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 going into the 2020 spring season, but the onset of COVID-19 was a cause of great concern. Fortunately, the worst seems to have been avoided. 
  • Easter and early-Spring sales were disrupted by COVID-19 related shutdowns, and some growers had to dump product. However, mid- and late-Spring sales generally made up for these early losses.
  • States and localities have varied in their assessment of whether garden centers are “essential businesses” exempt from lockdown orders. This was a more significant issue earlier in the crisis. At this point most garden centers and greenhouses are open for business and customer traffic has been fairly strong.
  • Sod sales declined early in the season amidst a slowdown of construction and landscape activity but have generally recovered.
  • 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.