Structures Issue: Growers Evolve With New Growth And Markets

Linx Extreme High Tunnel 30-foot width (Nexus)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.

Since 2013, Greenhouse Grower’s Top 100 Growers have grown production by more than 2 million square feet to 217,771,275 (a correction from the number we reported in our May 2014 issue) and nearly a third of the Top 100 Growers reported significant growth. Greenhouse Grower’s 2014 State Of The Industry survey revealed that 37 percent of growers plan to add or retrofit a greenhouse in 2014. See Will Greenhouses Add Production Space In 2014? to learn more.

These numbers bode well for the floriculture industry. But still we have to wonder, how has the expansion of large growers affected small to mid-sized growers? Unfortunately, the most recent numbers on the size of the industry date back to USDA’s 2012 Floriculture Crops Survey, which stated the total covered area used for floriculture crop production in 15 states was 702 million, down from 712 million square feet in 2011. That represents 5,419 producers in 2012, also down from 5,763 in 2011.

So based on the 2012 numbers, the 2014 Top 100 Growers represent 31 percent of total covered U.S. floriculture production.

Structures, Crops Are Changing

The type of crops grown and structures built may have a significant impact on the floriculture industry of the future. Grower interest in producing edible crops is on the rise, with 43 percent of growers who responded to our State Of The Industry survey reporting they plan to increase production of vegetables and herbs in 2014, up five percentage points from 2013. That’s pretty close in line with the Top 100 Growers, who are continuing to change up their crop mix, with 77 percent saying they plan to grow more edibles, including vegetables (43 percent), herbs (29 percent) and fruit (5 percent) in future seasons.

Building high tunnels is one way to do that. Contributor David Kuack writes that more growers are using grant money from the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to build high tunnels for food crop production in High Tunnels Help To Expand Markets, Crops. The program started in 2010 and in its first year, NRCS received nearly 3,000 applications for seasonal high tunnels.

Expanding greenhouse growers should expect to see increased year-round competition from traditional vegetable, fruit and nut growers, who are also using high tunnels to expand production in everything from tomatoes to raspberries and even stone fruit and nuts. Greenhouse Grower’s sister publication, American Vegetable Grower, says high tunnels are attractive to veggie growers because they control pests, offer climate control and extend their growing season.

High tunnels and urban greenhouses are becoming more prevalent in U.S. population centers, as well. Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow recently announced at the Detroit Eastern Market that the new Farm Bill will provide $150,000 in financial assistance for growers to construct seasonal high tunnels in urban areas. And in Green City Growers Produces Food For Local Customers, Provides Jobs To Core Urban Area, Assistant Editor Amanda Gallagher reports on how Cleveland’s Green City Growers is turning the lives of urban residents around in our own backyard.

The future looks bright based on grower expansion and new markets but it’s difficult to tell what our industry will look like in another decade. Will it continue to cycle back to its veggie growing roots, or are flowers still our future? Tell us what you think in the comments or email me, [email protected]

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

More From Structures...
Cannabis Structure

July 28, 2016

How To Maximize The Efficiency Of Your Cannabis Structure

The up-front costs of creating your cannabis facility may be high, but at least one expert says making the investment now will be well worth it down the road.

Read More
Top 100 2016 Lighting Feature Image

July 24, 2016

Horticultural Lighting Conference To Take Place In Chicago In October

The one-day event is designed to provide cutting-edge information on the latest technologies and techniques impacting the advancement of the horticultural lighting market.

Read More
Floral Greenhouse at Vineland Research Centre

July 20, 2016

Research And Commercialization Unite At The New Vineland Greenhouse Technology Centre

The new, pre-scale commercial greenhouse facility at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre in Vineland Station, ON, will help accelerate the commercialization of innovative technologies and products coming out of research.

Read More
Latest Stories
Cannabis Structure

July 28, 2016

How To Maximize The Efficiency Of Your Cannabis Structu…

The up-front costs of creating your cannabis facility may be high, but at least one expert says making the investment now will be well worth it down the road.

Read More
Floral Greenhouse at Vineland Research Centre

July 20, 2016

Research And Commercialization Unite At The New Vinelan…

The new, pre-scale commercial greenhouse facility at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre in Vineland Station, ON, will help accelerate the commercialization of innovative technologies and products coming out of research.

