Knowledge Exchange

Ag Economy

Greenhouse and Nursery

  • The green industry overall has experienced growing sales and positive profit margins for the last few years. 
  • Nursery and greenhouse growers reported strong advance bookings for the 2020 spring season, however, the coronavirus crisis has brought significant uncertainty. If Northeast states continue shelter-at-home orders or similar shutdowns during the critical spring sales window, it could mean a major economic disruption to the industry.
  • States and localities vary in their assessment of whether garden centers are “essential businesses” exempt from lockdown orders. New York has not included horticulture among essential industries.
  • Inventory levels have been building over the last few years and there are now few shortages in the market. Some gaps persist for long-rotation woody materials in high demand, but the majority of demand is now supplied.
  • Sod sales have declined amidst a slowdown of construction and landscape activity.
  • Labor availability and cost remains a serious challenge for the green industry and like many businesses that have traditionally used the H-2A program the logistics of bringing in workers could be a challenge.