NGMA: The Next Generation

NGMA: The Next Generation

Fifty years makes a huge difference in the evolution of greenhouse architecture. From lean-tos and quonsets to gutter-connected, retractable-roof structures, commercial greenhouses have gained much from advances in technology. With more modern greenhouses have come advancements in the “furniture” to fill them, also known as greenhouse equipment and supplies, as well as innovative plastic films, which have revolutionized greenhouse shapes and framing systems. The growth of commercial floriculture and greenhouse vegetables over the years has fueled demand for greenhouse technology, and new manufacturers have emerged, raising competition and quality standards.

All of this innovation needed organization–enter the National Greenhouse Manufacturers Association (NGMA). Founded in 1958, NGMA represents 65 member companies–27 component, 14 structural and nine service. These include greenhouse manufacturers, equipment manufacturers and suppliers, as well as researchers, students, growers and other allied trades serving the international horticulture industry.

Retrofitting Itself

Today, NGMA is working to promote and defend greenhouse construction code standards and the agricultural classification as the changing landscape becomes increasingly commercialized, says Alec Mackenzie of Argus Control Systems, who serves on NGMA’s Board of Directors as secretary, on behalf of the board. With the help of its new executive director, Denise Calabrese (see “Under New Management”), the organization is committed to raising its industry profile, gaining new members and providing additional services as it moves forward and adapts to the changing international business dynamic.

“The new executive director will facilitate existing NGMA activities and we hope to significantly improve our visibility and usefulness to our industry,” Mackenzie says. “We would like to expand NGMA’s scope to more broadly serve the capital investment side of protected horticulture and promote technologies that will improve the horticultural industry.”

The rest of the Board of Directors includes: Rich Reilly of Rough Brothers, Inc., president; Scott Thompson of X.S. Smith, vice president; Steve Woods of Hortica, treasurer; Rich Perkins of Perkins Communication, service division; Brian Munchel of Ludy Greenhouses, structural division; Tom Piini of Micro Grow and Peter Stuyt of Ridder USA, component division.

NGMA Speaking Out

One of the biggest improvements NGMA has made is in gaining a bigger voice on industry legislative issues. Last October marked the organization’s first-ever event on Capitol Hill, aimed at helping its members connect with legislators and promote the horticulture industry. With high-stakes issues such as comprehensive immigration reform at the forefront of national news, NGMA leaders recognize the need for grassroots action.

“We are reaching out to other industry groups to build a stronger industry voice,” Mackenzie says. The most pressing issues the industry is facing today, according to NGMA, are:

– Labor supply and cost

– Energy costs

– Price pressure and narrowing margins, particularly with big box retailers

– Crop diseases that may close some production areas to shipping

– Zoning problems and permit delays

– Regional code anomalies (fire, building, electrical, etc.)

– Regional property tax interpretations (greenhouses are not classified as agricultural)

NGMA leaders say they are concerned about the consequences to U.S. growers if these issues are not addressed and solved in the coming years. The diverging and changing market structure demands immediate attention to areas such as an increase in greenhouse vegetable production and increasing competition from foreign companies, Mackenzie says.

“These issues will cause the continued decline of the mid-sized grower, rising input prices and falling margins, and an overall loss in the market,” Mackenzie says. “They could also contribute to the success of the small niche grower and very large, well-run wholesale growers.”

NGMA Survey 2006

In calendar year 2005, NGMA members reported: 

Total gross revenue from all sources: $134,680,091
Gross revenue from new construction: $102,016,991
Gross revenue from exports: $2,100,124
Total new greenhouse square footage: 18,641,391
Gutter-connected or similar sq. footage: 10,348,427
Fixed shade structure sq. footage: 2,184,373
Open/moving roof structure sq. footage: 1,434,042
Average no. of people employed: 564
Total employee payroll: 23,142,450
Total sq. feet of glass purchased: 2,646,075

2007 And Beyond

From the beginning, NGMA has been instrumental in disseminating information to the industry by creating guides and standards for designing, purchasing and building structures, as well as maximizing energy efficiency, preventing greenhouse damage and reducing water run-off, among other topics (see “Helpful Hints, Irrigation”). NGMA also conducts an annual Commercial Greenhouse Manufacturing Industry Survey to assess the square footage of new greenhouses constructed each year by U.S. manufacturers, as well as gross revenues, employee payroll and other data. The organization wants to grow its image as an information resource with plans to strengthen the educational package available to its members, Mackenzie says.