Read More

July 20, 2016

How To Prevent Greenhouse Heating Leaks

Ethylene from malfunctioning greenhouse heaters can lead to crop injury, while carbon monoxide can lead to worker illness. Know the symptoms and how to check greenhouse heaters to avoid these concerns.

Read More
GrowSpan Screen cap

July 18, 2016

Growers Supply Launches GrowSpan Website With New Conte…

The GrowSpan website will encompass the brand’s entire greenhouse structure line, and allows growers to quickly browse GrowSpan’s product offerings based on structure type.

Read More
Lisa Ruggiers, National Greenhouse Manufacturers Association

June 15, 2016

Meet The New Executive Director Of The National Greenho…

Lisa Ruggiers has been active in NGMA for several years, and will work closely with the group’s officers and board of directors.

Read More
Snow Damage-feature

June 3, 2016

Protect Your Greenhouse From The Worst Disasters

Unexpected problems such as fires, high winds, and heavy snow can quickly cause damage to your structures. But there are ways you can minimize your losses.

Read More

May 17, 2016

Your Best Greenhouse Is Your Best Bet For Growing Veget…

It doesn’t matter if it’s a retrofitted greenhouse or brand new freestanding high tunnel, the type of structure you use for your vegetable growing makes all the difference in the quality of the crop you grow.

Read More
North American greenhouse 1

May 13, 2016

NGMA Update: Meet The New Officers And Directors, And M…

The National Greenhouse Manufacturers Association announced new leadership at its spring meeting, as well as a networking reception to take place at Cultivate’16.

Read More
North American greenhouse 1

April 23, 2016

Light Matters In Greenhouse Structures

The design of your greenhouse structure, in terms of light transmission, can have a powerful impact on your bottom-line profits.

Read More
CSU Greenhouse at Night

April 20, 2016

New Colorado State University Greenhouse Showcases LED …

The university’s new Horticulture Center has all the bells and whistles you would expect in a state-of-the-art greenhouse, plus the latest in LED lighting technology.

Read More
Gotham Greens Atrium Style Greenhouse Chicago

April 18, 2016

Gotham Greens CEO Outlines Queens, Chicago Expansion Pr…

The hydroponic vegetable producer recently opened its third and fourth rooftop greenhouses, expanding to Chicago and Queens, NY. CEO Viraj Puri told us about some of the challenges and rewards of building greenhouses on rooftops.

Read More
Natural Ventilation In A Venlo type greenhouse

April 9, 2016

How To Fine-Tune Your Greenhouse Cooling And Ventilatio…

Like most equipment, greenhouse components and machinery must be serviced regularly to keep them in good working order.

Read More
Harmony 5747 FR Diffused Light Climate Screen (Ludvig Svensson) Feature

April 8, 2016

New Coverings Help Improve Light Diffusion In The Green…

Coverings suppliers are developing new materials designed to enhance light transmission, which can help improve energy efficiency.

Read More
Ovaltech (Harnois Greenhouses) Feature Image

April 4, 2016

The Latest Developments In Greenhouse Structures

Manufacturers are focused more than ever on flexibility, temperature management, and economic savings.

Read More
Growers Supply Workshop

April 1, 2016

Growers Supply Hosting Two Workshops On Controlled Envi…

The April and May workshops will cover the latest trends in new and innovative growing techniques, such as hydroponics, aquaponics, and microgreen production.

Read More
NGMA Spring meeting 2016

March 16, 2016

NGMA Spring Meeting Agenda Features Focus On Cannabis, …

Register now for the National Greenhouse Manufacturers Association’s Spring Meeting, which takes place April 10-12 in Tucson, AZ.

Read More

February 22, 2016

Why Automate Your Greenhouse?

Automating your greenhouse operation can mean a number of different investments, but the end goal is always to improve efficiency and make everyone’s job easier.

Read More
NGMA Spring meeting 2016

February 17, 2016

Mark Your Calendars For The NGMA Spring Meeting

Now is the time to start making plans to attend the National Greenhouse Manufacturers’ Association’s Spring Meeting, which will take place April 10-12 in Tucson, AZ.

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