New York Greenhouse Business Summary and Financial Analysis, 2000

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The greenhouse industry is an important sector of New York State agriculture. It produces goods and services which enhance the quality of life in communities (ornamental plants) and increasingly provides goods vital to food consumption (fruits and vegetables). The Census of Agriculture (1999b) shows that New York’s greenhouse and nursery crop production industry is the state’s second largest sector of agriculture, with production sales valued at $258 million in 1997 (including both under-cover and open-ground production). Total sales revenue from New York greenhouse production alone was estimated to be $207 million during 1997 (Uva, 1999). While greenhouse production is a growing industry in New York, competition from other states and countries is strong and growing stronger. According to a USDA report (1999a), floriculture and environmental horticulture (including greenhouse, turfgrass and nursery-related crops) is considered the fastest growing segment of agriculture in the U.S., with an annual increase of over $440 million in growers’ receipts in the past decade. However, growth in receipts in the Northeastern U.S.1 and in New York, in particular, have not been as robust over the last decade (Traver, 1998). To stay competitive, it is essential to develop management and business analysis competency among New York greenhouse businesses. Comprehensive financial data and market analysis for the greenhouse industry are needed to enable managers to evaluate their businesses and make wise business decisions. Currently, this information is unavailable to New York and Northeast greenhouse businesses. The Cornell Greenhouse Business Analysis Program addresses these needs by establishing production and financial benchmark data for the greenhouse industry, providing training to improve record keeping and business analysis skills of greenhouse managers, and using the collected data to analyze factors important to profitability of greenhouse businesses.

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