“In its ‘2007 Work Plan,’ NGMA will develop a speakers’ bureau and a certification program,” he says. “NGMA will develop a working relationship and affiliation with other organizations, utilize academic members for information dissemination, ensure positive code modifications and changes that affect the industry, and advocate against issues that negatively affect members.”

Other goals NGMA has for the next 10 years include promoting an increase in systems integration; promoting automation and other labor-saving equipment; promoting energy-saving technologies; increasing industry knowledge through education; and improving liaison support for universities and government agencies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“NGMA is a small organization with limited exposure,” Mackenzie says. “Increased involvement and exposure is our constant objective. We are planning to coordinate better efforts with the trade press, conduct stronger promotional campaigns and gain additional support from NGMA members. Indirectly, NGMA can continue to serve the industry through encouraging cooperation and improvement at the greenhouse manufacturing and greenhouse equipment
supply level.”

Leave a Reply

More From Greenhouses...
Giving Tuesday

November 24, 2015

Giving Tuesday On December 1 Is An Opportunity For The Industry To Make Charitable Tax-Deductible Donations

Organizations such as American Floral Endowment and others are encouraging industry members to participate in the generous spirit of the holiday season.

Read More
Cannabis marijuana

November 24, 2015

Five Florida Growers Receive Licenses To Potentially Produce And Process Medical Marijuana

The Florida Department of Health has announced the five nursery operations awarded with exclusive licenses to grow, process, and dispense “Charlotte’s Web,” a low-THC (non-euphoric) cannabis approved for patients with intractable epilepsy and people with advanced cancer.

Read More
Random Acts Of Flowers

November 24, 2015

Random Acts Of Flowers Partners With FTD And Pro Flowers To Make Milestone Charitable Bouquet Delivery

The organization, which recycles and repurposes flowers with a volunteer team that delivers bouquets to health care facilities across the country, made its 100,000th delivery to a health care facility in Chicago.

Read More
Latest Stories
Battlefield Farms in Virginia noticed an improvement in the quality of heuchera propagation plugs after using Philips’ LED production modules

November 23, 2015

LED Lighting May Be The Next Frontier For Plant Nutriti…

Philips Lighting’s senior plant specialist, Dr. Abhay Thosar, shares how the company is working with growers to help create custom plant recipes for streamlined production of better quality crops.

Read More

June 21, 2015

Greenhouse Project Moves Pavlodar (Kazakhstan) Closer T…

Despite regional challenges, greenhouse specialists Dalsem and automation supplier Hoogendoorn have collaborated on a greenhouse complex with the PTK company to bring Pavlodar (Kazakhstan) closer to self-sufficient, local food production.

Read More
Greenhouse Electrical System

May 26, 2015

Don’t Let Your Greenhouse Electrical System Come …

Ensuring your greenhouse has enough electricity to operate all the equipment that is installed takes planning and consideration of an operation's needs. Part one of two articles on greenhouse electrical systems covers choosing an electrician, meeting immediate and future needs and planning for back-up power.

Read More

May 22, 2015

Nexus Greenhouses Is Optimistic For Expansion Into New …

Cheryl Longtin and Mike Porter, who own Nexus Corporation, say they were excited to attend the grand opening of Gotham Greens’ new structure atop the new Whole Foods grocery store in the Gowanus neighborhood in Brooklyn, N.Y., when it opened in December 2013. The project is just one example of some of the new and expanding markets that Nexus Corporation has expanded into over the past few years. Jeff Warschauer, vice president of sales for Nexus, says the company has enjoyed getting to know and working with the founders of Gotham Greens, Viraj Puri and Eric Haley, and Jennifer Nelkin Frymark, the chief agriculture officer, on their innovative approach to business. “They are very excited and work hard internally – just great people,” he says. “From our perspective, it’s great to see that excitement and vision. The employees there are happy and there’s no turnover; they’re only adding new people […]

Read More

March 26, 2015

10 Greenhouse Products For First-Rate Growing Environme…

From coverings to fork-lifts, greenhouse suppliers offer a variety of products to make growing easier. Check out the slideshow to learn more about these, plus several other products that can offer you value, versatility and durability.

