Labor costs lead the list of concerns keeping Top 100 growers up at night. Of the 101 floriculture and ornamentals growers who responded to Greenhouse Grower’s Top 100 Growers Survey for 2020, 78% indicated they’re concerned about labor expenses, and 56% said they are anxious about the availability of skilled labor. This is undoubtably driving Top 100 Growers’ investment in technology, as cost of labor and availability of skilled labor ranked just behind improved efficiency in the top three reasons growers say are prompting them to invest in automation, equipment, and structures this year.
Not surprisingly, growers reported they’re also worried about the economy and government regulations revolving around immigration, labor, and healthcare, and all this before COVID-19 worries hit the U.S. (the survey circulated prior to COVID-19 lockdowns). In the face of these challenges, growers are exhibiting the resilience they are known for and are retaining hope for a positive future. Fifty-six percent plan to build more on their current site in 2020, and 39% will increase production of plugs and propagation material, followed closely by 36% who will expand production of annuals in 2020.
Total production space for the Top 100 Growers who made this year’s list totals 219,875,073 square feet of environmentally controlled production space. This is down 9,883,371 square feet from the 2019 report. Top 100 Growers account for around 26% of the 859 million square feet of covered area for floriculture crop production listed in the 2018 USDA Floriculture Crops report.
Several newcomers joined the Top 100 list this year:
- Silver Vase: #61
- The Perennial Farm: Tied for #65 with Harts Nursery and Plainview Growers
- Parks Brothers Farm: #93
- Hampshire Farms: #95
- Roseville Farms: #96
- Emerald Coast Growers: #97
- Pleasant Valley Farms: #98
Significant moves on the list of ten or more spaces include:
- Plug Connection: #64 in 2019 to #30 in 2020
- Henry Mast Greenhouses/Masterpiece Flower Co.: #52 in 2019 to tied for #37 with Valley Flowers
- Silver Vase in 2020
- Plainview Growers: #81 in 2019 to tied for #65 with Hart’s Nursery and The Perennial Farm
- Baucom’s Nursery: #79 in 2019 to #69 in 2020
- Green Valley Greenhouses: #86 in 2019 to #74 in 2020
Check out the complete list below! (note: a * means this year’s square footage number is an estimate; M = certified by More Profitable Sustainability. V ; Veriflora certification)