High Tunnel And Shade Products For Your Operation

Extend the growing season and enhance plant quality with these nine high tunnel and shade products.

Read More
National Greenhouse Manufacturers Association

March 21, 2014

Greenhouse Heating Basics From The National Greenhouse …

Here's a Q&A from the National Greenhouse Manufacturers Association that might help you improve your greenhouse.

Read More
Greenhouse interior At Corsos

March 18, 2014

Will Greenhouses Add Production Space In 2014?

For those who are making changes this year, many responded that new production space will be used to extend their growing seasons, for early-season sales as well as edibles during the winter months.

Read More

February 25, 2014

Behind The New Greenhouse Projects At Van de Wetering A…

Read about the projects VB Greenhouses worked on at Van de Wetering Greenhouses and Kurtz Farms.

Read More

February 25, 2014

7 Spring Cleaning Tips For Commercial Greenhouses

During every busy shipping season you invariably run into issues that would have been eliminated had a little spring cleaning taken place. Here are a few points you may want to consider before spring shipping rolls around:

Read More

January 21, 2014

Exclusive: Danziger Is Building A State-Of-The-Art Stoc…

The breeder is constructing almost nine acres of state-of-the-art greenhouses near Barbarena, Guatemala, to bring its stock farm closer to the U.S. market. The first phase of construction was complete in February 2014.

Read More