Read More

March 16, 2015

Cozy Acres Greenhouses: Operating With Zero Emissions

With the help of federal funding, Cozy Acres Greenhouses was able to take a greener approach to its latest expansion, building a zero emissions greenhouse that operates year round.

Read More
interior view EDDG vent_energy efficiency codes

March 16, 2015

Stricter Energy Codes May Impact Your Ability To Expan…

Energy efficiency building codes that greenhouses are required to meet could soon be much more stringent, unless the National Greenhouse Manufacturers Association is successful in its bid to gain exceptions on greenhouse owners’ behalf.

Read More

March 13, 2015

GGS Helps North Creek Nurseries Take Efficiency To A Ne…

North Creek Nurseries recently built a new GGS gutter connected poly greenhouse range with the intent of saving energy and implementing Lean Flow Practices. The aim was to help North Creek improve the quality of products and meet increased customer demand, while at the same time saving money on labor.

Read More
Retail Greenhouse

March 12, 2015

The Right Greenhouse For Any Grower

Selecting the right structure for your operation can be difficult. With so many options, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. The good news is that greenhouse manufacturers are experienced in the art of matching customers with the ideal product. Here’s their advice for how to pick your next structure.

Read More
Fall Creek Farm and Nursery Expansion

March 12, 2015

Conley’s Helps Fall Creek Farm And Nursery Increase Blu…

In order to meet its customer’s increasing demands for domestic blueberry production in the United States, Fall Creek Farm and Nursery needed much more indoor growing space. The company selected Conley’s for a recent expansion of Conley’s Gable Series 7500 in a two-phase project. The first 14-greenhouse range sold by distributor Horticulture Services, measures 170,000 square feet in size and finished construction in 2013.

Read More
Emerald Coast Grower's Atlas Greenhouse

March 12, 2015

Emerald Coast Growers Steps-Up Production Efficiency An…

Emerald Coast Growers, a supplier of perennial starter plants and ornamental grass liners, is not averse to expansion projects. In 2010, it celebrated its 20th anniversary with an expansion of its perennial production space. More recently, the company has been in a nearly continuous phase of construction and improvement projects.

Read More
ArmstrongGrowers Hanging Basket Area

March 12, 2015

Armstrong Growers And Pike Farms Grow With Sustainable …

Rebuilding and retrofitting greenhouses has been key to Armstrong Growers’ expansion on the West Coast, and Pike Farms will follow the same business model on the East Coast. The four-acre wholesale operation that is currently Pike Farms produces only about 5 percent at the most of Pike Nurseries’ retail garden center needs; however, that’s going to change in the next couple of years.

Read More
Metrolina Greenhouses Loading-Dock

March 12, 2015

Metrolina Greenhouses Expands With High- And Low-Tech …

Heralded as one of the most automated greenhouse operations in the U.S., Metrolina Greenhouses continues to build in Huntersville, N.C., and York, S.C. Art Van Wingerden, chief operating officer and co-owner of Metrolina Greenhouses, estimates that as his big box customers continue to grow at a 3 to 5 percent rate, so will Metrolina Greenhouses’ growing facilities to keep up with demand.

Read More

March 10, 2015

Greenhouses Are More Efficient For Marijuana Production

At least 30 percent more efficient and productive than warehouse growing, greenhouses are the way of the future for commercial cannabis production, experts say. Cannabis growers and advisors are starting to move production out of the warehouse and into the greenhouse, to benefit from the efficiencies that the sun’s natural light and environmental controls provide.

Read More
Pleasant View Gardens New Expansion

March 10, 2015

Pleasant View Gardens Transitions Old-School Hoop Hous…

A new production expansion optimizes labor efficiency and adds growing space, while optimizing energy use.

Read More
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
[gravityform id="35" title="false" description="false"]