Knowledge Exchange

Ag Economy

Greenhouse and Nursery

  • 2020 was an exceptional year for the green industry overall. Early-Spring sales were disrupted by COVID-19 related shutdowns, and some greenhouse growers had to dump product early due to timing of demand-availability mismatches. However, mid-Spring through year-end sales generally made up for these early losses.
  • Sales generally continued strong into summer and fall for most greenhouse, nursery, and sod producers. Many producers report being able to increase prices and margins in 2020.
  • Key contributors to strong results were 1) early business designation as ‘essential’, 2) pro-active and upbeat management of customer and staff COVID-19 protocol compliance, 3) rapid adoption of distant-friendly processes (online or remote payment, delivery/loading mechanics, focus on customer traffic flows, etc), 4) supply-chain management and 5) ultimately most critical - full sell-through of inventory without material levels of discounting.
  • Sod sales declined early in the season amidst a slowdown of construction and landscape activity but have generally recovered, and continued strong well into the fall.
  • As with other agricultural sectors, the availability and cost of labor continues to be a challenge, not just for entry-level production workers, but for supervisory and skilled staff as well.