Top 100

May 6, 2013

Top 100 Growers 2013: The State Of Production

  As part of Greenhouse Grower’s 30th Anniversary, we reviewed the state of production among the nation’s largest operations. Our 2013 Top 100 Growers Survey, sponsored by Becker Underwood, asked three big questions to get a feel for where they see the biggest developments in greenhouse production. Innovations First, we asked them to identify the most important innovation in the greenhouse industry in the last 30 years. We got a variety of opinions, including integrated pest management, bottom heat and heat curtains, open roof greenhouses, plugs and other growing techniques and computer-based environmental controls. Most commonly cited were breeding improvements, hydroponic production and the big winner, automation and transplanters. “It’s not even close,” one respondent said. “Transplanters are the best innovation we’ve seen. To plant at the speed we do now, we would have to put 30 people on each production line.” Improvements Next, we asked them to tell us […]

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Top 100

May 6, 2013

Greenhouse Grower Top 100 Growers: The 2013 List

It’s not necessarily an indication of a top-to-bottom trend in the horticulture industry, but one thing is clear from the results of the 2013 Greenhouse Grower Top 100 Grower survey: The largest greenhouse operations in the U.S are getting larger. Perhaps it’s a sign of things turning around after several years of a stagnant economy and an evolving customer base. Maybe the greenhouse industry is just continuing a shakeout, with the largest operations absorbing the production and space of growers who are leaving the market. Could be it’s simply the big continuing to get bigger to take advantage of the production efficiencies size can offer big retail customers and the growers’ own bottom lines. It’s likely some combination of all three. Whatever the reason, nearly a third of the growers in Greenhouse Grower’s 2013 Top 100 survey reported growth. Some of them significantly so. Ups And Downs Greenhouse Grower’s annual […]

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May 4, 2012

Delray Plants Says Marketing Is Now A Must

The Top 100 Growers were production-driven businesses just a few years ago. Many grew seemingly endless products and had the good fortune of finding buyers even in a pinch. Discounting was an option to keep product moving, and margins were favorable. Fast forward to today’s Top 100, and it’s a sales-driven group that talks largely about tighter margins and the need to have the right product on the right shelves at the right time. The truth is today’s industry is vastly different than the one many of the Top 100 originally experienced. And the strongest growers are the ones adapting their operations and tailoring products to the retailer’s needs. “You just can’t overproduce something today,â€� says Randy Gilde, an owner at Delray Plants. “You can move some of it, but generally if your product isn’t positioned at the right time and place for the store and its customers, you can’t […]

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April 29, 2011

Top 100 Growers: Growers Sound Off On Contract Growing

Contract growing isn’t for everyone, but the majority of the Top 100 Growers are involved in one capacity or another. Many are the principal growers of Walmart, Home Depot and Lowe’s who contract others to produce particular crops for their big box customers. Others are the growers taking orders from those principal growers, filling up their greenhouses when they can with 100,000 pansy flats here and 75,000 color bowls there. But regardless of whether a Top 100 Grower is involved in contract growing or not, the majority of the Top 100 (67 percent) believe contract growing is a healthy way to do business. The benefits contract growers reap are numerous, after all. “We have better space utilization, we’re able to maintain labor and spread overhead costs,â€� says George Lucas, the owner of Lucas Greenhouses in Monroeville, N.J. Adds Speedling CEO Greg Davis: “Contract growing allows us to leverage a larger […]

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April 20, 2010

Bracing For Big Changes

The greenhouse floriculture industry, at this moment, is in a state of great change. Sustainability is becoming second nature, growers are taking on responsibilities that were once considered the retailer’s, and production, in many cases, is becoming more diverse with the introduction of crops that match the needs of a changing consumer base. Changes are occurring on Capitol Hill, as well, and those changes have tremendous implications for the Top 100 Growers. That’s why Greenhouse Grower puts the spotlight this year on national issues–health care, immigration and energy–in the 23rd annual Top 100 Growers Report. “All three of these issues–health care, immigration and energy–are very, very complex,” says Bob Dolibois, executive vice president of the American Nursery & Landscape Association (ANLA). “There are so many elements with the issues that interact, and it’s very difficult to achieve real change in terms of laws. Still, in all three instances, there is […]

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