For the “green” industry, greenhouse, nursery and sod, and in particular the greenhouse sector, the weather is a determining factor in financial results. 2018 was extremely wet at the beginning of the season, and then again late in the season, affecting the two biggest selling times of the year – spring and fall. 2018 was an average year, despite the poor weather. Growers have high hopes for the 2019 season, and advance orders are fairly strong, but weather will again, largely determine industry results.
Earnings growth has somewhat softened, with growers have been unable to increase prices as much as they might like. So far, however, consumer demand and product movement has been strong.
Wholesale nursery growers generally reported a good 2018 season, and are looking forward to an as good or better year in 2019, weather permitting. Landscapers have been very busy.
Garden retailers continue to post mixed results due to strong competition from chain stores.
Shortages of plant materials have largely resolved, except for some larger trees and specialty items.
As with other agricultural sectors, labor supply continues to be a major issue.
Interest in new technologies in Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA), primarily for vegetable production continues to develop, particularly in metropolitan areas which has attracted some venture capital type funding. However, questions remain about the profit potential of many of these high-tech operations.